Sibec North America 2022 Attracted 260 Fitness Leaders

Sibec wrapped up its first 2022 event last week at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in Coronado, California, facilitating almost 2,000 one-on-one meetings in two days between buyers and suppliers, according to Rob Shannon, events director for Sibec. Sibec is owned by Questex, which also owns Club Industry.

Ninety-one commercial clubs, studios and a few Jewish community centers were represented to meet with 94 suppliers. Some companies had more than one representative, making the total number of attendees 260. 

“From discussions and comments on-site and email messages received while back in the office, I would definitely say we had a very successful Sibec with a huge uptick in sales for our suppliers,” Shannon said. “The industry is getting its legs firmly back underneath itself, and club operators are looking to buy again.”

In addition to the one-on-one meeting times, the event included a welcome reception, a dinner cruise, a closing reception, a morning yoga workout,  a morning Navy Seal workout, and three presentations about industry challenges.

Next Sibec Events

Anyone looking to buy this year has two additional opportunities to gather with other buyers and vendors in the industry at a Sibec event, Shannon said.

Sibec Europe/United Kingdom will occur Sept. 27-30 at the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal.

“Sibec EU/UK 2022 will be the first year that we will have combined the suppliers and buyers from both the UK and Europe for endless opportunities for both sides of the aisle,” Shannon said.

Plans are for more than 80 clubs and organizations to meet with vendors in a variety of categories.

This fall, Questex is launching Sibec Autumn, which will bring together about 65 buyers across the community of not-for-profit, boutique studios, medical wellness facilities, university rec centers, and franchisees from larger club companies as well as club owners of five clubs or fewer. They will meet with about 70 suppliers from Oct. 24-27 at the Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Sibec Autumn will provide the Sibec experience to an entirely new segment of the fitness, wellness, health segments,” Shannon said. “Based on the feedback and response to date, I am comfortable with stating that we are forecasting another capacity crowd.”

The 2023 Sibec North America event will be May 7-10, 2023, at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Industry Challenges

Three representatives from the industry offered presentations at the May 10 breakfast focused on industry challenges.

Aaron Moore, director of operations at Vida Fitness, spoke about some of the efforts to give the fitness industry more visibility, including the National Health and Fitness Alliance, 19 state alliances and the importance of lobbying efforts at the local, state and national level.

He shared that rather than the industry continuing to be siloed into commercial fitness facilities and not-for-profit facilities, the industry needs to join forces to speak with one voice about how essential the industry is to the health of the country.

Dan Duran, vice president international and group partnerships at ISSA, spoke to the group about staffing challenges and how to keep personal trainers. In 2021, 48 million U.S. adults left their jobs, he shared, and many personal trainers were among them. The five reasons people left were they wanted more money (56 percent of employees would leave for more money), they wanted benefits (not just medical and dental but also vacation, sick leave and holidays), they want the ability for remote work, they want a better work/life balance, and they want to be respected as an individual and for their importance to the company.   

Derek Weaver, manager of health club relations for NASM and AFAA, spoke about creating your community within your club. Doing so helps with member retention, alleviates loneliness and helps members feel less intimidated about coming inside your doors.