Health & Fitness Business Expo: Final numbers bigger than thought, plus 2011 show preview

As if the show attendee numbers released immediately following the Health & Fitness BUsiness Expo weren’t impressive enough, show organizers did a closer count and audited totals revealed even better news for the fitness segment. Plus, show staff shares a look at 2011 and beyond.
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As if the show attendee numbers released immediately following the show weren’t impressive enough – four times the stores as in 2009 visiting the Health & Fitness Business Expo that had been co-located for the first time with Interbike in Las Vegas.

But then show organizers at Nielsen Expositions, who had hurried a count to SNEWS® for the industry, did a closer count and audited totals revealed even better news for the fitness segment at the Sept. 22-23, 2010, show in Las Vegas: Nearly SIX times the stores (1,194 in 2010 compared to 200 in 2009) and about the same increase in buyers (2,135 compared to 380 year earlier).

“It’s definitely a different count,” show director Andy Tompkins told SNEWS. “Roughly 25 percent of our audience at the Interbike show came over to check out the Health & Fitness Business floor.”

Of course, as he realistically noted, they don’t know what happened once they got in the HFB room or how long they stayed.

“What they did there, we don’t know, but we’ll find out more in our post-show survey,” he said.

Because of the co-location, show organizers had staff at the HFB door for the first time counting every single badge every single time a person went in to be able to give the industry accurate numbers on who and how many. Click here to see our Sept. 27, 2010, story, “Huge buyer growth, show taps into energy of onsite Interbike.”

In a survey being conducted this month, Tompkins said they are inquiring about business done at HFB to give even closer insights. Those results will be made available to SNEWS in the spring to share with its readers.

Show preview for 2011

One message conveyed by the HFB exhibitors and attendees was the need for less separation from the energy of the sprawling Interbike show.

“Overall, the request was to integrate Interbike and Health & Fitness Business,” Tompkins said.

For the 2011 show, which due to controversy in the bike industry was switched back to Sept.14-16 from August dates (click here to see that Oct. 13, 2010, SNEWS story, “Interbike, HFB shows to return to Las Vegas in September 2011), the HFB show floor will be on the lower level, located next to registration and near the seminar and meeting rooms with a direct escalator access from the upper floor, where Interbike remains. (In 2010, both were on the upper level but HFB was around the corner and down the hall.)

“Health & Fitness Business will be right there,” Tompkins said, noting it will also be near a café and community area and a different location for a new products exhibit. “The idea is to give retailers a good look at the expo.”

Tompkins said the hope is that more retailers will see the HFB exhibit since it is at registration.

“Although not in the same hall, there’ll be more shared services,” he said, “and hopefully we can drive more traffic.

“The biggest difference to me is that in 2010 if an attendee wasn’t looking for HFB, they probably wouldn’t have found it,” he explained, “but now it’ll be presented right there.”

One other change of note: Health & Fitness Business (www.healthandfitnessbiz.com) will be open three days instead of two, with the hours of the last day still to be determined, he said.

Click here to find a PDF overview of the new layout.

Looking ahead to 2012 and beyond

At this time the show will remain a part of Interbike, Tompkins said, and Interbike will remain in September (19-21) and in Las Vegas. For 2013, show organizers are still studying the options.

--Therese Iknoian

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