People often ask us where we go to compete and learn more. We have the unique privilege of having access to many of the more well known conferences in the market but we also have found some smaller events that are gems! Here is a small list of the competitions and events that we always try to send people to when given the opportunity.
Competitions – Of course we love to spectate and enjoy events such as The Olympics but our niche market more so resides in the functional fitness arena so I want to discuss some of the events that we often place into our athlete’s calendars. There are hundreds of local events that we love to have our clients engage in but some of the key factors we look at, as OPEX, are:
The programming of the events needs to make sense – We do not always believe in the programming for some of the bigger events but we choose to “play” them so we need to understand what type of programming will be so that we can prepare our athletes for what they will face
The experience for the athlete needs to be understood – Many events make big claims but miss the mark on athlete facilities, online competition user experiences, and the “end game” for the athletes
The spectator experience – We have sponsored and participated in numerous events and we have chosen to not go back because some competitions just don’t care about the spectator. Our athletes have friends and families and we want to help these athletes enjoy fulfillment with these events. When their friends and families have more fun, so do they!
Granite Games – Full disclosure, we have a great relationship with John Swanson and the Granite Games crew. That being said, we really enjoy their message and their mission for their online and in person competitions. They are run smoothly, they are inclusive, and they are fun for spectators. It is exciting to watch their vision brought to the public bigger and better each and every year! Our athletes have had great experiences both online as well as at the live competition in Minnesota.
Wodapalooza – It doesn’t hurt that the live competition sits in Miami on South Beach! Not only does Wodapalooza draw in great athletes, they are building a great community and following of coaches and people. Our athletes always enjoy the unique workouts because they get to use the bay to create more “interesting” workouts for people.
The CrossFit(TM) Games – We have numerous athletes who take part in the 3 part CrossFit Games progression (Online Open to In Person Regionals across the globe to In Person Games in Carson, CA). The reason we love this event series is because our owner, James Fitzgerald, won the first Games and many of our staff comes to us from some kind of a CrossFit background. We have built the reputation as great coaches within the functional fitness and sport arena and this event is the pinnacle of the functional fitness athlete’s year.
Events – I will admit that events are unique per the coach or staff member for OPEX. I will hit on 3 different events based on specific feedback that I received from OPEX coaches and staff members! Some of their important characteristics when choosing their events are:
Education – We are information junkies. We crave information so we do not want to pay good money to sit in a room where we aren’t being pushed to expand our minds
Fun – Some people may see us as number crunching programming machines (it isn’t too far off sometimes haha), but we want to enjoy the event for what it is. Education, while fun for us, we enjoy dynamic and open minded speakers and we enjoy a fun and communal environment as well
Experience – This is a bit different than fun. We want events where we have some access to either the speakers or to the staff and we really want the fulfillment of the event to be a home run (hand outs, emails leading up/during/after, and the organization of it all while we are there)
PaleoFx – This Austin based event is unique in the sense that it has a smaller niche part of the market but, within that niche, the organizers go DEEP with information and speaker knowledge. It is a fun environment but it’s steeped in education and debate. As you might expect it has its origins in the nutritional side of fitness and wellness but they are slowly moving wider and wider each year.
Inbound – You may be surprised to see this from OPEX but we are always trying to expand our knowledge base within the advertising and marketing arenas and this is a great conference to do that. They bring an arsenal of great speakers and the experience while at the conference is fantastic. Fitness events can learn a lot from advertising and marketing events!
SWIS Conference – This is more of the “geek out” conference for the nitty gritty strength coach to enjoy! Our coaches found a lot of value out of the speakers and out of the depth of content presented in the conference. The Canadian event is a good one if you want to get out of the US, enjoy a new city, and learn an awful lot.
It is so hard to break this list down to these events. There are many events that we like a lot so don’t take this list as the only events that we like. Remember, you can find so many great events out there. You will enjoy them much more if you know what you are going for and you do the research necessary to get a great idea of what the event offers or doesn’t!