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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

SIBEC review: Question Time

Can events such as the Olympics really have a positive impact on participation levels, and do we need to change our model to attract new audiences? Katie Lewis reports on discussions from SIBEC Europe 2012

By Katie Lewis | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 1

The beautiful city of Budapest hosted the latest SIBEC Europe event, which took place in November 2012. More than 200 suppliers and operators gathered to talk business, and to hear from some of the industry’s leading figures on key issues affecting the sector.

In the opening session, Mike Hill, MD of Leisure-net Solutions and Berni Hawkins, founder of Hawkins Muiderman, compered a Question Time-style debate, with the panel discussing two key topics: Can events such as the Olympics really have a positive impact on participation levels among the general public going forward? And do we need to change our model to attract new audiences?

Panellists
* Martin Kay, Regional Representative, sporta
* David Stalker, CEO, ukactive (the new name for the FIA)
* John Treharne, CEO, The Gym Group
* Mark Botha, group sales and Marketing Manager, Fitness, First Middle East
* Mark Lemmon, Managing Director, the énergie Group
* Liz Holmes, spa director, Rockliffe Hall

Following a fantastic summer of sport in the UK, do you feel that large-scale sporting events really have the power to change the behaviour of the population?

Mark Botha:
I really hope so. The London Games saw female athletes from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei compete for the first time. While none of the athletes reached the podium, for them the real achievement was in the symbolism of their involvement in the Games. In the past, tradition and religious beliefs across the Middle East have prevented women from participating. This new inclusion suggests a cultural change, but only time will tell how significant this is.

Liz Holmes:
Our facility services the premium end of the market and so far, from a purely financial perspective, the Olympics have had no direct impact on our business. That said, we have noticed an attitude shift among our staff and members, who seem more willing to give up time to get involved with some of the fun added extras we organise. For example, post-Games, staff members and spa members have been much more willing to participate in our members’ charity fitness challenges than ever before. This helps to unite our staff team and enhance the member experience.

Martin Kay:
In these challenging economic times, it’s a good mix of capital and revenue legacy that local authorities really need. If volunteer numbers increase, they will need to be managed, coached and organised. This will require investment in both capability and skill development. Harnessing the opportunity will be the challenge. What we need is longer-term consistency in government policy to enable us to build strategies on the back of the legacy.

David Stalker:
While it’s too early to start talking about whether the Games have initiated mass behavioural change, we need to start viewing the legacy from a different perspective. Rather than keep asking what the legacy is delivering for us, we need to start asking what we can deliver on the back of the legacy.

Mark Lemmon:
Expecting large-scale sporting events to motivate a couch potato from the sofa into a pair of trainers is unrealistic. I remain to be convinced whether the Olympic Games will promote a long-term mass population movement towards more physical activity.

John Treharne:
It’s difficult to deny the positive short-term community impact of the Games, but it’s dangerous to assume the Olympics will result in a lasting increase in sporting participation. Following Wimbledon fortnight, the demand for tennis courts always rises, but this uplift is only ever temporary. Do people make a link between elite sporting performance and what they could personally achieve by regular visits to a gym? I’m not sure that they do.

If we want to attract more people into our facilities, do we need to change our model?

Liz Holmes:
Yes, we need to be more reactive to market demands. We’re finding, certainly at the premium end of the market, that people want to share their workout experiences with other like-minded people. They want to feel a part of a club. There may come a time when providing a space where people train in isolation no longer draws enough numbers to sustain business. As operators, we need to become more flexible and able to quickly react to consumer needs.

John Treharne:
I agree that the sector needs to pay more attention to the needs of the consumer if it’s to continue to grow market penetration. This may mean radical changes in the type of facilities and services we provide. At The Gym Group, our clubs offer round-the-clock access at an affordable price. As a result, we’re bringing new people into the sector: 40 per cent of our members have never belonged to a gym before. Innovation and bravery to try something new is what will be required to facilitate growth.

Mark Lemmon:
The middle market will be squeezed because there just isn’t enough differentiation in this space. Market penetration is stuck at 12 per cent and has been for some years. We cannot hope to positively influence this unless we think more creatively. We need to start pushing the right buttons when it comes to encouraging sedentary people to want to be physically active.

