Blakely is the founder and owner of Chicago-based See Jake and Jane Train, which offers operating and training solutions for small-business trainers and studios. She is also an executive member at large of The Women in Fitness Association and formerly the president of award-winning training company Blakely FIT. She is certified as a personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
At this year's Club Industry Show (Oct. 24-26, Chicago Hilton), Blakely is presenting a personal training session, “Make a Powerful Difference with Little Effort” (10:45 a.m., Oct. 26, Salon A2), in addition to speaking as part of a technology panel "Technology’s Role in the Future of the Fitness Industry" (Oct. 24, 4 p.m., Lake Ontario).
Below, Blakely speaks about her role as a presenter, exhibitor and ambassador at this year's event.
Q: How were you first introduced to Club Industry?
MB: Like so many young trainers, I first attended Club Industry because I needed CEUs, and a few of my fellow fitness professionals were attending. This commonplace motivation ultimately improved my career exponentially. It was enlightening. I enjoyed seeing so many like-minded people in one place. I was encouraged by their passion and by the various products and services offered in our field that I had no idea existed.
Q: Since then, how has the Club Industry Show personally helped you and your business positively evolve?
MB: Club Industry has been a wonderful place for me to feel I am positively connecting to fitness professionals that need help and to proactively keep in touch with the changes and innovations in our field. I am honored to have the support and endorsement of Club Industry leadership. They are a warm, committed and professional team of positive individuals, and that is not always easy to come by. It is an honor and a joy to have their trust, and it is an absolute pleasure to connect with trainers and studio owners that are interested in learning from my mistakes, successes and experiences.
Q: Why should health and wellness professionals attend Club Industry? What sets Club apart from other trade shows and conferences?
MB: I think Club Industry offers a very real opportunity to connect with experts. On more than one occasion, before or after a talk or event, I have actually sat and talked with a new colleague or attendee and started a new professional relationship. I have witnessed my co-presenters do the same. The leadership team of Club Industry is focusing more and more on fostering those connections, and we are all benefiting. Creating a community is so important for success, and every speaker I have had the pleasure of working with at Club Industry is delighted to connect with all attendees and colleagues at the event. This is a special part of CIub.
Q: You are part of the inaugural class of Club Industry brand ambassadors. What makes you most excited about this opportunity?
MB: I’m elated to offer something to my community of trainers and studio owners, in terms of encouraging them to attend the event and being a warm contact that they can count on at the show. So many of us are understandably caught in the routine of running our businesses and careers. It can be difficult to step away and to learn something new, to foster a new professional connection, to be inspired to redirect our big picture plans—but it is integral for our success. It is a gift to encourage my community to attend Club Industry because it provides an opportunity for all of that.
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?
MB: I’m thrilled to be presenting “Make a Powerful Difference with Little Effort” (10:45 a.m., Oct. 26, Salon A2) and honored to be on the "Technology’s Role in the Future of the Fitness Industry" panel (4 p.m., Oct. 24, Lake Ontario). My Oct. 26 talk empowers studios and trainers to make a huge difference with little effort by tending to their assessment and reassessment processes in very specific ways. We will explore how this is innately and powerfully tied to your sales and marketing results. It's not to be missed. Additionally, for the technology panel, I am speaking along side some terribly impressive individuals and encourage everyone to attend—especially the tech fearful. It’s going to be a diverse and welcoming discussion. My See Jake and Jane Train team and I will also have a booth on the exhibit floor (location TBD), and I would love for everyone to pop by. Attendees can learn more about our courses to increase your revenue, and win prizes for “walking the line." I can’t wait to see some familiar faces and make some new connections.
Q: Finally, summarize Club Industry in one sentence.
MB: Club Industry gets to the heart of your business and empowers you to find your next level of success as a thriving fitness professional.
Don't miss Michelle Blakely's sessions at the 2018 Club Industry Show: "Technology’s Role in the Future of the Fitness Industry" (Oct. 24, 4 p.m., Lake Ontario — panel) and "Make a Powerful Difference with Little Effort” (10:45 a.m., Oct. 26, Salon A2).