In-Person Fitness Events Are Back

Just as members are returning to health clubs as states have allowed gyms to reopen, the fitness professionals who own and operate those health clubs are now returning to in-person events, such as Sibec, which is being held this week in Phoenix. (Photo by Pamela Kufahl.)

With the opening day of Sibec on May 17, in-person events returned in the fitness industry. And it seems to be time, if comments from the Sibec welcome reception are a predictor.

Attendees at Sibec, a hosted buyer event being held this week at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in Phoenix, were able to remove their masks at the outdoor reception and enjoy drinks, food and networking with other fitness professionals for the first time in more than a year due to the cancellation and postponement for the past year of in-person events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One-on-one meetings between health club buyers and industry suppliers will occur during the next two days.

Multiple people at the event shared how much they were excited to leave behind Zoom calls and see people in person again. It echoed what many are seeing in their health clubs as people return to gyms—now often allowed to do so without masks.

Sibec, which is a sister brand to Club Industry and had been pushed from September 2020 to May 2021 and from California to Arizona due to COVID-19, is one of the first in-person events to be held this year, with several more coming.

Sibec Europe is co-locating with FIBO in Cologne, Germany. Sibec will occur Nov. 2-4 while FIBO will occur Nov. 4-6.  

Club Industry will host the Executive Summit Nov. 9-10 in Nashville. The event is planned for about 300 owners and C-suite executives at large and small health clubs, studios, YMCAs, JCCs, and parks and rec facilities.

IHRSA, which was the first organization that had to cancel its event last year after California shut down large gatherings in the state the week prior to the 2020 event starting, moved its event from March to September and recently moved it again to Oct. 13-15 due to COVID-19. IHRSA also moved the location from Los Angeles to Dallas.

Fitness Technology Summit for the techies in the fitness business will occur Nov. 3-5 in Washington, DC.

But just like health clubs that pivoted to start online fitness during the pandemic and have decided to continue to offer online fitness as brick-and-mortar locations reopen, the pivot to virtual conference events is also continuing.

Club Industry is hosting its third Future of Fitness virtual event June 16-17.

IDEA is hosting its annual IDEA World online July 9-11.   

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