Each year health club industry leaders from around the world come together for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association conference. Newtown Athletic Club sends members of their leadership team to the IHRSA Tradeshow and education sessions to learn more about industry trends to make our members experience better!

This year, twelve NAC employees attended the education portion of the conference. A few first-time attendees share their experience from this past week.

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Taylor Antolino (left) and Allie Antenucci (right) at Augie’s Bash for ALS Research.

Taylor Antolino | Fitness Marketing Manager

When I began working at the NAC I would hear employees talk about “IHRSA.” I didn’t know what the word meant- which I soon learned was actually an acronym, after all. When new equipment was installed I’d hear “we tried this at IHRSA;” in creative meetings I’d hear “we learned this at IHRSA;” employees would talk and I’d see pictures of their experience at the IHRSA trade show and Augie’s Bash For ALS Research.

IHRSA is much more than a word or acronym, but rather an association of clubs that comes together for a cause much bigger than themselves. I learned that first-hand this week. I had the opportunity to attend the IHRSA 2016 conference in Orlando, Florida with the amazing NAC team to learn about how we can make your experience better at the NAC each day.

We learned from industry leaders around the world, like Randi Zuckerburg and Jay Baer, in educational seminars and round-tables, networked with professionals to learn about their clubs, exercised our way through the trade show floor to try the newest and hottest products in the market to see what we can bring to the NAC and attended the 11th annual Augie’s Bash For ALS Research where $1.4 million was raised.. and there was real flamingos and alligators.

The NAC community continues to inspire me with their generosity and dedication to finding a cure for ALS and daily commitment to overall health. Attending IHRSA provided me with a stronger appreciation for this industry that I can’t wait to bring to the NAC.

Allie Antenucci | Youth Programs Marketing Manager

Attending the IHRSA conference for the first time was an absolutely incredible experience. The conference was attended by individuals in the health club industry around the world, presenting limitless networking opportunities and new ideas. After hearing from those who had attended in the past, I knew that being invited to attend was a huge accomplishment and opportunity.

In the educational sessions and networking roundtables, I learned best practices and new concepts on everything from social media and blogging to employee and member satisfaction. Coming home with a list of over 50 new ideas to implement for not only the marketing team but other departments at the NAC made for quite a successful week.

In addition to the educational sessions, the conference featured an enormous trade show with cutting edge fitness equipment and technology. It was amazing to see how many of the latest and greatest things at the trade show were already installed at the NAC for our members, like MyZone belts and Woodway treadmills.

One of the most rewarding experiences at IHRSA was the 11th Annual Augie’s Bash on Wednesday, March 23. It really put into perspective why the NAC puts in so much effort to raise money for those living with ALS, like Augie Nieto, Matt Bellina and Frank Mongiello.

While it was definitely an incredible week, I am so excited to be back home at the NAC. I cannot wait to put all these great ideas to work to make our club the best it can be for our members.

Ann Marie Sterner | Member Experience Associate

IHRSA was an incredible conference experience, and I feel very fortunate that I was chosen to attend this year!  It was an action- packed five days of educational sessions with top health club operators and inspiring key note speakers, round table discussions where we could network and learn from each other, and an amazing trade show where we able to explore the latest equipment in the industry.  I met some amazingly talented and dedicated individuals and got to know our key vendors and their teams at IHRSA. I feel re-energized and am looking forward to implementing what I have learned, so we can continue to improve and make our members’ experiences the best they can be!

Dan Kelly | Assistant Club Manager

At the 2016 IHRSA conference in Orlando, Florida I was able to experience the world of the fitness industry. Since attending IHRSA, my mind really opened up to how diverse and world renown the health club industry is. IHRSA allowed me the opportunity to meet so many brilliant professionals inside the business. Brent Gallagher, David Patchell-Evans, and Todd Durkin are a few examples of Giants in the industry that made a tremendous impact on my week at IHRSA.  Leadership and management seminars were my main focus.

Numerous quotes from speakers resided with me:
“If we get better, our customers will demand we get better”
“When you’re not working, someone else is”
“Better EVERY day”
“Turn hate into help; customer service is the new marketing”
“Disciplined pursuit of less but better”
“Be the lighthouse”

IHRSA not only opened my mind to the industry but opened my mind to creating core values, and creating a consistent routine to improve myself and my abilities inside the NAC. I was also educated on specific books such as, “Hooked,” articles like, “First follower,” “Gym wildlife” and the acronym IMPACT. All these resources, and tools have helped me develop greatly. They have also given me specific steps to reaching my goals to become a great leader. I look forward to bringing what I have learned at IHRSA to improve your experience at the NAC.