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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

Industry insights

November 2013 saw SIBEC deliver its most successful event in its 17-year history, selling out well ahead of schedule and hosting a record number of operators and suppliers. Katie Lewis reports

By Katie Lewis | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 1

Taking place at the Don Carlos Leisure Resort and Spa in Marbella, Spain, SIBEC Europe kicked off with a panel debate featuring four of the industry’s most influential operators and chaired by David Stalker, CEO of ukactive and board member of EHFA and CIMSPA. We round up some of the discussions.

Meet the Panel
Franck Gueguen: President, International Fitness Holdings (Club Med Gym & Silhouette)

Kevin Yates: Head of fitness, marketing & communications, Leisure Connection / 1Life

Natalie Cornish (née Mumford): Fitness & wellbeing director, Nuffield Health

Tim Foster: Central operations director, Virgin Active

Q Are we promoting the right messages to encourage more people to be physically active?

Frank Gueguen
In France and Switzerland, around 20–25 per cent of people join facilities to lose weight; 75 per cent join to improve their general health. We’re trying to appeal to a very broad range of motivations and needs. As a result, we’re not focused on the short-term goal – selling the weight-loss dream – but instead focus our marketing on the benefits of physical and mental wellbeing. I believe this is the right approach.

Kevin Yates
At the start of the New Year, there will be the usual bun fight for new members. Many chains will attempt to attract people with incredible money-saving promotions. This puts pressure on others to do the same and it’s not the right approach for long-term sustainability.

When Dove launched its campaign using real women to promote its product range, its market share grew from 1 per cent to 6 per cent. I’d like to see the fitness sector become more professional in its marketing, thinking more long-term than quick fix.

I’d also like to see operators working collaboratively with ukactive to fund a central marketing campaign to promote the benefits of physical activity. Increasing general awareness will benefit operators.


Natalie Cornish
I agree with Kevin. The majority of people still make a choice about where to work out based on location and ease of access, so pooling resources to fund a central campaign makes perfect sense.

At Nuffield, the big challenge we face is whether to run campaigns based on our core values of wellness and health or simply jump on the bandwagon and run price-led marketing campaigns.


Tim Foster
New member motivations to join haven’t changed much over the years: most still join to lose weight, get fit, tone up and generally improve their health. We’ll tap into these motivations while playing to our strengths – we call it ‘20 per cent more for 20 per cent less’, by which we mean offering exceptional value for money.

Q Functional training – the future or just a fad?

Kevin Yates
Facilities we build today will be serving communities for generations to come. Instead of churning out the same old formula such as traditional sports halls, we need to consider what will motivate the next generation to be more physically active than us. Alliance Leisure is doing some good work in this area, designing skate parks, high ropes courses and climbing facilities that appeal to the motivations of the younger generations.

The introduction of CrossFit and concepts like HIIT all help to offer a more diverse range of activities. They won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s important that we continue to question the traditional offering.

Tim Foster
Currently, functional training and extreme conditioning are receiving perhaps a disproportionate amount of media attention. The reality is that brands like CrossFit and concepts like HIIT are still quite niche. We need to keep this in perspective, and be wary not to disproportionately change our fundamental product in response. We need to continue to offer a core product that has broad segmental appeal and that, although providing for these trends, still keeps the overall provision well balanced.


Natalie Cornish
We need to be careful not to jump on the ‘next big thing’. There’s also a danger that the sedentary population jumps head-first into ‘quick win’ intensive programmes such as INSANITY and CrossFit, risking injury and exposing themselves to a negative experience of physical activity, which could have long-term implications.


Nicholas Hymas, Fitness First Dubai (input from the floor)
I agree that functional training is not for everyone, but in Dubai we’re proving that it can be hugely successful if implemented and managed correctly.

The key to success is education. Instructing somebody in how to perform functional movements safely and effectively undoubtedly requires more time investment and more instructor skill than instructing somebody in how to use a fixed weight or cardio machine. However, once the education of instructors is recognised as a core need, and given the necessary time and investment, the functional training concept can work. We’re proving this.


Rory McGown, GYMetrix (input from the floor)
Our research shows that in many gyms, functional training spaces are under-used, with more people still using fixed weight and cardio equipment. It’s a training issue – operators need to invest in instructor education to maximise usage of these spaces.

Q What do you consider to be the biggest opportunity for our sector going forward?

Frank Gueguen
Working more closely with doctors and government so that fitness appears on their agenda. This will help the sector reach a much wider audience. The sector also has an opportunity to promote the wider benefits of exercise beyond the physical. This will also help engage a bigger audience.

Natalie Cornish
Development of products that enable our brands to engage with and influence behaviours of individuals who may never visit our clubs. This is now possible through the use of activity tracking systems and online communities.


