Monday, February 06, 2006

Association Mag Review: IHRSA

This is going to be a new series here at Nick's Book Blog. I'm going to do a review of association/trade magazines. How am I going to choose which ones to review, you might ask? Very simple. Whatever trade publication is sitting in the magazine rack at the Golds Gym in Baileys Crossroads is fair game for the blog. There are usually two or three there at any time.

Now that we've got that out of the way, today's featured magazine is published by the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, entitled Club Business for Entrepreneurs which is a supplement to Club Business International, February 2006 issue.

In general, the magazine is pretty attractive. Lots of ads, clearly there are quite a few advertisers who are wanting to speak to this market. The ads are mainly for exercise machines, industry-specific software, etc. The lead article is about a woman who overcame some hardships of her own and now owns a health club. It's nice, feel-good stuff, and I think it's very appropriate to use the magazine space to highlight community-building types of stuff.

They have articles and departments. I took note of one particularly useful department called "IHRSA asks 7 questions." The magazine basically interviews a member, finds out what makes that person tick. Importantly, they ask the member what member benefits she finds most useful:
"I love sampling programs. We distributed free Kashi bars and coupons and they were a big hit. I've told my members about the Passport program, which is also a great benefit."
I passed that one on to my boss because I thought it was so useful.

They also plugged their 4th annual legislative summit. Typical set up. Come to Washington, get trained, meet with your member of congress. Here's what they're working on on Capitol Hill:
"A primary goal of this educational event is to ensure passage of the Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act, which is currently being considered by Congress. This bill would boost your corporate membership sales by allowing employers to deduct the cost of health club memberships for their employees and ensuring that this benefit would not be classified as additional income to employees."
Good, solid publication from IHRSA.