If you’ve never taken a day-long Premier Seminar at an IDEA event, put it on your must-do list, stat.
There is nothing like fully immersing yourself in a single topic for 7-9 hours and peeling back the many layers that can help you get to the core of a matter that interests you. Often, once you get to that chewy center, it creates even more fascination and good questions about it for your own research and discovery later. It’s all part of the learning process and the journey of gaining mastery in a specific area of study. It’s a thing of beauty and a welcome way of focusing your mind and getting grounded before the madness of IDEA World begins.
Today, IDEA blew the doors off past pre-conference programming with 11—count ’em—ELEVEN—different Premier Seminars that can’t be found elsewhere in the industry (at least not until they get copied because they’re so good)! The variety ranged from Zumba instructor training and training the fascial lines to the Gray Institute’s “Functional Assessment Strategies & Program Design” and Chalene Johnson’s Social Media Fit Biz Bootcamp. The 11 seminars combined for 93 hours of in-depth education by top experts in each of the fields they taught. There. Was. So. Much. To. Absorb!
I spent most of my day in Dr. Mark Kelly’s course “Corporate Wellness—the Multibillion Dollar Wave of the Future.” First, I hadn’t ever seen a Premier Seminar on this offered anywhere in the fitness industry and it piqued my curiosity. From a more personal standpoint, IDEA has recently stepped up its efforts to give its employees a meaningful wellness program, which we are calling “Exercise Your Happiness.” There was no irony in seeing our HR director/executive assistant Lauren Fraser and IDEA executive director Kathie Davis in the session taking mental and physical notes.
Corporate wellness is not necessarily an old field; Kelly has been studying it for well over 2 decades. But, for most fitness professionals, it’s fairly new and fertile ground. The obesity epidemic and paradigm shift in the way insurers are looking at prevention models versus old-school, reactionary treatment models is pushing the pedal to the mat on the urgency for these types of programs. Qualified professionals who know how to assess, instruct, motivate, organize and market are badly needed in the corporate world, where the smallest percentage of inactive, unhealthy people eat up the lion’s share of the available dollars and push premiums higher for the rest of us. The business and career opportunities for fitness professionals are rich, indeed.
This was a chewy center worth taking the time to get to. I know if I didn’t love my job so much as an IDEA editor, corporate wellness is THE opportunity I would sink my teeth into as a fitness pro. There are so many of you out there with the training and tools to inspire others and make a difference—and corporations/insurance companies are willing to pay you a good living to do it. You have to be willing to live in a world of metrics, however, as dollars are not thrown about haphazardly. You have to prove your effectiveness with numbers and science. That’s where the type of training today's seminar offered is pure gold.
It’s safe to say you’ll see more on this topic in the immediate future from IDEA and certainly in the pages of IDEA Fitness Journal in 2012. Stay tuned.
And now we continue with our regularly scheduled program. Onto opening day of 2011 IDEA World Fitness Convention! See you in classes and at the IDEA Fitness & Wellness Expo tomorrow!
And get some rest tonight. You’re gonna need it for what lies ahead over the next 3 days.