28 Nov 2022 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2021 issue 4

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Leisure Management - Tech enabled


Tech enabled

As we adapt to a new way of living, software developers have been supporting the fitness sector with new systems and strategies. We asked operators and developers to share successes

Software developers have been supporting the fitness sector with new systems and strategies GaudiLab/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Russ Harrison
Spartan’s Boxing Club
photo: Spartan’s boxing club

• Operator: Spartan’s Boxing Club
• Developer: Glofox
• Where: Singapore
• www.glofox.com

Spartan’s Boxing Club is a community-focused boxing franchise currently based in Singapore. My business partner Naz Musa and I are building an inclusive boxing empire with multi-location insights and user-friendly features from Glofox.

Being able to access everything you need from a phone – anywhere – is crucial when you’re running a franchise. It’s about having everything you need easily accessible and in one place.

With the functionality from the system to support our business’s marketing strategy, Spartan’s bookings increased by 80 per cent between July and September 2020. The approach combines digital spend with a transactional sales cycle: a lead will see a paid ad and click through to book their free trial.

Through the dashboard, the moment a new member walks into the gym, the coach knows who they are and can provide a welcoming, personalised service right from the start. This supports the club’s focus on inclusivity – we’re aiming to remove the typical barriers you’d see in a boxing gym and make it really inclusive and community-based.

Automating this process has helped us to convert leads into full-time members. We’ve automated the system from the point someone signs up, encouraging them to get into the gym for the trial. Then if they don’t sign up after a trial class, they’re automatically prompted to view our membership options.

We’re aiming to remove the typical barriers you’d see in a boxing gym
Camilla Sunner
Legend Club Management/Xplor

• Developer: Legend Club Management
• Client: The Lensbury Club
• Location: UK
• www.xplortechnologies.com

Retaining members and enhancing its community was harder to achieve remotely during lockdown, so The Lensbury worked with Legend Club Management Systems to create a virtual workout app to engage members and to function as a long-term retention tool.

The app shares content generated by the club’s instructors, enabling members to see familiar faces and begin to replicate the experience they’d grown accustomed to in the club.

Initially delivered at no extra cost, high demand and support from members prompted the club to charge £40/month for use, giving members access to constant fresh content and enabling them to mirror their in-club timetables at home.

Since launch, the club has gained over 250 virtual members, with classes available live and on-demand. This exceeds the initial target of 150 virtual members and has enabled the club to generate revenue and strengthen member loyalty.

What started as a tool to engage members and reestablish the lost community feeling, has become the hub of a long-term retention strategy to complement The Lensbury’s previous £1million investment in the club itself.

Legend Club Management Systems is an Xplor Technologies company

What started as a membership engagement tool is now driving the long-term retention strategy
The Lensbury gained 250 virtual members / photo: the lensbury club
Ernst De Neef

• Developer: Funxtion
• Client: NonStop Gym
• Where: Switzerland
• www.funxtion.com

FunXtion has partnered with NonStop Gym, a chain of 24/7 clubs in Switzerland, to create NSG Training, a custom-branded member app that extends brand influence beyond the walls of its facilities and enables members to access pre-loaded workouts and training plans anytime, anywhere.

Like many operators, during lockdown, NonStop Gym needed to find a way to maintain engagement with members. They were not looking for a quick fix, but wanted to invest in a sustainable solution that would answer an immediate need while enhancing their in-club experience once facilities re-opened.

We created a custom-branded app that immediately supported the ongoing training needs of members and offered access to challenges, which promoted community engagement.

Our pre-recorded library of exercises and workouts provided members with access to a huge array of options, from HIIT to yoga, abdominal blasts to mindfulness sessions.

The app – available in German, French and English, went live in February and is available to both iOS and Android users.

The NonStop Gym app is available in German, French and English
Enrico Paleari
EP Home-Delivery Coach
Enrico Paleari / photo: Enrico Paleari

• Operator: EP Home-Delivery Coach
• Developer: UPTIVO
• Location: Italy
• uptivo.fit

Our fitness studio in Italy, called EP Home-Delivery Coach, helps people of all ages and fitness levels reach their full potential, with attention to their individual needs and goals.

My co-founder Allegra Ravera and I offer a variety of services, ranging from at-home PT and small group sessions, to indoor and outdoor classes, both on-site and online.

In 2020, we adopted the Uptivo heart-rate monitoring platform to add more quality and attention-to-detail to our services and to be able to track members’ workouts in real-time.

