Posted on

What to Bring to a Fitness Convention

What to Bring to a Fitness Convention

If you’re looking for a fitness convention or health and fitness expo, there are a ton of great ones coming up this summer: IDEA World Fitness Convention (July 19-23), Zumba Instructor Convention (July 27-30) and SCW Mania Convention (July 29-30) to name a few. You can find an extensive list of upcoming events here. I attended SCW Mania in California earlier this year, and the experience was amazing — I get giddy just thinking about it! But leading up to the event, I always get nervous about what to bring to a fitness convention.

For example, I’d hate to be drenched in sweat at 8 a.m. only to realize I have to sit in my clothes for the rest of the day, since I forgot a back-up outfit. Now that I have quite a few conferences under my belt, I thought I’d share a few items that have been lifesavers for me when I attend conferences.

Here’s my list of what to bring to a fitness convention.

Outfit to pack for a fitness convention

  1. A back-up outfit (including an extra sports bra, shoes and hair ties)

Like I mentioned above, if you do attend a session with an intense workout, it can be nice to put on a clean outfit afterwards or around lunch time if your day is full of exercising. And, if you start to realize your shoes are uncomfortable or your hair tie breaks, it’s worth it to have back-ups with you at the fitness convention.

  1. A hardback notebook or clipboard

This is a lesser-known packing item that can be so helpful during the sessions. In every session I’ve attended, I sat in a chair or on the floor while the presenter went through their slides. Without a hard surface to use, your notes can easily end up illegible. So, I like to bring a sturdy notebook with me to write on or act as my “desk” if there’s a handout.

  1. Pens and highlighters

Make sure to bring pens to take notes. I always like to have a backup, because my pens never cease to run out at the wrong time. And, you might want to bring a highlighter, as well, if the presenter will be passing out worksheets or if you like to highlight your notes.

  1. Snacks

If you’re like me, hunger can strike at any time. That means being ready at a moment’s notice to grab a snack. I like to have a few snacks handy that I can eat whenever. I recommend packing snacks that you can eat pretty easily (and sneakily) during a workshop. I always start to turn red when I’m the girl in the back of class ripping open a bag of pretzels or shoveling trail mix in my face and spilling everywhere. My go-to snack is the granola bar, because it’s so easy to eat and so tasty.

What to pack for a fitness convention

  1. Lunch

Most conventions will have food options available to purchase at the convention. Since I’m on a budget (saving for my wedding!), I try to pack my own lunch. You can pretty easily pack a sandwich and stick a ice pack in the bag to keep it cool until lunch time. I’ve even brought microwaveable lunches in my bag with an ice pack and used the public microwave at the snack bar. This lets me eat a decent meal to make sure I have enough energy to power through the day. Consider calling the convention center ahead of time to see what the food options are.

  1. Deodorant, face wash/baby wipes

If you break out easily or feel yucky hanging out sweaty for too long, consider bringing toiletries to help freshen up at lunch time. Deodorant is a must, and also consider a face wash or toilet to keep you feeling fresh.

  1. The convention schedule, map and session handouts

These are the three items you’ll need to successfully navigate the convention. I always like to have the whole schedule in front of me, in case I decide last minute I want to switch sessions. And, you’ll want to make sure you have a map to figure out how to get around from session to session.

  1. Phone and extra charger

If you live tweet an event or use your phone to take notes and pictures, it’s always a good idea to bring a phone charger or portable battery charger.

  1. Sweatshirt

The rooms at a fitness convention are notorious for being cold, especially after you stop moving. Make sure to bring a sweatshirt or two to make sure you’re staying comfortable. Sometimes it’s nice to have two different long sleeve items, so that if one gets really sweaty you have another clean one for later.

If you’re going to a fitness convention this year, hope you have SO much fun! Please let me know if you have anything to add to this list, or other advice for convention attendees.

For more tips, check out the group exercise ideas page.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.

 

Posted on

2017 U.S. Health and Fitness Expo and Convention Schedule

Group fitness instructor attending a health and fitness expo or convention

If you’re a group fitness instructor in need of some exercise inspiration or new workout ideas, a health and fitness expo or convention is the ultimate way to break out of a rut. After spending the day surrounded by fitness professionals and immersed in wellness conversations, it’s hard not to feel reinvigorated. Even if you don’t need a motivation refresh, a health and fitness expo or convention is a great way to network, learn new moves and get updates on the latest happenings in the fitness industry.

I do have one caveat: they can be expensive! If you only teach one group fitness class a week as a side hobby, it can be hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars on a fitness gathering. There are ways to attend an expo or convention without breaking the bank. Consider activities in your area — if you can commute to and from each day, you’ll save major dough you would otherwise spend on hotels. You can also attend for one day instead of a full weekend.

Some of the major shows have volunteer programs. I was a volunteer at the SCW Fitness convention in 2015 and loved it. Being a volunteer was much more affordable, and it helped me connect with other professionals I would have never talked to otherwise. I liked it so much that I’m going to be a volunteer again at this year’s SCW Fitness convention.

If you’re looking for a health and fitness expo or convention in your area, here’s a list of some of the most popular events this year.

January 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

February 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

March 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

April 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

May 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

July 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

August 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention list

September 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

October 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

November 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

Notably, I didn’t find any major events happening in June or December scheduled so far (as of January 15). This doesn’t include workshops, so check out your local certification websites to see what workshops are going on in your area.

If you want to take your career in group fitness up a notch in 2017, I strongly encourage squeezing a health and fitness expo or convention into your schedule.

For more tips and industry insights, check out the group exercise ideas page.

Posted on

My Favorite Tweets from the @IDEAfit World Convention

@IDEAfit Group Exercise Class

One of the biggest fitness conventions in the U.S. happened over the weekend. The IDEA Fitness World Convention was in Los Angeles, bringing together fitness experts and enthusiasts from all over the country. I, unfortunately, was not able to make it this year, but that didn’t stop me from keeping up with the #ideaworld hashtag and @IDEAfit Twitter handle for the past few days to see all the fun I missed. Although I couldn’t be there in person, I’d like to think I was there in spirit, getting to experience the event through the eyes of the attendees and presenters on social media.

For my fellow fitness instructors that weren’t able to make the trip, I pulled together some of my favorite tweets and quotes from the @IDEAfit convention to help you feel like you were right there in the action, too.

“You’ve got to get to the point where you’re comfortable in your own skin.” — Randy Hetrick // @ideafit

"You've got to get to the point where you're comfortable in your own skin."

“A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul.” — Jillian Michaels // @AshliMcKee

"A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul"

“Forget what hurt you, don’t forget what it taught you.” — Jenna Wolfe // @lizwilsonyoga

"Forget what hurt you, don't forget what it taught you."

Keiser Fitness’ glow stick cycle party. // @ideafit

Glow Stick Cycle Party

“There are two times in life. Now and too late.” — Jenna Wolfe // @apstyle

"There are two times in life. Now and too late"

“People know what to do for wellness, but they don’t do it. People need to know HOW to do it and WHY to do it.” — Dr. Holly Wyatt // @FitnessEditor

"People know what to do for wellness, but they don't do it. People need to know HOW to do it and WHY to do it."

“We have to go out of our way to make healthful choices in this food environment” — Yoni Freedhoff // @LGfit

"We have to go out of our way to make healthful choices in this food environment"

So inspiring! If you’d like to check out more of the action from the Idea World Convention, check out the #IdeaWorld hashtag live feed. And, if you need continuing education credits, there are other fitness conventions coming up around the country that might work with your schedule.

For more fitness industry happenings, check out the group exercise ideas page.