What made you start reading this blog? Was it the word "networking" or the words "food and drink"? It doesn't matter because I'm going to tell you how you can get all three in one place. (Or to be more exact, in seven places.)
One suggestion we heard often when we talked to people in the fitness industry about what they wanted at a conference and trade show was more opportunities to network. In today's world of social media and emails, you might think that people really don't want to meet face-to-face anymore, but that's not what we found. It seems to me that people really want some human interaction, which is one great reason to attend a conference and trade show.
So as we put together this year's Club Industry Show, set for Oct. 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, we looked for ways to ramp up your opportunities for in-person gatherings. We added several networking events, all with food and drink.
We have always offered a welcome reception on the first night of the conference, and this year is no exception. The welcome reception, sponsored by Abs Company, will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the Crystal Foyer and the showcase pavilion at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. It's a great chance to get a preview of the showcase pavilion while also saying hello to old and new friends in the industry.
New this year is a "happy hour" networking event from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 13 in the Riverside Exhibit Hall at the Hyatt Regency. The networking event, sponsored by Sports & Fitness Insurance Corp., will allow you to mix and mingle in the exhibit hall before heading to the Lifetime Achievement Award presentation and keynote address.
Also new this year are networking breaks between conference sessions. You can enjoy a light refreshment while you catch up with friends outside the conference session rooms from 9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 12 and 13 as well as from 3:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Oct. 13.
And if that isn't enough food for you, come down to the Big Bar in the Hyatt Regency from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Oct. 13 to enjoy a continental breakfast, sponsored by Les Mills, where you can see how awake your fellow attendees are at that time of the morning.
Last year, we introduced the Networking Nightcap event on the second evening of the conference. The event was so successful that we are bringing it back this year, sponsored by Core Health & Fitness and ClubWorks/MXM Medallia. After all, you know that after dinner you typically stop at the hotel bar anyway, so why not gather with others in the industry to share a few cocktails and desserts (for free!) from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Oct. 13? It's a great way to cap off the evening.
If all of this eating, drinking and talking has you thinking you need a workout, have no fear. We also are offering early morning workouts each morning of the conference, but I've saved that for another blog.