INDUSTRY insights


Over an exciting few weeks, I had the very good fortune to attend three in-person fitness events.

Each of these events had been impacted significantly by lockdowns. Dates changed, and locations varied. Even once things were locked in, these events all faced the uncertainty of future lockdowns, travel bans and other restrictions that might prevent people from attending.

The end results, however, were amazing.

The FILEX Business Summit in Sydney

Anthony Reed and his team did a great job of bringing together hundreds of fitness business owners and managers for two days of informative sessions, alongside a range of industry suppliers in the accompanying expo.

This event was a special one for me, as it was my first invite to join a panel and talk fitness recruitment.

Normally paired with the Trainer (and Group Ex) Summit, the FILEX Business Summit was a standalone event this year, which worked very well. Notwithstanding, I always enjoyed the energy and activity with Trainers and Group Ex Instructors on site.

Full credit to Anthony and his team for bringing together so many people in the wake of the recent lockdowns and travel restrictions.

The World Health, Fitness & Wellness Festival in Singapore

There is no escaping that fitness is a global industry. And The World Health, Fitness & Wellness Festival is a place where industry leaders from all over – with an emphasis on South East Asia – come together.

Having been to the inaugural event in March 2019, Luis Carranza (FITREC General Manager) and I were keen to get back there again.

Ross Campbell and his team do an amazing job as hosts and work tirelessly to help ensure the event is worthwhile for everyone.

A round up from Luis:

“It was great to get back to face-to-face events again. Being at the Singapore event really reminded me of how everyone everywhere has been impacted by the pandemic. While not the focus of all discussion there was very much a sense of relief that we’re all still in the game!

Of particular note this year, was the rise of third-party providers that use AI to help clubs and studios better manage their data to better serve and retain members.

Another thing of note about this event is how open many of the attendees are to sharing information about the way they run their businesses. There is a genuine feeling that we all benefit from a more successful industry.”

On this last point in particular, I witnessed some very candid discussions about all things, including failures, as much as successes. There was a real sense that by sharing insights and experiences we can create a larger market.

Fitness & Wellness Australia (FWA) in Sydney

The Singapore event and FWA events were literally back-to-back – Singapore from Monday to Wednesday, followed by FWA on the Thursday and Friday.

As the ‘new kid on the block’ in terms of Australian fitness industry events, FWA was great, earning kudos to Shaun Krenz and his team who did a fantastic job.

Held in the International Convention Centre in Sydney, FWA was a larger expo event compared to FILEX and The World Health, Fitness & Wellness Festival, which created a great opportunity to connect with a large number of industry service and equipment suppliers. This was not an event for the public, which removed distractions for exhibitors and allowed for more meaningful industry-related conversations.

In conjunction with the expo were industry-run information sessions, roundtables and panels. It was great to see yet another format for an industry event.

Attending with me was our General Manager of HealthyPeople, Brenden Clark. His key observations from the event included:

Three different events. Three very different experiences.

FILEX provided great value in the form of high calibre presentations; the Health, Fitness & Wellness event presented an international perspective with insightful panel discussions; while FWA provided an extensive industry exhibition with a range of industry-led presentations. All events delivered a genuinely positive experience, with spontaneous in-person interactions providing some of the greatest value of all.

Dennis Hosking Profile Picture

Dennis Hosking

Dennis is the Founder and Managing Director of FITREC and HealthyPeople.