The holidays are great. A chance to take a breather, regroup and take care of critical maintenance issues without interrupting members. But that break is quickly followed by new year craziness. A surge in new member signups that can crowd classes and stretch staff, and other members hitting the gym with a renewed regularity that means you’re looking at the busiest two months of the year and a lot of additional work. As you grapple with all of that, know this: help is at hand. By making a few tweaks and taking a broader view of the total member fitness experience you can quickly optimize your operation and boost experience for both new and existing members for the year ahead. Here’s how.
- Bring virtual tools into the club to optimize experience
Most clubs now embrace digital fitness as a key element of their overall fitness offerings. But it needn’t be an either/or model with members either coming to the club to work out in a live class or session or using your on-demand content at home or on-the-go. More holistically integrating digital content and virtual experiences into your in-club model can bring a lot of benefits to both day to day operations and member experience. You can do this in several ways:
- Bring your on-demand classes and workouts out of the studio to every corner of the club. It can be intimidating for some members to go into a studio and use an on-demand system. The new approach to digital fitness experiences is about integrating touch screen displays and stand-alone workout programs in open and multi-function areas of the club where more members become familiar with the system, your content library and enjoy a more rounded fitness experience.
- Use fresh daily content packages to motivate, engage and inspire members. Some on-demand content providers offer short form technique, form and strength exercises. Circuits360 by FitnessOnDemand for example offers members a fresh circuit of daily, self-guided exercises that they can jump into at any time on an open display and add something different and inspiring to the start or wind down of their other daily workout activities.
- Promote your club app to members for use not just on the go but in and around the gym. Your club content library should offer equipment-based workouts that members can pull up on a tablet or phone anywhere in the gym. Many feature high-energy instructors that bring more fun and motivation to a simple treadmill run or bike session.
- Make your digital content library part of live workouts
Make sure too to integrate your digital content into personal trainer and live class instructor sessions and recommendations. Trainers can use personalized workout, strength training and core-exercise digital content recommendations for their clients to use as part of their programs after training sessions. And instructors of popular, but technical group classes, may find it useful to direct class participants to at-home digital content they can use to perfect technique or build strength for particular form exercises.
- Lock your members into your brand wherever they go
Today your club brand should be wherever your member goes. That of course means website information, nutrition tips and special offers to keep members engaged; or regular workout tips and ideas on your social channels. But it also means branded club content on-demand in a member’s family room or hotel on the go. As you plan to further optimize offerings in 2023 do two things: review your club’s digital experience for members across on-demand, app and social platforms and assess it for a consistent, quality brand experience. And look for ways to further integrate digital and live experience too. Can you stream popular, over-booked instructor classes to a wider number of remote participants? Is it possible to extend live in-club challenges to your social channels and members working out at home?
Do all of these things and virtual fitness will both enhance member experience and position your club as a tech-forward 21st century fitness provider.
Todd Wiginton is a seasoned fitness professional with over a decade of experience in the industry, currently serving as the Director of Operations at Fitness On Demand. His career, marked by roles such as Personal Training Manager and Strength and Conditioning Coach, showcases his dedication to fostering personal and professional growth in ever-changing environments.