According to the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) the fitness industry, and personal training, are expected to grow 27% before 2016. This is good news for people looking to build a career in the fitness industry. Actually, it’s GREAT news!! Unfortunately, new opportunities come with new challenges, including:
- More competition in the marketplace
- Higher standard of expectation for fitness professionals
- Demand for specialists and experience working with special populations
This requires personal trainers to go above and beyond their personal training certification as they continue to diversify their depth of knowledge to provide quality services to potential clients. In order to accomplish this task, personal trainers must:
- Invest in fitness education courses and workshops
- Find the time to complete the courses and workshops (which may take weeks or months to complete)
Meanwhile, they must still maintain or grow their current personal training business. Although this sounds impossible, fitness trade shows and conferences have provided an effective solution for busy personal trainers wanting to build their business.
Competitive Fitness Market
Considering today’s economy, the fitness business is where many are considering a career. With the growth of the industry projected to be ahead of the curve it’s a safe bet for the future. There are several factors driving the growth of the fitness market, including:
- Growing rate of obesity in young children, youth and adults
- Baby Boomers are living longer and want a better quality of life
- Health care costs are continuing to rise
- Government initiatives promote the positive effects of exercise on health
With more personal trainers flooding the fitness market, differentiation and creating a unique brand becomes increasingly important. Personal trainers will need to do “more” to stand out in the crowd.
Higher Standards for Personal Trainers
As the market grows, and the quality and level of education for personal trainers increases, standards will also be set higher than ever before. Employers will require a higher level of education and experience to identify the “cream of the crop” to represent their club.
Specialization and Experience with Special Populations
As the fitness industry continues to grow, businesses are required to differentiate and specialize in order to survive. These businesses will hire personal trainers and fitness professionals that have skill sets matching the unique products and services they offer. This may require education and experience working with special populations and providing specialized services (valued higher than generic personal training).
Fitness Trade Shows and Conferences
There are several fitness trade shows and conferences held at various locations around the world to provide “real life” solutions for fitness professionals needing to expand their education and experience while still building their business. These conferences last anywhere from 2 days to one week and are jam packed with workshops, seminar sessions and exercise classes that appeal to a wide variety of fitness professionals. These conferences provide education and learning under the following categories:
- Fitness business workshops (running a successful fitness business – sales, marketing, management, operations, etc.)
- Fitness education workshops (knowledge, research, program development, etc.)
- Exercise workshops and classes (“hands on” experience of various fitness classes and exercise programs)
These conferences pack hundreds of workshops and seminars over the span of a few days. Programs typically begin with early morning workouts starting at 6:00am and continuing throughout the day into the early evening. The following industry leading fitness conferences and trade shows are worth considering for 2013:
- ECA/One Body One World (New York, NY)
- IHRSA (Las Vegas, NV)
- FIBO (Cologne, Germany)
- FILEX (Sydney, Australia)
- IDEA World Conference (Los Angeles, CA)
- CanFitPro (Toronto, Canada)
- Club Industry (Chicago, IL)
- Athletic Business (San Diego, CA)
Below is an outline of each fitness conference and convention listed (including location, dates, number of attendees and pricing).
** Information is current as of October 15, 2012 and is subject to change without notice. If you are interested in attending any of the conferences listed, it is recommended that you check the event website for updated information. **
Industry conferences and conventions provide a way for fitness professionals to succeed in today’s rapidly growing and expanding market. These events provide a “buffet” of offerings where there isn’t enough time to attend all of the events and workshops on your list. If an event is conveniently located and works within your budget, it may be a worthwhile investment in your career as a successful personal trainer.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford the cost or the time away from work to attend one of these events. An effective alternative are online education courses and programs. Below is a list of organizations and websites to access fitness education that may appeal to your area(s) of interest.
- PT on the Net
- IDEA Health & Fitness Association
- ACE Fitness
- Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)