The Keynotes and all Education Sessions will be simultaneously interpreted into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.



11:00 – 15:00 | Lisbon Health Club Walking Tour

Pre-registration and fees required / limited availability

Participating Clubs:

  • Ginásio Clube Português
  • Fitness Hut - Amoreiras
  • Homes Place Amoreiras
  • Clube VII


13:00 – 21:00 | Registration Desk Open


15:30 – 16:45 | UFIT 


Inclusive Fitness…How Will This Really Benefit YOUR Business? 

Moderated by Kilian Fisher, International Public Policy Advisor, IHRSA, IRELAND

Catherine Carty, UNESCO Chair in Inclusive PE, Sport, Fitness & Recreation, IRELAND

Gerard Masdeu Yelamos, UFIT Global Coordinator, UNESCO Chair in Inclusive PE, Sport, Fitness & Recreation, IRELAND

Jon Nasta, Marketing Director, Xercise4less, UNITED KINGDOM

For a business perspective on ALL sizes and types of clubs and studios, learn the importance and impact of inclusive programs, understand what having an inclusive culture in your club really means, discuss the challenges clubs faced in implementing an inclusive culture, aspects of club culture, staffing, and environment that make programs most successful. Most importantly discover the benefits—for both the club and members of being inclusive. UFIT is led globally by the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive PE, Sport, Fitness & Recreation and IHRSA. Hear from the UFIT Global leaders and a UFIT-recognized club chain (Xercise4less) on the benefits of joining the inclusive fitness revolution. Join the Fitness Revolution #letsinclusivizefitness.


17:30 – 17:45 | Opening Address


Welcome to Lisbon!

Joe Moore, President & CEO, IHRSA, USA

Jose Carlos Reis, President, AGAP, PORTUGAL


17:45 – 18:15 | State of the European Industry


Jay Ablondi, Executive Vice President of Global Products, IHRSA, USA

Jeroen van Liempd, Managing Director, IHRSA Europe, BELGIUM


18:30 – 19:30 | Keynote


Leading in a Disrupted World

Lucy Adams, CEO, Disruptive HR, and Former HR Director, BBC, UNITED KINGDOM

We need to learn to lead differently in order to keep up with macro trends affecting the way we work, whether they are changes in the workforce or outside influences such as the change in the digital landscape. How do leaders ensure they remain relevant and thrive in a disrupted world? Lucy will provide you with insight on how to lead your team and business differently while staying resilient.

Sponsored by Technogym


19:30 – 21:30 | Opening Reception





9:30 – 10:30 | Keynote


Change Management: Improving Performance Every Day

Chris Roebuck, British Economist & Visiting Professor of Transformational Leadership, Cass Business School, UNITED KINGDOM

The secret to successful change is often lost in the complexity of planning for change where process takes over from people. Small improvements by inspired people every day remove the need for large-scale disruptive changes. Chris will take you on an inspirational journey showing change is an opportunity more than a challenge and explain how to ensure that people are at the center of change, inspired to give their best every day and deliver success.

Sponsored by Technogym


10:30 – 11:00 | Sponsor Networking Coffee & Tea Break


11:00 – 12:00 | CEO Panel


Moderated by Dag Lee, Non-Executive Director, Fitness World, UNITED KINGDOM / NORWAY

Nick Coutts, CEO, Fitness Hut, PORTUGAL

Kent Orrgren, CEO, World Class Romania, ROMANIA

Jan Spaticchia, Chairman & CEO, énergie Group, UNITED KINGDOM


12:00 – 13:00 | Sponsor Networking Luncheon


13:00 – 14:00 | Education Session


The New Era of User Experience in Clubs and How Technology is Making it Happen

Bryan O’Rourke, CEO, Integerus, LLC; and CSO, Gold’s Gym of Houston, USA

  • Discover key differentiators of user experience, which leading clubs around the globe are using to win in their marketplace.
  • Review specific examples of clubs and demonstrations of their 5 user experience differentiators.
  • Explore the primary building blocks of the execution engines including specific technologies that clubs are using to deliver on the 5 user experience differentiators.
  • Discuss the human capital and the aspects of people and how it relates to the 5 user experience dynamics.
  • Define your plan of attack on how to achieve being among the top brands deliver on best practice user experience.


