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You’d have to have your head in a hole to not know that the IHRSA show is coming up. Yeah, yeah, it’s back to Las Vegas again this year and we just hope they have done something with the registration hall (total chaos and elbow-to-elbow two years ago in the south hall) and the expo hall (so long and narrow they practically needed aid stations to get from the front to the back). We hear the show is in the central hall this year, so that could remedy traffic jams.
But it IS the 25th anniversary and it IS CEO John McCarthy’s last show since he’ll be retiring (and expect the announcement of who will take over from him). And, as always, IHRSA will pack the schedule with seminars, continuing education workshops, special appearances, forums and parties to keep all attendees hopping.
Oh, and they even enticed former President Bill Clinton to make a showing as the keynote speaker on Tuesday, March 21, but if you haven’t pre-registered and haven’t said you want a seat you may be SOL. They are actually pre-assigning seats, and we betcha security is going to be whack-o. For details on what he is likely to speak about, click here for our Feb. 14, 2006, SNEWSÂ® story, “Did you hear?… Former President Clinton helps launch healthy schools program.”
Author Jim Collins was scheduled to speak, but presidential pomp pushed him back to the morning of March 22. Collins, the author of “Good to Great” and “Built to Last,” and Ken Blanchard, the author of “The One Minute Manager” and “Raving Fans,” will both speak on that morning, leading with Collins, and following with Blanchard.
In addition to the keynotes and a packed exhibit hall (open March 21, 1-6 p.m.; March 22, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and March 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), seminars and workshops will start the morning of March 20, some of which will offer continuing education for trainers. Both ACE and IDEA will sponsor on-site classes.
One highlight, as always, will be Rick Caro’s 10th Annual Financial Panel on March 21, from 1-2:30 p.m. This year’s panel includes Brian Maier, managing director of Merrill Lynch; Mark Harms, CEO of Global Leisure Partners; and Andrew Zarnett, managing director of Deutsche Bank Securities. These panelists were involved in Forstmann Little’s acquisition of 24 Hour, BC Partners’ acquisition of Fitness First, and The Related Company’s acquisition of Equinox.
Then, there’s the really big party and fund-raiser on Wednesday evening March 22 — Augie’s Bash — for Augie Nieto’s quest to raise money for research for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which he was diagnosed with last year. Lance Armstrong will make an appearance and the Doobie Brothers will play. The event, $300 pre-registration and $350 at the door, will be at the Las Vegas Hilton and has a goal to raise $2.3 million for the cure of ALS. For more, go to www.augiesquest.org, and for more on the show in general, click here.Â Â Â Â