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At Escape HQ, we love the exhibition season. Endless hours are spent choosing the right equipment to showcase, designing the stand, flooring and private meeting spaces to give clients and customers a thorough and complete experience of gym design, training and education, and exercise equipment.

How often do you attend exhibitions or trade shows, year after year, with absolutely no change to show for it in your facility, member numbers or revenue?

Well why not make this year different? Here are five tips to get the most out of trade shows or any exhibition.

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tips for trade shows


Get a floor plan of your gym, including dimensions, drawn up.

get a floor plan of your gymEven if you don’t think you need anything from a trade show and are solely attending for the networking opportunities, there might be something that catches your eye that could propel your club well beyond the competition.

By having dimensions and a floor plan to hand, gym design specialists can help you realise the potential in your club, or advise on appropriate sizes/costs if you do see a piece of equipment you want to order.


Talk to your gym members and clients.

Discover what they like and what they don’t like about their club and ask them what they would change. Many clubs run the risk of offering a commoditised product rather than a personalised one. More free weights? More small group training? More PT opportunities? There are so many different possibilities – they may surprise you with a few and spark your creativity. Knowing these before you leave to visit an exhibition will give you some ideas to talk through with the companies you meet.


Talk to your fitness location staff.

There may be parts of your gym where your staff prefers to work their clients. This may be for a number of reasons. Ask them what would make their jobs easier and more enjoyable, and what would offer the best results for their clients. These answers may be different between PTs and Group X instructors, but it’s a great place to start realising where improvements could be made and a great focus for while you’re at the show. It may be that they need more training on certain areas of equipment to fully utilise all the training possibilities it offers, or more programming ideas for small group training.


Take some time out with your fitness equipment.

take stock of your equipmentIf you own or manage a club that has been operating for a number of years, it’s likely that you have various products that have been with you from the start (barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, medballs and so on). Before you head to a trade show, take a look at your products. Are any of them looking tired? A little worn? By establishing what you need to replace (either now or in the near future) you can ensure you have focus when you attend a show. There are also some great deals to be had, so it’s good to have some strategy or initial ideas of what to invest in next.


Set your show budget.

Whether you’re looking to completely refurbish your club, or just looking for a new range of dumbbells, be sure to assess your finances and have a budget in mind of what you can afford to spend. Depending on where you’re at in the process of club development (are you working with an empty shell, or are you well established?) this could vary drastically, but it always helps so you don’t get carried away and end up with huge costs that aren’t accounted for!

We can’t wait to see you at the shows to hear some of the great ideas you’ve got for the rest of the year and help you achieve the health club or gym you’ve always wanted!


For more advice on how to get the most out of fitness trade shows, check out the blog homepage.