Are you an Australian Fitness professional?
Then the Asia Fitness Conference is your home away from home.
This was my first visit to the AFC, which was a nice one to attend as it happened to be the AFC’s 10th anniversary.
It’s super friendly. Run by Suzanne Hosely and her team from FIT in Thailand. The event is not as big (or as spread out) as FILEX, but I believe this to be more by design than by accident.
It was well laid out. The exhibition space was amongst the education space, which provided ample opportunity to bump into people and explore the offerings from the various exhibitors.
It includes lunch, snacks and a Saturday night party. This was an absolute winner! There was no need to leave the venue to hunt and gather. And it provided great opportunities to further connect with other delegates. And it was great for keeping costs to a minimum.
Moving from one session to the next, I was regularly struck with how similar the experience felt to being at a conference in Australia.
That passion you have for making a difference, it’s shared. Globally.
This year, the AFC hosted delegates from 36 different countries (China providing the greatest number).
If you’ve ever been to FILEX, you’ll appreciate that one of the big pleasures of the event is catching up with people from other parts of Australia. What I witnessed at the AFC was similar, but between people from different countries.
Listening to speakers and delegates from different countries, it was apparent that while cultural differences exist, the issues faced as fitness professionals were remarkably familiar.
In one event I was touched to learn about a woman’s effort to change the lives of women in her country through fitness – she volunteered this information to thank one of the presenters for influencing her journey.
[In another touching display of gratitude, I happened to be sitting next to a known presenter at one of the seminars. At the end of the session, another attendee, on his way out, handed this presenter a gift that was clearly tailored for him. The presenter did not know the gift giver and was, quite literally, speechless. Goes to show, you never know who you’re influencing and how.]
We’re all tapping the same standards of education.
While the fitness industry in South East Asia is not as mature as ours, there is no shortage of highly engaged and educated professionals driving hard toward building more informed communities.
All the presenters at this event were leaders in their field. Many of whom are well known here in Australia. We’re all tapping into the same calibre of thought leaders. Geography is no longer any barrier to being better informed.
In all countries, the industry faces similar challenges.
Whether it’s building a business, finding clients, establishing value, getting staff to continue with the education or creating a standard, we’re all more alike than we are dissimilar.
The Australian fitness industry is very well respected.
In these emerging markets, it’s understandable that professionals and business owners look to what we have established here.
Make no mistake, the facilities in South East Asia are amazing!
Imagine the premier clubs in Australia as being the vanguard for fitness facilities in South East Asia. For many local Trainers, it’s the only standard they’ve known. A comment I heard more than once in reference to facilities and equipment was “the Trainers here don’t realise how good they’ve got it!”
Would I go again?
Without hesitation. In fact, I’d love to see Aussies rate a mention by virtue of numbers at the next opening ceremony. If the presenter line-up looks interesting for 2019, get involved. You won’t be disappointed.
Even if you only go once, it’s worth it for the experience.
And it’ll look great on your FITREC profile. 🙂
UPDATE 19/10: Save the date; 11 – 13 October, 2019.