IHRSA Trade Show 2009 Preview

San Francisco is by all accounts a world-renowned city, so what better place to hold a convention with the theme "A World of Opportunity" than the city by the bay? The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) will hold its 28th annual convention and trade show, March 16-19, at the Moscone Center and the San Francisco Marriott Downtown. The show was last held in San Francisco in 2007.

A couple of world-class athletes highlight two of the feature presentations. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, who won four Super Bowls in his Hall of Fame career, will speak about "The Winning Spirit" on Monday, March 16. Montana's speech follows the 5 p.m. "State of the Industry" address by IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore.

Swimmer Dara Torres, who has won 12 Olympic medals, including four gold medals, will speak about "Celebrating the Champion Spirit" at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 19. At the age of 41, Torres won three silver medals at the recent Summer Olympics in Beijing. She is the first U.S. swimmer to compete in five Olympics.

"In an increasingly competitive environment, it is essential to continue learning and gaining insight from those who have achieved success at high levels and have remained at the top of their respective professions," Moore said in a statement from IHRSA.

The two keynote speakers are Marcus Buckingham, an author and business consultant, and Seth Godin, an author, blogger and a former vice president of marketing for Yahoo!. Buckingham's speech, "Go Put Your Strengths to Work," will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17. Godin's speech, "Invisible or Remarkable?", will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18. The show's educational programming will feature more than 100 speakers and presenters.

Once again, Life Fitness founder Augie Nieto and his wife, Lynne, will be featured at the IHRSA show. The Nietos, who are co-chairpersons of the ALS Division for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), will give a presentation titled "Reciprocity Inc. When You Give, You Receive More in Return" at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. The following night, starting at 6 p.m., the Nietos will host the annual Augie's Bash, presented by Augie's Quest, to benefit the MDA's ALS research program. Augie Nieto was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, in 2005.

The trade show hours at the Moscone Center are from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday. Early morning workouts begin at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday on the trade show floor.

Three key summits also will take place during the show. The fifth annual IHRSA Technology Summit begins at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, immediately followed by the 13th annual IHRSA Global Leadership Summit at noon. The 13th annual IHRSA Financial Panel begins at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

Each night will feature a different reception with a worldly theme. Monday night is the opening reception titled "Celebrate the Irish in Us All!", while Tuesday night is the Planet IHRSA reception for international registrants. A "Go Canada" reception will begin Wednesday night prior to Augie's Bash. On Thursday night, IHRSA will sponsor an event titled "Dine Around San Francisco."

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