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The one-day, must-attend virtual event for fitness professionals.


Thursday, September 17, 2020


CECs/CEUs are being offered to all IHRSA Innovation Summit attendees. Additional information to be provided prior to the event.*


9:00 a.m. EDT | Sponsor Marketplace


Sponsor Marketplace Opens!

Visit and connect with event sponsors through IHRSA’s Sponsor Marketplace! Displaying the latest equipment, programming, and technology, the Sponsor Marketplace will allow you to browse and connect directly with event sponsors via chat messaging or video call.

9:45 - 10:00 a.m. EDT | Welcome


State of the Industry

Using recent industry trends and data, IHRSA leaders will share an update on the state of the industry and provide insights on what the future of the industry may look like as the world continues to recover from the global pandemic.

10:00 - 11:15 a.m. EDT | Panel Discussion


The Future of the Fitness Business

Moderated by Chantal Brodrick, Content & Communications Specialist and Board Member, Fitness Australia
Sandra Dunne, Managing Director, Gym Plus, Ireland
Colin Grant, CEO, PURE International Group, China
Greta Wagner, Executive Vice President & Executive Director, Chelsea Piers
Adam Zeitsiff, President & CEO, Gold’s Gym


After months of restrategizing, innovating, and rebuilding, the fitness world continues to adapt into a different version of what it once was. Gym closures, temporary shutdowns, and staff changes have forced the industry to embrace change in order to survive. Hear about the experiences of executive club leaders from around the world as they provide key learnings from the past few months and discuss how they have navigated changes, provide excellent customer service, and rebuild their teams.


Learning Objectives:

    • Learn leadership approaches from four panelists with unique business models and geographic locations across the globe
    • Discover what the impact that temporary closures—and some re-closures—had on overall business operations
    • Dive into the impacts and strategies of specific operational areas, such as group fitness, personal training, children’s programming, and pools

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT | Sessions


Preparing Budgets for Every Scenario

Larry Conner, CPA, President & General Manager, Stone Creek Club & Spa

With each passing day, new policies, mandates, and standards are handed down to your club. From mask requirements to new cleaning products to enhanced staff training, making sense of how it all impacts the bottom line is crucial—but where do you begin? Join Larry Conner, CPA, president & general manager of Stone Creek Club & Spa as he works with you on contingency planning for your club.
After crafting a plan for a variety of percentages of returning members, Stone Creek Club & Spa officially started their reopening on May 15. Stone Creek prepared for all possible scenarios and the impacts on their operational and staffing structure.
By considering all the variables and potential scenarios, you’ll get guidance on different budget plans, strategies, and ways to plan ahead.
Learning Objectives:
    • Gain an understanding of budgetary changes you should plan for
    • Learn how to stay organized, or get re-organized, amongst the chaos
    • Understand and leverage key performance indicators (KPIs) and see how they are changing
    • Explore accounting controls needed in the current state of the fitness industry

Developing an Innovation Strategy for You, Your Business, & Your Team

Michele Melkerson-Granryd, General Manager, Castle Hill Fitness 360
José Teixeira, Head of Customer Experience, SC Fitness
Now is the time to innovate. Whether you’re making changes in your workplace, at your home, or to your personal goals, innovation is constantly playing a key role.

In this session, you’ll first learn first from Michele Melkerson-Granryd, general manager at Castle Hill Fitness 360 in Texas. Amidst COVID-19 restrictions, Castle Hill Fitness pivoted to a new workout model by creating “workout pods,” restructuring their memberships, and setting the bar for the new member experience. Having led teams across nearly all departments of the club setting, Melkerson-Granryd is a true expert in guiding teams. Learn from her about both interpersonal skill and personal innovation during this challenging time.

Next, you’ll hear from José Teixeira, head of customer experience at SC Fitness in Portugal. An expert in managing customer relationships, Teixeira was a key player in pivoting from in-person operations to a massive online program for SC Fitness, a turnaround that went from a two-year roll out plan that took effect in just six days! Learn from Teixeira on implementing change and innovating in your workplace to provide great customer service.

