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Leisure Industry Week (LIW) relaunches under new management this month, having been acquired by BodyPower – the company behind the BodyPower Expo series in the UK, Ireland and India. We look ahead to LIW 2015

Published in Sports Management 2015 issue 3
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The LIW Pool will featureZoggs UK ambassador and endurance swimmer Adam Walker (pictured)
The LIW Pool will featureZoggs UK ambassador and endurance swimmer Adam Walker (pictured)

An all-new LIW will open its doors at the NEC Birmingham in September, led by a team that has a remit to build on the positives of previous years. The aim: to deliver a world-class trade show and networking event to key associations, brands and decision-makers, and provide an educational programme that brings valuable knowledge and insight to leisure professionals.

LIW CEO Nick Orton says: “We’re delighted by the response we’ve had to our acquisition of LIW. Our philosophy, innovative approach and fresh thinking seem to have been embraced by key personnel and organisations within the leisure sector, and it has created an added air of anticipation before this year’s event.”

Education
Feedback from thousands of previous LIW attendees was collated during mid-2015, with the aim of ensuring that the free LIW educational programme delivered the kind of knowledge and practical insights that could be applied by a wide range of employees, from personal trainers to managing directors.

Featuring a plethora of well-known names, the Keynote Theatre will therefore be a headline act at Leisure Industry Week 2015.

Delegates will be treated to a comprehensive programme featuring the likes of Rugby World Cup winner Ben Cohen, former chief of UK Athletics David Moorcroft, the ECB’s most successful chair of selectors Geoff Miller, former England football international and Under 21’s manager Stuart Pearce, and boxing promoter Kellie Maloney – who managed Lennox Lewis to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. This line-up will be complemented by fitness industry heavyweights such as IHRSA director of Europe Hans Muench and Ray Algar, MD of Oxygen Consulting, which specialises in the fitness sector.

High profile names aside, organisers have gone to great lengths to ensure the education at LIW has received a thorough shake-up. Beyond the Keynote Theatre are two areas dedicated to tackling the most prevalent issues in the leisure industry head-on.

The Operators Conference will be specifically aimed at industry operators looking to increase their knowledge and skills in a wide range of topics, from digital marketing to wearable technology. CIMSPA CEO Tara Dillon, Jaguar Land Rover and Rolex digital expert Chris Woods, and former ukactive CEO Dave Stalker will be among those delivering sessions on wellness, retention, marketing and operations. Meanwhile, for those in a hurry – or with a full schedule of meetings – the quick-fire Industry Theatre will be an interesting prospect. Covering the entire spectrum of leisure, these 30-minute talks will be sector-specific and will deal with issues, trends and future-proofing for all sectors, including wet leisure, play, sport and physical activity, facilities management and much more – all in a slightly less formal environment.

There will also be a dedicated conference for independent operators, as well as a conference solely targeted at personal trainers.

In addition, delegates will be able to tap in to the Fitness and Nutrition stream of educational sessions, which will offer training and nutrition knowledge designed to boost professional development. This will include cutting-edge training information and a balanced mix of ideologies and views surrounding the complex topic of nutrition, training and fat loss. These seminars will be delivered by leading fitness professionals including Mark Coles, Jamie Alderton, GB Weightlifting coach Sam Dovey, Commonwealth champion Zoe Smith and many more.

Demonstration areas
This year’s show will include a number of demonstration areas – including the Jordan Fitness Functional Zone – that will put a spotlight on the latest trends in group training and functional fitness.

Featuring live workouts and interactive ‘have-a-go’ sessions encompassing the latest techniques, equipment and trends in functional training, Jordan Fitness will deliver a high-energy programme designed to highlight ways in which leisure operators can maximise the revenue from their fitness classes – and indeed use functional fitness as a secondary spend opportunity.

The LIW pool will take centre stage once again, with a number of live swimming, aquatic, lifesaving and pool plant demonstrations. This year’s sessions will include demonstrations from Adam Walker – the first Briton to swim the toughest seven oceans in the world – and Simone Benhayon, former ASA swim teacher of the year.

All sessions are designed to show leisure operators how they can increase participation and swimming frequency to cost-effectively maximise the revenue from their pool facility.

Networking
Given the prominence of LIW as a world-class meeting place for trade professionals in the leisure sector, networking retains huge importance in the revitalised programme. LIW will offer a number of networking events over the two days, including the ukactive VIP Connect programme, featuring a hosted lunch on the ukactive stand, speed networking and a reception on Tuesday 22 September.

LIW will also be running the VIP 1000 Club, sponsored by XN Leisure, which offers exhibitors the chance to register their key clients and accounts for free refreshments and a comfortable meeting lounge off the show floor.

The VIP Lounge is part of a two-day programme run by sponsors Leisure-net Solutions, Right Directions, Bigwave media and Lifetime Training. Leisure-net and Bigwave will also run a seminar for marketing professionals and customer insight specialists, and Right Directions will run a Quest training session.

On Wednesday, the VIP lounge will host an active-net pop-up networking lunch for invited delegates, followed by a quick-fire networking programme consisting of five 10-minute meetings.

Visiting LIW

Venue: Hall 4, NEC, Birmingham, UK

Dates: Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 September 2015

Opening times: 09:00 – 17:00

Registration: Pre-register for the show for free before 7 September, at liw.online-registration.co.uk

Website: www.liw.co.uk

Get involved using #LIW2015

and by following @L_I_W

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