IHRSA Bounces Back in Miami: 3 Things We Saw – and Liked
360,000 square feet, more than 300 exhibitors and a first for IHRSA, relocating to Miami, Fla. made this year’s get together of the who’s who in fitness an important in-person return to form. Over an intensive, busy and inspiring few days, that included our own SO1O product launch, our team crisscrossed the show floor to find the big headline trends of IHRSA’s 41st conference and tradeshow. Here’s what jumped out to us.
Innovation is Everywhere
After more than two years of staying, flexible and adaptable to changing market conditions and business challenges, fitness brands and companies are back to doing what they do best: innovating. The sheer scale and diversity of new product introductions from equipment to fitness tech and club environments was staggering and demonstrates what we’ve always known about the global fitness industry: it rarely sits still for long. And across every fitness sector from in-club content platforms to member wearables and smart-cardio equipment, there’s an integration of tech into almost every aspect of member experience.
Functional, Multi-Use Spaces are Big News
Clubs and gyms all seem to be talking about functional space and multi-purpose footprints. We saw a lot of interest and engagement from club operators visiting our booth looking for on-demand solutions to help re-imagine their functional training spaces and bring content to non-studio areas of the gym. In other words, on-demand short form workouts, exercise circuits and even small group classes that can revitalize underused floor space and areas of the club. It’s all part of the wider trend: how to engage members with multi-format fitness solutions and offerings to keep them immersed in club brand experiences.
Nobody’s Talking about Hybrid Anymore – It’s Just Fitness
It’s abundantly clear the industry is moving on from the binary model we all talked about during the pandemic: live in-club classes versus virtual at home workouts. This is being driven by consumer demand for convenience and access to all kinds of fitness experiences and content from their clubs: easy app-based convenience for bookings and information plus on-the-go content and classes wherever they may be. And then a true blending of both live instructor classes at their club with the kinds of content, virtual classes and workouts that help them progress technique, stay strong and get the most from their club. It’s of course being driven by post-pandemic consumer demand, but it’s really the flexible, adaptive nature of club operators that’s bringing this new universe of fitness offerings to members and creating an it’s-just-fitness model for the future.