Was The Fitness Industry Rising Stars Event A Failure?

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Hey there,

It’s been about a week since the 2011 Fitness Industry Rising Stars Event wrapped up.

I’ve been doing a ton of research and thinking about the event, and I started to wonder if the event had been a failure.

Fitness Industry FailureDuring the past week, Greg and I have had a lot of requests about statistics from the event. So I’ve gone through a bunch of the stats, and broken things down to determine if the event was a failure or not.

Some of the stats below cover the amount of votes and other interesting facts.

But before I get to those stats I just wanted say something important about the actual voting days of the event.

Due to one big error on my part (not Greg’s) the event did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. Actually it was anything but smooth. And most of you noticed too.

I failed to realize what type of response and turnout this event would have. I didn’t think as many people would participate as they did.

Since there were so many people, the servers/hosting company could not handle everything. And as you know, the site was either down or took forever to load.

Actually the first time the server crashed was at 9:12 pm. That was only 12 minutes into the early voting period.

This is absolutely unacceptable and I take full responsibility for this.

Actually this was such an issue some people that I received some very interesting emails. Some personal attacks too. And you know what, I understood their frustration.

But I can promise you this. Next year when Greg and I run this again, I will make sure this is not an issue.

Ok, now here’s some of the cool stuff…

Fitness Industry Total Votes

For the 2011 Fitness Industry Rising Stars Event we had almost 54,000 votes. That’s crazy, and it’s way more than Greg and I could have ever expected.

Now I know we allowed people to vote multiple times, and that doesn’t reflect a true number, but with the server issues and the site being down so much, that means that we had way less votes then we could have had.

And before I reveal the estimated votes we could have received, here are a few reasons why multiple votes were allowed.

  • It gave more exposure to the rising stars and allowed more people to see what they were doing in the industry. The more times people came back to the site to vote, the more they were able to see the different nominees and what they were doing.
  • It gave the rising stars who had a smaller following a chance to do well.
  • Having multiple votes kept everyone on edge because the standings could have changed at any minute.

Obviously, the rising stars who had a bigger following still had an advantage, but the ones with a smaller following could place higher if they wanted to.

And here’s where it gets really interesting…

The site loaded REALLY slowly or was down for approximately 75% of the time. I know, that is horrible, and I can’t believe I’m admitting it, but it’s important to share.

Here’s why.

If the site was up and running at 100% without any server issues then we would have received approximately…
Fitness Industry 100 k vote

Crazy right? And that’s a conservative estimate.

I’m guessing a few will want to know how I got that number. Apologies ahead of time for the quick math session, but here’s how…

During the event (middle of the day) I timed a 27 minute time span to see how many votes there would be.

That came out to 1,254.

I took those 1,254 votes that took place in those 27 minutes and figured out how many votes that would be if the site was running 100% of the time.

Then I just added that to the actual number of votes we received.

After doing the math it came to approximately 108,199 total votes. If you want to see the math click here.

Now that is just a general “calculation” but it was just cool to show the possibilities of how many votes there could have been. I actually feel after going through everything that there would probably have been more than that. That’s pretty amazing to think about.

Fitness Industry Rising Stars Individual Stats

Votes For The Top 5 Rising Stars

1. Joe Meglio

- 6,965 total votes
– Joe had 45.1% of the votes in his group

2. Benjamin Ballinger

Benjamin Ballinger Fitness Industry
- 5,758 total votes
– He had 83.5% of the votes in his group

3. Trina Gray
Fitness Industry Vote Trina
- 5,375 votes
– She had 61% of the votes in her group

4. Pete Isip & Rob Morales
Fitness Industry Vote Pete and Rob
- 5,050 Votes
– They had 32.7% of the votes

5. Tyler English
Fitness Industry Vote Tyler
- 2,865 Votes
– He had 67.5% of the votes

Top 5

The top four were really close all the way until the end of the voting. With about an hour and a half left the top 4 were within 1,000 votes of each other. And at that point we were getting around 3,000 votes per hour. So things were very close.

What was awesome to see, was Tyler English end up at number 5.

We sent out the last updated standings email at 6pm. Tyler wasn’t even in the top 10. But in the last few hours he was able to pull in a ton of votes which skyrocketed him all the way to #5.

Speaking of votes. Zach Even-Esh’s boys crushed it. He had two nominees in the top 5. Joe Meglio, and the boys from Krank Systems Pete Isip and Rob Morales.

