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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Gamification: Making fitness fun

The Rio Olympics are coming! How can your club use this event to better engage members? Gamification expert An Coppens offers some practical suggestions

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 7
Consider running a team quest – working as a team makes people more likely to stick with it / shutterstock
Consider running a team quest – working as a team makes people more likely to stick with it / shutterstock
The key is to create a fun competition, open to all and encouraging members to do more, more often and feel better when they do

It’s a worrying fact for fitness operators that people often have more fun, more interaction, more motivational input exercising on their own than they do in a gym.

But sadly, while growing numbers of fitness apps and wearables have game-like elements built in to their design to encourage users to keep doing more, and keep striving towards higher fitness achievements – from visual dashboards to unlocking of rewards and ‘you can do it!’ type messaging – most gym-goers don’t receive this kind of encouragement from their gym. At best, they get it if they pay for personal training, and to an extent they might get it in a class – albeit the instructors must divide their encouragement and instruction among a larger group of exercisers.

An Olympic year
Now imagine tapping in to this gamification trend – the use of game psychology and game mechanics for non-game purposes – which has already caught fitness enthusiasts’ attention.

Some operators might be put off by the potential cost, and yes, if you decided to go the digital route the costs would be higher. But you can test out your members’ appetite for challenges using a paper-based solution. Truth be known, even computer games start life sketched out on paper.

What better way to engage members during an Olympic year than to create an Olympic challenge, whereby gym members complete five stations over a set period and aim to beat their own record. The key is that they record the activity and log it. You can then enter these results into a leader board, with points allocated for effort, consistency and regularity.

You can involve the members further by having them vote on which activities to include. Even better, invite them to enter with a team to earn the team Olympic reward – it’s a known fact that exercise buddies keep each other going for longer.

Having an Olympic quest with five exercise challenges can also be structured by level of fitness. You could have beginner group sessions, intermediate combined classes, and individual and advanced individual challenges. By appealing to a variety of member profiles, the engagement and buzz typically goes up.

Keep the challenge enrolment process as easy as possible – a simple tick box on a form, for example – and also the tracking. Ask them to jot down vital information on a card – date and type of exercise, for example, and effort level – which will give you insight into points you can allocate.

Cycling at level one may be all a beginner is able to do, but a level eight distance challenge may be very relevant for advanced, regular gym-goers.

When designing this type of quest, engage your whole team in the process, from coming up with the challenge options to ideas for point systems, promotion of the quest and ways of keeping club members encouraged throughout. Work with your team to come up with creative ideas to make sure it’s fun.

Maybe even involve the staff in a team challenge of their own, that coincides with the member challenge, so everyone is working towards a similar goal.

The key is to create a fun competition, open to all and encouraging health club members to do more, more often, and feel better when they do.

In an Olympic year, a challenge like this is only limited by your imagination.

Anatomy of a quest
And when there are no Olympic Games to latch on to? In any other month or year, you can always build quests around a key sports event in the area, from triathlons and marathons to rowing, cycling and other community-based events.

Collaboration and encouragement are the two key ingredients of a challenge that must never be overlooked or neglected. The more you engage people in the design and completion of the quest, the better the opportunity for them to feel ownership and share the word about what they’re taking part in.

If you’re a regular user of fitness tracking apps yourself, start noticing what you like about them and what keeps you going back. Ask your members what they’re using and why they like the apps. Doing so will give you ideas and allow you to mirror what already works for them in your own quests.

How to put a quest together...
1. The quest should be based on a theme (which could be the Olympics or another more local event)

2. Include activities that can be carried out at various levels of fitness

3. Promote the quest (posters, word of mouth, text messages, emails, etc)

4. Create an easy invitation to take part

5. Have a system to track participation (which can be paper-based)...

6. ... and a system to show off members’ achievements (e.g. visual leader boards, number of participants, number of challenges taken)

7. Offer encouragement along the way

8. Have winners and completers – but no losers. All should receive a certificate of completion – and the choice is then yours what the prizes should be for winners

9. Celebrate achievement, both of members and the team – let them have their moment of glory, whether in the local press or simply making them famous at your gym

Ultimately, you can be as creative as you allow yourself and your team to be. So get your team involved in making it fun. Negotiate with local suppliers to create prizes and rewards. Explore a variety of themes, from local sporting events to the Rio Olympics. Then develop an effective marketing and communication campaign and enjoy rolling it out and engaging your members on a whole new level.

