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Monday
Mar022015

IHRSA 2015 Trade Show Profile: ASF Payment Solutions

Even if you had stopped by a company’s booth at previous IHRSA trade shows it is always wise to check them out again the next year.

Your club may have different needs or priorities from 12 months earlier and you may look at products differently. That especially holds true it there are new items unveiled at the booth.

Software, billing and business management is not as sexy as new technology in treadmills, virtual classes or the new workout accompaniments. But, there areas are extremely important to the bottom line of a business.

ASF Payment Solutions have offerings in software, billing and business management that can enhance any club’s software. And with its new Pass-A-Friend Online Member Referral Program, there are even more reasons to check them. Pass-A-Friend allows a club member to issue free club passes as a referral. Clubs then can target e-mails to those referred.

ASF Payment Solutions is once again a proud sponsor of the IHRSA show by sponsoring the Program Guide, Show Badge and IHRSA App. 

Visit them at booth 2123 to learn more about Pass-A-Friend and other ASF options.

 

ASF Payment Solutions

Location: Denver, Colorado 

Website: asfpaymentsolutions.com

Booth Number: 2123

What do you hope to achieve at IHRSA trade show? As always, we are looking forward to meeting new faces, catching up with industry peers, networking, attending the IHRSA events, checking out the new products and getting as much as we can out of the show - including some new clients! 

What will be the most exciting part of your booth?: Our people! 

What are the primary products of your company?: ASF Payment Solutions provides full service member payment management, online management software and marketing products.

Key Features Include: EFT/CC processing; Full-service payment management; Flexible draft and remit dates; Online, mobile-ready club management software with POS; scheduling, online member agreements with signature capture, check-in, reporting and more; and PCI-DSS compliant data storage.

What specific products will be at your booth?: We will have software demos, marketing samples and detailed information on our payment management services.

Will anything new to be unveiled this year?: We recently launched our new Pass-A-Friend Online Member Referral Program. It is an inexpensive, interactive referral pass program that is integrated with our software. Clubs can initiate target emails through the online wizard to their members that contain four passes for them to give to friends. Our software can track the number of referral passes sent, redeemed and converted, giving our clients a permanent marketing program that is affordable, flexible and trackable.

Describe the company/products: ASF Payment Solutions was founded on and is still run by the same principle: to provide club owners with the best products to help them drive revenue and grow their business. As the first billing company in the industry, we have spent over 40 years perfecting the art of member receivables management, health club management software and marketing programs. We’ve listened to thousands of club owners and have successfully crafted our business model around their needs. We value the relational partnerships we’ve built with our clients and we’ve gained a greater knowledge base through their ongoing feedback.

How many miles traveling to Los Angeles?: 1100

Why did your company decide to exhibit at IHRSA 2015?: We exhibit every year and have for over 30 years.


Read more IHRSA 2015 Trade Show ProfilesFor more on the IHRSA 2015, visit ihrsa.org/convention.  

Monday
Mar022015

IHRSA 2015 Trade Show Profile: Precor Incorporated

There are a handful of booths during the trade show at the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show that really stick out.

It might be the scope of the booth, what you see within the borders of the booth, those working the booth, or something new that wasn’t there in past trade shows.

Precor is one such company that fits this description. And its 2015 booth, at number 1744, will be no different.

The highlight of the space will be the many new products. Precor, based in Washington state, will be unveiling the New Experience Series treadmills with Active Status Light, New Discovery Series Benches & Racks, and Discovery Series Plate Loaded Line at IHRSA 2015.

Be sure to stop by booth 1744, either Thursday, March 12, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Friday, March 13, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Precor Incorporated

Location: Woodinville, WA

Website: www.precor.com

Booth: 1744

What do you hope to achieve at IHRSA trade show?: We are showcasing products that are proven and personalized to offer the very best fitness experiences to help exercisers live the life they desire.

What will be the most exciting part of your booth?: Industry Insights Presentations from Precor's thought leaders, AMT Team Fit with Master Coaches

Additional Product Information: www.precor.com/treadmills

What are the primary products of your company?: We offer treadmills, elliptical trainers,climbers, stationary bikes, plate loaded strength equipment, selectorized strength equipment, and various entertainment options for exercisers.

