After decades in Chicago, Club Industry will make its Las Vegas debut Oct. 10-12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
New (and returning features that were new last year) this year, in addition to the location, is an increased focus on personal trainers, a more interactive and fun show floor and the CEO Summit, the by-invitation-only event where CEOs of top fitness companies can interact with one another.
Show Director Adam Anderson told SNEWS there were a few reasons for moving the show to Las Vegas, including the rising cost of doing business in Chicago.
“It became really expensive for attendees and exhibitors to be in Chicago,” Anderson explained. “The city has labor issues that have since been resolved but we still felt that it was beginning to get really rough to manage our business and grow our list of exhibitors.”
While the plans for the location is still up in the air, Anderson said at least for this year the show will take dealers and club owners from the Midwest “on vacation” to Vegas. Registration numbers, Anderson said, are on par with those from last year but Anderson said he noticed an uptick in the number of attendees coming from the West Coast who didn’t attend the show when it was in Chicago.
“There’s a solid mix,” of attendees from the Midwest and east and west coasts, Anderson said. “We are looking at all sorts of ideas for next year but I think we’ll be in a location that will be a draw for everybody.”
While the Club Industry organizers are still in the selling cycle, as of Tuesday, there were approximately 125 exhibitors registered, including BILT by Agassi and Reyes, the fitness equipment line developed by Gil Reyes and Andre Agassi. Though the BILT team held a few launch events in Los Angeles last year at the same time as the IHRSA show was being held, this will be the first trade show the company will exhibit at, Anderson said. While Agassi himself won't be at the show, Olympic decathlete Dan O'Brien, who has endorsed the equipment, will be.
“Vegas has a pretty strong fitness market and we recently signed up Agassi’s BILT Brand,” Anderson said. “For them it’s a convenient way to launch,” as the company is based in Agassi’s hometown of Las Vegas.
This year’s show will have a stronger focus on personal trainers, Anderson said, with a partnership with Personal Fitness Professionals, which will present its annual Trainer of the Year Award at the show this year. Other awards to be given out at the show include Star Trac’s Club Industry Hero award.
Anderson said this year’s trade show floor will be a bit more exciting than it has been in previous years with the addition or expansion of some of the fun things like Show Floor Theater that will offer more demonstration sessions right in the thick of things.
Other than the awards and visiting the trade show floor, Club Industry offers a unique experience for specialty fitness retailers. Even though products on display are geared toward club owners, it offers a glimpse into what will eventually be hitting the retail market. Plus, Anderson said, it’s a good show for specialty fitness retailers who are beginning to also focus on outfitting apartment complexes, schools and businesses with light commercial equipment.
Visit SNEWS on Monday for a Q&A with Pamela Kufahl and Stuart Goldman, editors of Club Industry Magazine, who offer some insight into the trends we should expect to see at the Club Industry show and the benefits Club Industry could give to specialty fitness retailers.