Review : 2012 Empower! Fusion Chicago

Written by the Director of Operations: Jessica Durbin

I must say I was very nervous about going to this fitness trade show, as it was my very first one since I began working for Body Bar last April. As someone who generally works in the office, behind the scenes, I was excited to get out and meet customers, clients, and trainers face-to-face. Turns out, Chicago was just the place to have my first trade show experience!

The first day was a set up day for all of the vendors while presenters, including our Sherry Catlin, gave their pre-con sessions. While I wandered around the enormous Intercontinental Hotel at O’Hare, I was quickly overwhelmed by the number of participants and vendors. Luckily, the Empower staff was more than helpful, locating my booth and products for me. If you have never been to our Body Bar booth, we do not have a lot of props to set up, but I am only 5’2” (on a good day) and it was obvious I was struggling to put up Body Bar banners and assembling our storage rack. I was relieved when fellow vendors came to my rescue to assist me. I imagined that vendors would be competitive at a trade show. iInstead, I realized that everyone’s main goal was simple; promote fitness. Each vendor was welcoming and sure enough, my feelings of nervousness were soon dissolved.

The next day, the show kicked off at 8am. The entire conference area of the hotel was packed with fitness enthusiasts. It was thrilling to see so many people ready to get their sweat on. Sherry Catlin presented first for Body Bar in her Body Bar Tabata class. Sherry combined cardio and plyometrics, while using both the Body Bar and Body Bar FLEX for an amazing class. By the end, the sweat was pouring from each attendee. For an 8am class, Sherry brought a lot of energy as did her participants.

The next class, Strike…powered by Body Bar, was presented by Kimberly Spreen-Glick. She started off her class with the exciting announcement of her pregnancy! However, this meant she needed to watch her heart rate during class. I was expecting her to go easy, but it seems that her “easy” was my max cardio. She was still throwing punches, striking with the Body Bar, and jumping up and down like it was nothing. I was even astonished to see participants who had just come from Sherry’s Tabata class in Kimberly’s Strike class! Their drive and devotion to fitness was very motivational.

I was also fortunate enough to sit in on Body Bar Core 3×3 presented by Keli Roberts. She challenged her class with a lot of balancing movements using a Body Bar, gliding disc, Bosu Ball and even a Bender Ball. It was exciting to see her bring Leslee Bender on stage to help present. The duo brought a fun vibe to the class and their attendees had a challenging time performing extraordinary balancing acts while laughing!

The weekend of Body Bar presentations ended with Sherry Catlin’s Body Bar – Step up to the Bar class. Most of the participants from all previous classes also attended this class. I was stunned simply because I knew that with all of those squats that each presenter had them do, I would not have been able to walk let alone participate in another class! Sherry did an excellent job explaining each movement and proper form.

When classes weren’t in session, I was working the Body Bar booth with Sherry, her husband, and her good friend. I love working with customers, discussing fitness, and explaining our product. It was so nice to be face-to-face with customers, especially when they are passionate about fitness. I was ecstatic to see how many people liked our product (and our trade show prices); especially the FLEX Bar. Attendees were in awe of Sherry’s presentation of the Body Bar FLEX. It was so fun to hear their excitement about this new product…which they just had to have at their facilities!

Overall, the atmosphere in Chicago was a very positive and motivating one. It was great to see how excited people are about Body Bar and to be able to hear their experiences with our product. I hope to attend more trade shows this year. Kimberly Spreen-Glick and Rob Glick really made Empower! Fusion Chicago a show worth going back to.

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A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped me at the show including the presenters who let me get some great pictures and video of them using the Body Bar and Body Bar Flex!

For more information on trade shows Body Bar will be attending, please visit:

For more information on Empower! shows, please visit:


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