Tim Foster
To create genuine belief that exercise is medicine. In order to deliver this, the sector needs credible, academically sound, evidence-based research to convince private investors, commercial partners and in particular the government that it can make a valuable contribution to the wider health agenda. The work of ukactive’s Research Institute will hopefully be transformational in this respect.


Kevin Yates
Upskilling our workforce. To be taken seriously by government, community partners and the medical profession, we need to be confident we’re delivering a professional service. ukactive is placing us at the table with the right people, but we need to be confident that we have the skills to deliver.

Over the last few years, our company has worked with Lifetime to access significant sums of government funding to train our staff, but it’s not enough. In addition to training front of house staff, pool lifeguards and gym instructors, we also need to invest in our management teams. Working with organisations like CIMSPA, we need to create and deliver management qualifications that provide our managers with the skills they will need to take this sector forward.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The panel debate was chaired by ukactive’s David Stalker (second from right)
The panel debate was chaired by ukactive’s David Stalker (second from right)
Together, the medical and fitness worlds have a huge opportunity to foster the genuine belief that exercise is medicine / www.shutterstock.com/ William Perugini
Together, the medical and fitness worlds have a huge opportunity to foster the genuine belief that exercise is medicine / www.shutterstock.com/ William Perugini
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_1sibec.gif
Katie Lewis reports on discussions at November's SIBEC Europe event, from functional training to price-cutting, and from centralised ad campaigns to 'exercise is medicine'
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features

Industry insights

November 2013 saw SIBEC deliver its most successful event in its 17-year history, selling out well ahead of schedule and hosting a record number of operators and suppliers. Katie Lewis reports

By Katie Lewis | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 1

Taking place at the Don Carlos Leisure Resort and Spa in Marbella, Spain, SIBEC Europe kicked off with a panel debate featuring four of the industry’s most influential operators and chaired by David Stalker, CEO of ukactive and board member of EHFA and CIMSPA. We round up some of the discussions.

Meet the Panel
Franck Gueguen: President, International Fitness Holdings (Club Med Gym & Silhouette)

Kevin Yates: Head of fitness, marketing & communications, Leisure Connection / 1Life

Natalie Cornish (née Mumford): Fitness & wellbeing director, Nuffield Health

Tim Foster: Central operations director, Virgin Active

Q Are we promoting the right messages to encourage more people to be physically active?

Frank Gueguen
In France and Switzerland, around 20–25 per cent of people join facilities to lose weight; 75 per cent join to improve their general health. We’re trying to appeal to a very broad range of motivations and needs. As a result, we’re not focused on the short-term goal – selling the weight-loss dream – but instead focus our marketing on the benefits of physical and mental wellbeing. I believe this is the right approach.

Kevin Yates
At the start of the New Year, there will be the usual bun fight for new members. Many chains will attempt to attract people with incredible money-saving promotions. This puts pressure on others to do the same and it’s not the right approach for long-term sustainability.

When Dove launched its campaign using real women to promote its product range, its market share grew from 1 per cent to 6 per cent. I’d like to see the fitness sector become more professional in its marketing, thinking more long-term than quick fix.

I’d also like to see operators working collaboratively with ukactive to fund a central marketing campaign to promote the benefits of physical activity. Increasing general awareness will benefit operators.


Natalie Cornish
I agree with Kevin. The majority of people still make a choice about where to work out based on location and ease of access, so pooling resources to fund a central campaign makes perfect sense.

At Nuffield, the big challenge we face is whether to run campaigns based on our core values of wellness and health or simply jump on the bandwagon and run price-led marketing campaigns.


Tim Foster
New member motivations to join haven’t changed much over the years: most still join to lose weight, get fit, tone up and generally improve their health. We’ll tap into these motivations while playing to our strengths – we call it ‘20 per cent more for 20 per cent less’, by which we mean offering exceptional value for money.

Q Functional training – the future or just a fad?

Kevin Yates
Facilities we build today will be serving communities for generations to come. Instead of churning out the same old formula such as traditional sports halls, we need to consider what will motivate the next generation to be more physically active than us. Alliance Leisure is doing some good work in this area, designing skate parks, high ropes courses and climbing facilities that appeal to the motivations of the younger generations.

The introduction of CrossFit and concepts like HIIT all help to offer a more diverse range of activities. They won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s important that we continue to question the traditional offering.

Tim Foster
Currently, functional training and extreme conditioning are receiving perhaps a disproportionate amount of media attention. The reality is that brands like CrossFit and concepts like HIIT are still quite niche. We need to keep this in perspective, and be wary not to disproportionately change our fundamental product in response. We need to continue to offer a core product that has broad segmental appeal and that, although providing for these trends, still keeps the overall provision well balanced.


