Health & Fitness Business '06: SNEWS® Fitness Forum shapes up, book signing not to miss, plus on-floor seminars

As the Health & Fitness Business Expo inches closer, plans for the 2nd Annual SNEWS® Fitness Forum are shaping up to offer yet another show kick-off event that should be on every attendee's do-not-miss list, with a book signing following on the show floor.

As the Health & Fitness Business Expo inches closer, plans for the 2nd Annual SNEWS® Fitness Forum are shaping up to offer yet another show kick-off event that should be on every attendee’s do-not-miss list, with a book signing following on the show floor.

>>SNEWS® Fitness Forum
For the second year, SNEWS® has organized a panel discussion — “How to Ace the SNEWS® Mystery Shopper and Upgrade Your Shoppers’ Experiences” — promising open and honest discussion to energize the first morning of the show (Aug. 3, 10:30 a.m. to noon). This year we will focus on sales and training, so come armed with questions and challenges for our panelists. The panel will include representatives from both the manufacturer and retail side of the industry, plus a couple of independent sales trainers and motivators with different levels of experience.

Confirmed panelists include:

  • John Conti, now Bodyguard’s director of business development USA. Conti, widely known for his enthusiasm and Friedman style, has spent three decades working on both the retail and manufacturing side of the fitness industry, including in retail at Arizona’s Priority Fitness, Texas’ Winston Fitness and at HEST Fitness. He spent 11 years at True Fitness before moving on to Bodyguard in March 2006.
  • Tony Enrico, former vice president for internationally known sales and training experts Optime International and now president of his own company, Impacting Futures ( Enrico initially built his sales reputation as a 15-year executive for Johnson & Johnson and is the co-author of “Championship Selling: A blueprint for winning with today’s customer” (John Wiley & Sons, 2005).
  • Chip Hunnings, president and co-owner, All About Fitness/Lifestyle Fitness specialty retailers. Hunnings has been in fitness since college, when he went to work for a health club. A few years later, he headed off to Colorado from the East Coast — sort of a “Go West, Young Man” story — although all he had was $15,000 and van. His All About Fitness stores in Colorado were bought by FHI in May 2004. But he and his partners immediately went to work expanding his stores in Kansas, Oklahoma and North Carolina.
  • Tom Richard, an independent sales motivator, has worked for a number of years at health clubs and fitness retail, including Gym Source. He honed natural sales energy and has in the last couple of years been doing independent training and motivation (, reaping words of praise for this upbeat, no-nonsense, energetic style. He also writes both an email sales column as well as one for the Toledo Free Press.

>>Want to learn how to do championship sales?
SNEWS® Forum panelist Tony Enrico will offer his book, “Championship Selling: A blueprint for winning with today’s customer,” immediately following the Forum. Enrico, who co-authored the book with Optime founder Tom Blake, will have a limited number of signed copies, which he will sell for $20 — a savings of $7 off full retail. In addition, he will be in the SNEWS®/GearTrends® booth (#169, next to the Cyber Café) on Aug. 3 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to sign additional copies and to answer your individual questions.

From the inside flap:Championship Selling offers a powerful, yet remarkably simple, vision of what it means to sell, as well as innovative approaches and tools for establishing mutually productive relationships with customers. It outlines proven principles, processes, and exercises to help salespeople and their companies evolve from a transactional mentality to a transformational one, for better long-term results. Transactional selling—the desperate attempt to get a foot in the door, close the deal and move on—is a thing of the past. Championship selling focuses on listening to, and working with, the customer to build strategic solutions that create enduring value for both sides.”

Said George Cooke, CEO, Dominion of Canada General Insurance, “Forget books on getting the customer to see it your way. Championship Selling tells you something much more valuable: how to see it the customer’s way,” and said Steve Fox, senior vice president of customer business development, Nestlé, “The concepts in Championship Selling speak directly to the shift companies need to adopt if they want to position themselves for success in today’s environment.”

>>Other information
Danskin Fitness/Fitness EM (booth #663) will hold seminars on the trade show floor similar to last years. Led by Heather Hawk, the company plans to discuss two topics: “Attracting More Female Customers to Your Store” and “Strength Training for Women.” Although exact times are to be determined, Danskin plans on two on Friday morning, Aug. 4, and one on Saturday, Aug. 5. Check out the schedule at the show for exact times and dates.

SNEWS® Cyber Café and booth — Need a place to kick back a moment? Want to pick up the latest GearTrends® magazine? Put up your feet? Share some news, air a gripe, or just chat about what you’ve seen? Come on by the SNEWS®/GearTrends® booth. Grab a free sample cup of great fresh-brewed Kinetic Coffee java during select hours in the SNEWS® booth, and we’re there for you. You can also step next door to check your email in the SNEWS® Cyber Café.

Do you have show news to share?
If you have any events, new products, party announcements, company news, or other bits and bytes you’d like to communicate to the industry pre-show, drop an email to by July 20.

See all of our show stories detailing events and education by clicking here.