Monitoring training intensity allows us to step in at the appropriate time to push members or to slow them down when they’re trying too hard. We pride ourselves on educating clients on the correct quantity and intensity of physical activity, and Uptivo has a precious role to play in that.

Heart rate monitors are included in our premium packages – PT and small group – and offered optionally for classes. The response has been extremely good. The platform proved helpful during lockdowns and in addressing social distancing, thanks to its outdoor group training monitoring option and because of functionality, that allows us to add heart-rate-based telemetry to online live sessions with up to 25 members.

We use Uptivo management features to schedule activities, manage bookings and waiting lists and let members purchase credit packages and subscriptions via the Uptivo app for iPhone and Android phones.

The platform is very helpful in addressing social distancing rules
Uptivo monitors outdoor group training / photo: Enrico Paleari
Sean Lucas
First Sports
photo: first sports

• Developer: First Sports
• Client: Leisure United, Sheffield Westfield
• Where: UK
• www.first-sports.com

We were already Leisure United’s software partner for the football side, and as the gym and fitness facilities came online at Sheffield Westfield, they realised the downsides of running separate platforms and approached us for an all-encompassing software solution to support every aspect of the multi-faceted sports and fitness centre.

We recognised their requirements could largely be met by our existing software with its member management, access control, payment processing, course management and event booking modules. From there, we worked with the management team to “fill the gaps”.

We focused on operational functionality and reporting, investigating everything from joining online, to managing and tracking access, and, following installation, the system now supports 20,000 registered users. Our partnership with Leisure United has grown to support all ten of their existing hubs throughout England.

Leisure United realised the downsides of running separate platforms
Rob Lander
photo: fisikal

• Developer: Fisikal
• Client: Frame Fitness Studios
• Where: UK
• www.fisikal.com

Fisikal partnered with Frame to create a new digital studio in order to keep servicing ‘Framers’ through lockdown restrictions and to improve business efficiencies.

Over the years, the studio software had evolved into a ‘filo pastry’ of layers, which needed to be simplified and restructured. The integration extended Frame’s high-energy in-club experience to an online offering, digitising the business with a website to cater for studio, on-demand and live-stream classes.

We integrated business operations into one system, allowing Frame to provide a more efficient and personalised customer journey, while streamlining business payments and bookings, saving the team thousands in software fees.

Through the online studio, Frame has 6,000 members using on-demand subscriptions and thousands more booking into livestream classes. We also developed bespoke functionalities for Frame, including dynamic pricing, an interactive option for members to tag classes by their mood, and a ‘waterfall’ filter system so specific classes can be easily found through Frame filters.

Digitalisation has contributed to future-proofing the business. The online studio is essentially an entirely new studio, without property costs and with the ability to engage members across the globe.

Frame has 6,000 members using on-demand and thousands more booking into livestream
Frame membership is now open globally / photo: Frame
Lewis Stowe
Perfect Gym
photo: perfect gym

• Developer: Perfect Gym
• Client: Club Towers
• Location: UK
• www.perfectgym.com

Owners of Club Towers, a health and racquet club in the UK, understand the club’s operating software is a key part of the member experience.

As membership increased, its needs outgrew the previous provider and then came COVID-19, bringing with it new challenges, such the provision of greater levels of access control and the need to engage members who couldn’t come to the facility, meaning Club Towers needed a new, unified system.

Perfect Gym worked to unify its three zones under one system, a process that has previously required manual harmonising. In addition, the company helped the club implement a new family membership, where individuals on one account could have different levels of facility access.

It was important for the club to be able to notify individual members about things such as cancellations and the system’s individual messaging and automation functionality has been deployed to ensure communications are relevant to the members who receive them.

Member management is now unified under one system, tracking customer engagement and communications while making customisable memberships easy. Since implementation, Perfect Gym is at the heart of the Club Towers system, user portal and white label app, enabling the club to continue to tailor its interface to improve its full club experience.

Reports track, identify and engage members at risk of churn
Simon Aurik
photo: virtuagym

• Developer: Virtuagym
• Client: Holmes Place
• Where: Europe
• www.virtuagym.com

Holmes Place operations in Spain were hit especially hard in the first wave of the pandemic and the company identified the need for solutions that would localise and enhance membership engagement, reduce admin costs and safely control gym capacity. Virtuagym’s class booking, online community and access control software was deployed, helping transcend operational barriers.

