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DIGITAL GYMS


HI -TECH FUTURE I


n August, Virgin Active announced plans to launch two technology- focused clubs where digital technology will be intrinsic to the experience. HD interactive


screens will allow members to book classes, view which PTs are on the club floor and provide virtual workout advice. There will also be access to web-based services, so users can connect to the internet and use social media networks while exercising. In addition, the operator is working towards a contactless solution in which members will receive an interactive wristband, doing away with the need for membership cards and locker keys. Virgin Active’s chief information


offi cer, Andy Caddy, says the changes are all motivated by the desire to make it easier for members to personalise their workout and get as much out of it as possible. “There’s a growing demand


Will other operators be encouraged


Next year we’re likely to see further digitisation of health clubs. So what innovative technology is available, what’s in the pipeline, and what will be the new must-have for clubs? Kath Hudson asks the experts


from our members to have the latest technology at their fi ngertips, which lives up to their increasingly connected and digital lifestyles,” he says.


to follow Virgin Active’s example, or will some decide to keep an old school, low- tech experience as their USP? “Technology offers the ability to


service the customer better, drive retention, market offers, gain data and insight, monetise the relationship, encourage impulse buys, and streamline joining and class booking, says Bryan O’Rourke, CEO of Integrus and president of the Fitness Industry Technology Council. “However, incorporating technology is expensive, and it can be dangerous to be an early adopter unless you think carefully about your business model and are mindful of how technology fi ts into your strategy.” If you’re thinking of adding some


technological spice to your club experience, what should you go for? We ask the experts how they envisage the digital gyms of the future….


HD interactive screens could enable members to book classes and get virtual workout advice


48 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


November/December 2014 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


PHOTO: WWW.SHUTTERSTOCK.COM


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