Commercial club operators and fitness vendors are gearing up for the 2015 IHRSA conference next week in Los Angeles Photo by The Photo Group courtesy of IHRSA

Commercial club operators and fitness vendors are gearing up for the 2015 IHRSA conference next week in Los Angeles. Photo by The Photo Group, courtesy of IHRSA.

IHRSA 2015 in Los Angeles Just Around the Corner

If you haven't done so already, it's time to get in gear for IHRSA 2015, the 34th Annual International Convention and Trade Show of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), taking place March 11-14 in Los Angeles.

If you haven't done so already, it's time to get in gear for IHRSA 2015, the 34th Annual International Convention and Trade Show of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), taking place March 11-14 in Los Angeles.

As any good fitness convention and trade show should, IHRSA kicks off each day with exercise classes, starting at 6:30 a.m. on March 11. Next up is the opening-day Making Connections Orientation, more exercises classes (in case you missed the early morning ones) and then full conference programming, including the 6th Annual Women's Leadership Summit in the morning, a Global Leadership Summit later in the afternoon and an Opening Day Keynote Session titled "Redefining Success: The Third Metric that Can Benefit Your Bottom Line," by Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group. Huffington's keynote will take place at the Nokia Theatre.

IHRSA 2015's first day will wind down with an opening welcome reception sponsored by ABC Financial in the evening.

March 12 kicks off with a keynote session by author, trendspotter and futurologist Magnus Lindkvist at 8:30 a.m., followed at 10 a.m. by the opening of the exhibit hall. The afternoon features education sessions, roundtables and tutorials, with receptions in the evening for Canadian VIPs and for IHRSA Regional Associations. The Planet IHRSA reception for international attendees closes the day.

The keynote address on March 13 will be presented by Adam Bryant, author and columnist for the New York Times Corner Office. IHRSA's Annual Meeting and Award Presentations will be held in conjunction with the keynote. The exhibit hall will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with education sessions, roundtables and tutorials throughout the day.

At the 19th Annual IHRSA Financial Panel from 11 a.m. to 12:30 pm on March 13, the panel will discuss whether the health club industry is winning in the financial world and whether it is sustainable. Rick Caro, president, Management Vision, will moderate the panel discussion once again . Other members of the panel include:

  • Anand Philip, managing director, York Capital Management
  • Erik Morris, managing director, Roark Capital
  • Marc Maglicano, partner, Catterton Partners
  • Ron Kantowitz, managing director, Benefit Street Partners

The night will wind down with the 10th Annual BASH for Augie's Quest, from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event raises money to fund research and drug development aimed at ending ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. Since 2007, Augie's Quest has raised more than $44 million in support of finding effective ALS treatments, making it the largest individual fundraising program for ALS.

IHRSA 2015 wraps up on March 14 with feature presentations from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and with a closing keynote, "The Willpower Instinct," by Kelly McGonigal, author and lecturer from Stanford University.

With the exception of the Arianna Huffington keynote on March 11, which will be in the Nokia Theatre, all other keynotes will be at the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE. All concurrent education sessions and the trade show will occur at the Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall Building. Some of the evening social events and educational programming will occur at the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE, IHRSA's headquarters hotel.

Award Recipients

IHRSA will present three awards at IHRSA 2015:

  • The Julie Main Woman Leader Scholarship will be presented on March 12 to Lori Lowell, co-owner of several Gold's Gym franchised clubs
  • The Outstanding Community Service Award will be presented on March 13 to Midtown Athletic Club of Rochester, NY.
  • The Associate Member of the Year Award will be presented on  March 13 to Twin Oaks Software.

Health Promotion and Wellness Sessions

A series of new sessions on health promotion and wellness will debut at IHRSA 2015, geared toward helping club operators make the most of health promotion opportunities in their club settings.  Eleven sessions will be held over all four days of the convention.

Amy Bantham, IHRSA's vice president of government relations and health promotion, who was involved in creating the new track, said: "I am really proud of and excited for these sessions, especially for the great speakers we've brought in. We specifically recruited most of the track's speakers due to their distinct area of expertise, whether cancer programming, kids programing or working with medical providers."

Most of the speakers in this track are new to the conference, such as Colleen Doyle, director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society, who is moderating a panel on exercise and cancer.

Helen Durkin, IHRSA executive vice president of public policy, added: "This new track answers a real need for our members. It will not only help our members better engage their communities but will help our members make their health promotion efforts profitable."

Many of the sessions in the track are panel presentations, so attendees can learn from three to four panelists per session and gain ideas from three to four perspectives.

"The learning objectives say it best – health promotion makes you feel good about what you do and benefits your community," Bantham says. "Health promotion is also a proven way to increase retention, boost sales, and therefore increase profits – so each session could have an alternate title—making money with kids programming, making money with cancer programming, etc."

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