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Join IDEA’s Support Squad!

Want to attend 2022 IDEA World Convention for "free"? With a little strategic sweat equity, you can do just that.

Now that you have the IDEA World brochure to select your sessions, I’ll point out that there’s been a lot of buzz on our IDEA World Convention Attendees Facebook Group regarding different ideas for saving or sharing expenses for the event. Aside from the unheard of $82 price point for 4 days of education and 24 CECs, fit pros on the channel are looking for hotel roommates, carpool buddies to defray gas costs, etc. Jump into the discussion to get ideas or to link with colleagues about these opportunities.

A fun and creative way to save on the event is to join the IDEA Support Squad and attend the event for FREE. While there is some sweat equity involved in this work-study program, it’s the most fun you’ll ever have “working,” and you’ll get behind-the-scenes experience on what it takes to put on a world-class event. It’s also an amazing opportunity to make lifelong friends, interact with accomplished presenters and join IDEA’s mission to Inspire the World to Fitness.

IDEA Support Squad having fun

How do just 30 IDEA staffers power a huge event like the IDEA World Convention? With the help of hundreds of IDEAfit+ Members—our Support Squad—who trade sweat equity for their IDEA World experience.

“Working behind the scenes gives a different perspective on the conference, while meeting new friends and reacquainting with old ones,” says Ginny Zic-Schlomas, owner of Beverly Bodyworks in Chicago. “The people I meet at this event are just as passionate about fitness as I am. I am grateful to be with like-minded individuals as the energy and excitement created with them continues throughout the entire event—and after the event. The memories are unforgettable,” says Zic-Schlomas, an IDEAfit+ Member who has volunteered for the Support Squad for 20 years. 

Robyn Krueger, MS, a fitness coach from Kaukauna, Wisconsin, couldn’t agree more. Krueger estimates that she has worked on or led Support Squads for every IDEA event (both Personal Trainer Institute and IDEA World) for the past 15-plus years. “After volunteering for so many years, to me, it’s about connecting with my ‘fitness family.’ This becomes your tribe. Presenters and colleagues get familiar with our returning, smiling faces, and the IDEA team appreciates our dedication.” 

Krueger also is quick to highlight the learning opportunities: “Support Squad members only have to work the requested hours, but then we are free to attend the sessions we want. Even when working as a room monitor, you have the opportunity to learn a topic or see a presenter you might not have signed up for.” 

 Interested? Here’s how it works:

  • Complete the IDEA Support Squad registration. Read all details. 
  • Select 14 shift hours for IDEA World.
  • Attend the event and support IDEA staff, while attending top-notch sessions and networking with like-minded fitness professionals!
  • IDEA Support Squad members receive the same benefits as attendees, including a certificate of completion with CEC approval, full access to the IDEA Fitness & Nutrition Expo, and a ticket to the Welcome Party, plus entry to a special Support Squad-only party.
  • When not assigned to a selected shift, Support Squad members are free to attend sessions on a space-available basis. Every effort is made to allow Support Squad members to attend the sessions of their choice. It’s rare that we are unable to accommodate our volunteers in a session they choose.
  • IDEA Support Squad members book their own travel and hotel accommodations. For great hotel rates and discounts, visit the IDEA World travel page.   
Sweat equity pays off for IDEA Support Squad Membrers

“I am grateful to be with like-minded individuals as the energy and excitement created with them continues throughout the entire event—and after the event. The memories are unforgettable,” says Ginny Zic-Schlomas, an IDEAfit+ Member who has volunteered for the Support Squad for 20 years.

“In this time we are living in, it can be challenging to make a lot of money in the industry,” says Zic-Schlomas. “But, it’s also important to keep up certifications. Working as a Support Squad member allows me to attend a class-act fitness convention with state-of-the-art education—all while maintaining my budget.”

Krueger points out that being part of the Support Squad makes sense to her for a number of reasons: “I mean really, who doesn’t like to have fun? Do what you love and love what you do!” she says. “In addition, volunteering provides work-study trade out options, networking, finding a mentor, growing personally and professionally, making new friends that remain lifelong, and building relationshipsand possible job opportunities with companies and presenters. There are opportunities galorewhat are you waiting for?”



Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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IDEAfit+
November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.