Networking Events Versus Trade Shows
This year is coming to a close, and as a result many fitness professionals and club operators are finalizing their budgets for 2019. How much will you dedicate to equipment? To renovation and capital improvements?
What about continuing education? If you’re like most fitness professionals, your continuing education budget likely includes a trip to an industry trade show, which will introduce you to hundreds of vendors and products over the span of two or three days. In fact, trade shows are great for this very purpose.
But what if you’re looking for something a bit more intimate where you have the opportunity to network and learn from peers? Then you should consider dedicating a portion of your budget to an industry networking event, which typically max out at 75 people and offer a learning environment filled with roundtables, case studies and networking activities.
Networking events are great for those seeking to problem solve and pick other attendee’s brains on issues they too may be struggling with or have already solved. And these relationships are those that often last a lifetime.
In fact, this is exactly why Frank Lawrence, the CEO of The Athletic Clubs, attends the Club Solutions Leadership Retreat each year. “It is such an intimate session with 40 key club operators and limited vendors — you get a chance to really connect with them on a personal level,” he said. “There are many events that try to emulate this, but the format of the retreat allows a much better setting to connect. You are not constantly being sold, rather you’re learning, questioning and trying to get better together. This event is a must-attend, and a regular on my calendar.”
As you plan your continuing education budgets for 2019, consider making room for an industry networking event. For those seeking to make deeper connections with both vendors and peers, it may just be the perfect fit.