Health & Fitness Business '06: SNEWS® Fitness Forum not to miss, plus speakers, golf, SNEWS® Online Java Lounge, and more show news…

With only eight weeks to go, the pace of exhibitors signing up and buyers registering is picking up -- after a bit of a slow start and a few registration computer glitches. Plus, the theme of the second annual SNEWS® Fitness Forum panel discussion for the first morning is shaping up, as is the new SNEWS®-sponsored Online Lounge, a pre-show golf tournament, and a speaker for the Saturday morning seminar on the power of branding and packaging.
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With only eight weeks to go, the pace of exhibitors signing up and buyers registering is picking up -- after a bit of a slow start and a few registration computer glitches. Plus, the theme of the second annual SNEWS® Fitness Forum panel discussion for the first morning is shaping up, as is the new SNEWS®-sponsored Online Lounge, a pre-show golf tournament, and a speaker for the Saturday morning seminar on the power of branding and packaging.

Show won't lag for numbers
Show management has revealed early numbers to SNEWS® that indicate the show will at least meet the numbers of the 2005 event, which is, of course, good news for the industry.

"With seven weeks to go, I am very pleased with the number of exhibitors and growing numbers of pre-registered buyers we have for the 2006 Health & Fitness Business Expo," said Lance Camisasca, show director for the VNU event. "It seems that once again the stars have lined up and we are headed for another strong event."

As of June 9, Camisasca said there is already 54,000 feet of booth space sold, representing 174 brands and 114 separate companies that will occupy 540 booth spaces (with a number of companies upsizing this year rather than downsizing) for the Aug. 3-5 show in Denver. That compares to last year's 58,500 square feet, with Camisasca estimating based on his experience with past shows that this year's event will top 61,000. Also, Nautilus has returned to exhibit, Cybex is in, and Life Fitness has upsized significantly, as well as Bodycraft, Spirit and Lifecore.

SNEWS® Fitness Forum: Sales training takes center stage
For the second year in a row, SNEWS® has taken on management and planning of a panel discussion the first morning of the show. If you have questions about sales training and education, our panelists (and the rest of the audience) will be there to toss it around and offer help and suggestions.

Called, "How to Ace the SNEWS® Mystery Shopper and Upgrade Your Shoppers' Experiences," confirmed panelists include:
>> John Conti, now Bodyguard's director of business development USA. Conti, widely known for his enthusiasm and Friedman style has spent three decades working on both the retail and manufacturing side of the fitness industry, including in retail at Arizona's Priority Fitness, Texas' Winston Fitness and at HEST Fitness. He spent 11 years at True Fitness before moving on to Bodyguard in March 2006.

>> Tom Richard, an independent sales motivator, has worked for a number of years at health clubs and fitness retail, including Gym Source. He honed natural sales energy and has in the last couple of years been doing independent training and motivation, reaping words of praise for this upbeat, no-nonsense, energetic style.

And if you think that's good, wait till you hear about the panelists we will be confirming this week. Oh boy, can it get better? Oh yes, it can. Just you wait. Come armed with your questions, experiences and comments about staff training, sales how-to's and customer interaction. Audience participation expected! As always, moderated with humor and a smile by SNEWS®.

This forum will be 10:30 a.m. to noon on the first morning of the show, Aug. 3, following the keynote speaker, 8:30 to 10 a.m. (a Disney Institute representative covering consumer loyalty and how to find it and build it, sponsored by Vision Fitness) and a 30-minute coffee break. The forum will be followed by a free box lunch for morning attendees.

Seminar on the power of brands and packaging
Filling out the education slate will be Chris Harges, who will talk about "Feeding The Hungry: Satisfying Consumers' Need For Information," on Saturday, 8:30 a.m. Harges is a partner in Satellite Design, a San Francisco graphic design firm with clients such as The North Face, Sony, Wells Fargo and Hitachi. His articles on marketing and mass culture have been published in trade and consumer magazines, including GearTrends® and he has spoken on National Public Radio.

About the discussion: "Despite the power of brands and the emotional sway they hold over consumers, choosing products at retail remains a rational process. Consumers are hungry for information they can use to evaluate products when considering a purchase. Too many manufacturers and retailers talk past consumers, confusing them with technical jargon, extraneous product features and fuzzy brand messages." Harges will attempt to discuss solving the problem using examples from outside the fitness industry and will offer concrete steps on marketing and selling initiatives that are consumer friendlier.

SNEWS® Online Java Lounge
Don't miss your chance for interaction, sharing news and market buzz, or tipping back a cuppa java at the SNEWS®-sponsored Online Lounge. We'll have hot java at select times during the show, a larger booth so you can drop by and hang for awhile, and maybe just maybe you will find a little beer if you ask nice toward the end of the day on Aug. 4.

You can stop in any time during show hours: Aug. 3, noon to 6 p.m. (we know you have to primp before the party); Aug. 4, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Aug. 5, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Other good stuff?
We can't describe the whole show here (see our other stories that have run March 17, May 18 and May 30 by clicking on Trade Show News on the right navigation bar), but we want to mention three things:

>> Free PR for your stuff -- We've been told that manufacturers can get their information on products, appearances, events, raffles or other announcements into a media guide for free. Make sure the media knows about your latest and greatest. Deadline is July 10 for a 100-word description and jpeg. Contact Mike May of Stanwood & Partners Public Relations via e-mail (mmay@wyoming.com) or fax (307-739-8664).

>> Golf wants you! -- Don't wait to put your name in for a pre-show charity golf outing on Aug. 2. Just drop an email now to say "count me in" so organizers can plan all the goodies and food, managed by the SNEWS® team with organizational help from AccuFitness' Matt Chalek and sponsors Health & Fitness Business, Spri Products and SportsArt Fitness.

It will take place at Green Valley Ranch course (www.gvrgolf.com) about 25 minutes east of downtown or 15 minutes from the airport. Check-in at the course is suggested between noon and 1 p.m. For more information or to sign-up, contact Gene Treacy, SNEWS®/GearTrends®, at 865-675-2052 or gene@geartrends.com, or Matt Chalek, AccuFitness, at accumeasure@earthlink.net.

>> Register free, but only another 10 days -- Registration for the show is free until June 23. Click here to go straight to the registration page. For other information about travel, exhibitors, hotels or other information, go straight to www.healthandfitnessbiz.com. Registration is free until June 23, after which a late fee of $25 is charged for buyers. If you register before June 23, you'll also get your materials in the mail before the show. Can't beat avoiding the waiting lines in the convention center!

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