Get the Breakdown on the 2019 CEO Summit and Why You Can't Miss It

2018 CEO Summit

Club Industry's annual CEO Summit is the only event in the health and wellness industry designed exclusively for owners and C-level executives of the largest health club companies in North America. (Those with $5 million or more in single club revenue or more than $10 million in multi-club revenue.)

Here is a breakdown of the day for this year’s invitation-only event on Oct. 10, and reasons you should attend.

8:00 a.m. Networking Breakfast

9:00 a.m. CEO/Industry Leader Panel:

Start the day with an interactive session featuring executives that are leading the way for their various segments. i.e., premium clubs, HVLP, independents, franchises and boutique studios. Our two confirmed panelists (more to be announced) are:

Rich Nelsen – CEO of VASA Fitness, a fast-growing collection of large high-volume, low-priced (HVLP) facilities (38 at press time) with locations in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas and Oklahoma. Rich was previously the CEO of In-Shape Health Clubs. Prior to that, he was with Starbucks for more than 12 years where he held various regional and senior vice president roles managing Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Brazil. Before his overseas service, Rich was responsible as a regional vice president of operations for the largest growth market in Starbucks, building the Mid-American Region from 197 stores to 536 company owned stores in six-and-a-half years.

Adam Zeitsiff – Named president and CEO of Gold’s Gym International in February 2019, Adam previously served as CIO for Gold’s Gym, CEO of Smoothie King (with 900+ locations), and president of Jonas Fitness from 2009-2015. His extensive background with technology innovation and managing large franchise operations will provide valuable perspective for this year’s CEO panel discussion. (Listen to the Club Industry Podcast interview with Adam here.)

Why? Hear the strategies and interact directly with the leaders of organizations and segments that are growing and adapting to the future of our Industry.

10:30 a.m. HBS Business Development Workshop “How to Grow Your Business in a Mature Market”

We are fortunate to have Harvard Business School Professor Steven Rogers returning, this year presenting examples and leading what’s certain to be a lively workshop on how mature businesses can grow and increase market share in a (seemingly) mature market. Be sure to roll up your sleeves and come away with a plan designed to help you grow.

Why? Position your company for growth and improved profitability. Besides, who wouldn’t want a great new plan you can use to annoy your senior management team? …#Just kidding

12:00 p.m. NEW this Year! Lunch and Special Guest Keynote Speaker – Details to be released soon.

Hint: Don’t miss this!

1:00 p.m. Hot Topic Panel Discussion – It's Time for a Technology Reality Check

Overwhelmed with the pace and volume of emerging “must-have” technology? Wary of investing big money (again) on the next wave of innovation with an uncertain ROI? If you thought the last panel discussion was lively, wait till you see this one. We are assembling an outspoken panel of experts and veterans with experience and perspective on the past, present and future of technology for our Industry. The goal is to separate fact from fiction—what’s essential and what you need to excel vs. what’s merely elective.

Why? Develop a sound basis for making wise executive investment decisions on technology that will help you to maintain and grow market share.

2:30 p.m. Big Breakthroughs and CEO Survey Highlights

This segment is a fan favorite and always stimulates additional discussion. Your peers share breakthroughs from the previous year, revealed in the Pre-Summit Survey. This year’s survey results will be summarized and shared in a written report with all participants. Discussion for this segment will focus on big wins, perhaps yours, or from people seated right beside you.

Why? I heard from many people after last year’s event that this session alone was worth their time, so we’re giving the breakthroughs even more emphasis and will be looking hard for game-changers to help you grow.

4:00 p.m. Networking Happy Hour and Trade Show Time (aka free drinks, courtesy of our sponsors!)

Did we say the day was ending? Not so fast. We will adjourn with time for two great activities:

  1. You can take in the last hour of Thursday's Club Industry Trade Show. Or…
  2. Remember that stimulating discussion started during the Big Breakthrough session? Or any session for that matter? Now is the time to bend their ear at the bar and get the REAL story behind their perspective and success. Just bring something to write with so you remember it the next day.

Or do both! The Closing Networking Happy Hour has been extended till 6:00 p.m. to allow executives and physicians from the Healthcare and Fitness Integration Summit to join us when their final session ends at 5:00 p.m. Hang out and visit with leaders from this great growth segment. You never know who you’ll meet.

But wait! There’s more…

2018 CEO Summit Dinner

Check out these great pre-Summit events on Wednesday, Oct. 9 that you won’t want to miss.

12:30-5:00 p.m. New this year - Club Tours! (Limited to first 50 participants. Pre-reg. required)

Visit three premier clubs in the Chicago market. We will start with Fitness Formula at Park Ridge, then move on to the newly re-invented Midtown Athletic Club, wrap up with the legendary East Bank Club and have you back in time for Happy Hour.

6:00 p.m. Networking Happy Hour

Along with great information and inspiration from the planned sessions, networking with peers is listed as the most valuable benefit of attending the annual CEO Summit.

Between this year’s Club Tours, two Happy Hours, the CEO Summit Dinner and Breakfast, we have expanded networking time more than four-fold giving you plenty of opportunities to catch up and meet with friends, both old and new.

7:00-9:00 p.m. Networking Dinner (Limited to first 50 participants. Pre-reg. required)

Hungry from your travels, or visiting all those great clubs? Join your colleagues, our generous sponsors and keynote speaker for a terrific three-course dinner in the Grand Foyer of the Chicago Hilton Hotel.

Why? Consider it civilized tail-gaiting prior to tomorrow’s big event.

P.S. CEO Summit registration includes access to the Club Industry Show education sessions (Wednesday - Friday), two days of exhibit hall (Thursday and Friday), Welcome Reception, Networking Nightcap, morning workouts and show floor happy hour.

Ready to go?

Save $200 and reserve your seat for this year’s event.

(Attendance is limited. We expect this year to sell out in advance of the show.)

Just click here now to register.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago, Oct. 9-10.


Tim Rhode is a fitness industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, managing, developing, owning, growing and consulting health clubs. Since 1986, as an owner and manager, he has personally operated health, wellness and racquet sports clubs from 8,000 to 120,000 square feet with teams of 20 to 300+, and more than 100 personal trainers. As an industry innovator and consultant, Tim has helped small, large and multi-club operators to visibly improve their businesses with strategy, systems, training and motivation. Email [email protected],  Call or text 443-324-0580

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