Australian Fitness Expo: bargains and benefits

Offer trade show visitors the opportunity to pick up a bargain and they will be there in droves, reports Editor Maggie Coleman.

That opportunity was offered at the Australian Fitness Expo at Sydney’s Darling Harbour last weekend and visitors flocked to stands showing and selling apparel, compression ranges, footwear and fitness equipment.

The show presented more than 300 exhibitors, from substantial commercial equipment to yoga mats and a huge and varied collection of training products, with many new products on show. The area devoted to nutritional supplements attracted attention, as did the new spa and wellness area with natural therapies and a substantial floor space devoted to a yoga studio.

And stands promoting training and education schemes for personal trainers and other fitness professionals were mobbed with enthusiastic wannabes.

Displays on the centre stage varied from belly dancing, fitness boxing, Pilates to parades of sports and gymwear and demonstrations on the use of kettlebells and dance programmes.

A few stars from footy codes, Olympic swimmers and television appeared on Friday, the day devoted to trade visitors, but many more made an appearance over the weekend on the days where the public was made welcome.

Inevitably, the show organised by Diversified Exhibitions, was impacted by the financial downturn, particularly in the “heavy metal” displays of fitness equipment — few of the big stands with dozens of treadmills and ellipticals of past years — but the buzz was there.

The concurrent Filex conference, with about 2000 registered to attend, also boosted show visitors.

Some exhibitors, such as AOK Health and Hart Sport showing training products, Lorna Jane and Running Bare with gymwear and Runnulla promoting Asics footwear ranges, simply could not keep up with demand for product and show specials.
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