Despite a still flagging economy, plans for the Health & Fitness Business Expo in August are shaping up, with the exhibitor list filling in and registration now open.
The show will again take place in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center the first week of August -- Aug. 6-7, 2009 -- although show management has listened to your feedback and we hear murmurs it will be moved in 2010.
Meanwhile, show organizer Nielsen Sports Group has announced that planning, registration and event details are underway, including a new pre-show community service project on Aug. 5. To make sure you don't miss the news, networking and can take part in the only retail-centric fitness show in the country, click here to register.
"We are excited to gather the industry once again in Denver this August," said Andy Tompkins, group show director, Health & Fitness Business. "Now more than ever it is critical that we collectively share ideas, network and work with each other to keep our marketplace healthy and vibrant.
"While the 2009 edition of Health & Fitness Business will certainly reflect some of the current market challenges of retail consolidation, and declining product sales, we are committed to providing the industry with a complete product mix, educational tract and community events," he added. "We will be as aggressive as ever in reaching out to top retail buyers and members of the media to ensure their attendance at HFB 2009."
Smaller but with a full schedule
Organizers have noted that the show, which shrunk significantly last year in overall size and attendance, will likely see a smaller footprint again this year. But that's not to say the events, products and networking won't still exist for attendees to enjoy and learn from.
Already an array of exhibitors have signed on, including Body-Solid, Octane, Vectra, Inspire, Lifecore, Star Trac, Sports Art, LeMond, Schiek, BH, Spirit, Tuff Stuff, Ab Coaster, and many others.
Hours for the expo will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days.
>> SNEWS Fitness Forum -- On the first day of the show, SNEWS®, as the exclusive media sponsor, will combine its 5th Annual Fitness Forum panel discussion with a lunch presentation. Guess what? There is such a thing as a free lunch, contrary to your college economics lessons. SNEWS editor in chief Therese Iknoian will take a look at some key points to shed some light on the current state of the industry, while looking ahead with panelists and a discussion focused on what you can do to survive and, indeed, thrive.
The presentation and lunch will take place on Thursday, Aug. 6, at noon and conclude by 1 p.m. to allow attendees to get back to the show floor. Stay tuned to SNEWS and to HFB email updates about panelists as well as other opportunities that afternoon to consult personally with the business experts on the panel.
>> Joe Marcoux, keynote presentation -- Kicking off the second day prior to the opening of the expo will be sales and retail consultant Joe Marcoux with a presentation from 8:30- 9:45 a.m. The presentation will be in the forum area on the show floor.
>> Parties? You betcha ya -- Close out the first day of the show with a beverage during the HFB Happy Hour at the SNEWS Community Hub on the show floor. The Happy Hour will start at 4:30 and continue to the show close (or the beer runs out). The Industry Party will, per tradition, take over the Lucky Strikes Lanes with bowling, beverages and food from 6:30-9 p.m.
New community service day
After three years of the SNEWS Golf Scramble, which raised money for Augie's Quest and gave attendees a chance for some casual networking and relaxation the day before the show opened, show management in consultation with SNEWS will offer a new pre-show event.
An afternoon of community service will allow the fitness industry to help a downtown-based non-profit serving Denver-area children to not only fix up some facilities, but also help setup some fitness services.
Since this may be the last of a long run for the show in Denver, this will be a great way to make a difference and give back to the community in a way that matters.
All Denver-area fitness industry supporters and professionals are invited, whether they attend the show or not so pass the word to your colleagues in the area, from retail staff to club trainers to personal trainers. Stay tuned for details but be sure to plan to arrive in time to pitch in the afternoon of Aug. 5.
"This is one of the most challenging retail environments we have ever seen," Tompkins said, "yet we are confident we can provide the industry with an invaluable business tool that showcases new product, key industry players and personalities along with business insight that will help us all move our operations forward."
To get a look at dozens of stories from and about the 2008 Health & Fitness Business show and previous shows by SNEWS, click here.
SNEWS® View: With a break from the golf scramble, SNEWS felt it was important to do something pre-show and worked with show management on the concept of a community service day -- partly because in a post-show survey SNEWS did in 2008, several mentioned they would never golf but liked the idea of giving back. (Click here to see the Sept. 9, 2008, SNEWS story summarizing what you said in that survey.) We hope that many people will find the time to show Denver it cares about the community and thank it for hosting the show for so many years.