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Career Advancement for Everyone

Opportunities to build a career that thrives and inspires abound at the IDEA® World Convention.

IDEA World Convention

Thousands of fitness professionals consider the IDEA World Convention to be the best investment they can make to further their careers. That’s largely because the event delivers robust, multilevel education covering all facets of the industry. But there’s more to it than that, according to fitness industry veteran and this year’s IDEA Jack LaLanne Award recipient, Jay Blahnik.

“I have attended and/or presented at the IDEA World Convention for over 30 years,” says Blahnik, who currently works as director of fitness and health technologies for Apple Inc. “Year after year, it is one of the pinnacle events for learning the latest fitness trends and research and being motivated by the best fitness educators. It has always been one of my greatest sources of inspiration and has helped empower me to do my life’s best work!”

Blahnik isn’t the only one who has experienced inspiration and career growth after attending IDEA World. Read on to learn how the event has influenced the lives of other attendees.

Surprising Opportunities

Club Spotlight for IDEA World Convention

Years ago, Tracy Markley, owner of Tracy’s Personal Training in Florence, Oregon, was in the midst of writing a book about her late client, Gary, whose quality of life after a severe stroke was significantly enhanced by the training program she provided for him. However, she was nervous to send her work to the printer.

“I was still scared to try to self-publish,” she says. “It seemed like a big project to take on and learn [while training] clients full-time.”

Then, while scrolling through the 2017 IDEA World session descriptions online, Markley noticed a session on self-publishing, led by Greg Justice, MA. She signed up immediately.

“The session was wonderful,” she says. “It was the highlight of the trip.”

One thing Justice emphasized was the importance of hiring a professional editor, which Markley hadn’t considered. Upon her return home, she did just that, and her book, The Stroke of an Artist, the Journey of a Fitness Trainer and a Stroke Survivor (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2017) was published soon after.

“This book has been read worldwide,” she says. “I have been interviewed by media from New York, Israel, Australia, Florida and locally.”

Markley has since written two more books, developed CEC courses on stroke recovery, and been offered a show on her local radio station. She says none of it would have been possible without that session at IDEA World. Scan the available topics, and you, too, might find your perfect career-goal match!

New Profit Centers

IDEA World Convention Session
Attend motivational sessions at the 2019 IDEA World Convention.

Traveling all the way from Australia to attend IDEA World seemed like too big a hurdle for Jonathon Petrohilos, co-director of Fitness Education Online.

“I did the math, and it would cost over $5,000,” he says. “I thought, ‘It’s not worth it.’”

However, encouragement from a friend who’d attended the year before, paired with insights gained from a motivational speaker, inspired a change of mind in Petrohilos.

“The event was amazing,” he says. “I met great people whom I still keep in contact with, and I learned so much.”

What’s more, that’s not where his story ends.

“Here’s the kicker: In the very first session I went to (at the IDEA Success Academy), the presenter recommended putting together a basic membership site and charging something like $30 a month for access.”

Petrohilos followed that advice, figuring that, at the very least, he’d make back his IDEA World expenses within a year.

“Fast-forward to today. At Fitness Education Online, we have 300 members in our VIP membership site,” he says. “We make $9,000 from that membership site every month.

Career Advancement

Career advancement at IDEA World Convention
Learn the skills to push your fitness career to the next level.

“I can very clearly remember the first IDEA World event I went to in the 1990s,” says Krista Popowych, global director of group education for Keiser® and 2014 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year. “And I continued to attend yearly; it truly set my path for the future.”

Popowych believes the event played a significant role in her career progression. “I was inspired professionally,” she says. “I set goals. It led me to work hard to take a path of continuous learning and [to educate] others, to one day be a presenter . . . and to be good enough to be considered for an IDEA award. Not only did I become a presenter (I’ve been sharing my passion for educating others for over 20 years), but I became the 2014 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year. I have also met so many colleagues I connect with at these events and can reach out to at any time.”

Popowych is presenting six sessions at this year’s event.

2019 IDEA World truly is for everyone. With more than 350 educational sessions led by 225 of the industry’s best speakers, plus unique experiences and networking opportunities, the event is loaded with chances for you to learn, connect, grow and write your own inspiring success story, no matter what your role is within the industry.

The In-Person Advantage

Experiencing IDEA World Convention Live in Person
Experience programming in real time at the 2019 IDEA World Convention.

Thanks to technology, online education abounds and offers a cost-effective and convenient way to keep learning and obtain CECs. However, Popowych doesn’t think she would be where she’s at now without attending IDEA World in person.

“I believe the experience and interactions you get from being on-site are so important,” she says. “You get a chance to truly experience the workshops and exercises and listen to the experts—and you get to ask questions and bounce ideas off colleagues.”

Alex Isaly, IDEA presenter and national group programming developer for Life Time®, agrees. “There is nothing better than having the opportunity to experience programming in real time,” Isaly says. “Yes, technology has provided a great platform to distribute information anywhere and anytime, but when you are in a live setting, you get to see it, hear it and feel it as it’s happening, which I believe resonates so much more.”

Markley adds that meeting people like Todd Durkin, MA, and Travis Barnes solidified her decision to move forward with her book.

“I could not have done it without the Greg Justice session,” she says, “but Travis Barnes and Todd Durkin added extra power, encouragement and clear validation I [was] on the right track.”

