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The Place, the Event, the People, and Products that Spark the Industry’s I Imagination! f there’s one overarching theme that encompasses IHRSA’s 35th Annual International Convention & Trade Show, which takes place this month, on March 21–24, it may well be imagination. Though IHRSA has been serving the health and fitness industry for three and a half decades, the association’s staff continues to revise, innovate, update, reinvent—in short, to shake things up—in rewarding ways. Each year, it employs its collective intelligence and creativ- ity to imagine a convention and trade show that’s rich with new ideas that are not only interesting, utilitarian, and valuable, but, in many cases, also fun and exciting. IHRSA 2016 represents a prime opportunity for attendees to reimagine their businesses—the principal reason that more than 10,000 people will be traveling from some 80 countries to attend the convention and trade show. THE PLACE So, what’s new? Well, just consider the venue for starters. IHRSA is hosting this year’s event at the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, Florida—truly a “first,” since the meeting has traditionally been held on the West Coast. As a result, reaching IHRSA 2016 will be much easier for the staffs of IHRSA member clubs located east of the Mississippi or in Europe—the source of many large dele- gations—to attend. 78 Club Business International | MARCH 2016 | “Orlando is one of the top travel destinations in the world, and this represents a great opportunity for IHRSA members from the East to bring more attendees from their clubs,” notes Jim Worthington, the owner, presi- dent, and CEO of the Newtown Athletic Club, in Newtown, Pennsylvania. “We’re budgeting at least 12 people for the conference, and another 25 for the trade show and the Bash for Augie’s Quest—more than in previous years.” And what will you find in Orlando? Well, just to start with: new accommodations, new restaurants, and new attractions. “The City Beautiful” has so many culinary options— including establishments operated by celebrity chefs such as Emeril Lagasse and Todd English—that it’s fast becom- ing a haven for foodies. Many attendees will be bringing their kids to share a “dream vacation” with them at one of central Florida’s many family-oriented attractions, includ- ing the Walt Disney World Resort, the Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and Legoland Florida. And then there’s the newly opened Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which showcases everything from Broad- way plays, to ballet performances, to classical concerts. For golfers, Orlando boasts 176 courses, some designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. And many of Orlando’s destination spas are located at the convention hotels, making it easy to fit in a massage after a meeting or a round of golf. But, “Ahem,” you wonder, “What about the business?” Explore, Connect, Succeed! Visit