Learning Objectives:
    • Discover personal, interpersonal, and professional ways to reimagine your communication and leadership skills
    • Learn how innovation plays a key role in the success of your organization
    • Identify areas where you can strategize with your team to enhance innovation
    • Identify and break down barriers and roadblocks through strategic thinking


12:45 - 1:45 p.m. EDT | Keynote Presentation


Imagine the Future

Crystal Washington, Futurist, Technology Strategist, Author


How is technology directly impacting the way you do business and the way your customers view your business? In this session, Crystal Washington will identify the significant ways in which technology is changing human beings and everyday business. Washington will help you discover how technology is impacting the job market and your customers' communication preferences and needs.


Through tangible examples of the impact of tech on the business world, Washington will help you gain a better understanding of generational differences and technology preferences for increased team participation and client acquisition. Most importantly, uncover what you should do now that is right for your business to get ahead and thrive!


Learning Objectives:

    • Discover significant ways that technology has and is changing business
    • Tap into customer communication preferences
    • Understand generational differences and how these will continue to impact your business this fall and beyond!


2:00 - 3:15 p.m. EDT | Sessions


Reimagine Your Sales Strategy

Luke Carlson, CEO, Discover Strength


The way consumers view, buy, and engage with your brand is changing. Pricing structures, freezes, and cancellation policies have been worked, reworked, and reapproached for months. 


Learn about customer loyalty and how to manage your memberships as the world recovers and continues to operate during a pandemic. Join Luke Carlson, CEO of Discover Strength, as he reviews what has changed, how to stay innovative, and how you can continue to earn revenue despite challenges.


Learning Objectives:

    • Identify key changes that need to be made in your sales process
    • Discover ways to increase revenue when memberships aren’t quite enough
    • Learn current best practices to keep your customers coming back
    • Develop your own improved sales plan, policies, and incentives



CEO Leadership Panel Discussion

Hear from the experiences of supplier executive leaders as they drive innovation, provide for their clients and their members, and reinvent the fitness community.

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. EDT | Keynote Presentation 


One More Thing, One More Time

Josh Sundquist, Best-selling Author, Paralympian


Josh Sundquist's presentation blends clean stand-up comedy with soulful storytelling. Experience a roller-coaster ride of laughter, tears, chills, and still more laughter. Learn from Sundquist on key objectives such as resilience during times of change, maintaining humor in stressful situations, and planning for the future with an expanded vision of what is possible.


Josh's life story is a reminder of how all our stories are interconnected, how even our smallest actions and decisions impact the world around us. Walk away with a fresh perspective on everything you have to be grateful for, with resolve to overcome personal and professional challenges, and with a commitment to do "One More Thing, One More Time" to reach your fullest potential.


Learning Objectives:

    • Learn about Josh’s story and how you can achieve resilience in times of change
    • Renew your perspective on gratefulness and overcoming challenges
    • Find positivity and humor during challenging times

4:45 - 5:45 p.m. EDT | Sessions


Innovate, Motivate, & Engage Your Members to Build Loyalty

Diva Richards, Founder & CEO, Hard Work No Excuses


Staying engaged with your members during this time and creating brand loyalty is what will set you apart from your competitors. Diva Richards, founder & CEO of Hard Work No Excuses, develops her own style and energy within her facility. Learn from Richards about how to motivate your members, innovate with your team, and create the clarity and true purpose needed for your brand so that your customers stay loyal. 


During club closures in New Jersey, Richards’ facility saw continued retention rates of about 80%. Upon reopening, customers are coming back, staying engaged, and continuing to be committed to staying motivated. 


Learn what you can do to keep your customers coming back by motivating and innovating!


Learning Objectives:

    • Clarify your mission statement and your facility’s purpose, and reignite your team with that message
    • Engage in new thinking and new energy for your facility by identifying what makes your club unique
    • Learn common pitfalls of building a brand
    • Identify ways that you can grow your business, network, and membership


IGNITE! is a fast-paced, 60-minute event where guest speakers have 5 minutes to convey a concept they are passionate about, themed around innovation. Presenters share their personal and professional insights on a host of topics that are informative and enlightening!

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. EDT | Special Event


Social Hour and Networking

Connections have never been so important! Join IHRSA for a creative networking hour. Reconnect with old friends and make new connections during this event.


*Schedule subject to change


Don't miss out! Reserve your spot today!


Sponsor Opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities are available. To learn how your company can get involved, please email Lynne Devaney.