The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



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ILC Update: To Be Data Informed

Hamlet famously asks “ To be, or not to be, that is the question…” Taking liberties with Shakespeare for today’s business operators, I ask, “To be data driven or to be data informed, that is the question.” 

Being data driven – relying on cold hard data to drive decisions – sounds good, but Beth Kanter, author of the book “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, Using Data to Change the World”, makes the case for something different. Being “data informed”, Kanter writes, “is a far more useful label than being data driven because it describes agile, responsive, and intelligent businesses that are better able to succeed in a rapidly changing environment.”

Data is on my mind today because I am sharing with you the results from our “Forecasting the Future of the Health Club Industry” research. Earlier this year, we asked you (a few hundred ILC and Industry leaders) to gaze into your crystal ball, and tell us what you see for the future of the club industry. Meredith Poppler presented a brief overview of that data at this years’ ILC meeting during the L.A. Convention in March. As promised, Meredith has taken those results, along with the results of the European CEO Survey done in the fall, and has created an interesting new report, “Forecasting the Future of the Health Club Industry” exclusively for ILC members to download. (To receive a copy of this report now, please pledge to the ILC. The report will be made available to all IHRSA members this summer.)

One area of the survey that all of you agree on is the continued growth of the niche/boutique/studio market.

When asked how this growth was impacting business, 14% of US operators saw positive impact, while 51% are seeing no impact, and 34% are seeing negative impact. Clearly, these studios are one of the factors creating the rapidly changing environment you may be operating in.

I hope you find the report useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, as always, please don’t hesitate to contact me.



Helen A. Durkin
EVP Public Policy

P.S. Thanks to everyone who has renewed their pledge to the ILC this year. If you haven’t yet, I want to encourage you to make your pledge in early May. We know how important it is to you to see who is on and not on the ILC pledge list. Later this month, I’ll send around a list of all the current years’ contributors. If you name isn’t on there already, don’t delay in making your 2015 pledge. Email Meredith Poppler or download a pledge form here.

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