In fitness clubs today it’s expected to find a wall of TVs in front of cardio equipment, but it wasn’t always this way. Installing TVs was a way for gyms to differentiate themselves from competitors in the 90’s and at the time it was new technology. Operators were hesitant to make the investment, but those who installed cardio entertainment systems were greatly rewarded as they saw greater member retention and increased membership sales.
As cardio entertainment has become a staple of health clubs in the past 15 years, how will it evolve in the next five? Furthermore, how can you stay ahead of the curve, gaining the competitive advantage that operators had in the 90’s through installing TVs?
Here are some of the emerging trends in cardio entertainment to be aware of:
Entertainment Is Going MobileMost clubs have wireless audio boxes with headphone jacks on the cardio machine for listening to TV audio, but clubs can now use a mobile app for this purpose. Members are able to use their health club’s app to connect to TV audio and listen in on their smartphone with companies like MYE Entertainment leading the field. This enables members to go from machine to machine without breaking their audio connection and is a great solution for clubs that don’t currently have audio receivers attached to their cardio equipment.
Personalized OfferingsCardio equipment of the future will tailor on-screen offers based on user data already stored on the machine. Say a member has a history of buying smoothies from the juice bar and they’re finishing their run on a treadmill, they could receive a message, such as “Receive 10% off your favorite smoothie,” that they are able to click and purchase directly from the screen. The juice bar will receive this order and the smoothie will be ready for the member once they’ve completed their workout. This delivers the seamless experience that members want, and a new POS platform for club owners.
Virtual technology will become another mainstay within health club facilities. Operators want to create more excitement within their club and allowing members to partake in virtual classes help to accomplish that. Members will be able to tune into virtual spin and biking classes in open space without having to designate an entire room or area to it. The use of audio mobile technology will allow these classes to happen on your club’s main floor, eliminating the need for dedicated rooms. This creates a more versatile offering for your club to provide to members.
The most important part of working in an industry powered by trends is to stay ahead of them. Club operators should look at their current offering, understand at the gaps, and make strategic decisions to bring their club success. The growth of the wearable market over this past year tells us one thing: technology is going to take over the fitness industry.
Want to see where the fitness industry is heading? Check out our FREE e-book The Club of 2020: