For first-timers, the IDEA World Convention in Anaheim, California from June 26-30 — a week-long health and fitness extravaganza with more than 14,000 attendees expected — may be a bit overwhelming. There’s tons to see, learn and do, so just remember to pace yourself.
Merrithew® Senior Coordinator of Events Stephanie Cleary and Master Instructor Trainer Laureen Dubeau weigh in with their survival tips.
Make your game plan
- Look at the Fitness & Nutrition Expo Hall floor plan, which includes over 300 brands, before you arrive so you get an idea of where your favorite companies are located. Merrithew is located at booth 1105!
- Check out the on-site guide for special events happening each day in the Expo Hall. One you don’t want to miss is the MEGA Circuit, which Merrithew will be participating in
- Stay organized with the IDEA Fitness Events mobile phone app, where you can view and store your schedule, find exhibitors and session info, and participate in games and contests
- “Don’t panic, you have plenty of time to see everyone in the Expo Hall in two days. It will run June 28 and June 29. Take your time to really enjoy all that the IDEA World Expo Hall has to offer,” Stephanie suggests
Keep your energy up
- Pack your snacks. “There never seems to be enough time to eat; there’s so much to see and learn. Carry some healthy snacks with you at all times, so you’ll always have something to munch on,” Laureen recommends
- While you should definitely bring your own, don’t miss taste testing some of the great snacks and lunch options available at the Expo Hall
- Drink water. Do fitness professionals need to be reminded to stay hydrated?
- Sleep! “Remember to give your body and mind a chance to recover after each day to avoid burnout, especially if you plan on attending pre-conference sessions too,” says Laureen, who will be hosting a STOTT PILATES® Pilates with Props, Levels 1 & 2 pre-conference session on June 26
Be friendly, introduce yourself
- Meet at least three new people at every session you attend. IDEA World attracts trainers from all around the world; take advantage of it. “You may make some great contacts, hear some fascinating stories, and at the very least, create a better connection to the global fitness community,” Laureen says
- Drop by Merrithew’s booth, say hi, try out our new products and work out with our Instructor Trainers
- Talk to everyone. Meet the exhibitors in the booth, tell your presenter you loved their session, admire someone’s cool new sneakers. Exercise makes us happy, so share the love!
- Don’t hide in the back. If you’re the type who likes to stay at the back of the room during your sessions, break out of old habits and try something new. Put yourself front and center at your next session. You may get something out of it you would have missed from the peanut gallery!
Try something new
- You may be looking to earn your CECs, upgrade your credentials or elevate your knowledge in your particular area of expertise. That’s great, but you should also try to register for something you’ve never tried before. “It may open your mind and career to a slight curve you never would have been exposed to otherwise,” Laureen says
- Leave time to explore — whether that’s the Expo Hall or the beauty of Southern California, make sure you make the most of your visit. For more ideas on things to do outside the convention, check out these Anaheim Adventures
- Leave a little extra room in your suitcase for the trip home. You never know what awesome new prop or excellent deal you’ll find — it might just be the tool you’ve been looking for