More than 15,000 fitness enthusiasts pressed the flesh earlier this month at TheFitExpo Chicago—one of the largest, most interactive health and wellness events in the Midwest. The event, now in its third year, included a star-studded celebrity line-up. Topping the list of the buff and tough world-famous athletes were Tae Bo® creator Billy Blanks, 4x Mr. Olympia Champion Jay Cutler, vibrant group fitness instructor Jessie Hilgenberg and emerging talent, professional athlete and trainer King Pito Gator.

“Team Reilly was tapped because of our multi-channel marketing expertise and experience as health and wellness public relations experts,” said Susan Reilly, President, Reilly Connect. “As an experienced Chicago Public Relations Agency, our team ignited advanced  and onsite marketing efforts through a mix of influencer marketing , social media conversations and traditional publicity.”

The two-day event, held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, brought the heat to Chicago to jump start summer fitness for attendees ranging from bodybuilders and powerlifters to jiu-jitsu and karate participants, personal trainers, group exercise instructors and competitive athletes. The Expo provided various types of entertainment including fitness competitions, group exercise workouts, healthy eating demonstrations and family-oriented fun. Around 600 unique exhibitors showcased the latest in health and fitness services and products.

Coverage highlights included: WGN’s Maggie Carlo putting her athletic prowess into play with a live feature segment starring Billy Blanks; King Pito Gator opening up about his personal transformation from being a victim of domestic abuse to becoming a fitness guru on a live talkback segment with ABC7; And bodybuilding dancers, The Brutez, strutting their stuff on Windy City Live sparking coverage engagement across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Team Reilly also took advantage of Snapchat by sharing multiple video snippets of Billy Blanks leading his group workouts.

“It was great seeing fitness icon Billy Blanks reach the eyeballs of almost 75,000 viewers in minutes on Chicago’s very own Snap Story,” said Reilly. “Snapchat gave the event a bump while showing us the power of celebrity influencers.”

TheFitExpo™ is produced by National Fitness Productions and continues to be on the cutting edge of everything fitness. TheFitExpo™ takes place in six markets across the U.S including: San Jose, Anaheim, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago. TheFitExpo™ will return to the West Coast at the San Jose Convention Center July 29-30, 2017.