Eating a club sandwich at midnight is probably not the best way to start your day. But it seemed like a pretty darn good idea as the clock officially edged into a new morning.
After going to the VIP/Presenter Reception and then the TRX party last night, I was absolutely famished, as I hadn't eaten since lunch. There were so many people to see, hug and catch up with that I never made it to graze the food tables at either get-together. I really needed sustenance, though, and so eating late became the lesser evil of not eating at all, which would have kept me up all night. Tonight at the Welcome Party, I will endeavor to eat first, talk later so I can be fully digested before I hit the hay tonight. Probably won't happen though, as I get carried away by the moment very easily. Focus, Webster! Focus!
As I sat down to write this, I was thinking about how much things have changed since I covered my first World here in Anaheim 7 years ago. Changes not just in the way the IDEA editors cover our events, but in the weave of the events themselves. Such transformation has to happen in all facets of our work and lives or we grow stale and forget to challenge ourselves.
On the coverage front, I arrived onsite in 2002 with a couple of legal pads and pens as my weapons of choice. These days, my backpack is chock-full with digital camera, smart phone, FlipVideo pocket cam, computer, legal pad and pens. I used to be able to catch a nap between the last session and the evening activities. Now I--and the rest of the editors--come back and file our stories with just enough time to shower and move on to the evening functions. These changes have made all of us better writers, time managers and reporters, but mostly, we’ve been able to deliver more timely information as it happens. Heck, I’ve been tweeting quotes live from sessions since I got here. You can’t get more on-the-spot than that.
On the industry front, one of the biggest changes I've seen since World 2002 is the emergence of the "hybrid trainer." For the past two days, I've heard this phrase over and over. What does it mean? To me, it’s a reflection of what we at IDEA saw in 2004 when we not only began calling our Midwest event Fitness Fusion, but when we decided it was time to merge IDEA Health & Fitness Source magazine with IDEA Personal Trainer magazine to create IDEA Fitness Journal.
This strategy seriously considered the crossover and convergence we saw then among group exercise, mind-body specialists and personal trainers. It’s even more pronounced today, which is why a convention like IDEA World works so well. A personal trainer can attend and learn from group ex pros more about leading in a group setting. A group ex pro can likewise expand her professional repertoire by taking personal training curriculum. They both can advance their careers by studying the wide array of management classes we offer. The program is rich with possibilities and our delegates are clearly taking advantage of them.
Are you shaping yourself to become a hybrid trainer? Define what hybrid trainer means to you in the comment box below. Do you favor the emergence of this “utility” professional in the industry? Should hybrid trainers be compensated more? I’m really interested in your thoughts about this.
Meantime, I’ve got to pack a few media collection devices in my evening bag and get ready for the party. If you see me there gabbing away at the Tweetup, please bring me a plate of broccoli or something. I’m sure I’ll need a snack!