I had planned to attend Fitness Blogfest, which was a side by side event with sweat pink for bloggers and influencers and was so excited, I was among the first to pick up my registration materials the day before the event started. Unfortunately, my bubble was burst when I looked inside my registration packet at the info which said “In response to attendee requests and to preserve the educational atmosphere of the convention, children under the age of 18 are not allowed in sessions.” That meant that this stay at home dad of a two year old, would not be able to attend ANY sessions … Needless to say, I was quite bummed out that my plans would have to change and would not actually get to be part of Blogfest. I was really looking forward to meeting a bunch of the other fitness bloggers and influencers, but that was not going to happen at this year’s Blogfest. I wish I would have known earlier that children were not welcome – I did blog and post earlier about bringing Ava Kalea with me to Idea World’s Fitness Blogfest and nobody clued me in to the fact.
Instead of arriving at the Expo early in the morning and working out on the beach with Blogfesters and then attending some super interesting sessions, Ava Kalea and I ventured down to the convention center at a more leisurely pace in the afternoon, about an hour after the expo hall opened up. We spent a couple of hours wandering the aisles of nutritional and fitness products – gathering samples and talking to reps. I really enjoyed meeting Dr. Dan and some of his staff from Fitness Genes and seeing Billy Blanks from Tae Bo fame holding a #throwbackthursday Tae Bo workout. It was also good to speak with the super nice people from Solana Beach – based Hylete – which makes some of the best fitness clothing on the planet and is just releasing their first shoes ever …. (click here for $20 off your first order).
I somehow missed the people from San Diego-based Kettle Gryp, which I was bummed about, because I bought a Kettle Gryp a couple of weeks ago – I’ve been using it a lot in some of my workouts and was thinking about getting another one. (I was also hoping that they may eventually make one that will work with Ava Kalea’s 2 & 3 lb dumbbells).
Surprises from Idea World Fitness Expo
There were a few things that surprised me about Idea World’s Fitness Expo, even more than the condition Billy Blanks is in at the glorious age of 62.
- Idea World Fitness Expo was HUGE. I’m not sure of the numbers, but there were A LOT of Exhibitors and thousands of attendees.
- Attendees came from all over the country. This wasn’t so much of a surprise, as I ‘met’ a few of the Blogfesters in their Facebook Group beforehand and most of them were from outside the area – but the sheer numbers of people from other places was surprising. We even noticed a good sized contingent from Brazil.
- There were sponsors like the National Dairy Council and General Mills’ Bell Institute, and Exhibitors likes Costco and the Wheat Foods Council. To me this was VERY surprising but was well countered by the presence of companies and organizations like Blendtec (I use their blender daily and used to sell them), Hylete and CHEK Institute (I was super bummed to miss Paul’s presentation on Saturday.
- The range of fitness and energy of the exhibitors (as well as attendees) was incredible. Many were obviously passionate about fitness and their products or services, but what was readily apparent and totally surprising is that many of the exhibitors at Idea World Fitness Expo were uninspired and appeared to be very bored or boring. Not to mention that many of them appeared to have fitness levels of mainstream America – not the type of people who belonged at a fitness show. What was even worse than that was that some of these people – including those from the “Core Sponsor” were simply rude and not very nice. Attitude is surely a measuring stick for me and they may have been having a bad day (or didn’t want to be there at all) but after attempting to chat with them – I decided that their organization is one I no longer want to promote or support and that I would no longer pursue a partnership with them.
What I Learned from Idea World Fitness Expo and Blogfest
- Blogfest is dominated by women – and they want you to know it! I learned a long time before the event (mostly through the Blogfest Facebook group) that Blogfest is dominated by women. Although many professed it to be a very open group – members (including myself) were continually addressed as ‘ladies’, ‘girls’, ‘women’ and such. Probably not a big deal to most, but it felt more than a little strange. There were many friendly people in the group who seemed genuinely concerned and apologetic, but unfortunately there were a few who tried to excuse it.
- Children are not welcome at Blogfest. Despite Blogfest being dominated by women, apparently most of them are not parents and/or just don’t like children. I guess I (wrongly) assumed there would be a lot of mom’s (and maybe a few dads) with kids in tow. For next year’s Idea World Expo and Fitness Blogfest (if I am allowed to attend), I will surely make advance plans for Ava Kalea’s childcare so that I am able to attend all the great sessions.
- There are A LOT of brands, products and services exhibiting at shows like this who need the help of people who are much more energetic and passionate about health, fitness and nutrition. I will not be surprised if I find myself working for a great company or brand at this and other fitness shows in the next year.
- Ideafit does a GREAT job of putting on Idea World Fitness Expo. It was a huge event and obviously very successful. I hope to attend their future events and that they decide to have more here in San Diego in the future.