My verdict on IHRSA in Los Angeles
March 22, 2012
Categories: Promoting Your Gym
Do you remember my 13 Reasons why I thought you shouldn’t go to IHRSA? Of course, I was being facetious. You don’t want to miss IHRSA. But I did have one hesitancy. It was a seed planted in my head by our VP of Communications, Leigh (who you may recognize from such webinars as “Understanding Retail: The art & Science of Retail-ology” and “How to create sales scripts for your staff – part 2”. Both available on demand!). So do you want to know the one reason I really didn’t want to go to IHRSA?
I didn’t want to go to Downtown Los Angeles.
Prior to this show, had you ever been to Downtown LA? No, of course you hadn’t. Because no one ever went there. There was nothing there other than the convention center. Maybe you went to the LA Sports Arena? Or USC? But you didn’t stay. You went back to the great places. Santa Monica. Hollywood. Beverly Hills. Venice Beach. Those are the reasons you go to LA. But in LA traffic, where it takes 30 minutes to get to the end of an on-ramp, getting to the cool places in the city, from the convention center, at 7pm meant you were going to a convention to sit in a cab.
So I was not sold on LA and I even mentioned to the IHRSA folks that I was leery of this show. And Leigh, who used to live there, kept criticizing the choice again and again. But we were wrong.
LA Live was awesome. The hotels, the restaurants, the vibe, the nightly activities at the Staples Center. I didn’t feel like I was in the Los Angeles I’ve known. This was a whole new city, yet with the texture and color of a place with a lot of history.
The entire experience was completely different then what I expected, and more importantly, what I’d been complaining about and criticizing, because some city planners, and some developers, and some smart people believed in the change they could make. They saw an opportunity and they took it. They didn’t give in to “No one will ever go to Downtown LA”. They said, we will change the experience, and make it so fun, that not only will the visitors and show attendees not want to leave, people who live in Los Angeles will make this a destination.
They will forget what they thought they knew, and be excited about what they are part of now. They will talk it up to people and say “Have you seen what they’ve done with LA Live? You have to check it out!”
What a lesson for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US IN THIS INDUSTRY. Invigorate your brand. Use the tools that you have at your disposal location-wise. Don’t settle for “why you can’t” make it about “why you must”.
LA Live was awesome. I can’t wait for IHRSA to return there in 2015! Of course, we’ve got to get through Las Vegas first. Oh man, have I told you what I can’t stand about Las Vegas…
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March 22nd, 2012 11:39 am