Will yours be the winning quest?

I’d love to hear about your quests, and will feature the winning submitted quest in a special fitness quest post on my blog. Please email me details of your quests by the deadline of 31 October 2016

[email protected]

About the author

An Coppens
An Coppens
An Coppens,

Chief game changer,

Gamification Nation


An Coppens is chief game changer at Gamification Nation.

She specialises in gamification design and works with companies all over the world to help them achieve business results with game psychology and game elements.

Her blog reached the UK blog award finals in both 2015 and 2016.

www.gamificationnation.com

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/806328_951228.jpg
The Rio Games are almost here. Time to create an Olympic challenge at your gym
An Coppens Chief game changer at Gamification Nation,Olympics, gamification, An Coppens, challenges
People
We’re getting high usage: typically 2,000 visits a day. We’ve already celebrated our millionth member visit
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I invite every organisation to become part of our consultation on workplace wellbeing, active ageing and long-term health conditions
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People in Club V trust me and I want to do the best for them and help them progress
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Property & Tenders
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Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
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17 Nov 2020
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03-06 Jun 2021
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ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Gamification: Making fitness fun

The Rio Olympics are coming! How can your club use this event to better engage members? Gamification expert An Coppens offers some practical suggestions

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 7
Consider running a team quest – working as a team makes people more likely to stick with it / shutterstock
Consider running a team quest – working as a team makes people more likely to stick with it / shutterstock
The key is to create a fun competition, open to all and encouraging members to do more, more often and feel better when they do

It’s a worrying fact for fitness operators that people often have more fun, more interaction, more motivational input exercising on their own than they do in a gym.

But sadly, while growing numbers of fitness apps and wearables have game-like elements built in to their design to encourage users to keep doing more, and keep striving towards higher fitness achievements – from visual dashboards to unlocking of rewards and ‘you can do it!’ type messaging – most gym-goers don’t receive this kind of encouragement from their gym. At best, they get it if they pay for personal training, and to an extent they might get it in a class – albeit the instructors must divide their encouragement and instruction among a larger group of exercisers.

An Olympic year
Now imagine tapping in to this gamification trend – the use of game psychology and game mechanics for non-game purposes – which has already caught fitness enthusiasts’ attention.

Some operators might be put off by the potential cost, and yes, if you decided to go the digital route the costs would be higher. But you can test out your members’ appetite for challenges using a paper-based solution. Truth be known, even computer games start life sketched out on paper.

What better way to engage members during an Olympic year than to create an Olympic challenge, whereby gym members complete five stations over a set period and aim to beat their own record. The key is that they record the activity and log it. You can then enter these results into a leader board, with points allocated for effort, consistency and regularity.

You can involve the members further by having them vote on which activities to include. Even better, invite them to enter with a team to earn the team Olympic reward – it’s a known fact that exercise buddies keep each other going for longer.

Having an Olympic quest with five exercise challenges can also be structured by level of fitness. You could have beginner group sessions, intermediate combined classes, and individual and advanced individual challenges. By appealing to a variety of member profiles, the engagement and buzz typically goes up.

Keep the challenge enrolment process as easy as possible – a simple tick box on a form, for example – and also the tracking. Ask them to jot down vital information on a card – date and type of exercise, for example, and effort level – which will give you insight into points you can allocate.

Cycling at level one may be all a beginner is able to do, but a level eight distance challenge may be very relevant for advanced, regular gym-goers.

When designing this type of quest, engage your whole team in the process, from coming up with the challenge options to ideas for point systems, promotion of the quest and ways of keeping club members encouraged throughout. Work with your team to come up with creative ideas to make sure it’s fun.

Maybe even involve the staff in a team challenge of their own, that coincides with the member challenge, so everyone is working towards a similar goal.

The key is to create a fun competition, open to all and encouraging health club members to do more, more often, and feel better when they do.

In an Olympic year, a challenge like this is only limited by your imagination.

Anatomy of a quest
And when there are no Olympic Games to latch on to? In any other month or year, you can always build quests around a key sports event in the area, from triathlons and marathons to rowing, cycling and other community-based events.

