2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™

by Mary Monroe on May 27, 2009

Be there as the fitness world comes together for education, inspiration, humor, hope—and fun—in the “OC.”

“I am back in Wisconsin this am, and it’s 65 degrees outside and windy,” writes Joyce Fisher, an attendee at last year’s IDEA World Fitness Convention. “I thought I already knew so much about the business of fitness—but I realized that there is so much [more] out there. The friendships I made during the week have opened me up to new areas of our industry. The instructors in my sessions were so full of ideas and creativity—I’m anxious for Monday morning to come so that I can implement some of the moves I’ve learned!”

Every year, at the IDEA World Fitness Convention, thousands of fitness professionals from around the globe come together to learn from each other, and then they take their new ideas back home to transform people’s lives. This year, the theme is “Inspire: Be the Change,” and the focus is on how fitness professionals can evolve to embody the change their clients want to experience.

“Particularly now, in a time of global uncertainty when people are feeling a lot of stress and anxiety, there is such great need for the health, wellness and balance that fitness professionals can bring to people’s lives,” says Aprile Peishel, MA, IDEA director of event programming. “Our goal for this year’s convention is to give fitness pros all the ideas, resources, networking connections and motivation they need to bring creativity, inspiration and hope back to the people they work with every day.”

IDEA World Fitness is the largest, most comprehensive and longest-running fitness event, and this year there are more than 300 sessions offering the latest program ideas, research and trends, continuing education credits, and business and career tools. Recognizing the urgent need for fitness pros to expand their skills into new areas of the industry, the 2009 convention program is more diverse than ever before, with more sessions for personal trainers, program directors, business owners, mind-body professionals, and instructors who work with a wide range of special-focus populations.

Opening With High-Energy Dance, the Power of Laughter and Perspective

Dance With Milo Levell

The 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention Opening Ceremony will feature an international mix of incredible dancers from the world-famous organization, One Million Dancers, founded by hip-hop guru Milo Levell. We can’t possibly fit a million of Milo’s dancers on the stage, but you’ll be treated to a spectacular show by six dancers selected from a worldwide dance audition. The dancers will perform with Levell, who describes the dance show journey as starting with incredible African rhythms and dancers from Ghana; then moving through the funky ’70s and ’80s; and ending with 2009 new-school dance styles, including reggaeton and other world fusions. This short, sweet, supercharged journey will remind us how dance has inspired us and made a difference in all our lives.

The Power of Laughter and Perspective

Opening ceremonies will focus on the role of the fitness professional as a global force for change. The inspiring morning will include celebrity master of ceremonies Kathy Smith, entertainment highlights and a keynote presentation by internationally known “Master of Playfulness” Matt Weinstein.

Smith has been a leading force in the fitness and wellness industries since 1980, and has sold more than $50 million in infomercial products and over 16 million workout videos worldwide. She will help present the following IDEA 2009 Health and Fitness Awards:

  • 2009 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year
  • 2009 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year
  • 2009 IDEA Program Director of the Year
  • 2009 IDEA Fitness Inspiration of the Year

In his lighthearted but stirring presentation, Weinstein will share unique ways for fitness professionals to cope with stress and today’s marketplace challenges, along with motivating ideas on how to be effective role models of wellness for stressed-out, time-challenged clients. “The best way to survive in stress-filled economic times is to take your work seriously and yourself lightly,” says Weinstein.

Weinstein understands the experience of stress: he lost his entire retirement fund in the Bernard Madoff fraud. “These are difficult economic times for everyone, but the great news is that it is possible to find joy, celebration and a sense of meaning even here, even now.”

Weinstein is the founder and “Emperor” of Playfair Inc. and was honored by Successful Meetings magazine as one of the “21 Top Speakers for the 21st Century.” His television special, Fun Works!: The Power of Humor in the Workplace, was broadcast nationally on PBS. Weinstein’s book Dogs Don’t Bite When a Growl Will Do: What Your Dog Can Teach You About Living a Happy Life (Perigee 2003) was #3 on the nationwide bestseller list “What CEOs Are Reading.” His latest book is Gently Down the Stream: Four Unforgettable Keys to Success (Perigee 2006).

Have a California Adventure

At the convention, attendees will have an unparalleled array of fitness and wellness opportunities. Some of the most exciting are part of the “IDEA California Experiences” program, which offers fitness pros a chance to compete at beach Olympics, try a one-of-a-kind mind-body triathlon, learn how to surf and even find out if their culinary skills qualify them to earn the coveted title of IDEA Top Chef. Here are the options:

IDEA Experience: Beach Olympics. Participants will enjoy the beautiful beach and boardwalk at Huntington Beach as they cycle on beach cruiser bikes, play beach volleyball and take part in a variety of fun problem-solving and team-building activities.

