2008 IDEA World Fitness Convention™

by Mary Monroe on May 28, 2008

Movement, music and a passion for health, fitness and wellness will take center stage in July when IDEA members from all over the globe rock Las Vegas.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.That phrase became one of the most famous city tag lines in history. But this year, for IDEA fitness professionals, what happens in Las Vegas will spread around the globe.

“Every year, the IDEA World Fitness Convention is an international showcase for the biggest news, names and trends in health, wellness, fitness and nutrition. The word spreads fast because IDEA members get inspired and bring the information back home to their classes and communities all around the world,” says Aprile Peishel, MA, IDEA director of event programming.

Newsmaking sessions like the featured panel “What’s Hot Now: Consumer Trends,” with industry leaders Jay Blahnik, Chalene Johnson and Michael Tchao, will offer insider insights into the mind of today’s—and tomorrow’s—consumer and suggest what it takes to stay on the cutting edge. Also high on the list of breaking news at the convention is a special session that will outline how IDEA members can participate in IDEA’s global campaign with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG). AHG represents the partnership between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.

While attendees will be able to absorb the latest news, research and training from a selection of 267 sessions on the industry’s hottest topics, they’ll have another opportunity as well: to have the time of their lives in a city that’s famous for fun.

After all, what can you say about a city with attractions that range from art exhibits to amusement parks, top entertainers to Elvis impersonators, lavish displays of jaw-dropping luxury to a host of budget-friendly bargains (including fun, free shows in hotels all over town)? You only have to visit Las Vegas once to understand why it’s a top international destination city, drawing nearly 40 million visitors and over 3,000 conventions a year.

At the Las Vegas Hilton, where the 2008 IDEA World Fitness Convention will be held, the hotel lobby is known for celebrity spotting, thanks to the Hilton’s A-list entertainment schedule. The Hilton features views of Nevada’s desert skyline from the rooftop pool and eight-acre, multilevel recreation deck, complete with tennis courts, fitness center and walking track.

There are 10 restaurants, five eateries and nine lounges at the Hilton. The recent $40 million renovation has further enhanced the hotel’s accommodations, amenities and spa services.

When they’re not enjoying the Hilton’s hospitality, IDEA attendees can take the skywalk bridge to their sessions in the Las Vegas Convention Center or go anywhere else in the city on the Monorail.

John Gray, PhD, Headlines for IDEA

With Las Vegas hosting more than 300 weddings a day, perhaps it’s appropriate that IDEA’s 2008 keynote speaker is world-renowned relationship expert John Gray, PhD. An extraordinarily popular motivational speaker who is also the world’s best-selling relationship author, Gray will talk on “Finding Health and Harmony: Making the Connection for You and Your Clients.”

“This year our keynote speaker is also doing a breakout session [#142, “The Mars and Venus Diet Solution”], which is an exciting opportunity for our members to get to know more about him and his work,” says Peishel. Gray’s presentations will explore the role that diet, exercise, stress management and brain chemistry play in overall health, happiness and lasting romance.

Gray is the author of 16 best-selling books, including Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, the number-one best-selling book of the last decade, with over 30 million copies sold in over 40 languages. His latest book is The Mars & Venus Diet & Exercise Solution (St. Martin’s Press 2003), a look into how diet, exercise and communication skills work together to affect the production of healthy brain chemicals in men and women.

SIDEBAR: 2008 IDEA World Fitness Convention Fast Facts

What: the world’s most comprehensive, diverse and advanced selection of educational programming for fitness and wellness professionals

When: Tuesday, July 8, to Saturday, July 12

Preconvention Workshops: Tuesday, July 8

Headquarters Hotel: Hilton Las Vegas

Convention Center: Las Vegas Convention Center

Location: 3150 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas

Reservations: Go to www.ideafit.com/world and click on travel reservations to book your accommodations directly with the Hilton.

Hotel Phone: (800) 732-7117 (reservations); (702) 732-5111 (information)

Convention Rate Available Until: June 10, 2008

Discounts: Become an IDEA member and save on convention and preconvention registration. IDEA business and program director members receive discounted member pricing on three registrations. Groups of five or more members registering together receive $25 off each registration. Share selected convention events with a companion for only $75. Work-study program is also available.

To Get Information: Attendees: www.ideafit.com or (800) 999-4332, ext. 7; outside U.S.: (858) 535-8979, ext. 7

Advertisers/Exhibitors: (800) 999-4332, ext. 238

SIDEBAR: See It All at the Expo Hall

The IDEA Fitness & Wellness Expo Hall is where the fitness industry goes each year to take the pulse of the industry. Attendees stroll through aisles and aisles of the latest in equipment, programs, gadgetry, clothes, shoes and music, and they pick up a multitude of great new moves and business and career ideas.