The technology updated booking and scheduling, with digitisation reducing the amount of time spent on admin and allowing members to organise their own plans. An online community was created to increase engagement, marketing and promotions, as well as providing online classes – with live streams and a library of online workout videos accessible.

COVID-proof features, such as scheduling and capacity control systems, assisted compliance with club reopening protocols and safety guidelines were implemented.

All this was integrated in a personalised mobile app with key resources and information to boost engagement in a secure digital environment.

Virtuagym and FitnessKPI join forces

Virtuagym has partnered with FitnessKPI, the creator of the first scorecard on the market specialised in the management of sports and fitness facilities.

The new solution will enable gym owners, PTs and fitness entrepreneurs to make strategic and operational decisions based on 24/7 business data analysis, improving performance and competitiveness.

An online community was created to increase engagement and provide online classes
Maike Kumstel
photo: Sport alliance

• Developer: Sport Alliance Magicline
• Client: McFIT
• Location: Germany
• www.sportalliance.com

We knew we needed to enable gyms to offer outdoor training, while meeting all COVID-19 regulations, so Sport Alliance collaborated with McFIT to set up an outdoor training area for their members using Magicline’s Click-and-Train feature.

In order to meet the regulations, McFit needed to be able to control the number of people in their facility and the time they spend training. The Click-and-Train feature meets these needs.

Gym owners now can define how many people can train in their studio and for how long. Members can book free time slots online or via the app and are only granted access to the outdoor gym with a valid booking. They can check-in completely contact-free with a QR code using their app.

This helps gyms to keep control of the number of members in their studio, while simplifying COVID-19 tracking, enabling operators to deliver outdoor gym training during the pandemic.

McFit needed to control the number of people in their facility and the time they spend training
Matt White
Hedgehog Concept
photo: hedgehog concept

• Developer: Hedgehog Concept
• Client: The Mosaic Group
• Location: UK
• www.hedgehogconcept.co.uk

The Mosaic Group runs 19 health clubs and spas across England, which include the Imagine Spas brand. As an expanding group looking to take on more sites, Mosaic needed software that would deliver a business-wide view of the operation.

Hedgehog Concept’s leisure management software, Elan, was selected, with integration being implemented between Elan and the Bottom Line collections bureau.

User training and member experience was at the forefront of the delivery requirements and the pandemic meant training had to be delivered remotely. Attendees used their in-club devices to simulate real-life scenarios in their own environment, with the trainer demonstrating new concepts for trainees to test their understanding and consolidate their learning.

Mosaic will make software savings by expanding Elan across the estate and consolidating legacy CRM, leisure management and appointment booking software. Further savings will be made across the group through the simplification of business processes, a reduction on cross-system training, automation of previous manual tasks and clearer reporting.

The partnership between Mosaic and Hedgehog continues to grow, with Elan being expanded to also replace legacy spa management systems.

User training and member experience was at the forefront of the delivery requirements
Mosaic is making software savings / photo: Mosaic spa & Health clubs
Jason Watts
Xn Leisure

• Developer: Xn Leisure
• Client: Ipswitch Fit
• Location: UK
• www.xnleisure.com

Ipswich Borough Council Sport and its sports arm, Ipswich Fit, already had online memberships and online bookings and payments in place. However, they wanted to improve the end user experience and so needed a unified system that only required one log-in for several different membership management modules.

Leisure Hub from Xn Leisure was chosen, as it allowed Ipswich Fit to combine the two areas into one stand-alone portal for bookings, payments and memberships.

Ipswich Fit already had Xn Pay in place as their payment portal which helped ensure the installation was straightforward. The Xn team then gave three virtual training days, answering queries, gave advice, and dealt with requirements surrounding gym re-openings.

After the launch in December 2020, Ipswich Fit had over 500 members registered by the end of Day 2 and over 750 by the end of the first week.

Customers responded positively to only having to log in once to access their membership services, which freed staff up from dealing with high levels of customer queries.

Customers responded positively to only having to log in once to access membership and booking
Ben Brand
photo: Quoox

• Developer: Quoox
• Client: Barrie Mark Personal Training Centre
• Location: UK
• www.quoox.com

The Barrie Mark Personal Training Centre (BMPT) in Carlisle is a small group and 1-to-1 gym.

Having been in the fitness industry 14 years, BMPT found it was outgrowing its previous management software, paying different subscriptions for bookings and payments, newsletters, marketing, nutrition and online training.