Collaboration and encouragement are the two key ingredients of a challenge that must never be overlooked or neglected. The more you engage people in the design and completion of the quest, the better the opportunity for them to feel ownership and share the word about what they’re taking part in.

If you’re a regular user of fitness tracking apps yourself, start noticing what you like about them and what keeps you going back. Ask your members what they’re using and why they like the apps. Doing so will give you ideas and allow you to mirror what already works for them in your own quests.

How to put a quest together...
1. The quest should be based on a theme (which could be the Olympics or another more local event)

2. Include activities that can be carried out at various levels of fitness

3. Promote the quest (posters, word of mouth, text messages, emails, etc)

4. Create an easy invitation to take part

5. Have a system to track participation (which can be paper-based)...

6. ... and a system to show off members’ achievements (e.g. visual leader boards, number of participants, number of challenges taken)

7. Offer encouragement along the way

8. Have winners and completers – but no losers. All should receive a certificate of completion – and the choice is then yours what the prizes should be for winners

9. Celebrate achievement, both of members and the team – let them have their moment of glory, whether in the local press or simply making them famous at your gym

Ultimately, you can be as creative as you allow yourself and your team to be. So get your team involved in making it fun. Negotiate with local suppliers to create prizes and rewards. Explore a variety of themes, from local sporting events to the Rio Olympics. Then develop an effective marketing and communication campaign and enjoy rolling it out and engaging your members on a whole new level.

Will yours be the winning quest?

I’d love to hear about your quests, and will feature the winning submitted quest in a special fitness quest post on my blog. Please email me details of your quests by the deadline of 31 October 2016

[email protected]

About the author

An Coppens
An Coppens
An Coppens,

Chief game changer,

Gamification Nation


An Coppens is chief game changer at Gamification Nation.

She specialises in gamification design and works with companies all over the world to help them achieve business results with game psychology and game elements.

Her blog reached the UK blog award finals in both 2015 and 2016.

www.gamificationnation.com

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/806328_951228.jpg
The Rio Games are almost here. Time to create an Olympic challenge at your gym
An Coppens Chief game changer at Gamification Nation,Olympics, gamification, An Coppens, challenges
Latest News
Customer experience software provider, AskNicely, has announced it will host a new virtual event called ...
Latest News
In breaking news, HCM understands the UK government has removed gyms and fitness facilities from ...
Latest News
Globally, gyms have, on average, seen nearly 70 per cent of their pre-lockdown members return ...
Latest News
A UK government U-turn – just announced – will see gyms and leisure centres staying open ...
Latest News
"Dozens" of gyms in Liverpool, UK, have defied the government and stayed open for business ...
Latest News
The UK government is likely to face legal challenges from gym operators following the revelation ...
Latest News
Gym and health club operators with sites in Liverpool, UK, have been left "astounded" at ...
Latest News
Technogym's Let’s Move For a Better World campaign is back this year, with a new ...
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The UK government should encourage people to spend more time in regulated environments to curb ...
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A new fitness industry event is looking to challenge the likes of FIBO with a ...
Opinion
promotion
In a post-Covid world, member experience is more important than ever before. Your customers’ expectations have been heightened as the coronavirus continues to dominate our everyday lives.
Opinion: Why member experience is more important now than ever before
Opinion
promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Matrix takes its partnership with Renault Sport racing team up a gear
Matrix Fitness, the commercial brand of Johnson Health Tech, has announced the renewal of its long term partnership with the Renault F1 Team.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Annual Fitness & Active Brands Summit offering invaluable insight from over 40 leading industry speakers
Join the second Annual Fitness & Active Brands Summit and walk away with the expertise you need to transform your business model and maximise the US$59.23bn virtual fitness market opportunity.
Video Gallery
A new Zone is here
MyZone Group Ltd
A new zone is here for your club, for your members and for you. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Keiser UK Ltd
Keiser began its history of visionary sports science leadership over 40 years ago, rejecting the ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Life Fitness
Through our Life Fitness Solutions Partners, we can deliver design and build services, finance solutions, ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Ultimate locker install
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
12 Nov 2020
Virtual, United States
Diary dates
17 Nov 2020
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
08-09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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