“I think this event is known for bringing quality companies to the hall—companies that really add value for the attendees,” says Dana Mohrman, IDEA expo hall manager. “We make sure attendees get to see the top names in all the categories, including STOTT PILATES, BOSU® by Fitness Quest Inc. and SPRI Products Inc., Gravity® by efi Sports Medicine®, K-Swiss, Keiser® Corporation, Quest Inc. and GAIAM® International, to name a few. These companies have products that fitness professionals use every day. We’re not a show that just throws in every company and product out there. We make sure our exhibitors are qualified to be there and that they make sense for our attendees.”

Of course, the Expo Hall is also known for some of the best shopping in the industry, with lots of great values and pro discounts. “Shopping is one of the really fun parts of the convention, and we have worked with the hall to enhance the shopping experience for attendees,” says Mohrman. “In recent years we’ve seen growth in the apparel space. Attendees can also find all the equipment and tools they need to grow their careers and businesses.”

One of the Expo Hall’s most popular features is the Performance Stage, which features exciting fitness entertainment, with demonstrations and shows by high-profile groups like Zumba Fitness and the hip-hop dance troupe Culture Shock.

“The performers bring so much energy to the hall,” says Mohrman. “They get people moving. They make the Expo Hall a unique experience.”

SIDEBAR: 8 Precons, and a Focus on Business

In-depth, advanced training is a cornerstone of the IDEA World Fitness Convention experience, and this year there will be more concentrated, intensive training than ever before.

There will be two half-day STOTT PILATES® preconvention workshops—STOTT PILATES on the Pilates Edge and STOTT PILATES Essential Reformer on the V2 Max Plus. There will also be six all-day precons: Schwinn® Cycling Instructor Training; IDEA’s Fitness Business Forum; Focus on Fitness Management; Drums Alive™ Instructor Training; Fit4Mom, Presented by Stroller Strides®; and The Cutting Edge of Function.

“No matter what area of fitness you work in, there is a precon that can help you enhance your skills and expand your career,” says Peishel. “We are especially excited this year about our Fitness Business Forum, because this is the first time we’ve offered a session this in-depth and specific for fitness and health entrepreneurs. Whether you’re just opening a business or wanting to improve an existing one, you’re going to leave with plenty of ideas and inspiration. There are also sessions throughout the convention that are designed to give fitness professionals the advantage of business education from the best names in our industry.”

IDEA’s Fitness Business Forum will offer tips for gaining a competitive edge in the market and avoiding common costly mistakes. Presenters will share secrets that most fitness business owners miss, and discuss their own experiences in learning how to balance personal and professional aspects of life.

At the convention, attendees can also participate in three Intensive training sessions. These 4-hour programs provide advanced training and certificates of completion. Topics featured this year are fitness for breast cancer survivors; water fitness; and a business session that teaches entrepreneurs how to “go for greatness.”

SIDEBAR: Vegas Fun Facts Quiz

1. The historic Las Vegas hotel, the Flamingo, was named after:

a. the exotic tropical bird

b. the famous owner’s home state of Florida

c. the long showgirl legs of the famous owner’s girlfriend

2. In Las Vegas, you can find:

a. a restaurant staffed by Star Trek characters

b. a museum dedicated to M&Ms

c. Bonnie and Clyde’s getaway car

d. all of the above

3. What did Howard Hughes do when he had stayed at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas so long that he was asked to leave?

a. sued the city of Las Vegas and won

b. refused to leave

c. bought the hotel

4. Of the 20 biggest hotels in the United States, how many are in Las Vegas?

a. 5

b. 17

c. 12

SIDEBAR: Let the Celebrations Begin

Tropical fun is the theme of IDEA’s 2008 Welcome Celebration, “Party in Paradise,” where attendees can experience a magical evening, dancing to great music and enjoying beach-inspired good times with lots of food and friends. But that will be only the beginning of the convention’s celebrations.

The event will officially kick off with the entertainment-packed Opening Ceremonies and prestigious IDEA Health & Fitness Awards Presentation in the Hilton’s, 1,600-seat Barry Manilow Theatre.

The showroom’s crystal-clear sound and mammoth stage make it a perfect setting to begin the convention. There, attendees will be treated to IDEA’s keynote speaker, as well as the inspiring tribute presentations that recognize the 2008 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year, the 2008 IDEA Program Director of the Year and the 2008 IDEA Fitness Inspiration of the Year.

Gray has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Live with Regis, The View, Politically Incorrect and Larry King Live. He has been profiled in USA Today, Newsweek, Time, TV Guide, People, Forbes and numerous other major publications across the United States.

Mary Monroe is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area.

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About the Author

Mary Monroe

Mary Monroe IDEA Author/Presenter

Mary Monroe is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area.