CS Interview with Anthony Wall of ACE on the ACE West Symposium
The three-day event will provide opportunities for fitness professionals to attend vendor showrooms, pre-conference workshops and gain continuing education credits (CECs).
We spoke with Anthony Wall, the director of professional education for ACE, to discover exactly what types of opportunities fitness professionals will have access to during the symposium.
CS: What types of CECs will be available at the ACE West Symposium, for personal trainers and/or group fitness instructors to receive?
AW: The ACE symposium will offer CECs recognized by ACSM, NASM and NSCA. Our symposium isn’t just about offering CECs though — we are open to all fitness professionals and anyone else who is interested in being part of a great fitness experience!
CS: What types of opportunities will be made available for club owners to grow their businesses at the ACE West Symposium?
AW: ACE West will give club owners the opportunity to talk to and meet some of the best practitioners in the industry. All of our presenters are active within the industry and experts in their fields of presentation. Our goal for the ACE Symposium is to offer a more intimate environment where the attendees can interact with presenters more closely. We set up the sessions in a way that everyone has the opportunity to spend time at our tradeshow where our events team has handpicked all of the vendors.
CS: Why was the ACE West Symposium started? What is its purpose?
AW: The ACE symposium was started as a way for us — ACE — to get closer to our fitness pros. We want to offer them their very own conference in a unique and personal environment. Our mission is to help people live their most fit lives. We know that this is a huge undertaking and that we need to help equip fitness professionals with the tools so that they can be successful in their day-to-day jobs. Symposiums cater to that.
Over the last few years there has been a shift by some of the fitness conferences to focus more on the revenue than on the quality of the educational content. As an NCCA-accredited organization, we value continuing education. We also want to keep it apart from ‘sponsored’ education by being clear to our presenters what their message should be. We have a place for companies to talk about their products, but during the main education sessions it is only about providing our fitness pros and guests with a quality educational experience.
CS: Why did ACE choose Chuck Runyon, the co-founder and CEO of Anytime Fitness, to be the keynote speaker? What do you think attendees will learn from him?
AW: Chuck is going to give a breath of fresh air to our fitness professionals. He has done something that many fitness professionals dream about — he started his own fitness company. Along the way he has done many things that have shaped the way he runs his company. In one of his books, ‘Working Out Sucks!,’ he talks about his views on how exercise should be run. As the owner of a multi-million dollar entrepreneurial empire, he understands the value of a brand and what it take to create fans so loyal they tattoo the name of his company on themselves!
CS: What are some other highlights of the ACE West Symposium?
AW: I can’t give away all the surprises but a few of the highlights will include listening to one of our other keynote speakers, Bryan Clay, present. He’ll talk about his experience winning an Olympic gold medal in 2008 and the journey and commitment needed to get there. The ACE educational panel sessions feature a selection of the top minds in the business. We’ll have exercise experts and behavioral psychologists to address exercise from both aspects. The vendor showroom will give our attendees time to learn about what’s hot in the industry, and lastly, the venue we’ve chosen is amazing.