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February 25, 2021

International webinar sees industry experts outline role of technology in fitness’ future – Australasian Leisure Management

Filed under: Fitness — admin @ 9:47 pm

Industry leaders from Virtuagym, CLMBR, Life Fitness and Matrix have suggested that the future holds exciting opportunities for gym owners and personal trainers.

Speaking last week during an industry panel held as part of FitNation’s online fitness conference educating and supporting gym owners, personal trainers and fitness entrepreneurs, the panellists provided important insights on the future of the fitness industry, in particular on how technology is shaping the industry and the impact of big technology companies entering the market.

Sharing invaluable insights, the panel outlined how big tech organisations, combined with the digital innovation the industry has experienced in the past year, will further widen the consumer base as fitness is brought to people’s homes.

It will also increase connectivity both online and in physical gyms and enhance the rich variety of personalised content that is available, ultimately allowing fitness operators to increase reach, build revenue, and support member retention.

Painting a positive picture for an industry that has faced unprecedented challenges and changes in the past year, Hugo Braam, Chief Executive and co-founder of Virtuagym, advised “the arrival of big technology companies will introduce the other 75-80% of people to fitness, providing them with a low-threshold, easily accessible offering at home.

“I am convinced this will drive more people to physical clubs, including those who didn’t previously feel comfortable doing so

“It will also help drive the digitisation of our industry, which is helping fitness operators to provide more personalised experiences to clients. For example, with online coaching software, trainers can easily coach 200 people at the same time, assigning different workouts at the click of a button.”

CLMBR Chief Executive, Avrum Elmakis sees that the more people that the industry can get moving, the better, at low and high price points, explaining “I love the idea of big tech entering the industry. Through an omnichannel experience, an enormous opportunity exists for fitness operators to create compelling content for specific demographics and connect with customers in an authentic and regular way.”

With rapid changes in the fitness industry forcing entrepreneurs to pivot while also helping digital fitness to come into its own as a central part of their services, the panel felt that physical gyms will still have a role to play by providing a different type of value offering, such as a sense of physical community and acting as showrooms for brands. 

As Andrew Kolman, Senior Director of Technology and Business Development at Matrix (Johnson Health Tech), stated, the fitness industry has shown the potential to get through this difficult period and thrive again. He commented “previously, technology was viewed as just a value-add – the industry has now seen that it is a necessity and I’m confident that the digital shift is a pivotal moment and a springboard for bringing fitness to more people.”

The virtual conference heard how fitness operators should continuously be looking for ways to adapt to customer behaviour and expectations that have changed drastically, with secure data collection crucial for understanding these shifts.

Stefan Wild, Digital Experience Manager for Life Fitness, added “the more intelligent we are with the use of data, the better we can be with shaping fitness offerings to match customer needs.

“This means being more consistent and concise with messages and content. We now have many tools at our fingertips to motivate end-users to work out more easily than ever before and that can only be a good thing for our industry.”

The free to view FitNation fitness conference is part of a broader series aiming to educate and inspire gyms, personal trainers, and fitness entrepreneurs after a challenging year for the industry.

All FitNation webinars are available in podcast form.

Click here to listen to ‘How to Grow Your Fitness Business’ for free on-demand.

Virtuagym is a provider of fitness technology for coaching, member engagement, and club management. The platform delivers a complete ecosystem with integrated mobile apps with solutions for exercise and nutrition guidance, progress tracking, wearables, online coaching, scheduling, billing and more.

CLMBR is an ergonomic and innovative vertical climbing machine for commercial and at-home use. It is the first vertical climber to feature a large-format touch display with on-demand, instructor-led classes. It also offers the latest user interface technology and a state-of-the-art companion app that provides on-demand climbing classes while also displaying key metrics to maximize the user experience.

Matrix (Johnson Health Tech) develops and manufactures a wide assortment of fitness equipment for both commercial and residential use. The company’s products include treadmills, elliptical trainers, exercise bikes, and strength training equipment. Its brand portfolio contains Matrix, Vision, and Horizon Fitness.

Life Fitness is the global leader in commercial fitness equipment and game tables and furnishings. The company manufactures and sells its strength and cardiovascular equipment, billiards tables and accessories, and game room furniture under the brand names Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, Indoor Cycling Group, SCIFIT and Brunswick Billiards.

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