It's That Time of Year Again to Commit to Moving Your Fitness Business and You into a Profitable Future

Club Industry Show Community Breakfast
Last year's Club Industry Show included a Community Breakfast prior to the morning keynote. Plans call for another breakfast prior to this year's keynote, too.

Do you need help with retention? Are you looking for marketing help to generate more leads? Do you want help in how to convert those leads into sales? Do you want to know more about wellness and how to implement it in your health club or how to take you wellness programming to the next level? Do you want to develop your leadership and management skills? Are you looking for CEUs/CECs?

More than likely, you answered yes to more than one of these questions. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find all of this help in one place? Well, you can. That place is the Club Industry Show at the Hilton Chicago. The time is Oct. 24-26.

That may seem like a long way away, but it’s never too early to start planning for a better future for your health club and yourself, especially if early planning means you can save money. And early planning here will help you do that. The price for an All-Access Pass (meaning you can attend as many sessions as you want) is just $295 right now. That price increases to $425 on June 1. That’s a $130 savings if you register now.

Not that this year’s conference program isn’t worth $425 because it is shaping up to be one of the best ones yet. (Of course, since we put on the Club Industry Show, we may be a bit biased.) What I hope is proof of that excellence follows. (Please note that specific session titles, summaries and speakers will be online June 1.)

Personal Training

For personal trainers, we have an exciting partnership this year with Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) in which they are chairs of our Personal Training track. As part of that, they have developed five sessions on Oct. 24 called Take the Leap: From Fitness Trainer to Business Owner. These sessions are designed for trainers who want to start their own business. The sessions are:

  • Your First Step: Create a Sound Business Plan
  • Best Practices: Understand the Most Critical Do's and Don'ts
  • Marketing: Build and Maintain Your Ideal Client Base
  • Fitness Sales: Strategically Price and Sell Your Services
  • Interactive Hot Seat Panel

In addition, PFP helped select the sessions in the Personal Training track on Oct. 25-26. Those sessions include topics such as developing better communication skills with clients, how to inspire client behavior change, helping clients track nutrition and how to sell and train to your niche.

Trainers can also attend one day (Oct. 24) of Active Training sessions, which are our hands-on sessions. These sessions will include topics such as how to use sports circuits in your training, safe and effective kettlebell use, working with middle-aged clients and basic assessment techniques.

Medical Fitness Tour

Another exciting new option for trainers, health coaches and managers is a co-located event with MedFit Network called the Medical Fitness Tour. This event, which occurs on Oct. 25-26, offers medical fitness-oriented sessions on topics related to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of chronic disease/medical conditions. CEUs/CECs will be offered for these sessions.

Unfortunately, an All-Access Pass to the Club Industry Show will not get you into the Medical Fitness Tour. The Medical Fitness Tour requires a separate registration and fee ($299) from the Club Industry Show’s registration and fee, but your registration to this event allows you into the Club Industry Show exhibit hall and to the welcome reception, networking nightcap event and any early morning workouts. To attend any Club Industry Show sessions on Oct. 24, you will need to register for the Club Industry Show with individual sessions, a four-pack or a six-pack option.


Now, back to what you can get with an All-Access Pass, a four-pack or a six-pack at the Club Industry Show. The Medical Fitness Tour isn't the only place you can get wellness knowledge. The Wellness track, which has grown in popularity since we started this track four years ago, has expanded to two days (Oct. 24-25). It offers sessions for commercial club operators and hospital wellness center operators who want to move onto the next phase of their wellness focus. This track, which will share best practices, was developed by Kevin Steele, PTA Global president. Session topics include how fitness professionals and clubs can participate in the executive health field, how to create synergies with physicians, how to maximize physical therapy dynamics in your health club, the latest medical wellness trends and what you should know when partnering with hospital health and fitness centers.

Leadership and Management

The Leadership and Management track is an immersive educational program focused on how management and staff can adapt operations to trends related to sales, marketing, retention, managing by the numbers, cost savings, staffing and facilities. This track was created by Active Wellness CEO Bill McBride. Some of the topics for this year’s sessions include how to look at your site from all angles to succeed, how culture and leadership create a motivating environment for your employees, how to create better member on-boarding for more revenue and better results, how to lead an operational approach to member results and creating better financial management.


The popular Marketing track is back, and is again chaired by Casey Conrad, president of Communication Consultants. The goal of this track is to help you create a cohesive brand message and to show you how to market that message through different platforms. Some of the topics for this year’s sessions include new marketing magnets and how to use them, how to do cooperative marketing, new approaches to maximizing referrals, social media help and how to market through selling relationships.


In this year’s programming track, our goal is to help you learn how to create the best programming possible for your club’s membership base. Marisa Hoff, general manager at Stevenson Fitness, is chairing this track this year, and she has picked sessions that share how to build non-dues programming, how to use data to create programming, how to develop programming for seniors, how to implement 30-minute programming, how to build boot camp programming for the masses and more.
The Retention track is perhaps the most important track we offer. In this track, you will find sessions about how to improve customer service, to create rewards programs, to develop better member integration programs, to build relationships and to determine whether you should contact those “sleeping” members or let them be. This track was developed by track chair Chris Stevenson, who is owner of Stevenson Fitness.


This year’s Sales track offers various sessions for directors, managers and salespeople to increase membership sales and non-dues revenue sales for fitness facilities of all types. Karen Woodard, president of Premium Performance Training, serves as the chair for this track. This year, the track includes a three-session boot camp of sorts by Woodard on Oct. 24 taking you through the sales process. It also includes sessions on topics such as how many leads you need to generate and where to generate them, sales management lessons, whether you should have full-time or part-time sales staff, how to make your website your most valuable sales tool and follow up techniques that get you a better response rate.

Technology and Trends

The last track is our Technology and Trends track, which offers sessions about how health club operators can adapt to the trends and technology in the industry. Topics this year include how technology increases personalization and drives engagement, how to use technology in wellness, how to increase retention and revenue through technology and how to use wearable technology for better member engagement.

So, if I haven’t already convinced you that it’s worth the $295 to register for the Club Industry Show, then you’ll have to wait until June 1 when the sessions are officially online to be convinced. However, the price does increase at that time, so it’s better to register now at the lowest price we offer. Go to the Club Industry Show website to find out more, and register here.   

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