BMPT founder Barrie Mark Scougal approached Quoox in April 2020 with a view to migrating to an integrated system to cover all these functions, with the option to extend into new areas of tech, such as member apps and staff management and to get access to functionality such as retention tools.

Quoox’s suite of functions include using XRcize and FitFlix for video and workouts on-demand and FitnessHub as a member portal, while the system has over 200 other features, enabling BMPT to launch new online and on-demand services, for example.

Quoox’s integration with Myzone has streamlined BMPT’s delivery of MZ-Remote sessions and their day-to-day processes, while reporting, KPIs and metrics enable Scougal to manage his business proactively and identify opportunities for growth.

BMPT found it was outgrowing its previous management software
Ben Hackney-Williams
photo: myzone

• Developer: Myzone/Wellonomics
• Client: Acushnet Europe
• Location: UK
• www.myzone.org

Wellonomics is on a mission to improve business and employee performance through its personalised wellbeing platform. The Wellonomics assessment tool identifies areas of life that require support from time-to-time to keep clients performing consistently with the help of a team of qualified experts.

The heart rate tracking, physical activity measurement and long-term culture shift from this assessment and performance measurement comes from Myzone software and its ongoing engagement within any community.

In recent months, Wellonomics has been providing health and wellness solutions to golf retailer Acushnet Europe Ltd through its health experts at the Training Shed. Pre-pandemic, this included the design and delivery of a new physical training facility, face-to-face workshops and one-on-one sessions. Myzone was available in the training facility for classes but was not integrated into a ‘take-home’ solution, an issue the team remedied.

During lockdowns and the shift to remote working, employees have had the opportunity to benefit from health club insights by enrolling in the company Myzone scheme to encourage physical activity and a company culture synonymous with group activity and health promotion. This has been achieved with the use of company Myzone challenges and leaderboards. It has resulted in over 6,000 moves, 10,761 hours of activity, 3.7 million calories being burned and a total of 863,000 MEPs (Myzone Effort Points) achieved.

Employees have had the opportunity to benefit by enrolling in the company Myzone scheme
Martin Perry

• Developer: Technogym
• Client: Tees Active
• Location: UK
• www.technogym.com

Tees Active is a not-for-profit community trust in the UK that works in partnership with organisations such as the NHS, Sport England, ukactive, and Public Health England to connect with hard-to-reach groups, as well as more active members of the community.

Technogym Mywellness has been in use by Tees Active for many years and since the start of the pandemic, has been deployed to add live and on-demand content to the mix for members.

Tees Active wanted one solution for all its member activity. With the infrastructure of Mywellness already embedded into the customer journey, adding live and on-demand was the next step.

With a diverse membership ranging from general fitness to specialisms such as cardiac rehabilitation, weight management, and neurological interventions, a platform was needed that gave every member the service they wanted. Streaming being an effective way of connecting with more vulnerable people.

Mywellness content was delivered via a multi-stage approach to offer members the chance to engage with activity during lockdown and beyond. Now facilities are open again, streaming services are helping Tees Active add value to memberships and extend their reach beyond the local area.

The platform offers a flexible way for Tees Active to use its own content and reach specialist demographics with the right support. For example, weight management programmes have continued via the app.

Over 1,000 members have already signed up. Of these, 500 are regular members who enjoy the opportunity to connect with their favourite class instructor and see a familiar studio setting in the background.

Technogym will support Tees Active’s on-demand health offer, rolling out specialist content
Technogym partners with Tees Active / photos: technogym
Heather Garrick

• Developer: Mindbody
• Client: Heartcore
• Location: UK
• www.mindbodyonline.com

Mindbody customer Heartcore, founded over 12 years ago, prides itself on being one of the founders of London’s fitness and wellness scene with one simple goal in mind – to touch lives.

Although the business was used to seeing its in-studio classes packed with loyal clients, the pandemic forced Heartcore to explore digital options to keep clients moving and healthy.

When Heartcore switched over to live streaming, they were worried clients would be confused when it came to booking and signing up. Realising that consistency is key to helping their community transition to a digital platform, Heartcore’s turned to the Mindbody app to make the process seamless.

The studio has now been able to resume in-studio sessions for personal and group bubble training, but the digital offerings still play a big role, with a group of around 2,500 clients continuing to use the live stream.

The Mindbody app has been designed to help fitness businesses increase brand exposure, stay connected with clients, and provide real-time scheduling and payments.

At Heartcore, a group of 2,500 members continue to use the live stream

Originally published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 4

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