HFB 2012: Light commercial official, ellipticals still popular and CrossFit craze creates accessories demand

The Health and Fitness Business Expo, which is set for Sept. 19-21 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev., officially welcomes light commercial equipment to the mix.
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If there’s one thing in the world that’s constant, it’s change. The fitness industry is not immune to this fact of life: New trends are emerging and retailers are finding new ways of doing business.

The Health and Fitness Business Expo, set for Sept. 19-21 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev., reflects those changes as this year the show will place an emphasis on light commercial equipment. Plus, the fitness craze CrossFit will have a presence, with a number of popular accessories that can be used for the activity. And ellipticals remain strong, coming from both veteran exhibitors and newbies.

Light commercial equipment always has played a small part of the show, but it’s now included officially following requests from several manufacturers.

“We had spoken to a few of our top manufacturers, for instance Ken Carpenter at SportsArt, and they’d asked for us to do something like this,” HFB Senior Account Executive Brian McKavic said.

One of the reasons is that specialty fitness retail operates in a somewhat different way these days.

“The fitness market has changed a lot in the last few years,” explained Therese Iknoian, fitness industry consultant and ambassador to HFB. “It’s a lot less segmented than it used to be, and a lot of the retailers are also commercial dealers,” that supply local schools, apartment complexes and businesses. 

Now the show can attract a new buying force, McKavic said, since it's being promoted as both a residential and light commercial equipment show that includes opportunities for educational seminars and roundtables. This also should increase attendance.

“This allows the retailer dealer to come to one place and see a broader swath of equipment that will satisfy their needs and the growing market,” Iknoian said.

Officials said they expect a registration boom in the next month before the September show, which is held concurrently with Interbike. Attendees can visit both shows with their registration, and Iknoian and the team encourage that.

“Frankly, something I’d love to encourage is to indeed find a slot of time to go poke around the Interbike floor,” Iknoian said, addressing fitness retailers. “Although it can look and act a little different than the fitness floor, it is ripe with increasing numbers of products they might be able to nab for their own audience.” 

Retailers and show-goers can check out a full list of exhibitors at the Interbike website, and a list of only fitness exhibitors at the HFB website.

--Ana Trujillo

Stay tuned to SNEWS for coverage of HFB leading up to, at and after the show. Are you a new exhibitor? Have some events going on at the show? Have a new awesome product? Email us with the details.

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