Know your customer and give consistent experiences.
Those were the main points SCW Fitness Education CEO Sara Kooperman shared with members of the Gold's Gym Franchisee Association during a digital presentation Wednesday. She spoke about the latest in group fitness and personal training, offered tips and cited studies showing trends to watch for in 2015 and 2016.
"We live in an iPhone and Starbucks world. We have to give them want they want," Kooperman said. "Digital is huge now. Clients know what they want; they want it accessible and easy to use. They want to walk into the store and want a client experience they know how to deal with."
One of the biggest club trends for 2015 and 2016 will be increasing ancillary revenue through personal training, group training, pro shops, massages and physical therapy clinics, she said. Membership revenue is decreasing from 70 percent of total revenue to 40 percent, and ancillary revenue is increasing from 30 percent to 60 percent of total revenue, Kooperman added.
"It's not just about membership anymore – we want to offer more to the few," she said. "We want to become a one-stop shop for our people and clients."
Session programming for her company's eight MANIA Fitness Pro Conventions reflects current trends in personal training and group exercise.
"We had to add 50 percent more personal training sessions and almost all of the group exercise sessions are pre-choreographed," Kooperman said. "We used to have one nutrition class, and now we have two. We had to add an entire business room because the people that grew up with us want to know the business as well as how to integrate programs like Les Mills and Zumba."
Kooperman also cited brands such as CrossFit, Tabata Bootcamp, Piloxing, MoiCycle, Masala Bhangra, BodyShred, Funkie Fusion, Group RX and Xerciselab for capitalizing on the group trend.
"The reason they are so successful is because the consumer can walk in and know what they're going to get," Kooperman said. "They want consistency and quality. They don't want somebody's individual class."
Kooperman talked about importance and potential of group exercise programs compared to personal training. Group exercise programs are affordable for members and can be interchangeable with different trainers.
She advised operators to create group exercise programs, not classes.
"Group fitness is a very powerful market, and it reaches the most people," she said. "Invest in your clients who will stay and invest in sustainable programs."