Just returned from the IHRSA European Congress in Barcelona. This year, over 500 delegates attended the event which is a record turn-out.
I love attending this event. I find the delegates so open to new ideas and insights and the intimate size of the event means that everyone mixes.
The big story
The biggest news to come out of the conference for me was news that VAT on gym memberships throughout Portugal is rising from 6 to 23% on January 1st 2011. The entire Portuguese fitness industry is in a state of shock as the announcement was made just days before the conference, and with little warning from the Portuguese government. One Portuguese club chain I spoke to said it was going to have a catastrophic affect on the industry with clubs likely to close. Never has there been a better time for clubs to really understand their core purpose and differentiation strategy.
Social Media Presentation
Below is a copy of the social media presentation that took place on Wednesday with contributions from myself, Jon Moody, Gianluca Scazzosi and Rasmus Ingerslev. Due to technical issues with the setup of the sound in the room, the session started late which meant little time for questions. For those who attended this session in Barcelona, I am very sorry. If you have a question for the panel, then please contact them directly (see presentation for contact details), or post a question below the presentation and I will ask the relevant person to respond.