Despite rumors that the Health & Fitness Business Expo and Conference in August has been cancelled, the show is "alive and well," according to a spokesman, with registration for this year now open.
This year's show, the fifth annual, will be Aug. 7-9 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo. New this year is a conference schedule open to all registered attendees of the expo that will be free. Conference sessions include three days of morning meetings from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on marketing and business topics.
Show management hadn't heard the cancellation rumors mentioned to SNEWS just last week and in fact had a conference call for additional planning on April 11. Last year, the show attracted a pre-registration record of 1,081 retailers (29 percent higher than in 2001) representing 379 stores who perused 116 exhibitors.
Despite more emphasis on business with the morning conference, exhibitors will still be rolling out new and redesigned products to the retailer attendees. SportsArt America expects to show three new upright bikes and three new recumbent bikes, as well as an elliptical trainer with its adjustable stride length for the vertical market. MultiSports Inc. will debut a home gym designed for personal or light industrial use, with the ability to add-on a lengthy list of accessories such as a cable column and pec deck, as well as additional weight stacks.
"Of course we use the show to showcase our line, but also as a marketing platform, promoting strength training as the growth segment of the fitness industry," said Richard Shaffer, sales manager for Vectra. "As the general public becomes aware of recent scientific studies demonstrating the enormous health benefits to be derived from strength training, it's going to boom."
More information and registration for the VNU-owned show is available at www.healthandfitnessbiz.com. The show will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 7-8 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 9.
SNEWS View: We have heard these cancellation rumors for a couple of years now, but no one seems to know where they come from. Granted, the show isn't huge, and it could grow into additional category areas, such as sports nutrition. And we know that VNU would prefer a much larger show -- or at least one that is growing faster. But right now the Expo is around -- and in fact is the sole show that speaks exclusively to the fitness specialty market. That makes it a much-needed show.