5 Takeaways from the 2018 IHRSA Conference in San Diego

At the recent IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show in San Diego, ReadyCare was on the scene to network, interact with club owners, and showcase some of our top-selling locker room amenities, shower dispensers and more. According to Justin Willis, VP of Club Sales, “The IHRSA conference is one that we look forward to every year and this is our 27th straight year attending. It’s an incredible event where we can showcase our newest products, meet with long time customers and foster new relationships. Each year comes along with growth, education and more than a few stories of being able to put a face with a name.”

Here are some of the team’s Key Takeaways from this year’s IHRSA event.

1. The Group X Explosion
The massive popularity of group exercise, or “Group X,” has spread like wildfire across fitness clubs around the globe. People from all over the world are signing up for Group X classes, such as HIIT, SoulCycle, Zumba, and the new POUND, in order to get in shape, stay healthy and feel great!

2. Everything is Smart & Connected
These days, every appliance is a “smart” appliance. We have apps that allow us to control our thermostat and we can ask our house to turn its own lights off and on. Is it any wonder that smart devices are invading fitness clubs as well? Stationary bikes and elliptical machines equipped with Bluetooth connectivity allow members to post their workout stats to Facebook in real time, stream Netflix, Hulu, and more. Not only that, many clubs now offer check-in through mobile apps, and nearly everyone is wearing an Apple Watch, Fitbit, or other device that tracks heart rate, calories burned and other important metrics for an overall picture of the wearer’s health and fitness profile.

3. Growth of Spa Services
One of the key takeaways for our crew at this year’s IHRSA trade show was that the overlap between spas and clubs is growing. Many clubs have added spa services to their list of amenities and a growing number of clubs are actually opening spa facilities on their properties. Since ReadyCare has both a Spa Division and Club Division, we’re uniquely able to accommodate both areas with quality products that can support your brand and enhance your members’ experience.

4. Branding in the Locker Room is Still Popular
After talking to many attendees and hearing keynote speeches from a variety of power players in the industry, one thing remains constant: incorporating your brand into all aspects of your club is more important than ever in a highly competitive market. ReadyCare’s unique Private Label Solutions offer fitness clubs around the world the opportunity to feature their brand logo throughout the locker room, from customized shower dispensers to professional vanity areas. Clubs can now look at their locker room as a brand reinforcing tool that helps deliver an experience members want to repeat over and over again.

5. In the Digital Age, Face Time Still Matters
In our modern, connected world, so much of what we do occurs over emails, texts and social media. One of the nicest aspects of a trade show like IHRSA is that it gives the ReadyCare Club Team an opportunity to connect face-to-face with customers and industry professionals from all over the world. In-person interaction is still as important as ever, and it’s trade shows like IHRSA that allow our representatives the chance to meet and network with interesting people throughout the health and fitness industry.

IHRSA is consistently one of the top health and fitness industry shows, and this year’s event didn’t disappoint. We’re already gearing up for IHRSA 2019 and happy it will again be hosted in San Diego at its beautiful convention center. We look forward to seeing all our industry friends at next year’s show!