OCTOBER 14–16, 2020

"Sharpen the saw is the principle that states we must step back from the work, from the "doing" and focus on improving ourselves—our capacity as leaders, managers and fitness professionals. Club Industry is an irreplaceable component of the fitness leader's professional development calendar. Engaging in the conference provides the perfect balance of learning, connecting with colleagues, and inspiration. Howard Shultz, the long-time CEO of Starbucks said, and I paraphrase, that we all assume that if we are passionate about something, we will go learn more about it. Shultz has observed the inverse of this; when we learn more about a subject, our passion for that subject grows. Club Industry is the perfect event to grow your passion for our industry, for the organization you work in and for the important work we all do as fitness leaders." Luke Carlson

My Club Industry Story:

In 2004, as a 24-year-old aspiring to launch a fitness business, I took an Amtrak train from Minneapolis to Chicago to attend my first ever Club Industry conference. I filled a notebook with notes from incredible speakers, many of whom I stay in contact with today. I can remember learning from Sandy Coffman the definition of a professional greeting: “Smile, aim your smile, introduce yourself first, shake hands like you mean it.”

Over the last 12 years, our entire business has been built on this “professional greeting,” and we role play it as a staff at all of our locations every week. I took the train back to Minneapolis after my first Club Industry and reviewed my notes and dreamed of what was possible. I’ve attended 13 consecutive Club Industry Shows.

In the early years of our business, we would meet at our facility in Minneapolis at 3:00 a.m., pile into a rented van, and five, six or seven of our staff would make the 6.5-hour drive to Chicago so that we could attend a 10:00 a.m. session and kick off two days of learning. There was nothing I’d rather do than attend sessions and discuss what we learned as a staff while we ate deep dish pizza.

So many of my great professional memories revolve around Club Industry. Heading into 2018 and my 14th Club Industry, I can say that my passion for the conference and the value my staff and I receive has only increased.

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