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The Future of Events is Small and Intimate

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intimate events

What is the future of events?

The answer: small and authentic.

In an article from Bizbash, designers and event planners predicted what the future of events looks like, and one key prediction is small and intimate. Jes Gordon, the creative director and owner of Proper Fun, said it well: “The party you usually want to have is the after-party. It’s the 50 people who, if you were stranded on a deserted island, you’d want to be with.”

Feedback from fitness professionals corroborates this trend, with many stating they want a space to connect with their peers. A great opportunity to do just that includes industry-specific intimate events, which typically max out at 75 people.

Unlike trade shows, which are large in scale, intimate events allow you to network and connect one-on-one with the people you want to connect with. You can problem solve with one another, experience fun activities, chat with vendors on a personal level and more. Once the event wraps up, the relationships you built at an intimate event will last a lifetime.

For Cher Harris, the general manager of The Houstonian Club, she enjoys the opportunity to meet one-on-one with peers at the Club Solutions Leadership Retreat, an example of an intimate event that occurs annually in September.

“I always love the camaraderie with the 40 or so club operators and vendors from around the country,” said Harris. “We all manage different types of clubs and it is always helpful to learn others’ perspectives on business. Blair McHaney is a magnificent moderator and I come back with so many valuable ideas. It’s one of the best conferences I go to every year.”

On top of getting to know attendees, intimate events are also a great opportunity to get to know a small selection of sponsors. You’ll have a sponsor’s undivided attention, meaning they can provide a solution truly tailored to your health club, versus a mass-market pitch. At a trade show, it’s impossible to meet with the hundreds of vendors in attendance; at an intimate event, you can build a relationship with every sponsor there.

Laurie J. Smith, the senior vice president of VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa,enjoyed connecting with sponsors and attendees alike at the Club Solutions Leadership Retreat. “I enjoyed it very much – I learned a lot, made some new contacts in the industry, and walked away with great information I can share with my teams,” she said. “I think the format of rotating educational roundtables with 5-minute vendor presentation segments was the most valuable aspect.”

As you plan your 2020 calendar, consider adding an intimate event to your schedule as an opportunity to network and find solutions to issues plaguing the industry.

Interested in attending an intimate event? Consider the 2020 Club Solutions Leadership Retreat, September 9-11, at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage in Rancho Mirage, California. The event brings together 40 health club operators for two and a half days of roundtable discussions, networking and fun. Take away tangible ideas and invaluable connections. Limited spots remain. Email rachel@peakemedia.com while spots last and visit peakemediaevents.com/retreat for additional details.

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Rachel Zabonick

Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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