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Navigating A Trade Show

Our Club Industry Show Experience

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Angie PattengaleAngie Pattengale

It's a new year, and that means the IHRSA Convention and Trade Show will be here before we know it! When attending a trade show, there's a lot of planning involved... if you're going to do it right. To provide you with some tips for IHRSA 2018, I'd like to tell you about our most recent trade show experience at Club Industry 2017.

NFPT's first ever Facebook Live Show topic was, "Navigating Fitness Conventions," ( It was originally timed around the IDEA World Convention in Las Vegas, but it is applicable to any educational convention or networking event. We discussed four basic tips that are foundational to productivity... because why else would you go if it's not to be productive? When we (Billie and Angie Pattengale from NFPT) attended the Club Industry Show in Chicago (October 4 - 6, 2017), we decided to take our own advice.

Four Tips and How We Followed Them

1. Set a Goal. Our primary goal for the Club Industry Show was to meet, greet and mingle. We also wanted to learn something new. We were on a mission to seek ah-ha moments and build on lasting relationships. The knowledge seeking was easy at Club Industry; every session we attended was one that we learned from. The meeting, greeting and mingling was even easier, thanks to the hospitality and well-coordinated efforts of the people at Club Industry.

As an acknowledged introvert, I'm a minority among fitness industry people who are most often extroverts by nature (I wish I had more of that. But, not having the knack for engaging in social settings makes me even more thankful for my industry friends who are incredibly down to earth and easy to talk to). I know first-hand how important it is to find opportunities to meet face-to-face with the people you are working with, especially if most of your average workday is spent behind a computer screen and most interactions are limited to emails and conference calls.

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