Natalie Cornish
We need to be careful not to jump on the ‘next big thing’. There’s also a danger that the sedentary population jumps head-first into ‘quick win’ intensive programmes such as INSANITY and CrossFit, risking injury and exposing themselves to a negative experience of physical activity, which could have long-term implications.


Nicholas Hymas, Fitness First Dubai (input from the floor)
I agree that functional training is not for everyone, but in Dubai we’re proving that it can be hugely successful if implemented and managed correctly.

The key to success is education. Instructing somebody in how to perform functional movements safely and effectively undoubtedly requires more time investment and more instructor skill than instructing somebody in how to use a fixed weight or cardio machine. However, once the education of instructors is recognised as a core need, and given the necessary time and investment, the functional training concept can work. We’re proving this.


Rory McGown, GYMetrix (input from the floor)
Our research shows that in many gyms, functional training spaces are under-used, with more people still using fixed weight and cardio equipment. It’s a training issue – operators need to invest in instructor education to maximise usage of these spaces.

Q What do you consider to be the biggest opportunity for our sector going forward?

Frank Gueguen
Working more closely with doctors and government so that fitness appears on their agenda. This will help the sector reach a much wider audience. The sector also has an opportunity to promote the wider benefits of exercise beyond the physical. This will also help engage a bigger audience.

Natalie Cornish
Development of products that enable our brands to engage with and influence behaviours of individuals who may never visit our clubs. This is now possible through the use of activity tracking systems and online communities.


Tim Foster
To create genuine belief that exercise is medicine. In order to deliver this, the sector needs credible, academically sound, evidence-based research to convince private investors, commercial partners and in particular the government that it can make a valuable contribution to the wider health agenda. The work of ukactive’s Research Institute will hopefully be transformational in this respect.


Kevin Yates
Upskilling our workforce. To be taken seriously by government, community partners and the medical profession, we need to be confident we’re delivering a professional service. ukactive is placing us at the table with the right people, but we need to be confident that we have the skills to deliver.

Over the last few years, our company has worked with Lifetime to access significant sums of government funding to train our staff, but it’s not enough. In addition to training front of house staff, pool lifeguards and gym instructors, we also need to invest in our management teams. Working with organisations like CIMSPA, we need to create and deliver management qualifications that provide our managers with the skills they will need to take this sector forward.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The panel debate was chaired by ukactive’s David Stalker (second from right)
The panel debate was chaired by ukactive’s David Stalker (second from right)
Together, the medical and fitness worlds have a huge opportunity to foster the genuine belief that exercise is medicine / www.shutterstock.com/ William Perugini
Together, the medical and fitness worlds have a huge opportunity to foster the genuine belief that exercise is medicine / www.shutterstock.com/ William Perugini
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_1sibec.gif
Katie Lewis reports on discussions at November's SIBEC Europe event, from functional training to price-cutting, and from centralised ad campaigns to 'exercise is medicine'
Latest News
Hundreds of thousands of small companies in the UK – including those operating in fitness ...
Latest News
Boutique gym attendance and class bookings in some world regions have bounced back to around ...
Latest News
The government has further extended protection from rent enforcement activity until the end of the ...
Latest News
Town Sports International – which operates a raft of brands, including the New York Sports ...
Latest News
Wearable tech firm Formsense has secured a technology partnership with an inter-interdisciplinary team of researchers ...
Latest News
Les Mills has launched a trio of digital solutions to help fitness operators shift towards ...
Latest News
Sport England has launched the latest edition of the popular This Girl Can campaign, celebrating ...
Latest News
COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it – and the fitness industry with ...
Latest News
PureGym has secured a £100m cash injection from shareholders to help deal with both the ...
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Organised fitness, sports and other leisure activities (including swimming) can continue despite the introduction of ...
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A study by researchers at Emory University in the US has shown how exercise can ...
Opinion
promotion
The pandemic has thrown a new focus on health, with sales of body composition analysis equipment at an all-time high, as InBody’s Francesca Cooper explains.
Opinion: Gyms add body composition analysis and health screening to their offering following pandemic
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Dormy House enhances premium facilities with fully connected fitness suite
Dormy House, a luxurious boutique hotel and spa in the heart of the Cotswolds, has expanded its premium offer with the refurbishment of its two fitness suites, incorporating the latest, fully connected gym equipment from Matrix Fitness.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The Virtual Revolution: Hutchison Technologies help operators motivate members
Hutchison Technologies virtual solutions are helping operators expand their virtual offering and get motivated members back into the club.
Video Gallery
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment
Core Health & Fitness
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: EMD UK
EMD UK is the national governing body for group exercise. Funded by Sport England, EMD ...
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Positive feedback
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
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
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
22-23 Sep 2020
Heythrop Park, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07 Oct 2020
Online, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
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Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
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Online,
Diary dates
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Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
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NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
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ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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