Club Insider

More Than 500 Leaders Expected at IHRSA’s European Congress in London

Posted: July 19, 2017 in IHRSA

IHRSA: Success By AssociationIHRSA: Success By Association

BOSTON, MA – “The Congress is coming back to London after 13 years and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Florian Cartoux, IHRSA’s Europe Director. “London boasts some of the most exciting and diverse clubs in the country, and, in terms of revenue, the UK continues to be the biggest market in the fitness industry in Europe… This Congress provides an opportunity to return to the heart of fitness in Europe.”

With the theme “Fitness & Technology: Staying Ahead in an Evolving Industry,” the 17th Annual IHRSA European Congress will focus on what leaders need to know now as the club business continues to undergo rapid change.

“Technology is transforming the fitness industry globally, and it introduces risks and rewards both for club operators and their members,” points out Alison O’Kane Giannaras, IHRSA’s associate vice president of international development. “The Congress will permit attendees to hear some of the finest European futurists describe how technology is changing our business, and obliging us to adapt our club strategies.”

Keynote presentations will include:

  • “Pioneering an Adaptive Digital Strategy,” sponsored by Technogym. Presenter Ben Hammersley, a futurist and internet technologist, is the author of 64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then, an editor-at-large for WIRED magazine, and the author of the term “podcast.” He’ll discuss the political, cultural, social, and corporate implications of the Internet of Things (IoT), and explain how clubs can create a successful, long-term digital strategy.
  • “The Disruptive Leader,” sponsored by Keiser Corporation. Speaker Jamil Qureshi is the founder of JQED, Ltd., a London-based change consultancy, and one of the world’s foremost authorities in performance-enhancing psychology. The author of The Mind Coach: Be the Person You Really Want to Be, Qureshi has worked with professional cricket, football, and golf players; the management teams of Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard, and the Royal Bank of Scotland; and, even U.S. astronauts. The goal, in each of these cases, is to help these people and companies improve upon what they are already doing.

The programme will feature 12 additional presentations by club leaders and business experts. All presentations, including the keynote sessions, will be simultaneously interpreted in French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

“The biggest change in the programme this year is a greater investment in high-level business speakers,” reports Marc Gagnon, IHRSA’s senior meetings manager. “In the past, we primarily did concurrent sessions of industry presenters. This year, we’re doing all general sessions that will be an equal mix of industry leaders and non-industry experts.”

The event will feature several networking opportunities, including:

  • A Sponsor Showcase, providing attendees with the opportunity to talk one-to-one with leading suppliers in a relaxed environment;
  • Opening and closing receptions;
  • Roundtable discussions;
  • A walking tour of some of London’s best health clubs.

Sponsors of the 17th Annual European Congress include: American Council on Exercise (ACE), Core Health & Fitness, eGym GmbH, Fabiano Designs, Financo Inc., GANTNER Technologies, Johnson Health Tech. Co., Ltd. / MATRIX FITNESS, Keiser Corporation, Les Mills International, Life Fitness, miha bodytec GmbH, milon industries GmbH, MINDBODY, MYZONE, National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), OJMAR, Piloxing Academy LLC, Polar, Precor, QualiCert – Qualitop International, STRONG by Zumba, Technogym SpA, Thinkerly srl, Virtuagym, Wattbike Ltd., and Wexer Virtual.

For full programme details and registration information, visit

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