Health & Fitness Biz Show: Event to offer more education, GearTrends® Forum, food, parties

Heading into its 2005 edition, the Health & Fitness Business Show has rounded up more education and higher-quality speakers and panels, and will host the first GearTrends® Fitness Forum, followed by a free lunch for morning conference attendees.

Heading into its 2005 edition, the Health & Fitness Business Show has rounded up more education and higher-quality speakers and panels, and will host the first GearTrends® Fitness Forum, followed by a free lunch for morning conference attendees.

With registration just open for the show and retailers already signing up, show management said it hopes the numbers of early sign-ups bode well for the Aug. 25-27 show. Already about 165 brands are contracted to exhibit.

"This has truly evolved into the industry's show," said An Le, marketing director for show owner VNU, "with key brands and influencers partnering with us to bring attendees insightful seminars and discussions, relationship building events, as well as an opportunity to see, touch and buy the latest innovations in fitness products."

Aug. 25: First day events
The first morning, Aug. 25, will kickoff with a keynote address by sales guru Harry Friedman himself from 8:30-10 a.m., sponsored by Vision Fitness, followed by a short coffee break.

Following that, you don't want to miss the first GearTrends® Fitness Forum, promising education, entertainment and a chance for both retailers and manufacturers to ask hard questions, get answers and prompt discussion. Titled, "What Have You Done For Me Lately? -- An open and honest, audience-participation discussion" -- the panel will feature select retailers and manufacturers, moderated by GearTrends® co-publisher Therese Iknoian. Panelists so far include retailers Rick Viehland, The Fitness Store-MO; Carlos Vazquez, Busy Body/Gyms to Go; and Chip Hunnings, All About Fitness/Lifestyle Fitness; with manufacturers including Alan Gore, Bodycraft; and Kevin Lamar, Lamar Health Fitness & Sports. Stay tuned for additions! Topics to be covered include branding, promotion, advertising, sales training, margins and communication, but anything is up for grabs! Roll up your sleeves, and come ready to speak up: Thursday, Aug. 25, 10:30 a.m. to noon, followed by a complimentary lunch, 12-1 p.m., for all morning conference attendees. Is that good or what?

Thursday evening will be the annual industry party, sponsored by SportsArt Fitness, as always promising food, music and networking and, again, at the Wynkoop Brewery, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Aug. 26: GearTrends® Block Party
Another not-to-miss networking and social event new this year will be the GearTrends® Block Party, Friday, Aug. 26, 4-6 p.m. Last year, GearTrends® brought you the first-ever show floor Happy Hour (we never saw a keg disappear so fast). This year, look for expanded festivities at the Block Party. Besides GearTrends®, other party "hosts" will include Lamar Health, Fitness & Sports, and Fitter International, with other co-hosts to be announced. Networking, laughs, and cool beverages to kick-off your Friday night.

Aug. 27: Closing day education
On Saturday, Aug. 27, 8:30-10 a.m., start the day with a talk by Kate Bednarski on marketing to women, including women's buying habits, as well as communication styles, all to help the fitness business do business better. Kate, president and co-founder of brand strategy group Asterix Group and formerly in marketing with the likes of Nike and Ryka, wrote "What Woman Want" in the GearTrends® 2004 summer magazine.

Expo hours and registration
The exhibit floor will be open from Aug. 25, 1-6 p.m. (to allow more time for the morning education sessions), plus 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 26, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 27. Look for your postcard invitations to the show in mid-May, with a full brochure to follow in early June. For more information or to register, go to


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