The industry has faced challenges and changes that have happened at an accelerated pace over the past couple of years. But with every challenge, and every change, there are plenty of new opportunities.
Now’s the time to position your organisation to take advantage of changes now and for the future.
Here are just a few of the changes you could capitalise on:
1) The shift in workout patterns
The typical 9-to-5 working day is increasingly a thing of the past, thanks in large part to Covid-19. Working patterns were slowly changing before the pandemic, which has accelerated that shift.
With working patterns changing, so too are workout patterns. Many of your members will no longer be finishing work at 5pm and heading straight to your leisure centres. Peak and off-peak memberships could be a thing of the past…
…or you could adapt your membership options to better suit the changes in demand for your facilities.
You could capitalise on those changes to workout patterns by:
- Changing your peak and off-peak timings
- Introducing new weekday memberships
- Offering more flexible pay-as-you-go options
2) The end of the 5-day commute
Those changes to the working day have also been impacted by more people working from home during the pandemic.
The daily commute stopped for many in March 2020 and it’s been slow to return. Many businesses have embraced a permanent or hybrid ‘working from home’ approach.
That changes how your members work out, because the commute affects when or where 51% of members exercise.* If they’re not commuting into a city centre, they won’t be using city centre gyms.
That presents a big opportunity for local area leisure centres. When more of the working population is staying within your local authority, you’ll have a bigger target audience to promote your facilities to.
3) The rise in online fitness
Covid-19 also saw a huge boom in home workouts, and a massive boost to the online fitness industry.
32% of gym, health club and leisure centre members tried online workouts during the pandemic for the first time. And 60% said they’ll continue to use them.*
But online fitness classes don’t need to be a competitor to your leisure centre. They could be an ally.
Take advantage of that shift in trends to deliver a new offer to your local area, a hybrid membership of virtual and in-person workouts, classes and access to facilities.
Partner with a third party provider to integrate virtual fitness content into your software, streaming classes through your website or native mobile app. Or invest in a small amount of tech to record and stream your own online workouts direct from your leisure centres.
You could even set aside any unused studios for members to stream their own virtual fitness content, giving them the space to work out they might not have at home.
4) The focus on healthy living
One final change that’s impacting the health and fitness sector, and one your leisure centres could capitalise on, is the big focus on health and wellbeing.
The pandemic has shown us all how we need to look after our health, stay active and take care of our mental wellbeing.
Your leisure centres play a vital role in the health and wellbeing of the local community, and you’re well placed to benefit from this focus in a number of ways. You could:
- Increase the number of exercise referrals you take from health providers
- Offer additional well being-focused classes, like breathing workshops, mindful meditation classes, or mental health support programmes
- Turn your leisure centres into community hubs, a real focal point for every generation to meet and benefit from
After all, over 20% of gym goers say it’s as much about socialising as it is the fitness*, and this number increases dramatically for older generations. Their local leisure centre is a communal place to support both their physical and mental health.
The first step to capitalising on health & fitness industry changes is understanding how they’ve affected your leisure centres.
That means gathering and analysing data from your members, using your leisure membership management software to see how your facilities are being accessed and used.
When you have a clear picture of your current situation – and you understand the trends that are impacting the health and fitness sector – you can capitalise on those changes to grow your membership base and further support your local communities.
And if you want to explore other smart ways to maximise your leisure centre revenue, download our latest white paper.
*Taken from research conducted by Decision Architects on behalf of Xplor Technologies in Spring 2021