IHRSA Town Hall Highlights Progress on Many Fronts

    Industry Partners gathered to learn about the decision to move IHRSA 2021 to Dallas, the plans for future conventions, and new initiatives that will benefit IHRSA members and the industry at-large.

    On Thursday, May 6, approximately 100 industry partners joined IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden and the IHRSA Industry Partner Advisory Council in a virtual “Town Hall” to discuss the state of IHRSA and the industry as a whole.

    The Industry Partner Advisory Council is a representative body of IHRSA’s Industry Partners who manufacture or supply products or services to the fitness industry.

    “IHRSA is a mission-driven not-for-profit trade association, which sets it apart from other entities,” Darden explained. “Our intention is pure in that we reinvest whatever money is acquired on an annual basis back into the association to create more value for the members.”

    Joining Darden to provide updates to attendees were IHRSA Board member Chris Stevenson, founder of Be Military Fit Los Angeles, along with Industry Partner Advisory Council members Daron Allen, president and CEO of VFPnext, and Emmett Williams, CEO (Asia-Pacific) and partner of Myzone.

    IHRSA 2021: ‘The Comeback Event for Our Industry’

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    Stevenson explained why the IHRSA 40th Anniversary International Convention & Trade Show (IHRSA 2021)—originally set for September in Los Angeles—was moved to October 13-15 in Dallas, Texas.

    “Not only did we move it to a location that offers more freedom, but it also pushes the date out further so that things will have normalized even more,” he said. “IHRSA will still be following all CDC recommendations and local health guidelines, and will ensure that all attendees, industry partners, and staff are in a safe environment.”

    “Even though you may hear stories about Texas being the wild west, it’s not true,” noted Allen. “When you go out and about, people are following the rules in terms of masks and social distancing. Texas is a safe place.”

    “People are excited and want to get back together,” he added. “Vaccinations are ahead of schedule in most areas, and people are feeling more and more comfortable. This will be the comeback event for our industry. It was a unanimous decision among the IHRSA board members, the Council, and the industry partners we spoke to.”

    Williams said that after weighing the pros and cons, it was an easy business decision for Myzone to attend and exhibit at IHRSA 2021. Once enough people are vaccinated, “the biggest tailwind in the history of this industry is about to hit,” he predicted.

    Updates on Future Events, Current Initiatives

    Looking ahead, IHRSA 2022 is planned for June 22-24, 2022, in Miami Beach, Florida, and IHRSA 2023 is scheduled for March 20-22, 2023, in San Diego, California.

    Darden also provided an update on the GYMS Act, which would provide $30 billion in relief for U.S. health clubs, and now has 114 co-sponsors as of this publishing. He urged all U.S. attendees to get involved with the campaign to pass the bill.

    Darden also detailed the results of a survey by IHRSA Industry Partners, which found they consider the three most valuable benefits of IHRSA membership to be the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show, research reports, and CBI Magazine.

    In order to provide more options and flexibility to suppliers, IHRSA’s Industry Partner Tiered Membership will be launched in July, Darden explained. Options will include basic, standard, and premium membership. This is the same concept that has already been implemented for health club members of IHRSA.

    Stay tuned for future IHRSA Industry Partner updates and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram for current IHRSA and industry initiatives.

    Author avatar

    Kristen Walsh

    Kristen Walsh previously served as IHRSA's Associate Publisher—a position focused on the creation and distribution of Club Business International, as well as writing and editing articles, newsletters, and research reports.