What began as a crazy dream I had while face-down and bored with swimming laps, turned out to be a lot of fun. Hosting a conference is a lot of work to be sure - huge amounts of stress and plenty of anxiety... but getting the chance to meet so many of you in person was actually really special to me, Amy and everyone else on the ICI/PRO team 🙂
Boston is a wonderful town and really worked well for our first two events. The hotel was very accommodating and Boston is local to a number of the people on our team including; Tom Scotto, Bill Pryor and Andrea Flaherty, our event coordinator. I'll never forget the experience of navigating a U-Haul truck, full of indoor cycles (courtesy of Bill Pryor who shut down one of his studios for the weekend) through the madness of New England traffic.
After two successful events in Boston, survey respondents asked that we move West. So we began looking for a new venue to host the ICI/PRO conference somewhere in the middle of America. Of course it needs to be in a city that is easy to fly into... which limited our search to a handful of cities with major airports. Understanding that a big part of the charm of our first two events was having everything under one roof - most everyone stayed in the hotel where the all the events occurred - had us looking for a similar facility. The venue we were looking for also needed to be open to hosting a fitness conference of 150 or so people and most importantly be somewhere we could afford. Hotel ballroom and meeting room rentals are incredibly expensive - which has me petrified at the prospect of financing two weddings, for my two daughters, in the future.
In the end we were unsuccessful in finding a location. To be perfectly honest the effort left me exhausted and without the passion and enthusiasm needed to champion a third event.
I can't let the opportunity pass to again thank everyone who attended our two ICI/PRO conferences! Your willingness to spend hard earned dollars to attend one or both of the events humbles me to this day. Thank You.
And I need to extend the same thank you to everyone (presenters, sponsors and volunteers) who had a hand in the actual events. In particular I need to thank the the major sponsors who literally took a big risk on me. Each of the following invested a considerable amount of time, money and effort. Missing any one of their contributions and we would not have had either of our conferences.
- Darren Pelkey from Keiser Indoor Cycles
- Gene Nacey with Cycling Fusion
- Bill Pryor from Spynergy Consulting
- Laurel Mylin and Cameron Chinatti with Stages Indoor Cycling
- Barbara Hoots from Indoor Cycle Design
Will we have another event in the future? Who knows… Through this process I've developed relationships with a number of other event producers. We weren't able to make anything work this year, but you never know.
Now if you got to the end of this and you find yourself thinking; "so what are you going to do with all your extra time John?" I have a good answer for that. We are at this very moment planning and designing a number of new features that we feel will really benefit Indoor Cycling Instructors and ICI/PRO members. We'll be rolling these out in time for the next indoor season, this Fall.
After all, my passion for innovating is as strong as ever. So stay tuned 🙂
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I can’t say I won’t miss the conference because I will. But I fully understand the obstacles and I’m sure you and Amy will come up with something even more of us can enjoy.
That said, many of the connections made at your two conferences have bloomed, flowered and are today decorating the landscape of indoor cycling. These relationships will flourish due to your efforts. That is cool and only happened because Amy and you gave so much of yourselves.
The conferences are over but the value of them goes on in perpetuity. You are tired and tapped out. To that I can only say thank you for going the extra yard. It was appreciated.
I sometimes think you missed your calling as a writer!
I, too, will miss the conference. The challenge of finding a location amenable, accommodating and affordable to all was simply overwhelming. I hope we can do it again, because it was awesome last year! I cherish the time spent with you and other wonderful vendors that have so much to offer.
Here’s to the future Chuck and thank you for your kind words!
Totally bummed, but totally understand. Seems like a great idea for one of your famous contests though, John! Who can find the perfect venue. Perhaps give us some price specs and let us loose. One of my old bosses taught us well to find ways to delegate!
Bummed nothing showed up in Minnesota so I could have fit in a visit to see my soon to be born grand baby with a conference!!!
Thanks Dixie – your idea does make some sense and I’ll be sure to reach out to you. I’ve learned through the process that we were receiving an incredibly discounted rate from the hotel in Boston. That first year the hotel was in the process of being sold so it may have been that they wanted to make certain they showed full capacity, at the expense of total revenue dollars.