Published on : Monday, February 27, 2017
Motivating, personal, target-group specific – this is how fitness clubs should design their services. This is the outcome of the fourth FIBO INNOVATION TOUR that informed to the tune of 400 fitness professionals in London, Paris, Vienna and Barcelona in January and February. A good two months to the beginning of the world’s biggest fitness trade show this series of events organised by FIBO and the European association EuropeActive furnished club managers and trainers with topical business know-how.
The one-day seminars focused on strategies for combating the high churn rate in clubs. Almost one in two members terminate their contracts within as little as six months. Nevertheless, many club operators still focus their efforts on recruiting new customers. “Though it would be far more cost-efficient to permanently retain existing members long term,” says keynote speaker Alexis Batrakoulis. The Greek fitness expert, who is a member of the EuropeActive board of management, was one of the 18 industry insiders in total that shared their knowledge during the FIBO INNOVATION TOUR.
Market and finance experts of Deloitte and Morgan Stanley furnished the participants with current KPIs on their national fitness markets. Renowned FIBO exhibitors such as Technogym, Precor, miha bodytec, Johnson Health Tech, eGym, gym80, Escape Fitness, FunXtion International, Virtuagym, Perfect Gym Solutions, Piloxing Academy, Rephouse, XBody Hungary, BURG F.W. Lüling and Bolly X presented hands-on inspirations for the target-group focused conception and orientation of fitness clubs. The common theme: having a clear vision for your own club is imperative for success and should be consistently applied across all segments in the interest of customer engagement; from the reception counter and changing rooms through training areas and range of classes to communication with members.
Digital offers will become more and more important here in future. “Even today 56% of all club members make use of wearables and Apps”, explains FIBO boss Ralph Scholz, and goes on to say: “And this also includes the generation 50+.” However, many of them don’t know what to do with the collected data, he feels and adds: “For clubs this opens up an opportunity to also address the topics of home, outdoor and medical training thereby building a reputation as centres of expertise for all areas of fitness.”
The health market is also an attractive field of business for club operators and fitness trainers. “The link between fitness and health is currently as close as it gets,” remarked Alexis Batrakoulis in his keynote speech making reference to the results of the online survey conducted among fitness professionals by Europe Active and the European Register of Exercise Professionals. “They regard healthy ageing, weight management and exercise with a view to preventing sickness as the sector with the currently biggest growth potential and therefore as attractive fields of activity.” For reasons of competitiveness studio operators and fitness trainers should gear up to acquiring the required skills and certifications even today, feels Batrakoulis.
The series of events was hosted by industry insider and Europe-Active board members Herman Rutgers. “The FIBO INNOVATION TOUR gives club operators and trainers an exclusive opportunity to expand their knowledge, network on an international scale, and make contacts,” sums up the FIBO International Ambassador. “We are delighted with the great response and look forward to a new edition in 2018.”
Statements on the FIBO INNOVATION TOUR 2017
Alberto García, General Manager, FNEID, Spain:
“For us as the association of the Spanish club operators the FIBO INNOVATION TOUR is, of course, a must – just like FIBO itself. Here our members find out about the innovations that will impact their business in future. In Spain the skill building of trainers and instructors is on everyone’s lips at present. The government is currently preparing legislation for a uniform professional profile. This is why the possibilities for education and further training as well as certification were of particular interest to us.”
Meredith Higgins, National Community Manager, Bolly X, USA:
“We want to expand into Europe and used the FIBO INNOVATION TOUR in London to learn was is trendy on the other side of the “pond”, how the fitness market works here and whether we are well set for Europe. The good news is after this informative day: Yes, we are. Which is why we leveraged the tour stop in Barcelona right away to introduce our Dance Workout in Europe for the first time. Needless to say, we are also at FIBO.”
Nick Coutts, CEO, Fitness Hut, UK:
“Business speed dating at its best – this is how I would describe the FIBO INNOVATION TOUR. The format is a highly efficient possibility for taking home key industry information in “bite-sized portions”. The presenters were highly qualified and provided interesting insights into new developments. On top of this, the Tour gave us access to useful market data.”
Mark Louter, Sales Manager, virtuagym, the Netherlands:
“We make use of the FIBO INNOVATION TOUR to meet key accounts. After all, this format attracts some big names from the relevant target markets. Moreover, we are in close touch with the sector here and learn what moves it at the moment. I personally found the talk delivered by Nick Bishop of Morgan Stanley on the investors’ view of the fitness market very interesting and revealing.”
Carme Sinol Poch, Owner, Club Esportiú, Spain:
“I have been a regular guest at FIBO for years now – the FIBO INNOVATION TOUR in Barcelona, on the contrary, was a first for me. And I am enthused. It really is a unique opportunity to get relevant industry information. For me as a fitness club owner it truly is a matter of survival to constantly be ahead of trends. I now feel “all geared up” and look forward to FIBO.”
Tiffeny Gould, CEO, Tiffeny Gould Consulting, UK:
“As a consultant to club operators and fitness equipment providers the FIBO INNOVATION TOUR is an indispensable source of information for me. How is the EU market currently developing? Which trends should we not lose sight of? Which important innovations should the industry be aware of? This is the data I need for my daily work and that I get here from industry experts in an understandable and concise way. This year the information by eGym on the group of non-club users and how to activate those was particularly valuable for me.”
Rainer Beck, Sales Director, miha bodytec, Germany:
“The FIBO INNOVATION TOUR is an excellent opportunity to present to, and network with fitness and health sector insiders in an international setting. The mixture of innovative content provided in the form of lectures and personal exchange furnishes fresh data and insights and is ever so well suited for establishing and expanding personal networks.”
Nacho Negredo, Owner of DIR, Spain:
“My debut as a visitor at the FIBO INNOVATION TOUR went very well. The presenters were extremely well informed and granted access to highly useful data for me. In particular, the information on KPI indicators by Deloitte was very helpful for me. I have visited FIBO several times already – it was great to enjoy a “preview” of this key event on my doorstep, so to speak.”
Renato Senta, Director General, Technogym, Italy:
“This series of events is a great opportunity for us to meet club operators, introduce them to our new concepts and to invite them to FIBO. We have partnered with the trade show for many years now – feeling that it is the most important event for the industry in Europe.”