Club Insider

IDEA World: A Recap

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Angie PattengaleAngie Pattengale

If you weren't there, you missed something special, but the good news is I'm here to give you the rundown in case you're thinking of attending this event next year. In the distant past, IDEA World was highly recognized for its huge Expo, but it's evolved into a new focus for higher learning. This year, especially, the lens that I saw this show through became clearer for me. This year, we were attendees, not exhibitors, and we were a part of as many events and sessions as possible.

We (NFPT) have been exhibiting at IDEA World since 1994; therefore, most of my perspective has been from the view of the trade show floor, but not this time! My husband and I, dubbed the "convention couple," have made it our mission over the last 13 years of working together to attend some of our industry's largest events. Normally, we go as exhibitors, but we've been riding our own trend these last couple of years, going as attendees instead. We count IDEA World as the largest, the "Super Bowl of Fitness," and so it is the perfect spot to connect with friends and colleagues and to take part in learning and growing!

There were over 14,000 fitness enthusiasts, club owners and managers, nutritionists, personal trainers and entrepreneurs all under one roof (well, a few roofs if we get technical about it). I don't think that we managed to meet them all, but we tried! The San Diego Convention Center was a buzz with exciting new educational workshops and lectures, huge group workouts and scores of people networking and participating in all kinds of social events. And, there was the added bonus of sampling nutrition products, new and old favorites!

At IDEA World, there are three (3) main events: the Club & Studio Summit, the Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit and the IDEA Success Academy. Within each of these events are the respective educational topics and sessions. Your IDEA World agenda is broken up into Lectures, Workshops, Workouts and Experiences. In total, there were over 350 different offerings and more than 225 industry experts delivering expert information.

Each of the events has its own mix of these depending on the type of event. For example, the Club & Studio Summit was a mixture of lectures and panel discussions by club owners and operators, as well as networking opportunities to meet and mingle with club business experts; whereas, the Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit offered lectures on behavioral and nutrition science and strategies (some with demonstrations by culinary experts). The IDEA Success Academy sessions were focused on motivational and practical application for implementing change and purposeful planning for success with trainer business and client retention. But, no matter which event had your focus, the workouts were for everyone! Wherever you went, from sessions in the Convention Center to panel discussions in the Hyatt, you were surrounded by the sights and sounds of fitness, and you were a part of it!

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