OLYMPIC EFFECT

Ahead of the SIBEC event, delegates were asked to complete an online survey which aimed to provide a snapshot of the perceived impact of the London 2012 Games on business.

* 34 per cent reported that the Games had made them personally more active
* 35 per cent achieve 5 x 30 mins of physical activity every week
* Only 20 per cent of facilities noticed an increase in volunteering after the Games
* 81 per cent of facilities were quieter than usual during the London 2012 Games
* 76 per cent said they felt large-scale spectator events would encourage more people to get active

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
SIBEC  
Panellists, Martin Kay, David Stalker, John Treharne, Mark Botha, Mark Lemmon, Liz Holmes
Panellists, Martin Kay, David Stalker, John Treharne, Mark Botha, Mark Lemmon, Liz Holmes
Leading names in the fitness industry travelled to Budapest for SIBEC Europe / PIC: www.shutterstock.com
Leading names in the fitness industry travelled to Budapest for SIBEC Europe / PIC: www.shutterstock.com
It remains to be seen whether the Games has sparked greater sports participation / PIC: www.shutterstock.com
It remains to be seen whether the Games has sparked greater sports participation / PIC: www.shutterstock.com
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_1review.gif
Can events like the Olympics really increase participation? Katie Lewis reports on the discussions at this year's SIBEC Europe
SIBEC ,SIBEC
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
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Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

SIBEC review: Question Time

Can events such as the Olympics really have a positive impact on participation levels, and do we need to change our model to attract new audiences? Katie Lewis reports on discussions from SIBEC Europe 2012

By Katie Lewis | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 1

The beautiful city of Budapest hosted the latest SIBEC Europe event, which took place in November 2012. More than 200 suppliers and operators gathered to talk business, and to hear from some of the industry’s leading figures on key issues affecting the sector.

In the opening session, Mike Hill, MD of Leisure-net Solutions and Berni Hawkins, founder of Hawkins Muiderman, compered a Question Time-style debate, with the panel discussing two key topics: Can events such as the Olympics really have a positive impact on participation levels among the general public going forward? And do we need to change our model to attract new audiences?

Panellists
* Martin Kay, Regional Representative, sporta
* David Stalker, CEO, ukactive (the new name for the FIA)
* John Treharne, CEO, The Gym Group
* Mark Botha, group sales and Marketing Manager, Fitness, First Middle East
* Mark Lemmon, Managing Director, the énergie Group
* Liz Holmes, spa director, Rockliffe Hall

Following a fantastic summer of sport in the UK, do you feel that large-scale sporting events really have the power to change the behaviour of the population?

Mark Botha:
I really hope so. The London Games saw female athletes from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei compete for the first time. While none of the athletes reached the podium, for them the real achievement was in the symbolism of their involvement in the Games. In the past, tradition and religious beliefs across the Middle East have prevented women from participating. This new inclusion suggests a cultural change, but only time will tell how significant this is.

Liz Holmes:
Our facility services the premium end of the market and so far, from a purely financial perspective, the Olympics have had no direct impact on our business. That said, we have noticed an attitude shift among our staff and members, who seem more willing to give up time to get involved with some of the fun added extras we organise. For example, post-Games, staff members and spa members have been much more willing to participate in our members’ charity fitness challenges than ever before. This helps to unite our staff team and enhance the member experience.

Martin Kay:
In these challenging economic times, it’s a good mix of capital and revenue legacy that local authorities really need. If volunteer numbers increase, they will need to be managed, coached and organised. This will require investment in both capability and skill development. Harnessing the opportunity will be the challenge. What we need is longer-term consistency in government policy to enable us to build strategies on the back of the legacy.

David Stalker:
While it’s too early to start talking about whether the Games have initiated mass behavioural change, we need to start viewing the legacy from a different perspective. Rather than keep asking what the legacy is delivering for us, we need to start asking what we can deliver on the back of the legacy.

Mark Lemmon:
Expecting large-scale sporting events to motivate a couch potato from the sofa into a pair of trainers is unrealistic. I remain to be convinced whether the Olympic Games will promote a long-term mass population movement towards more physical activity.

