Health & Fitness Business '08: Reg open, SNEWS® Forum on collaboration, golf returns, and more…

Details are starting to sift into place for the retail-centric 2008 Health & Fitness Business show, and the special events combined with the show are guaranteed to keep attendees hopping.

Details are starting to sift into place for the retail-centric 2008 Health & Fitness Business show, and the special events combined with the show are guaranteed to keep attendees hopping.

SNEWS®, along with show owner Nielsen Business Media, have sealed their fourth-annual partnership, aimed at combining knowledge to bring attendees more -- more education, more special events, more community, and just plain more woo-hoo, as we at SNEWS® like to say.

With SNEWS® again coming in as the official and exclusive media sponsor, we will work with the show to put on the annual SNEWS® Fitness Forum. Plus, we'll up the ante on the successful "Community Hub" located center floor again with the SNEWS® booth in conjunction with show management that will give attendees more reason to come on by, chat up SNEWS® editors, take a look at some new products, check their email, have a seat or a cup o' java. More on what will happen there will develop in the next few weeks and months. The third-annual SNEWS® Golf Scramble at HFB will return to benefit Augie's Quest, and we will again hold the now fourth-annual Fitness Forum.

We summarized a bevy of changes in a story last month, including schedule and speakers (click here to see the Feb. 19, 2007, story). Yes, the show is two days instead of three (July 17-18), but the number of show hours are the same with more events scheduled around them. That will allow attendees to do more, see more, learn more and not spend any more time away from their businesses.

The real guts of the show, of course, are the exhibitors and the product, although events and education make it all more fun since trade shows are also about networking. Returning this year is True Fitness, we are told, with a 30-x-30 booth after a couple of years of simply using the show to put on its own show in a neighboring hotel, a practice SNEWS® has not condoned. Kudos to True on its decision to return.

New companies already signed up are Huzaifa Industries ( and Verse Enterprises (, both of which, we are told, do boxing accessories, belts and gloves. Also signed up and new are Yoga Stick-e Socks, which SNEWS® wrote up after seeing the company at the ispo show in Germany (click here to see that) and Volume Fitness, which debuted at the IHRSA show (SNEWS® will bring you more about this new company soon, but you can click here to see a short summary in our IHRSA story). Another newbie is Fitness by Design, which also debuted at IHRSA and has racks for getting a grip on the tangle of balls, bands and other products used in training. (

Other show details:

>> Registration is open. Click here to get yours in early. Registration is free for qualified buyers.

>> SNEWS® Fitness Forum. We've tackled some ticklish, controversial and meaty topics in the last three years and had great discussions. This year, with the conversation that started in SNEWS® in mid-February about the need for industry collaboration, it seemed like the perfect time to offer a chance to learn more about what that means and how an industry goes about it. We will gather a few panelists from inside and outside the industry to talk about their inspiration, hopes, past experiences and current experience. We'll draw on those with experience in other niche industries to talk about the hurdles and the benefits of some kind of collaborative group. We hope this will be an invigorating discussion that will keep the fire burning. Note a time change: The forum will be pre-show on the second morning, after the early morning workout and before the floor opens: Friday, July 18, 9-10:15 a.m. The show opens at 10 a.m. so those who need to go can, but those who want to stay and discuss the topic more can also linger another 15 minutes or so for additional networking. This and other events will be held on the floor to allow easier access as well as coming and going!

>> Early Morning Workout. The show is going to try this again. We know last year's first Morning Workout didn't have the promotion or turnout it should have or could have. But we are confident it can be a great opportunity to try equipment, and so is show management. Friday, July 18, 7-8 a.m.

>> Third-Annual SNEWS® Golf Scramble at HFB. If you thought last year was great, just wait til this year. The Green Valley course will host us again and proceeds will again go to Augie's Quest, searching for a cure for ALS. Sponsorships are available and registration will open soon. Find out more or let us know your interest by emailing

>> Community Hub / SNEWS® Booth. The center stage area to allow networking, hanging, info-gathering, chatting, java-sipping and all that good stuff will expand this year. SNEWS® in partnership with the show will organize a new "Koncept Kiosk" in the Hub to showcase what we are calling "new directions in fitness retail and products." Full details will come in the next few weeks, but we'll take a look at slightly off-beat or alternative products including a couple with an environmental slant, plus yoga, outdoor, accessories and others -- most of which have not been at the show before. It'll be a great place to check out for ideas, pick up literature, talk to our attendant and look at outside-the-box products. We're open to ideas and suggestions, as well as to products since we are still finalizing the list. Be in touch by emailing

Got news or new products? SNEWS® will be running regular show updates as well as gathering information for a pre-show product preview. Submit press releases to

And the SNEWS® HotSheets, the only LIVE show floor publication, will again appear this year after last year's successful debut. If you are interested in either advertisements, sponsorships, or having your news considered, email



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