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European Congress - Lisbon calling

The IHRSA European Congress, which takes place next month in Lisbon, Portugal, is a must-attend, must-experience event for industry leaders doing business in Europe says IHRSA’s Kristen Walsh

Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 9
Praça-do-Comércio – this is the second time the city has hosted IHRSA
Praça-do-Comércio – this is the second time the city has hosted IHRSA
If you’re involved in a decision-making capacity in this industry, the IHRSA European Congress is for you - Joe Moore, president & CEO, IHRSA

Authorities and thought-leaders from inside and outside the industry will provide stimulating and instructive commentary on best practices, current trends and a wide range of other vital club topics at this year’s IHRSA European Congress.

Attendees will network with more than 500 colleagues, from dozens of countries, during focus group discussions, lunches and lively evening receptions. They’ll also have the opportunity to tour some of Lisbon’s top health clubs.

Meeting in Lisboa
The venue for the Congress, which will be held between 15-18 October, is the world-class EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel.

“Since it began, the IHRSA European Congress has been a huge success, providing participants with a unique chance to promote and develop our industry,” observes Mikel Urdangarin Liebaert, the director of Fundacion Estadio Fundazioa, a large multisport complex in Álava, Spain. “It’s also a great way to make new friends, reconnect with old treasured acquaintances, and discover new European cities and clubs.”

“Making the effort to open your eyes and look beyond your local or national market is the best business investment you can make,” suggests Simone Casiraghi, the manager of GCLUB Fitness and Spa in Vimercate, Italy.

This year’s keynote addresses will include ones on ‘Leading in a Disrupted World’ by Lucy Adams, the CEO of Disruptive HR, a London-based consultancy, and a former HR director for the BBC; ‘Change Management: Improving Performance Every Day’ with Chris Roebuck, a British economist and the visiting professor of transformational leadership at the Cass Business School in London; and ‘The Three Secrets for Personal and Team Excellence’ featuring Pedro Vieira, a master trainer at Life Training in Porto, Portugal.

During the event, Jay Ablondi, the executive vice president of global products for IHRSA, and Jeroen van Liempd, the MD for IHRSA Europe, will assess the state of the European industry, providing details from the recently released 2018 IHRSA Global Report.

Dynamic europe
According to that report, in 2017, the European health club industry consisted of some 59,000 facilities, serving 60 million members, and generated US$28.8 billion in revenues. “While Sweden has the highest member penetration rate at 21.4 per cent,” Ablondi points out, “Germany is the European leader with respect to facility count, with 8,988 clubs. It’s followed by Italy with 7,500, and the UK, which has 7,038.”

Among the numerous educational sessions scheduled for the Congress are ‘Low-Cost Fitness as a Change Agent’ with Juan Del Río Nieto, the CEO of Viva Gym in Spain; ‘The Customer Journey and Membership Lifetime’ with Jose Teixeira, the operations director for Solinca Health & Fitness in Portugal; and ‘Five Things You Need to Know That Will Change How You Think About Design’ with David Barton and Leila Timergaleeva, founder and CEO, respectively, of TMPL Gym, New York City.

The keynote presentations and educational sessions will all be simultaneously interpreted into Portuguese, Italian, French, Spanish, German, and Russian.

Another highlight of the Congress will be the presentation of the 2018 European Club Leadership Award to an IHRSA member who’s made a significant contribution to their company and the industry by virtue of their leadership and strong professional performance. Last year, Jon Wright, the founder of Xercise4Less, the UK chain, was honored with the award at the Congress in London.

Applications for this year’s award are due to IHRSA by 7 September. Visit www.ihrsa.org/awards for details and to download the application.

“We’re honoured for the Congress to return to Lisbon, which is one of the oldest cities in Europe with so much history,” explains Florian Cartoux, IHRSA’s director of Europe.

“For many attendees, it will be the place to rejuvenate before the winter, and hear some of the most compelling industry speakers from both sides of the Atlantic,” he adds. “We want build on last year’s successful Congress in London and match, if not surpass, the number of 650 attendees from 40 countries.”

“If you’re involved in a decision-making capacity in this industry – if you’re an executive, owner, investor, general or department manager – the IHRSA Congress is for you,” concludes Joe Moore, president and CEO.”

Lisbon Highlights

Lisbon is a coastal city renowned as the point of departure, centuries ago, for dozens of historic exploratory voyages to North Africa, India, North America and other parts of the world.

During the Congress, you’d be well advised to explore some of Lisbon’s many attractions, among them:

• Rich historical sites – you’ll be within walking distance of many of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Marquês de Pombal and Avenida da Liberdade.

• Breathtaking views — the city’s seven hillsides offer impressive views. Ride a tram to the top of the Alfama neighbourhood, or walk to the Amoreiras 360° Panoramic View to survey the city below.

• A mix of modern and classical culture – wind your way through Lisbon’s picturesque cobblestone streets and discover its many museums, cafés, and bustling squares.

• Fine and fresh dining – from the freshest seafood in the world, to traditional sweets in a local pasterlaria, Lisbon has flavours to please every palate.

Registration Details

Health Club Management magazine readers are eligible to receive an early bird discount on conference places until 14 September, by using the promo code HCEC during online registration at www.ihrsa.org/congress

The registration fee increases after that date, and the hotel discount ends on 24 September, unless the hotel sells out prior to that date. To take part in the club tours, both pre-registration and an additional fee are required.

IHRSA encourages delegates to enjoy Lisbon / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
IHRSA encourages delegates to enjoy Lisbon / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/178825_219341.jpg
IHRSA gives the latest update on its European Congress which is happening next month in Lisbon, Portugal.
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