Behind the Scenes
Cosmo Wollan, Club Industry brand ambassador Photo courtesy Cosmo Wollan.
Cosmo Wollan is senior executive at Synergy Cubed, where he has provided across-the-board consulting services to fitness-related businesses for more than two decades.

Facilitating Change on Fitness's Front Lines: Q&A with Club Industry Brand Ambassador Cosmo Wollan

Club Industry brand ambassador Cosmo Wollan will address sales, retention and personal training during his trio of Oct. 25 sessions at this year's Club Industry Show (Oct. 24-26, Hilton Chicago).

At this year's Club Industry Show (Oct. 24-26, Hilton Chicago), Cosmo Wollan has the unique distinction of presenting not one but three education sessions, spanning the SalesRetention and Personal Training tracks.

Wollan's expertise as a seasoned industry consultant recently earned the Synergy Cubed senior executive a place among Club Industry's inaugural class of brand ambassadors.

Wollan will present three sessions on Oct. 25: "Train of Thought: Communication Skills for Personal Trainers" (10:30 a.m., Salon A2), "Maximizing Corporate Fitness Programs for Healthcare Cost Savings" (1:15 p.m., Lake Michigan) and "Is Customer Service Dead … Or Does It Just Stink?" (4:30 p.m., Salon A4).

We caught up with Wollan tp hear more about his session topics and, as a longtime Club Industry attendee, what the role of brand ambassador means to him.

Q: How were you first introduced to Club Industry?

CW: My first exposure to Club Industry was in the late 1980s. I was assistant director of group exercise for a major New York City club chain and had been presenting CEC-approved seminars to instructors and personal trainers in-house. On the recommendation of my department head, I applied to present at the upcoming Club Industry East show in New York City and was accepted. At the time, it was my first conference appearance and my first industry trade show. Both were eye-opening. The trade show helped me recognize the broad and ever-growing scope of my chosen industry, and speaking encouraged me to accept that I had something of value to offer that industry.

Q: Since then, how has the Club Industry Show personally helped you and your business positively evolve?

CW: Over the years, Club Industry has afforded me the opportunity to present ideas, share feedback and network up close and personally with a vast array of industry icons, facility owners and thought leaders. As my own consulting company has evolved, it has also been my privilege to have evolved into one of those thought leaders. Annual speaking opportunities allow me to share ideas with interested audiences, and the feedback I receive afterward greatly assists in further developing and innovating my various business and operating models.

Q: Why should health and wellness professionals attend Club Industry? What sets Club apart from other trade shows and conferences?

CW: Club Industry has evolved into the best industry conference specifically addressing the C-suite: fitness business owners, operators, managers and department heads. The majority of seminars tend to be focused on issues that are relevant to that audience, as are a good percentage of the expo booths. A great many front-line professionals, including instructors, personal trainers and sales associates, are always in attendance, many to obtain the additional knowledge or expertise to advance in their own careers.

Q: You are part of the inaugural class of Club Industry brand ambassadors. What makes you most excited about this opportunity?

CW: I am thrilled to be a part of Club Industry’s brand ambassador inaugural class. In addition to the additional exposure and visibility that accompanies this distinction, it is truly an honor to be recognized by Club Industry as a dedicated industry professional worthy of this role. I look forward to working with the Club Industry team in the coming months to spread the word about the conference and to help solidify the Club Industry event as the go-to event for fitness business owners and management to expand their knowledge, learn new skills, grow their capabilities and enhance their businesses’ bottom lines.

Q: Can you talk about your role at this year’s show? How did you decide on your session topics, and why do you believe they are relevant to attendees?

CW: This year it is my privilege to be presenting three seminars on Oct. 25. The first is "Train of Thought: Communication Skills for Personal Trainers" (10:30 a.m., Salon A2). Personal trainers face numerous challenges from determining their clients’ correct exercise prescription to uncovering their clients’ nutritional challenges. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring their clients, especially novice fitness participants, use proper form when executing their workout. "Train of Thought" covers communication skills for trainers. We’ll discuss the ways in which people receive information, the different modes of communication and the phases of learning. My next session is "Maximizing Corporate Fitness Programs for Healthcare Cost Savings" (1:15 p.m., Lake Michigan). This seminar offers a whole new approach to the corporate membership model based on providing actual fiscal value to the corporate prospect and, in the process, developing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. Lastly is "Is Customer Service Dead … Or Does It Just Stink?" (4:30 p.m., Salon A4). As business models evolve, the natural assumption is that customer service is parallel to services offered. That’s not true.The biggest challenge is that while more than 80 percent of fitness business operators believe they provide stellar customer service, more than 90 percent of those businesses’ consumers believe they don’t. This seminar will ensure your efforts exceed customer expectations. 

Q: Finally, summarize Club Industry in one sentence.

CW: Club Industry remains the best annual fitness industry conference for club owners, owner-operators, senior level managers and department heads to experience a wealth of expert-led seminars specifically targeting their unique challenges and needs.

Don't miss Cosmo Wollan's Oct. 25 sessions at the 2018 Club Industry Show: "Train of Thought: Communication Skills for Personal Trainers" (10:30 a.m., Salon A2), "Maximizing Corporate Fitness Programs for Healthcare Cost Savings" (1:15 p.m., Lake Michigan) and "Is Customer Service Dead … Or Does It Just Stink?" (4:30 p.m., Salon A4).

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