Behavioural and environmental understanding, engagement approaches and technology were some of the consistent themes which emerged at Elevate 2019, with thousands of professionals in attendance.

At this year’s event, Elevate ran alongside Elite Sport Expo and COPA, giving attendees access to even more content and exhibitors and bringing together more sectors than ever before.

The UK’s leading trade show for physical activity, health and performance further cemented its position as a global exhibition by attracting thousands of senior decision makers from leisure centres, health clubs, independent and multi-site gyms, hotels, sports clubs, schools and universities. Attendees were able to source the latest products and services from over 350 exhibitors, whilst learning more about best practice from over 300 thought-leading speakers.

Building off its 2018 success and further establishing its position at Elevate, the impressive Thought Leaders Conference featured outstanding keynote talks from leading industry names such as Mims Davies, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Professor Dame Sally Davies, UK Government’s Chief Medical Officer and Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England Chief Executive Officer.

Critically delving into physical inactivity’s constructs was a key trend at Elevate and was highlighted through physical activity and health professionals needing to better understand inactive individuals and groups’ behavioural and environmental associations. Mims Davies reiterated the importance and value of collaboration across government: “It’s vital to consistently ask the question how other (non)-governmental departments can play their part in fighting physical inactivity. We must remain being loud as a sector to achieve our individual goals.”

Tim Hollingsworth, the newly appointed Sport England CEO, provided some stimulating thought-for-discussion during his keynote address at Elevate’s Thought Leaders Conference, highlighting: “I’m banning the term ‘hard-to-reach communities’ at Sport England, because they aren’t hard to reach; we just simply haven’t tried hard enough.”

Hollingsworth summarised his passionate speech by quoting: “The only behavioural change we need to make is our own.”

Alongside the Thought Leaders Conference, Elevate operated an extensive free education programme including nine dedicated programmes to specific areas of the industry. This ranged from Neil Randall, Director of Sales and Marketing at Anytime Fitness, providing a comprehensive presentation on ‘Fitness and franchising’ in The Business of Physical Activity stream, to ‘How do you get a nation talking about swimming?’ in the Pool and Spa stream, where Mike Thompson, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer at Swim England, chaired a session that showcased how collaborative working from a number of key partners in the sport and leisure industry could deliver massive reach, engagement and action.

Elevate once again boasted an impressive range of 350+ exhibitors who showcased their latest products aimed at positively contributing towards decreasing physical inactivity levels across exhibition floor areas.

Exhibitors included Matrix, eGym, DFC, MyZone, Origin Fitness, Jordan Fitness, Hutchison’s Technologies, Xn Leisure, Octane Fitness, FitQuest, Miha Bodytec and Perform Better.

Showcasing for the first time in the UK at Elevate was the FunXtion Experience Multi-Screen Solution. This unique innovation enables the digital delivery of multiple exercise demonstrations to numerous screens programmed to run concurrently. It additionally integrates music and lighting, enabling operators to create an immersive, boutique experience.

“Elevate provided the ideal platform to showcase our full range of product functionality and innovation,” said Ernst De Neef, CEO at FunXtion. “The stand generated a huge amount of interest and I am really excited by the opportunities it created.”

James Anderson, Sales and Marketing Director at Physical Company, commented: “I am confident that the connections made at the show will lead to new partnerships and the creation of exciting new fitness spaces. Elevate is well established as the UK’s number one physical activity trade show and we very much look forward to being a part of the event next year.”

The Elevate Innovation Awards returned after building upon its success in 2018. After an intense judging process consisting of over 60 entrants, seven products and services emerged victorious and were awarded the Gold standard. 2019 winners were Moving Medicine, Wattbike’s AtomX, Poolview Plus – Blended Lifeguarding, Gait and Motion Techology’s Phits 3D Printed Orthotics, Desmotec – Pininfarina: Isoinertial Training System from HaB International, Coach Ai and PhysioLab.

Max Quittenton, Founder and Director of Elevate, summarised this year’s event: “As Elevate grows year on year, as does the variety of incredible speakers, exhibitors, seminars and attendees. It’s crucial we continue to celebrate innovation in this sector, highlighting the vital role everyone plays in tackling physical inactivity. We look forward to welcoming you next year at Elevate 2020.”

Fibodo and Totum Sport were headline partners for Elevate and Elite Sport Expo respectively. Other lead supporters for the event included ukactive, UK Sport, Public Health England, CIMSPA, ISEH, London Sport and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

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