Inside Fitness Conventions: Secrets for New Participants

Megan Merchant

Fitness conventions, conferences, and symposiums are the best way to meet your mentors in person and become revitalized with live classes while renewing and expanding your certifications. If you are operating on a low budget or attending a convention for the first time, check out these inside secrets:

Research Early, Register Early: The earlier you research events, the higher your chances of obtaining early registration discounts and applying for class choices at the head of the line. Verify that the event has the continuing education credits (CECs) you need to renew your specific certification(s). Locate conventions in neighboring states for cheaper traveling costs. Most events occur at the same time every year which is convenient if wish to return.

Staff Assist: Look for a Staff Assistant Program which discounts your conference fee in exchange for work. Jobs include room monitoring, set-up crew, digital staff, registration desk, and more, and these positions have fee discount and networking perks. Immediately contact the organization and ask how you can assist if you are unable to locate an online application; positions are often filled four to six months prior to the event date.

Group Discounts, Room Share: Groups of 5-10 participants often receive registration discounts. Although one or two hotels may be recommended, do your own research on local prices; ten hotels may be within one block of a convention center in cities such as Los Angeles or Dallas. Some events have a room-share list: provide your information to be matched with an incoming participant. Staying in an event-sponsored hotel close to your classes may be worth the added cost for shower and clothing changes or quick naps.

Hot Tip: Never expect to get a room at the host hotel the day you arrive. I once checked into a hotel and participants in the lobby were asking guests to bunk on room floors.

Pack Food, Sleep Well, Stay Safe: It is not uncommon to see participants so excited by classes and presenters that they neglect hydrating. Stick to your usual nutrition schedule, pack your own recovery drinks and workout snacks as well as empty water bottles to refill and hand towels for sweating during workouts. Buy food in bulk when you can and store it in your room to avoid long lines, food shortages, and time away from classes. Fitness experts to beginners at convention will be trying new things: yoga experts try step classes, seniors learn kid workshops, and special populations attempt spinning. But remember your personal fitness level.

Attend Bonuses and Demos: Choose one to two workout classes per day and mix in lectures for periods of rest so you have enough energy to attend every lecture, panel discussion, networking meal, and Expo demonstration possible. A minimal fee may give you an additional Master Class or workshop; go for it!

Successfully Switch Classes: Take your full convention schedule, class descriptions, and map with you everywhere. If you wish to switch classes once the event has begun, visit the registration desk early each day to inquire, or get in line outside session doors before class and you may be allowed in if space is available. Your chance of entering any last-day class is very high as participants often leave early on the final day.

Buying at Expo: Expo is a convention room designated to product purchasing; short demos are hosted continuously at various booths. Expo also provides food tastings and hosts book signings by professional fitness authors. Visit on opening day for samples and freebies. Any remaining items sell quickly on the final day as vendors drop prices to avoid return shipments.

Hot Tip: Avoid purchasing items you cannot take home on the plane! I have seen many BOSUs, Pilates Chairs, Foam Rollers, and more abandoned in airports.

Stay Event Focused: I always want to bring my family along, but I would slight myself on all the opportunities I mentioned above trying to split my time. Take in every minute; bring business cards to exchange information with new friends and pack a camera for extra special moments. and I wish you a GREAT live event experience!


Sandra Martin - 06/20/2013 Amazing tips to keep fit. I would like to add this suggestion of keeping track of all your activities. I also use this motivade app to keep track of my activities. I have found it useful. Might be useful for other people also. Its available on google play

« Return to Posts