Top 3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Fitness Industry Conferences
With fitness conference season in full swing across the globe, it’s a great time to talk about some ins and outs that veteran fitness industry professionals have been utilizing for years. There is a reason why fitness professionals have been attending the same fitness conferences annually...it’s because conferences can help them grow professionally. What might seem like an unnecessary cost to some is actually a real money-making opportunity and investment in growing as a fitness professional. Many health and fitness professionals use conferences to network their brand and gain insight into the latest trends. The great reality about these conferences is that they are everywhere!
For those new to the health and fitness industry, fitness conferences are events where professionals can attend to acquire products, continuing education, or to see their favorite speaker. Many of the conferences have a trade/exhibition show floor where new industry products are on display, which is a great way to stay current with new equipment. Another great component is the educational seminars that are often offered at an additional cost, but have continuing education credits attached to each seminar.
In this post, I’ll review three ways to get the most out of every fitness conference.
1. Sign up for email lists.
This might sound like I’m trying to get your inbox filled with spam, but health and fitness companies who attend conferences often offer a major discount to attendees. These discounts are usually more than the standard discount they offer year round and afford you the ability to get a great rate on products. There are usually time constraints or a promotional code associated, but signing up for promotional materials puts you in the mix to save some money the next time you are looking for a new certification or a new piece of training equipment.
Take note that making a free email address on Gmail or Yahoo takes minutes and is an easy way to separate conference emails from work emails.
2. Bring business cards.
A major benefit of attending conferences is the ability to network. With the health and fitness industry exponentially growing, there are areas of the industry that didn’t exist 10 or 15 years ago. Attending these conferences can allow you to gain a new contact in a different area of the industry that can lead to new opportunities. These opportunities could be partnerships, affiliate marketing deals, or even a new career. For example, if you’re a group exercise instructor looking to start personal training, networking with other attendees could gain you a contact for a local gym owner or even a fitness manager.
Make sure to have your business card updated and ready to hand out. In my opinion, having a business card that stands out makes a lasting impression. The last time I made business cards I used MOO, which offers affordable business cards that are styled professionally and uniquely. I created a double-sided card that has my company logo on one side, and then all my professional information on the other. These small features make you look professional and can help you stand out to important contacts, perhaps even leading to big opportunities.
3. Venture outside your bubble.
This suggestion can’t be said enough, but go outside your “bubble.” At the last fitness conference I attended, I met an individual from Guam. While the distance he traveled was already amazing, it was the education seminars that he was attending which blew me away. This individual enjoys mixed martial arts and kettlebell training in his own training, but at conferences he attends a variety of group exercise classes and new training modalities that will benefit his gym. To this individual, learning about new classes and training principles is a way to offer better classes and services for his gym members.
The point of this example is to try a new education seminar. If you regularly teach step aerobics, maybe try a seminar on strength training principles. Or, if you have a background in one-on-one training, maybe try a seminar on a nutrition topic that you think will better your business. This type of mindset not only grows your services, but also ultimately leads to well-rounded business offerings.
There are many more tips that veteran fitness professionals have utilized for decades, but these should help those looking or preparing to attend their first conference. The idea of investing in yourself is often a concept that some fitness professionals under-utilize. While online courses offer convenience, live conferences give you the face-to-face interaction that allows you to network. Many health and fitness professionals are personable and have unique ways of connecting with others, but conferences are events created specifically to connect like-minded professionals within the same industry.
An easy way to find the next conference in your area is to search Google. Type in your city and “health and fitness conference” to find upcoming dates. Also, asking colleagues is a great way get the inside scoop on local conferences. Some companies offer reimbursement packages for trainers that are getting their continuing education. If you’re being reimbursed for the conference, the benefits are even greater and now all you have to do is show up.
About the Author
Tyler Valencia is the President of KIPS. While working for a Southern California online education company he started his first business, Time 2 Train Fitness which specialized in bootcamp and personal training. Time 2 Train Fitness went on to receive the distinction of 3X Best Bootcamp and 2X Best Personal Trainer with the Long Beach Press Telegram. Before founding KIPS, Tyler was the Vice President of the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT) & Smart Fitness.