Inaugural IHRSA SMART Summit Heading to Munich

    In cooperation with FitnessConnected, this event will strengthen learning and networking opportunities for the European health and fitness industry this November.

    As part of a newly agreed collaboration, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the world’s only association representing the health and fitness industry, will hold the inaugural IHRSA SMART Summit conference as a concurrent event of FitnessConnected in Munich, the Bavarian capital, November 17-19, 2021. FitnessConnected is part of the ISPO-Network, and is headed by industry veteran Ralph Scholz.

    "I am particularly proud about this great partnership with IHRSA,” said Scholz, CEO of FitnessConnected and event director of FIBO from 2013 to 2017. “It brings us one important step closer to our goal of being the central European platform for the fitness industry."

    Industry news SMART Summit Scholz Leach Ablondi column

    From left: Ralph Scholz, Alan Leach, and Jay Ablondi

    FitnessConnected is a trade show which will celebrate its premiere from November 18 to 20, 2021 at the Trade Fair Center in Munich, Germany. As a pure B2B trade show with a focus on Europe, the trade show redefines the self-image of the fitness industry, its opportunities and tasks.

    IHRSA and FitnessConnected aim to achieve a high level of quality, create synergies, strengthen and connect each other's network, share knowledge and be a valuable partner for the fitness industry by working closely together and coordinating their activities. The connection of the IHRSA SMART Summit makes it possible to improve the transfer of know-how between the markets in Europe, the U.S. and globally to give the fitness industry new impetus for growth.

    "I have known Ralph Scholz personally for many years and hold him in the highest regard," said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA executive vice president. "We both strongly believe that bringing together our respective organization’s expertise and continuous demonstrated commitment to the European fitness industry will provide outstanding value to all show attendees."

    SMART (Sales, Marketing, Analysis, Retention, Technology) Solutions

    The IHRSA SMART Summit will kick off with some of the most exciting health club tours in Munich on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, offering sales, marketing, analysis, retention and technology (SMART) solutions for all gym operators looking to grow their business. Accompanying the event will be business presentations on the afternoon of the first day of FitnessConnected on November 18, as well as November 19, 2021.

    Industry news SMART Summit MUNICH Pixabay stock column

    In 2021, The IHRSA SMART Summit replaces the in-person IHRSA European Congress, which was originally scheduled to take place in Berlin this past year and will resume in 2022.

    "The collaboration between IHRSA and FitnessConnected is the most exciting news for the fitness industry in 20 years!” said Alan Leach, chief executive of West Wood Clubs, Ireland and member of the IHRSA Board of Directors. “I can't wait to join fitness business entrepreneurs and fitness industry professionals in Munich in November 2021 for what I know will be a ground-breaking conference and trade show. The timing of this fitness business event and the terrific destination is the positive sign of hope the industry needs as we work through the current crisis and plan for better days ahead. This new fitness industry event has been designed exclusively for anyone who wants to grow their fitness business. And it will focus primarily on proven fitness business growth strategies. Including professional sales systems, expert marketing knowledge, fitness industry analysis and trends, member retention strategies, and the latest in fitness business technology. ”

    Industry Partner companies interested in learning more should contact Lynne Devaney at For more information about the expo visit the FitnessConnected website.

    Author avatar

    IHRSA Staff @IHRSA

    This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.