Several IHRSA board members and former board members attended and spoke at the Motionsoft Technology Summit in Baltimore, MD, this week.
CIOs Discuss the Future of Fitness Technology
Rick Caro, former IHRSA board president and president of Management Vision, Inc., spoke at the CIO Roundtable on Wednesday.
The roundtable discussed how health clubs should budget and plan for impactful new technology projects. The other panelists were Corey Benish, CIO of Planet Fitness, Mike Rucker, vice president of technology for Active Wellness, Bruce Gardner, IT director for David Lloyd Leisure Ltd., and Adam Zeitsiff, CIO of Gold’s Gym.
Panelists shared their companies short- and long-term tech projects, and then shared the fitness industry technological advancements they hope will develop in the future. Zeitsiff said he would like to see the creation of a unified data repository, where health clubs can track engagement data and use the analysis to help members. Benish, Rucker, and others shared their desire for the fitness industry to develop industry standards around data, since the language isn’t currently consistent.
The Fitness Industry Must Expand Outside ‘The Four Walls’
“It’s not ‘if’ technology will impact the fitness industry—it’s ‘how,’” said IHRSA Board Chair Rasmus Ingerslev during his closing keynote address on Thursday.
The next 20 years of technological development will match the last 100 years, and technology is replacing the customer journey, he said. The health club industry’s traditional four walls are under attack from:
- Online exercise programs
That doesn’t mean the health club industry can’t compete—but the industry must become relevant outside of the four walls of the club.
In the future, Ingerslev said he believes three types of clubs will emerge:
- Purely brick and mortar
- Brick and mortar with digital extension
- Purely digital
Going forward, he anticipates that service will become more individualized—both face-to-face and digitally; fitness will become more social (again); gyms will become relevant outside of the four walls, 24-hours a day; and technology will intensify and change the competition.
And in this time of flux, IHRSA will provide resources to help health clubs to adapt and, ultimately, serve more members.
“I am with IHRSA because we are selling the idea of a healthier planet,” he said.