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David Stalker, the FIA’s executive director, reports on the FIA TwentyTen Commission

T

he FIA TwentyTen Commission was established by the FIA board to highlight areas in

which the FIA should focus its energies in the coming years. One such area is data and research, which is being seen as a growing area of importance for the fitness industry. It is a topic, however, that fails to raise

the pulse of many people in the sector – that is, until a debate is sparked about the precise number of fi tness facilities in the UK, the total number of members, the number of casual users, the health outcomes achieved or a host of other matters that can only be resolved if we have the facts. Critically, without a systematic, industry-wide data and research strategy, it becomes impossible for external parties – be it government, investors or key partners – to make judgements on the value of working with our sector. Whether it’s about securing investment or proving social outcomes, research on the industry as a whole is crucial to making the progress that we each need within our organisations.

using what you’ve got

An industry-wide strategy for data and research is a broad agenda; it covers data about facilities and services provided across the country, information about the people working in our sector, data captured on the outcomes of our programmes, insight into what drives consumers into our clubs (and keeps them there for longer) and the use of data to inform business performance. Often it’s about making better use of

what’s already there. The proliferation of technologies such as FitLinxx and the Technogym Wellness System, as well as the standard operation of many

news

data and research: 2010

FIA members will be entitled to a report profiling exactly who their members are

membership management systems, means there’s more information out there than one might think. In addition, agencies such as The Leisure Database Company, Leisure-net Solutions and Oxygen Consulting have been producing valuable research for many years. The FIA will be making a concerted

move into these areas in 2010, in anticipation of the fi ndings of the Twenty Ten Commission which will clearly suggest that it does even more from 2011 onwards. This will not mean that the FIA will be carrying out research in its own right. It will simply be working with other parties already active in the fi eld to make sure that the knowledge we gather is spread as widely as possible, and that lessons are being learned about the best way forward.

consumer insight

One of the key areas that’s been identified as a priority is consumer insight. In comparison with sectors such as retail and hospitality, there’s an awful lot for us to learn when it comes to understanding the motivations of our users.

The FIA National Fitness Audit will

see the FIA working with The Leisure Database Company to help its members better understand their customers via the Mosaic profi ling system. Each FIA member will be entitled to a free

membership profi le report to help inform their own strategy. This will help them ensure that they have the right marketing tools in place. It will also help members show they’re

meeting their wider social agenda by proving that fi tness is a service consumed by a broad range of social groups. The evidence from these individual profi ling exercises will be collated to provide an overall picture of our sector’s consumers, which will help inform the FIA’s development strategy moving forward, as well as alerting government and other bodies to the reach of our industry. In addition, the FIA is working with

Leisure-net Solutions on the Price

and Promotions Comparison Report.

This allows members to compare their promotions with the rest of the market, as well as allowing us to track the trends in marketing activity across the sector. Finally, we will be working with the

support of Precor and Ray Algar on the fi rst ever detailed industry study into the trends affecting the growth of the budget club industry. Is this something to fear or embrace? This report will look at the dynamics within this segment of the industry and chart a way forward for the years ahead. This is just the start of our activities in

this area. It’s time we all got a bit more interested in data and research.

leisureopportunities is the offi cial recruitment magazine of the fi a

18 Read Health Club Management online healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital april 2010 © cybertrek 2010

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