Health & Fitness Business '08: Massage, exfoliation and deck swings

We are winding down on our coverage of the Health & Fitness Business Expo after six weeks. We've covered everything from the fun stuff (golf scramble, parties and photos) to seminars and events (forum and luncheon talks) to category highlights with new companies and product launches to how the show fared this year (yeah, it was down). Here we take a short look at a few other products that didn't fit into that mix. Some of it could fit into your off-season sales push. Some of it? Well, we'll let you judge….
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We are winding down on our coverage of the Health & Fitness Business Expo after six weeks. We've covered everything from the fun stuff (golf scramble, parties and photos) to seminars and events (forum and luncheon talks) to category highlights with new companies and product launches to how the show fared this year (yeah, it was down).

We have separate reports on new products (remember our emphasis on new!) in accessories, strength and cardio and also broke out a separate report on vibration technology seen at the July 17-18 show in Denver. Here we take a short look at a few other products that didn't fit into that mix. Some of it could fit into your off-season sales push. Some of it? Well, we'll let you be the judge….

We still have some reports coming on larger, over-riding themes that have to do with the show's future, and we kicked off our own short SNEWS® survey this week to poll our subscribers about their opinions on the show, its location and other important issues. (Click here to access that if you have not yet or paste this URL into your browser – www.snewsnet.com/HFBsurvey. It's open until Sept. 3 for your feedback, after which we will summarize it for you and relay the information to show management.

If you missed any of our reports, go to www.snewsnet.com/tradeshow and scroll down to Health & Fitness Business where you'll find every last story and feature in one place. As usual, if you have any questions, comments or thoughts to share, email us at snewsbox@snewsnet.com.

Massage Chairs

There was not one but two companies touting their full-body massage lounge chairs at the show this year. Of course, since the SNEWS command central at the Community Hub was right across the aisle from one, we took full advantage.

Body Care Resort (www.bodycareonline.com) kept its chairs pretty busy at the corner across from SNEWS. The Inversion Stretch Chair (MSRP $6,000) gave you a full body shiatsu-like massage that got into all the right places, including sore spots from trade show walking. The inversion part meant the chair didn't just recline but could also tip backward into a slight inversion. Emer David, North American manager, said retailers were very interested in the alternative product -- even just for themselves.

MassageChair.jpg

Galaxy Distributing (www.galaxy-1.com) had its Heat Therapy Massage Chair, which offered similar shiatsu-like massage up and down the entire body but also infrared heat therapy for additional muscle relaxation. SNEWS team members were offered big discounts to take one off their hands but, sigh, we really didn't have a place for it. Our team members who tried it also loved it.

Exfoliation

A rather fish-out-of-water exhibitor was the American Laser Center offering exfoliation services….. We know the fitness business has been a bit "hairy" lately with the economic times but exfoliation? One of the SNEWS team members bravely dropped his card into a fishbowl for a prize and received an email a couple of days later:

Good Afternoon,

My name is Toni from American Laser Centers. You entered into our contest at the Health and Fitness Business Expo and you were chosen as one of our 3rd prize winners! You have won a $350 coupon that you may use towards any of our laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation or cellulite reduction packages. To redeem this prize, I will need to schedule you for a free consultation. You will meet with our clinic manager who will explain to you the services we provide, answer all your questions and discuss with you how you would like to apply your coupon. We have some gaps in our schedule for today and tomorrow, if you are able to fill one of those gaps I would be able to give you an additional $100 on to your prize…. Congratulations and I look forward to hearing from you!

We don't think he took them up on the offer.

Deck and Patio Swings

Inspire Fitness, well-known for its home gyms, also does deck and patio swings, which we at SNEWS have written about before. However, new this year is the all-weather material for the seats and sun awning on the Dual Recliner by its sister company, Sunset Swings (www.sunsetswings.com). Sunset also added an adjustment on the canopy so users can tip it forward and backward, depending on the sun's position. The company must be busy since its website is a tad outdated but a photo of the new version being put to good use for business meetings at the show is to the right. 

SunsetSwing.jpg

SNEWS® View: We were actually surprised there weren't more "other" things, such as spas, saunas and tanning beds, as there have been in the past. Perhaps more such gear as well as small goods, such as nutrition and supplements or technical apparel or even hydration equipment, would help grow the show since that could attract not only more exhibitors but also appeal to a broader swath of retailers.

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