Health & Fitness Biz Show: More show sponsors come aboard, GearTrends® Happy Hour builds momentum

Accell Fitness North America and Lamar Health, Fitness & Sports have signed on as leading sponsors for the annual Health & Fitness Business Show in August.

Accell Fitness North America and Lamar Health, Fitness & Sports have signed on as leading sponsors for the annual Health & Fitness Business Show in August.

Now title sponsor, Accell, based in The Netherlands, is the new owner of its former Tunturi distributor for North America, Wynne International (see SNEWS® story, April 4, 2005, "Tunturi parent Accell buys Wynne in Canada"). Lamar HFS, taking on the associate sponsor role, was founded less than year ago by industry long-timer Kevin Lamar.

"We have some new names, so that's kind of refreshing," said An Le, show marketing director.

This year's event will be Thursday, Aug. 25, to Saturday, Aug. 27, again in Denver.

In addition, the second-annual GearTrends® Happy Hour -- morphed this year into a Friday afternoon show floor "Block Party" after last year's single keg was emptied in record time -- has signed on associate sponsors to help expand the party (and help it last longer). They include Lamar HFS, Fitter International and show first-timer Stott Pilates. Watch for next month's show update story to find out who will round out the group of party hosts. Party organizer and lead sponsor GearTrends® is sure Lamar will bring his good humor, Fitter's founder Louis Stack will bring his Trikke bikes to test party-goers' post-beer balance, and Stott may help mellow the group with its yoga and tai chi tapes. Hmm, maybe not…. We'll have at least two keg stations set up to allow better flow on the party "block." Don't miss a show event that'll help you meet, greet and network like no other.

Not to be missed will be the first GearTrends® Fitness Forum, a panel discussion promising to be open and honest and allowing interaction between manufacturers and retailers, taking place on the first morning. 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! Roll up your sleeves, and come ready to speak up about anything from branding and promotion, to advertising and sales training, to margins and communication. Pass it on, and come one, come all.

Take part in the first morning of education -- led off by a Vision Fitness-sponsored talk by sales guru Harry Friedman himself, and you can attend the complimentary lunch, 12-1 p.m., after the panel discussion.

So far, the show ( has signed on more than 166 brands, including 22 exhibitors who are considered new. They have not been at the show or haven't attended for at least two years. They include Aquabells, GoFit, Health in Motion, Lifecore Fitness, Lifegear, No Slack!, Personality Gym, Sony Sports & Fitness, Staircycle Innovations, Stott Pilates and Suunto.

"It's all happening," Le added.

Do you have show news to share?
If you have any events, new products, party announcements, company news, or other bits and bytes you'd like to communicate to the industry pre-show, drop an email to SNEWS® will do monthly show updates (more if needed) leading up to the late August event.