Health & Fitness Business '09: Education, service and products all coming to Denver's last dance. Are you?

In what is likely the last time around for the Health & Fitness Business Expo in Denver after more than a decade, show organizers have put together a menu of exhibitors, education, service, parties and other networking opportunities for the Aug. 6-7, 2009, show.

In what is likely the last time around for the Health & Fitness Business Expo in Denver after more than a decade, show organizers have put together a menu of exhibitors, education, service, parties and other networking opportunities for the Aug. 6-7, 2009, show.

The economic downturn has hit fitness hard but the show will go on. Despite rumors swirling that the show is going to be cancelled this year, Andy Tompkins, Nielsen Business Media group show director, is quite emphatic the company is committed to the show and to the fitness industry. Contracts are signed and the convention center is booked for 2009.

Registration is free for qualified retailers and buyers through approximately July 2, 2009. Click here to take care of that.

The show is happening, and SNEWS® continues as the exclusive media sponsor, again putting on an educational panel discussion on the first day with a free lunch and hosting the "Community Hub" in the SNEWS booth area for networking, an HFB happy hour on the first day, and consulting with business experts the first afternoon. Yet rumors of no-show companies and retail buyers seem to be taking on a life of their own.

"As we aggressively promote the upcoming show, we do want to ensure to the entire industry that Nielsen is completely committed to this event, and we are excited to host the industry once again in Denver," Tompkins told SNEWS. "We have support from the leading brands in the market and top retailers have indicated they plan to travel to this one-of-a-kind trade show.

"Although we are all managing challenges in the marketplace, we do feel strongly that the industry needs an event to connect and conduct business," he added, "and we look forward to providing this opportunity August 6 and 7 at the Colorado Convention Center."

Exhibitors and promotion

A full, up-to-date exhibitor list can be seen by clicking here. The show won't and can't hide that the list is shorter than normal. Nevertheless, it still includes Life Fitness, SportsArt Fitness, Accell Fitness, Body-Solid, Bodyguard, Fitness Master, Inspire, LeMond, Landice, Spirit, Star Trac, Lifecore, Power Plate, PowerBlock, Vectra, Productive Fitness, and many others. Back is TKO and still expected is Avanti, JK Fitness, Cap Barbell and Fitter. BH Fitness has chosen to continue select sponsorships but will not be exhibiting.

To help with the marketing efforts, show staff is personally calling and emailing many hundreds of retailers across multiple categories, Tompkins told SNEWS.

"Hundreds of leading dealers have already indicated that despite the extremely challenging retail sector, they are committed to traveling to Denver to take part in the industry's only dedicated trade event," Tompkins said, including Body Basics, Push Pedal Pull, Fitness Source, HealthStyles, Fitness Depot Canada, Play it Again Sports, Busy Body, and others.

Projects, education and parties

As a compact two-day show for a small industry, both days will be packed as will the afternoon before the show opens.

>> Pre-show service project -- Kicking off the event on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 5, will be the first service project sponsored by the show and supported by SNEWS to allow the industry to give back to Denver before it leaves.

"In the spirit of fostering cooperation among industry members and to make a positive impact on the health and fitness of the children of Denver, HFB and SNEWS are partnering to organize the first fitness industry service project," Tompkins said.

"We are encouraging industry members -- both manufacturers and retailers -- to join us as we help renovate and enhance Denver's Boys & Girls Clubs. This will be a great opportunity to work side by side and network with your industry peers as we work together to promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle among Denver's youth the day before the show opens.

"The club has some equipment needs, too, and we would love to help them out with them in any way we can."

Click here to read about the event and the local Boys & Girls Clubs in a May 11, 2009, SNEWS story.

And email us at to let us know how you can help. (The show would appreciate notification of your attendance by July 17.)

>> Educational forum and a free lunch too -- Get your free lunch (first come, first serve) on the first day of the show and the chance to take part in a discussion about sales, operations, merchandising, promotions and other in-store concepts to help attract and keep customers. Nationally known retail experts on the panel are Sandy Stein of Stein LLC ( and Ron Hornbaker of Retail Minds (, both of whom will join SNEWS editor in chief Therese Iknoian for a discussion on how fitness retailers can ramp up their strategies for maximum success -- now and later.

Click here to read a June 3, 2009, SNEWS story about the discussion and each panelist's background and expertise.

Special for attendees: Both Stein and Hornbaker will make themselves available in the SNEWS booth/Community Hub after the luncheon presentation for one-on-one chats with retailers to discuss personal questions.

>> Joe Marcoux will speak on "The Four Rs of Successful Retail Fitness," pre-show on the second day, Aug. 7, from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

>> The industry party on Aug. 6, 6:30-9:30 p.m., again generously sponsored by SportsArt Fitness, will have free food, beer, open bar, pool, bowling -- and longer hours.

>> Once you tie up business on the first afternoon, Aug. 6, head over to the SNEWS booth/Community Hub for the show Happy Hour to check your email and have a beer, courtesy of the show, from 4:30-6 p.m.

In addition, sponsors of the event include SportsArt Fitness, BH Fitness, GripPro, Schiek, Spirit, Star Trac and GES.

--Therese Iknoian

SNEWS® View: We will continue the discussion about the show, its present and its future in a SNEWS editorial later this week. Meanwhile, you can start the discussion with the industry now by clicking on the Chat, below, and emailing us at

--SNEWS® Editors