John Treharne:
It’s difficult to deny the positive short-term community impact of the Games, but it’s dangerous to assume the Olympics will result in a lasting increase in sporting participation. Following Wimbledon fortnight, the demand for tennis courts always rises, but this uplift is only ever temporary. Do people make a link between elite sporting performance and what they could personally achieve by regular visits to a gym? I’m not sure that they do.

If we want to attract more people into our facilities, do we need to change our model?

Liz Holmes:
Yes, we need to be more reactive to market demands. We’re finding, certainly at the premium end of the market, that people want to share their workout experiences with other like-minded people. They want to feel a part of a club. There may come a time when providing a space where people train in isolation no longer draws enough numbers to sustain business. As operators, we need to become more flexible and able to quickly react to consumer needs.

John Treharne:
I agree that the sector needs to pay more attention to the needs of the consumer if it’s to continue to grow market penetration. This may mean radical changes in the type of facilities and services we provide. At The Gym Group, our clubs offer round-the-clock access at an affordable price. As a result, we’re bringing new people into the sector: 40 per cent of our members have never belonged to a gym before. Innovation and bravery to try something new is what will be required to facilitate growth.

Mark Lemmon:
The middle market will be squeezed because there just isn’t enough differentiation in this space. Market penetration is stuck at 12 per cent and has been for some years. We cannot hope to positively influence this unless we think more creatively. We need to start pushing the right buttons when it comes to encouraging sedentary people to want to be physically active.

OLYMPIC EFFECT

Ahead of the SIBEC event, delegates were asked to complete an online survey which aimed to provide a snapshot of the perceived impact of the London 2012 Games on business.

* 34 per cent reported that the Games had made them personally more active
* 35 per cent achieve 5 x 30 mins of physical activity every week
* Only 20 per cent of facilities noticed an increase in volunteering after the Games
* 81 per cent of facilities were quieter than usual during the London 2012 Games
* 76 per cent said they felt large-scale spectator events would encourage more people to get active

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
SIBEC  
Panellists, Martin Kay, David Stalker, John Treharne, Mark Botha, Mark Lemmon, Liz Holmes
Panellists, Martin Kay, David Stalker, John Treharne, Mark Botha, Mark Lemmon, Liz Holmes
Leading names in the fitness industry travelled to Budapest for SIBEC Europe / PIC: www.shutterstock.com
Leading names in the fitness industry travelled to Budapest for SIBEC Europe / PIC: www.shutterstock.com
It remains to be seen whether the Games has sparked greater sports participation / PIC: www.shutterstock.com
It remains to be seen whether the Games has sparked greater sports participation / PIC: www.shutterstock.com
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_1review.gif
Can events like the Olympics really increase participation? Katie Lewis reports on the discussions at this year's SIBEC Europe
SIBEC ,SIBEC
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Boutique operator 1Rebel has launched its first 1Rebel Labs Studio at its club in Holborn. ...
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The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the UK government to invest £875m in ...
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Anthony Hamilton, the father of F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton, is launching a fitness equipment ...
Latest News
The pandemic has had an "unprecedented" impact on physical activity levels in England, with 1 ...
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The first énergie Fitness club has opened in Spain as part of a push for ...
Latest News
A global innovation competition has been launched to find ways to encourage and support more ...
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Xponential Fitness has acquired Body Fit Training in a deal worth US$44m. The deal takes ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Surge integrates Fisikal with HubSpot to drive business efficiencies and grow revenue
As Surge expands its offer with the launch of a third dedicated Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) studio this summer – this time in Fleet Street, London – the brand reflects on the vital role of its estate wide digital ecosystem, created in partnership with Fisikal, designed to drive business efficiencies and commercial success.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Humanising the member app experience
FunXtion has upgraded its White Label Member App with a raft of new features to support its partners in scaling up and keeping up with rising member expectations.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Sporting heroes to officially open £22 million redevelopment at Everyone Active centre
A £22 million redevelopment project will be unveiled at Grange Paddocks Leisure Centre, as part of the official launch of the state-of-the-art centre.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: Xn Leisure Systems Ltd
Xn Leisure is a provider of cutting-edge health and fitness software, offering an exceptional service ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Precor
Precor has been a pioneer in delivering fitness experiences for commercial customers for more than ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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