Mind-Body Triathlon InTensive. The first of its kind at IDEA, this land and aquatic journey includes a mind-body outdoor walk, a challenging qigong/tai chi session, partner yoga and an aquatic Buddha camp.

IDEA Experience: Surfing at Huntington Beach. Attendees will learn to surf where it all began—at “Surf City USA” Huntington Beach, with the most consistent surfing waves on the West Coast.

Dry Land Conditioning for Surfing. This is a serious land-based training program designed to help surfers improve their strength, endurance and balance.

IDEA Top Chef. Led by experienced ARAMARK chefs, contestants will vie for the title in the first IDEA Top Chef competition.

IDEA Iron Chef—Sushi. Participants will learn how to prepare sushi for friends and family. Fresh ingredients, knife skills and rice preparation are the keys to great looking (and tasting) sushi. The menu will include vegetarian and nonvegetarian options.

See the Future of Fitness Up Close

Also at the top of the list for excitement during the convention is the IDEA Fitness & Wellness Expo, which showcases all the newest, most innovative and most exciting moves, programs, equipment, clothes and gear. With over 150 exhibitors, the expo hall will give attendees opportunities to find out more about the industry’s leading fitness and wellness companies and to network with the visionaries and entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of the industry. Other highlights are money-saving professional discounts and trendsetting shows, including Culture Shock, on the expo hall’s Performance Stage.

Nine Preconference Choices for a Great Convention Start

For attendees who want to take their education to a deeper level, this year’s IDEA World Fitness Convention offers a record nine preconference workshops on a diverse range of topics, from business and management to nutrition and Pilates. “Our preconference workshops this year illustrate how our programming is evolving to meet the needs of the ‘hybrid’ fitness professional who wears a variety of hats,” says Peishel. “For example, our fitness management precon is designed to help managers understand how both sides work—personal training and group exercise. They need to work together for fitness businesses to succeed, and today’s professional can’t afford not to have a diverse background.”

Here are the nine preconference programs at this year’s event:

  1. IDEA’s Fitness Business Forum, for entrepreneurs and new business owners (3 years or less), is a must for avoiding costly mistakes and building a distinct “fast-track” competitive edge in your market. The workshop will discuss many of the secrets that most fitness business owners miss and will cover marketing strategies, networking and referrals, legal pitfalls and how to avoid them, and ways to succeed in the face of economic challenges.
  2. Focus on Fitness Management—Success Through Synergy, for program directors and fitness managers, will offer strategies for creating synergistic relationships between group fitness and personal training. Participants will find out how to get entire departments to work together, learn the importance of cross-training teams and developing universal skill sets, and discover how to inspire excellence.
  3. Nutrition in the News, IDEA’s first nutrition preconference session, will include three topics that have been in the headlines over the last year: eating green for better health and a better environment, a closer look at sugar and sugar substitutes, and research on the effects of vitamin D.
  4. Schwinn® Cycling: Indoor Cycling Instructor Training Course will provide the industry’s most comprehensive indoor cycling instructor training, including bike fit, cycling physiology and mechanics, proper technique, the Schwinn Cycling Coaching Pyramid and class design.
  5. New Science of the Human Body: The MELT Living-Body Model is a groundbreaking workshop that adds neurofascial science to current fitness practices for enhanced injury prevention by focusing on connective tissue, pelvic stability and the NeuroCore system. Presenter Sue Hitzmann, MS, has integrated this new science and created an applicable model for the fitness and wellness industries.
  6. STOTT PILATES® Athletic Conditioning on the V2 Max Plus Reformer is designed for instructors and trainers working with very fit athletes. Using the STOTT PILATES V2 Max Plus, an all-in-one machine that combines the functionality of the professional reformer with the key features and benefits of the Cadillac, attendees will learn how to take clients to a new level of strength and agility.
  7. STOTT PILATES Intermediate Reformer on the V2 Max Plus: Angle Advantage, an interactive workshop, will explore the advantage of using variable angles of resistance to facilitate and expand the existing STOTT PILATES intermediate reformer repertoire.
  8. Just 2 Dance Instructor Training, with MaDonna Grimes, is geared to helping instructors become the newest, hottest teachers in their clubs and studios. This session is for instructors wanting to simply freshen up an already established class, get the latest club moves, or learn a different style of dance in order to attract a new clientele. It’s also for those who’d like to teach Latin and hip-hop but don’t know how to get started.
  9. Just 2 Dance Master Class, with MaDonna Grimes, will be an unforgettable class combining hot hip-hop steps, popular moves from the ’90s and much more—a great way to start the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention.

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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.