The Club Industry Show Says Goodbye to Chicago with a Focus on Education, Networking and Healthcare Integration

2019 Club Industry Show
(Photo by Bryan Beasley.) One of the highlights at the 2019 Club Industry Show was the annual CEO Summit, which, among other sessions, featured a technology panel discussion with Al Noshirvani (Motionsoft), Joe Cirulli (Gainesville Health and Fitness), Mike Alpert (The Claremont Club) and Brett Maloley (Ladder)—pictured here, left to right, with CEO Summit Director Tim Rhode (far left).

Saying goodbye can be difficult, but the Club Industry Show made its farewell to Chicago one to remember Oct. 9-11 at the Hilton Chicago. 

In case you haven't heard yet, the 2020 Club Industry Show will be held Oct. 14-16, 2020, at the historic St. Louis Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. During the past three years, Club Industry has refocused the Club Industry Show to be an education and networking event, bringing in top industry experts as track chairs and speakers while increasing the number of networking events from one to five: the Welcome Reception, the Club Community Breakfast, the Trade Show Floor Happy Hour, the Networking Nightcap and the Sisterhood Stride 5k run/walk.

"This year's show had a definite air of excitement to it, more so than any year in the recent past,' said Pamela Kufahl, director of content for Club Industry. 'After this year's event, we have been receiving email after email and call after call congratulating us on this year's event and how people got from the CEO Summit, the Healthcare & Fitness Integration Summit and the general conference program."

Prior to this year's keynote address, Kufahl shared with the crowd the journey of reinvention that Club Industry has been on.   

After a full day of sessions on Oct. 9, around 300 people attended the Welcome Reception that evening. The reception, sponsored by Life Fitness, featured a brief address by Chris Clawson, CEO of Life Fitness. Clawson commended the Club Industry Show for its move to focus on networking and education, particularly education related to healthcare and fitness integration.

After the event, Clawson shared this in an email with Club Industry: "As the industry has evolved, the Club Industry event has evolved with it. I am especially impressed with the Healthcare & Fitness Integration Summit, which takes two industries that have run parallel to each other for years and brings them together to discuss the preventive benefits of fitness. Kudos to the entire Club Industry team for organizing a great event for education and networking."

This was the first year for Club Industry’s Healthcare & Fitness Integration Summit (HFIS), a unique event bringing together health club operators and the healthcare community. The event featured three days of presentations by health club operators sharing their success in integrating with physicians and presentations by doctors sharing some of the latest research on how fitness and nutrition can help with a variety of chronic conditions, including diabetes, cardiac disease and obesity. Kevin Steele, president of PTA Global and PTontheNet, and Dr. Silvana Pannain, associate professor of obesity medicine and endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the University of Chicago, co-moderated the event, which was sponsored by ABC Financial, Human Touch, Kinetisense, Styku, TMI Sustainable Aquatics, Welld, Accuro, CMS, L-Nutra, The Perfect Step, Gupta Enterprises LLC and Novo Nordisk.

Thursday, Oct. 10, kicked off at 8 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom with the Club Community Breakfast, sponsored by ASF Payment Solutions. At 8:45 a.m., Pam Kufahl, director of content and engagement for Club Industry, introduced the show's track chairs and brand ambassadors before announcing the event was moving to St. Louis in 2020. After Kufahl's remarks, The Onion co-founder Scott Dikkers delievered an hour-long keynote presentation on "outrageous marketing," in which he encouraged attendees to focus on creating die-hard fans, not necessarily profits, for their businesses. Dikkers' keynote was sponsored by ClassPass.

At 10:30 a.m., the exhibit hall opened in Salon C and D and featured a Demo Stage, Nutrition Pavilion, the Cigna Health Improvement Tour, a series of exhibitor-presented seminars and more than 90 interactive vendor booths. From 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., vendors and attendees joined together for the Show Floor Happy Hour, sponsored by Sports & Fitness Insurance.

After a dinner break, show attendees enjoyed another networking opportunity with the Networking Nightcap, held in the Normandie Lounge from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Also occurring on Oct. 10 was the invitation-only CEO Summit. This year's event attracted 78 C-suite executives and owners of the largest revenue-generating health clubs in the country, addressing their specific concerns. The event was sponsored by Motionsoft, Accuro, Ladder and Medallia while the keynote address on how to create unstoppable teams by Alden Mills, a former Navy SEAL Commander, was sponsored by Matrix. The event also included a CEO panel featuring Rich Nelsen, CEO of VASA Fitness; Rodney Steven, CEO of Genesis Health Clubs; Julia Sutton, CEO of exhale; and Adam Zeitsiff, CEO of Gold's Gym International. A second panel on technology featured Al Noshirvani, chairman on Motionsoft; Brett Maloley, CEO of Ladder; Mike Alpert, CEO of Claremont Club; and Joe Cirulli, owner of Gainesville Health & Fitness. On Oct. 9, about 65 of the CEOs attended a tour of a Fitness Formula Club, the East Bank Club and the recently renovated Midtown Athletic Club and Hotel.

On the morning of Oct. 11, attendees gathered in the lobby for a cold and rainy Sisterhood Stride 5k run/walk. Participants received a free bag and other goodies. The event was put on by Women in Fitness Association and sponsored by SCW Fitness.

Click here and here to view photo galleries of the three-day event.

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