Isaly, Durkin and Barnes will lead a combined 13 sessions at IDEA World this summer.

Programs for Everyone

From personal training and nutrition to marketing and program design, IDEA World offers a diverse, well-rounded mix of lectures, workshops and workouts to satisfy the needs of every professional.


Personal trainers at IDEA World Convention

Learn top-level program design strategies, the latest in exercise science research, and tried-and-true methods for helping clients adopt healthy behaviors and stick with them over the long term.


Group Exercise Instructors at IDEA World Convention

Group exercise is the lifeblood of the fitness industry. Find out how the most popular instructors from around the globe attract sell-out crowds every day.


Club and Studio Owners at IDEA World Convention

Discover what you need to do to bring more members through your doors, develop winning profit centers, and inspire a loyal and passionate staff.


Mind-Body Professionals at IDEA World Convention

Learn about current trends in your favorite modalities—like barre, Pilates, yoga and meditation—so that you can add new dimensions to your mind-body practice.


Food, Nutrition and Wellness Professionals at IDEA World Convention

Find out what makes your clients tick and how to help them achieve optimal health with the latest research and innovations in nutrition and behavior change.


Program Managers and Directors at IDEA World Convention

Get the goods on the top programs and services that your peers use to create unparalleled experiences for customers.

Other topics include social media, leadership, corrective exercise, specific populations, coaching, business strategy and more.


IDEA World Exclusives

IDEA World Convention Expo
IDEA World offers unique “events within the event,” and opportunities to mingle with like-minded inspirers.

There are many reasons 14,000 fitness pros of all experience levels and job descriptions travel from around the globe to take part in IDEA World each year. They know the event houses career-changing sessions, unique “events within the event,” and opportunities to mingle with like-minded inspirers, learn new ways to improve clients’ lives, and much, much more. Here’s some of what’s in store at this summer’s event:


Always an IDEA World highlight, the Opening Ceremonies will challenge you to live your best life and help others do the same.

“When you know your purpose, when you dedicate yourself to making the switch from emotional debt to emotional wealth, that’s when you take your power back,” says 2019 IDEA World keynote speaker and best-selling author, Mastin Kipp. “I’m excited to be there for the attendees and to give them the support they offer to their clients and communities every day in their professional vocation.”

The Opening Ceremonies will also celebrate this year’s honorees: IDEA Jack LaLanne award recipient, Jay Blahnik; IDEA Fitness Inspiration Award recipient, Victoria Arlen; and recipients and co-finalists for the 2019 IDEA World Fitness Awards, considered the “Academy Awards” of the fitness industry.


Dance the night away in technicolor at the can’t-miss party of the year. There will be plenty of food and drink to keep you fueled as you groove to hot beats, make memories in the photo booth, and laugh and connect with friends old and new.

Events Within the Event


Club & Studio Summit at IDEA World Convention

Industry leaders give you all the tools you need to increase sales, streamline operations and systems, create passionate company cultures, and build successful clubs and studios.



IDEA World Nutrition and Behavior Change Summit

This 2-day track puts you on the front lines of emerging nutrition and behavior change research, equipping you with essential skills to lead your clients to healthier livestyles.



Les Mills Live at IDEA World Convention

Back by popular demand, the ever-popular LES MILLS LIVE returns to IDEA World! Join your global community of LES MILLS enthusiasts for a workout experience where you’ll sweat, laugh, and learn new tricks and ideas to share with your students back home. Led by top talent from around the world, your favorite workouts and programs like BODYPUMP, BODYATTACK, LES MILLS GRIT and LES MILLS BARRE will be paired with killer beats and a concertlike sound system. It’s a fitness party you won’t soon forget.


ACE Mover Academy at IDEA World Convention

Through a powerful lineup of experts, ACE will deliver the latest research on behavior change and provide you with skills to make a positive impact on the community you serve.



TRX Event at IDEA World Convention

Whether you’re new to the industry or an experienced vet, this immersive experience is designed to help you understand current research, become a more effective coach, deliver unforgettable workout sessions and improve your business savvy.

Explore All That’s New at the IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo

Early registration for 2019 IDEA World Convention

  • Enjoy discounts on equipment, programs, apparel and technology from more than 350 industry brands.
  • Take full advantage of extended lunchtime hours to explore everything the Expo has to offer.
  • Head for the Nutrition Pavilion to snack on tasty samples, ask questions and stay on the cutting edge of nutrition trends. This year’s Pavilion is bigger and better than ever, with over 100 nutrition and food companies.
  • Work out with the stars! Your favorite fitness celebs—including Kaisa Keranen, The Fitness Marshall, Tony Horton, Gabby Reece and many more—will deliver unforgettable exercise experiences in the IDEA World Showcase Arena. Sponsored by TRX®.
  • Experience some of the newest equipment and circuit training programs—and learn fresh workout and group training ideas—during the IDEA World Mega Circuits, with music sponsored by Instructor Music.
  • New this year: Check out Club & Studio Row, where leading brands will present technology, equipment, operations, education and business solutions you need to build a world-class club or studio.
  • Close out the weekend with the IDEA World Celebration Workout, featuring fun games and challenging drills led by Amy Dixon and Jeffrey Scott.

For more information, see ideafit.com/world.


Photography by Len Spoden.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor, and IDEA's director of event programming.

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