14:00 – 14:30 | Sponsor Networking Coffee & Tea Break


14:30 – 15:30 | Education Session


Five Things You Need to Know That Will Change How You Think About Design

David Barton, Founder & Owner, TMPL Gym, USA

Leila Timergaleeva, CEO, TMPL Gym, USA / RUSSIA

  • Gain an understanding on why design is more than the composition of visual elements—it is the creation of an emotional experience.
  • Learn how to dissect the design process focusing on how to allocate your budget in order to deliver the greatest impact; and discover what you can do with limited capital to create an expensive look.
  • Explore how small adjustments in lighting can create an entirely different atmosphere.
  • Learn how equipment layout is an art process.
  • Review some of the biggest mistakes club operators make that you can avoid.


15:45 – 16:45 | Roundtable Discussion Groups


Open Evening





9:30 – 10:30 | Education Session


Customer Journey and Membership Lifetime

Jose Teixeira, Operations Director, Solinca Health & Fitness SA, PORTUGAL

  • Gain an understanding of the most important KPI in our industry: retention.
  • How to learn from cancellations and improve customer touchpoints.
  • Explore the importance of the first 30 days and habit creation in customer retention.


10:30 – 11:00 | Sponsor Networking Coffee & Tea Break


11:00 – 12:00 | Education Session


Low-Cost Fitness as a Change Agent

Juan Del Rio Nieto, CEO, Viva Gym, SPAIN

  • Review how and why the low-cost segment is incorporating new gym users.
  • Gain insight on the role commoditization and differentiation play, and why they are critical elements to the low-cost segment.
  • Learn how to construct a business that combines efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Discover how to plan and develop a customer journey to sustain your model.
  • Explore how to continue to be disruptive over the coming years and avoid the path dependency.


12:00 – 13:00 | Sponsor Networking Luncheon


13:00 – 14:00 | Education Session


Solution-based Selling: How to Make Sales Easy by Uncovering People’s Needs

Chris Stevenson, Owner, Stevenson Fitness, USA

  • Learn how to make a winning first impression.
  • Discover foolproof ways to build rapport.
  • Explore modern approaches to gym tours that create the desire to buy.
  • Review strategies for overcoming objections with the perfect pre-close.
  • Implement strategies to upsell and gain referrals at the point of sale.


14:00 – 14:30 | Sponsor Networking Coffee & Tea Break


14:30 – 15:30 | Education Session


The Leadership Shift!


  • Learn what EQ is and how it can impact your results as an effective leader.
  • Gain clarity into the four pillars of EQ and how to use them to transform your own and your teams’ performance.
  • Sharpen your communication skills and empower your team by tapping in to their preferred behaviour and communication styles.
  • Learn how to apply EQ skills to improve customer service and team dynamics.
  • Learn the key drivers on how to achieve happy and motivated employees who align with your brand and go above and beyond to reach your targets.


15:30 – 16:00 | Sponsor Networking Coffee & Tea


16:00 – 17:00 | Keynote


The 3 Secrets for Personal and Team Excellence

Pedro Vieira, Master Trainer, LIFE Training, PORTUGAL 

The pursuit of excellence makes managers in every organization look for the best behavioural training in order to maximize results. Behaviours, however, are not the key to personal and team excellence—an affirmation that comes from the careful observation Pedro has made of more than 500 different teams in action! In this dynamic presentation, attendees will learn the 3 secrets for personal and team excellence in a simple and efficient way in order to increase results.

Sponsored by Keiser Corporation


17:00 – 18:30 | Closing Reception





9:00 – 15:00 | Lisbon Health Club Tours

Pre-registration and fees required / limited availability

Participating Clubs:

  • Go Fit
  • Homes Place - Palácio Sotto Mayor
  • Fitness Hut - Parque das Nações
  • Solinca - Lumiar

Networking Events

Sponsor Networking 

The opportunity to meet one-on-one with leading suppliers of fitness equipment and services at Education Sessions presented by suppliers, at lunch in the Supplier Showcase, and throughout the event.


Opening and Closing Receptions will give you the opportunity to meet more than 500 industry professionals.

"I'm planning to attend the 18th annual IHRSA European Congress in Lisbon this October. I'll attend with some of my senior team members because it's a great opportunity to connect with other fitness leaders and support our industry."

– Sandra Dunne, Operations Director, Gym Plus, Ireland


Download the Brochure Today!

The IHRSA European Congress features presentations delivered by executives from inside and outside the health club industry, providing thought-provoking commentary on trends that are shaping business and the fitness industry. Networking events, focus group discussions, afternoon and evening receptions provide the opportunity to build relationships with colleagues from across Europe.