Each influencer for the top 5 winners had quite a bit of voting going on. Especially Zach Even-Esh. His group had 43% more votes then the next group.

Influencers Votes

1. Zach Even-Esh

– Had two nominees in the top 5
Zach's votes

2. Todd Durkin

Todd's Vote

3. Chris McCombs

Chris Votes

4. Pat Rigsby

Pat's Votes

Influencers totals


One of the other big areas this event exposed is the demographic of the rising stars. It revealed where a lot of the talent is and where the fitness industry is shifting towards.

Almost 1/3 of the list was made up of women. 29% actually. Considering that the industry is made up mostly of men, seeing almost 30% of this list is women isn’t too bad. It’s actually more than I expected.

Although it would be good to see more, I’m betting that in future years where we run this contest there will be more and more awesome female fitness entrepreneurs.

Here is the breakdown of the top 5 winners showing their age and location

Joe Meglio
Age: 21
Location: Staten Island

Benjamin Balinger
Age: 27
Location: Newport Beach, California

Trina Gray
Age: 35
Location: Alpina Michigan

Pete Isip & Rob Morales
Age: 30 ish
Location: New Jersey

Tyler English
Age: 29
Location: Canton Connecticut

The average age for the top 5 was 28ish – I didn’t have the exact ages of Pete and Rob.

The average age for all the nominees in the contest was right around 30.

This was a pretty good sample of successful fit pros that showed the age of the rising stars, and how young they were. This proves that the industry will continue to benefit from these awesome fitness pros in the years ahead. And that’s awesome!

For the geographic location it was interesting to see that the Northeast represented strongly in the top 5.

Since California is the hotspot for fitness I was thinking majority of the top 5 would be from there. But only one was.

As for the location of all of the nominees in the contest, you can see how many were from each state and country below.

Arizona – 1
California – 10
Connecticut – 3
Florida – 3
Indiana – 2
Kentucky – 1
Louisiana – 2
Maryland – 1
Massachusetts – 2
Minnesota – 1
Missouri – 1
New Jersey – 3
New York – 5
Nevada – 1
Oklahoma – 1
Pennsylvania – 2
Rhode Island – 1
South Carolina – 1
Texas – 5
Canada – 2
UK – 5

It was pretty spread out with the weaker area being the central US. But it’s pretty standard that the west coast, northeast, and south represented strongly. They are all bigger areas for fitness.

The UK represented well because all of Paul Mort’s nominees were from there. Actually the UK is becoming a very big spot for fitness.

Fitness Industry Random Stats

Number of Weeks To Organize The event – 7

Total hours involved between Greg and I
Approx. 150 hours. Give or take a few.

Number of emails before the contest
Approx. 470 – This does not include how many Greg had.

Number of emails during, and after the event
Too many to count :)

Total Number of Facebook Likes (4 total posts)
110, 266, 2,000+, 240

Total Number of Facebook Shares (4 total posts)
315, 1,711, 271, 263
*Note – There is some crossover between likes and shares.

What’s interesting about the Facebook totals is that it shows this is the “social media” hangout for the fitness industry.

In other industries it’s Twitter. But that is a conversation for another time.

Lastly, This event Has…

  • Created awareness that there are some awesome people out there doing amazing things in our industry.
  • Showed that the industry has a positive future ahead of it.
  • Helped many nominees realize the impact of what they are doing and how many lives they are changing.
  • Helped the businesses of many of the nominees.
  • Based on feedback from one nominee, it helped to bring a community together.
  • Given people a direction.

And after going through all these stats, speaking with a bunch of people, Greg and I have come to the conclusion that the event (even with it’s issues) was a NOT a failure. It was a success.

Not because of the stats, but because it accomplished the main goals that Greg and I set out to do.

  • Do something positive for the industry.
  • Bring the industry closer together.
  • And try and help as many people as possible.

Were there people who didn’t like the event? Of course. Not everyone is going to like an event like this. But Greg and I are both satisfied that this event was a success because it was able to help people.

And that is what the fitness industry is all about.

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facebook comments:

2 Responses to Was The Fitness Industry Rising Stars Event A Failure?
  1. I thought this was pretty cool! It was fun to see some of the trainers on the list that I attend conferences with. We hope to make the list someday soon!

    Chad and Kim Wagler
    Impulse Personal and Sports Training

    • Erik

      Thanks guys. I look forward to seeing you on the list too.

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I'm Erik Rokeach a fitness entrepreneur. I'm here to help you grow your fitness business by sharing what others in the industry are doing.Read More »