What specific products will be at your booth?:

  • New Experience Series treadmills with Active Status Light
  • New Discovery Series Smith Machine, Super Squat, Hack Slide, and Leg Press
  • Discovery Series Plate Loaded Line (Lower Body)
  • Preva Networked Fitness
  • AMT Team Fit
  • Global Service

Will anything new to be unveiled this year?:

  • New Experience Series treadmills with Active Status Light
  • New Discovery Series Benches & Racks
  • Discovery Series Plate Loaded Line (Lower Body)

Describe the company/products: Precor designs and builds premium fitness equipment for effective workouts that feel smooth and natural. Our commercial cardio products were designed to be reliable and easy to use. Our strength products accommodate exercisers of all fitness levels.

Why did your company decide to exhibit at IHRSA 2015?; Precor, as a leader in the fitness industry, creates fitness equipment to fit a need by operators and exercisers. We are showcasing products that exercisers and operators need and want alike.

For more on the IHRSA 2015, visit ihrsa.org/convention. 

Monday
Feb232015

The Important Contributions Health Clubs Make Across the Country

State fact sheets on the health club industry are now available to that help IHRSA members demonstrate the many ways that health clubs and the fitness industry improve the physical and fiscal well-being of each state and its residents. 

IHRSA members can use this information to advocate at a state or local level, to promote the benefits your club delivers to a local community, and to promote the importance of physical activity in the club setting.

Fact sheets are available for all 50 states and Washington, DC. 

To see your state’s health club industry statistics, visit ihrsa.org/state.

Friday
Feb202015

This Week in IHRSA Public Policy

The IHRSA Advocacy team works every day on efforts to Grow and Promote the industry while Protecting your business and bottom line from Harmful Legislation. This week the Advocacy team is working on:  

- Financial Incentives for Employee Wellness in Minnesota. IHRSA is working with FIT Minnesota - a coalition of Minnesota-based IHRSA and Industry Leadership Council Members - to pass legislation that would incentivize physical activity in Minnesota. House File 229 and Senate File 350 would prevent people from having to pay taxes on health club memberships provided by their employers. The bills would also create a corporate income tax credit for businesses that purchase health club memberships for their employees. is asking clubs in Minnesota to contact their local officials to stress the importance of passing these bills. Learn more at FITMN.org and IHRSA.org/minnesota

- Opposing the Sales Tax in Washington, DC. IHRSA is encouraging members in the District of Columbia to attend forums with Mayor Bowser to speak out against the sales tax on health club dues and services. Information for the forums and details regarding the wellness tax repeal can be found at ihrsa.org/districtofcolumbia.

Friday
Feb202015

Cleanliness is Key to Healthiness

Ebola virus (EV)—the mere mention of it is unsettling, to say the least.

Fortunately, experts agree that there’s little chance that anyone could contract the virus in a health club setting. Still, the recent Ebola outbreak, which originated in West Africa and reached the U.S. in a very limited way last fall, has spawned a flurry of news stories, some accurate and some not, about the kinds of illnesses that people can pick up when they frequent public places––health clubs included.

It’s a glaring reminder that club operators need to have accurate information on hand at all times so their staff can inform and reassure members should any kind of health scare hit the media. They also should have a detailed cleaning regimen that the club staff performs on a regular basis, and make products available to their members to use to disinfect equipment and other surfaces in the club, at will.

While Ebola poses little threat at the present time, the transmission of viruses that cause colds and influenza is more likely at this time of year. These annoying illnesses can lead to more serious conditions, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and, for the young, the elderly, or the physically compromised, can prove dangerous.

Therefore, it behooves club operators to take a second look at the information they have on the health aspects of the club environment, their cleaning procedures, and the cleaning products they’re currently using.

Read more

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb182015

Certifying Quality with Product Showcase

If you were around at the dawn of the modern health and fitness industry, you may recall that there were no educational programs for trainers, no certifying organizations, and no continuing education credits (CECS) ... And, if you were on the scene, say, 20 years ago, you know that, by then, there were ... and have a sense of what they brought to bear.

And today?

So much more, so much better!

But the process is an ongoing one, and the challenges not only linger, but, in some ways, proliferate. “Education and credentialing for the exercise professional is following the same path of evolution and maturation that we’ve seen in many other emerging professions,” points out Graham Melstrand, vice president of corporate affairs for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). “Health and fitness professionals are increasingly perceived as well positioned to assume a leadership role in the promotion of active, healthy lifestyles. ... This recognition brings a corresponding increase in the scrutiny of qualifications and standards that apply to the professional.”

In a sense, everyone involved—educators, trainers, club owners, and even club members—have caught sight of a higher standard and are now pursuing it.

A host of factors is driving the inevitable: More people are pursuing wellness in health clubs. They’re better educated, more discerning, and more demanding than ever. A growing number are interested in personal and/or specialized training. Americans (and others) are grappling with rising levels of obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases. Healthcare costs continue to climb. Preventive healthcare is coming into its own. Clubs are investigating and/or implementing the medical model. Consumer protection is a pressing priority.

