Traveling from Ireland to the United States for the BOLD MINDBODY conference every year isn’t a decision that Rory McInerney takes lightly. The owner and Managing Director of the Dublin-based training facility, Fitter Faster Stronger (FFS), uses each trip to not only build his business knowledge, but also his relationships with other business owners around the world.
“We could justify the expense of traveling halfway around the world,” Rory explained. “We wanted to see as much as we could while we were there.”
In 2014, Rory and Mike South, FFS’s Operations Manager, made the journey from Dublin to Santa Monica for the inaugural BOLD conference. While there, Rory spoke to other BOLD attendees about expansion and business partnerships. After his talk, he and Mike were approached by numerous people with questions. Some of these people were gym owners who wanted to share their businesses and exchange ideas with FFS, so Rory and Mike used their time in the U.S. to visit their new acquaintances’ locations.
“Maybe five or six people stopped us and they asked us questions,” Mike said. “And two of the people we spoke to, we ended up going to visit their gyms and actually met more people that work in their gyms. We gave them ideas; they gave us ideas.”
Since then, Rory and Mike have attended every BOLD conference and built relationships with even more American gyms, most notably with Real Results Fitness in Las Vegas, Nevada. After the 2016 BOLD conference, the teams from FFS and Real Results joined forces to do a workout with members of both gyms through Facebook live.
“It was one of the best things we’ve done since we opened the gym,” Rory recounts.
FFS’s success with networking at BOLD can be attributed to sending a team to the conference. Rory brought Mike along for the first BOLD conference so that he could also see how different gyms are being run. For their second time attending BOLD, they brought an intern and were able to divide and conquer different BOLD sessions throughout the day. Last year, they brought Ciaran Ruddock, their Director of Strength and Conditioning.
“We had a purpose going [to BOLD] and we took so much information away from it," Rory said. "If I went on my own, it might’ve been harder to engage with as many different people."