Last weekend saw sportsinjuryfix take a multidisciplinary team of therapists to the UK's largest health and fitness industry exhibition, The Body Power Expo at the Birmingham NEC. The sheer scale of the exhibition needs to be seen to be believed!. 100,000 delegates over 3 days with a floor space encompassing no less than 4 of the huge halls at the NEC.
The Expo also saw 500+ exhibitors spanning all facets of the industry, multiple competitions in cross training, power lifting, strong man, and physique / bodybuilding running throughout the 3 days, with a raft of celebrity athletes and influencers, alongside a multitude of lectures and presentations.
Following the huge success of our "Treatment Room" at the National Running Show , we were approached by the organisers of the Expo to provide treatment, assessment and management of the competitors and delegates attending the expo in a 12m x 3m stand.
Being keen to make a positive impact in as many sports as possible, we were excited to try and make an impression on a different population of athletes where a high prevalence of injury is observed.
Unfortunately, the Expo was not the success we were hoping for, or anticipating. However, we thought it would be helpful to share our reflections and thoughts with the therapy community as a learning experience for others.
The organisers had promised us prime "real estate" within the competition arena, exclusivity as treatment providers, and a large population of athletes in need of treatment.
In reality, many of these promises did not materialise. We were situated outside the competition arena, away from the main footfall of delegates, and the individual arenas were providing their own affiliated therapists.
So the big take home as a company organising a team of therapists to attend an event is simple. Make sure that you get things in WRITING!, especially if attending the event for the first time. Big lesson learnt, we decided that we could either sit around and have a very unsuccessful show, or we could make the best of a bad situation and be proactive in improving the situation.
And that is exactly what we did. We had assembled a large team of therapists and helpers, and we soon dispatched our "army" to all areas of the show, meeting exhibitors, athletes, influencers, and delegates to promote both the website and its services, alongside the treatment and services we were providing during the show. This definitely led to a much bigger footfall to the stand on days 2 and 3.
We once again saw evidence of the impact true multidisciplinary work can have on a sporting population. Therapists working together, utilising and sharing skill sets to benefit both the athlete and the therapist, led to an exceptional level of treatment being delivered, coupled with a high level of learning and stimulating clinical discussion being had.
We all learned about the specific and unique factors that need considering when working with cross training, power lifting, strong man and physique competition athletes. The multiple event formats, nutrition requirements and peaking of these athletes is quite unique. Likewise, the dedication, commitment and talent across these sports is truly remarkable.
Unfortunately, injuries happen in these sports, and the athletes report similar trends in frustration to other sports we have investigated, when trying to find the right therapist who understands their sport and injury.
This highlights the importance of marketing your specific skill set effectively and how you can add value to the athlete. Check out our blog on how to do this here.
Without doubt, as all our shows have demonstrated, our biggest take home message was the confirmation in our strong and passionate belief that collaborative working is truly the way forward in the therapy world. Gold standard care only exists by working as a team, complimenting each other and ultimately providing the best available care for sports people.
To be able to host a team of therapists that included a GP, Physio's, Chiropractors, Sports Therapists, Sports Massage Therapists and Podiatrists was truly heart warming, and is the most rewarding part of our business. Like we have mentioned in previous blogs and articles, the person is far more important than the profession!
A massive thank you must go to our team of therapists, helpers, friends and family who worked tirelessly for the 3 days to turn a potential banana skin into a much more rewarding and successful experience. In particular, a massive thank you to Rav Chagger and Inderjit Bassi, you guys were sensational.
To find out more about the exceptionally talented therapists we had at the Expo, please visit their profiles here:
Pete Smith - Sports Massage Therapist - Yoxall, Birmingham
Sarah Bayliss - Dr and Sports Therapist - North Wales
Ben Boulter - Chiropractor - Hertfordshire
Leanne Le Moucheux - Sports Therapist - Exeter
Jai Mistry - Sports Massage Therapist - Birmingham
Victoria Bell - Sports Massage Therapist - Dudley and Stourbridge
Fiona Higgs - Sports Massage and Exercise Science - Stourbridge
Ryan Smith - Sports Massage - Ripley, East Midlands
Alan Dean - Sports Massage and Sports Therapy - Horsham
Ben Elliott - Sports Massage - Crewe
Amber Griffiths - Sports Therapist - Worcester
Dave James - Podiatrist - Birmingham
Muhammad Tausif - Podiatrist - Harborne, Birmingham
Naomi Maycock - Sports Therapist - Cheltenham
Rebecca McNickle - Sports Therapist - Cheltenham
Francesca Floris - Sports Massage and Sports Rehabilitation - Cardiff
Other points of interest included Malcolm recording a podcast episode live from the Expo with the amazing guys from The StartUp Diary Podcast, be sure to check that out soon for lots of information and advice on all things business and entrepreneurship.
We were able to help our competition winner Kirsty Brown finish a remarkable 7th in the Rainhill Trials!.
We also got to meet and treat many celebrities and champions from the strength and fitness world.
And finally.......a closing thought... for the first time at one of our shows, we had a number of therapists fail to attend and fail to contact us to inform us of their unavailability. We had no communication with them and despite a number of calls to check all was well, could not get hold of them.
We all know the impact of DNA's and no shows on our finances, frustrations and business. We are constantly aware of the need to empathise with our clients and athletes regarding their clinical situations, but empathy reaches far wider than this.
This weekend we experienced the frustration of no shows, but we had to accept there were genuine reasons our therapists could not attend at last minute.
Spare a thought for those clients who cannot attend and always try to contact them or any patient attempting to contact you as soon as it is convenient to reduce frustration for all.
As ever, thanks for taking the time to read this blog. We will be hosting another treatment room at the Run Fit Expo in Liverpool on the 24/25 May. If you would like to join the team contact us on email@example.com