“We believe that personal trainers are on the front line in the fight against rising obesity rates and healthcare costs,” observes Andrew Wyant, the president of the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

“Establishing consistent standards and a more proactive healthcare approach—one that embraces doctors, insurance companies, and fitness professionals—is going to benefit everyone.”

But problems—or, rather, opportunities for improvement—remain.

There’s a host of certifying agencies (more than 300 at last count). The value of the accreditations they confer is sometimes unclear, both to club owners and the public. Ascertaining how credible they are may not be easy (the word “transparency” has recently come into vogue). The checking of the validity and currency of a trainer’s certifications is time-consuming and uneven. The enforcement of standards may be inconsistent.

Read more

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb182015

Public Policy is focus of Feb Club Insider

Norm Cates wanted to explain how important Advocacy is for the industry, as well as all that IHRSA does to grow, promote and protect the industry, so IHRSA worked with Norm and Justin Cates on an IHRSA Public Policy interview. The results of that interview appear as the cover article for the February issue of Club Insider News.

The article covers the early beginnings of IHRSA Government Relations, IHRSA’s Win-Loss record against harmful legislation over the past 5 years (83 – 3), how the IHRSA team works to both support pro-industry legislation and defeat hazardous legislation, misconceptions about advocacy, comments about IHRSA's efforts and successes from Industry Leadership Council members and much more.

Read the article online here.

Wednesday
Feb182015

Gaining Insight from the Customer Feedback Loop

This post is sponsored by Iron Grip Barbell Company:

Listening to your customers is the number one way to increase satisfaction and reduce churn. Keeping an open dialogue shows that you care, and goes a long way toward building healthy, lasting relationships between your club and its members. Not to mention, your members are constantly thinking of ways that your business could be better. Your members’ feedback tells you which of your employees are doing their jobs well or not. Feedback can tell you which processes and procedures are helpful or frustrating. It can tell you if your pricing and discounts are working for you or against you. And it can tell you which equipment in your gym is the most needed and appreciated.

Learn more about receiving feedback from your members.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb182015

Opportunities to Grow Membership

Thank you for checking out the above slideshare on Opportunities to Grow Membership. If you'd like more information on the expected opportunities, download the 2015 Opportunity Report here. And to support IHRSA's efforts to grow, promote and protect clubs across the country, please consider joining the Industry Leadership Council. 


Meredith Poppler

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Meredith works daily to grow, protect, and promote the industry by raising awareness of and funding for important public policy issues, while encouraging advocacy, collaboration and leadership within the industry.
Tuesday
Feb172015

Smart Phone Apps May Be Just As Accurate As Fitness Trackers - But Do They Really Motivate?

One of the top fitness topcis in 2014, and presumably in 2015 as well, has been fitness trackers, the likes of Fit Bit, Jawbone, Nike Fuel Band, etc. Of course, pedometers have been around for a while, but these newer trackers added a slew of benefits like sleep tracking, measuring exercise as well as walking, and complementary apps that enable you to track other fitness metrics like weight, nutrition, and hydration. But do these new trackers accurately measure your steps? A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Assocation tested them to find out.

The study tested three of the most popular fitness trackers - Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike - against pedometers, accellerometers (activity trackers predominately used to measure activity during research studies), and several iPhone and Android apps. Participants wore multiple devices while walking on a treadmill, as researchers counted each of their 2,000 total steps. They found that some of the fitness trackers were off by as much as 20%, and that others, while more accurate, fared no better than the inexpensive smartphone apps. This is good for consumers, says Dr. Mitesh S. Patel, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania who oversaw the study, because the smartphones it turns out are “an easy, less expensive, but still accurate” way to track activity.

Of course, regardless of whether or not they accurately measure activity, the bigger question is: do fitness trackers and apps actually motivate people to exercise more? The resounding asnwer thus far has been "not really". Pedometers have been available for under $10 for years, and they never quite resulted in a fitness boom. Of course, there are exceptions. Several IHRSA member clubs have used fitness tracker technology to run challenge programs in their clubs, with great results. So maybe the secret to a fitness tracker is just having a good supportive community and incentive to use it. Which, of course, sounds like just the job for a health club.

Read the full article on the New York Times Well Blog

 

Alex Black

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Alex is a registered dietitian (RD) and physical activity advocate with experience as a college athlete, clinical dietitian, CrossFit coach, and nutrition blogger.