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Why Health Clubs Need a Hardware Solution for Reopening

You’re rejoining an altered marketplace. Make sure you have the tools to meet the challenge. Here’s what you need.

The comeback is on. Across the globe, health clubs of all sizes and types are reopening, but the entire industry is in the same position. It needs to meet two fundamental challenges: to prioritize member safety against virus exposure and to diversify services, especially in the digital category.

That doesn’t mean every club has the same needs. Some facilities are light on maintenance staff and need to increase in-house cleaning staff and sanitizing tools. Some clubs have a well-developed digital training platform; others have to up their virtual workout game. In the end, every club operator has a unique set of tasks they have to fulfill to get their business back on track.

IHRSA’s been on the front lines of organizing these new guidelines. A good place to start is the “Four-pronged Framework to Health Club Reopening.” These four stages include:

  1. Minimizing COVID-19 exposure by implementing appropriate screening measures;
  2. Minimizing the risk of spread through mitigation measures;
  3. Recognizing everyone’s role in minimizing risk through education; and
  4. Implementing enhanced, evidence-based cleaning and sanitation practices.

While the U.S. has no uniform guidelines to screen the public before entering public buildings, some states have issued specific rules regarding masks, temperature checks, social distancing, etc. You need to understand the specific regulations in your area. For instance, some states limit entry for travelers from other designated states, others don’t.

Since part of your job is putting your members at ease, you may want to see what high-profile retailers are doing to mitigate against exposure in their brick-and-mortar stores. Apple, for instance, announced guidelines for their stores, which include mandatory masks, limiting occupancy, and temperature checks for employees and patrons.

Keep in mind that once a standard for safety is established in the minds of consumers, you risk harming the perception of your brand if you don’t meet that standard.

The big picture remains the same: Clubs have to cope with new guidelines and re-evaluate their business plan at the same time. It’s a challenge—but it’s also an opportunity. Don’t waste it.

Your Streaming Classes Must Match the Quality of Your Brand

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Clubs have had to increase their commitment to digital.

Both during the pandemic lockdown and in the early stages of reopening, clubs have had to increase their commitment to digital. In short, you need a virtual instruction and streaming solution that meets the industry’s standard of quality and variety.

This is your chance to extend your brand and promote your in-house talent. On-demand workouts and streaming classes can supercharge your club’s marketing and revenue potential during your reopening. It’s also a retention driver that connects your members to your brand 24/7.

What you may not have handy is the necessary audio-visual gear that’s a feature of high-quality digital content. That’s a problem when the reputation of your brand is at stake.

How would you answer these questions about your virtual platform:

  • Are your trainers and class instructors recording content in your club or are they recording in a remote location, such as their home?
  • What are the acoustics where you’re recording? What microphones, speakers, cameras, and cables do you need for production?
  • Do you have your visual staging, aesthetics, and camera setup planned out? Your yoga class and cycling class have much different audio-visual requirements, for instance.
  • Do you have troubleshooting available when something goes wrong with your equipment?

Poor visual and audio presentation can cause irreparable damage to your streaming prospects. Consumers have very little patience with poor quality or problems with accessing content.

With reopening a sensitive time for clubs reintroducing themselves back into a changed marketplace, it’s more important than ever to deliver the goods. You need to have the physical tools, the technical hardware, to get the job done. That means technology for no-contact temperature screening and audio-visual recording equipment.

A Supplier Uniquely Positioned for Today’s Altered Marketplace

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Both needs for screening and audio-visual hardware can be fulfilled by AV Now Fitness Sound. Since 1994, AV Now has been the go-to source for audio-visual expertise and hardware for the fitness industry. Their ability to quickly set you up with high-quality microphones, amps, mixers, and all necessary recording accessories will help you create thrilling content.

AV Now’s Virtual Instruction and Streaming Solutions include a large selection of virtual content creator bundles to choose from. Since most fitness professionals and health club operators are unfamiliar with today’s array of sophisticated recording equipment, AV Now has experts on hand to help you select the best options for your particular situation.

For decades, AV Now have been specialists in fulfilling the needs of fitness professionals. They understand the demands and pressures that today’s club owners are facing during the current reopening phase. That’s why they’ve expanded their hardware solutions to include the Tauri AVS Temperature-Check Tablet.

Created by German engineers, the Tauri AVS technology uses an infrared sensor to detect heat signatures that return highly accurate readings with a tolerance of +/- 0.5 Fahrenheit. The screens are available in three sizes (10, 15, or 21 inches), and can be positioned on a floor stand, wall mount, or as a countertop display. The advantage of the Tauri AVS mounting system is that clubs don’t need to require employees to be positioned at the door or front desk to measure members as they enter. That frees staff to do other essential cleaning tasks and services in the club.

You’re operating in a different world now. You need the hardware and expertise to help you get the job done. Contact AV Now via their website or call 800-491-6874 for personalized advice.

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Jim Schmaltz

Jim Schmaltz is a contributor to IHRSA.org