IHRSA update
News

Trending now....Kristen Walsh picks out some of the highlights of IHRSA’s new Trend Report

By Kristen Walsh | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 4


In February, IHRSA published The IHRSA Trend Report: Volume 3, Issue 3.

The quarterly trend report – conducted in partnership with the Leisure Trends Group – analyses health club consumer behaviour among Americans aged 16 and older. The latest report compares findings from the second and third quarters of 2013.

Millennial interest
According to the report, membership reached an all-time high during the quarter ending 30 June 2013, due largely to increased participation among Millennials (Generation Y: members between the ages of 21 and 30). One-in-four Millennials (27 per cent) reported belonging to a health club – the largest penetration rate of any generation to date.

“For health clubs wanting to attract and maintain Millennials, findings suggest focusing on programmes aimed at retaining these members beyond their short-term membership agreements,” says Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “Targeted seasonal activity and sports-specific training programmes will also be effective at maintaining and improving membership levels among this group.”

Also reported are findings and club opportunities based on gender. When it comes to maintaining their membership, women say they continue using their club because they want to get in shape, it’s convenient, and they want to attend group exercise classes. Men say they return to have fun, because they feel an obligation to make use of the money they spend on their membership, and for social interaction.

Says Ablondi: “The social opportunities that come from attending a health club are increasingly important to consumers, and clubs should offer events that allow members to interact socially.”

For those who cancelled their memberships, expense was claimed as the number one reason; it was also the main factor claimed to put people off joining in the first place. “The Trend Report discusses ways to make price-sensitive consumers more comfortable, such as offering new member promotions and tiered membership options,” says Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA senior research manager.

Key questions
Each quarterly report contains responses and analysis based on the following questions:
1. Are you currently a member of a health club (a dues-paying member with a PAYG, monthly, seasonal or annual pass)?
2. What keeps you coming back to use the health club you currently belong to?
3. Which of the following are personal goals for using the club you currently belong to?
4. What keeps you from joining a club now?
5. Why did you leave your former club?


FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more detailed findings and growth opportunities, download a pdf of The IHRSA Trend Report at www.ihrsa.org/research. It’s free to IHRSA members and costs US$99.95 for non-members.

DEFINITIONS
Membership
- Members: Those who are currently members of a health club.  
- Non-members: Those who are not currently members of a health club, and never were.
- Former-members: Those who were members of a health club at one time, but are not currently.

GENERATIONS
- Generation Z: Members between the ages of 16 and 20 years.
- Generation Y: Members between the ages of 21 and 30 years.
- Generation X: Members between the ages of 31 and 45 years.
- Baby Boomer Generation: Members between the ages of 46 and 65 years.
- Eisenhower Generation: Members over the age of 65 years.


Events diary
Visit www.ihrsa.org/calendar
5–8 August 2014
The IHRSA Institute: Executive Education for Club Professionals
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, US

28–30 August 2014
15th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil Latin American Conference & Trade Show – São Paulo, Brazil

16–19 October 2014
14th Annual IHRSA European Congress – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

11–14 March 2015
IHRSA 2015: The Annual International Convention and Trade Show – Los Angeles, California, US


About IHRSA
Founded in 1981, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the only global trade association, representing more than 10,000 health and fitness facilities and suppliers worldwide.
To learn how IHRSA can help your business thrive, visit www.ihrsa.org

Locate a quality IHRSA club at www.healthclubs.com


Sector stats: A note from Belgium

 

Eric Vandenabeele
 
Eric Vandenabeele Director De Fitness Organisatie (DFO)

I think, to a large extent, the impact of the bad economic situation in Belgium came under the radar. While other markets crashed, the Belgian economy experienced zero growth, or at worst a small decline. Even with higher unemployment, most citizens’ financial situation therefore isn’t too dreadful.

That said, there has been some short-term pressure, as well as increased competition from low-cost solutions, which has meant that small enterprises in the fitness sector have had to lower their prices to prevent members from dropping out and switching to other clubs. Unfortunately, this has resulted in some closures.

In my mind, this could probably have been avoided, as recent studies show that Flemish people practise more sport than ever before and are willing to invest in their health. However, there’s no gym-based participation among youngsters and only a small increase in adult participation; most people seek sport in various other environments. Running is, by far, the most popular sport, with 30 per cent of active adults saying they run.

I think the greatest challenge for the fitness industry is to latch onto this evolution and diversification of the way people exercise. This means stepping away from the traditional fitness offering and looking for creative solutions, including a broader variety of activities, family offers, and most importantly out-of-club activities.

In addition, it’s up to fitness industry leaders to lobby for better financial conditions for the club business, based on the economic value and the indirect and direct macro economic benefits through the impact on public health. Of course, directly linked to this, our industry has to make actual participation in club activities a priority, rather than people simply ‘joining the club’.

This piece was excerpted from The IHRSA European Health Club Report: Size & Scope of the Fitness Industry, which was published in October 2013.


 


photo: www.shutterstock.com/Jaromir Chalabala

Running is by far the most popular physical activity in Belgium, with 30 per cent of active adults running

Ask the experts: Staff codes of conduct for social media
Is it within our rights as an employer to have our staff sign a code of conduct agreement for social media use? Josh Gerber, marketing director for Brick Bodies Fitness Services, offers his thoughts:


 

Josh Gerber
 
Josh Gerber Marketing Director Brick Bodies Fitness Services

“As an employer, it’s well within your right to have your staff sign a code of conduct for social media. We allow our employees the option of joining the Brick Bodies social network, but employees must then be aware that, with any posts they make on their social media pages, they’re making statements that are a representation of the company.

Some key points to include are:
- Employees cannot use the sites for anything personal during work hours.
- Employees cannot make any posts that give a negative connotation to the company or its employees.
- Employees cannot post anything illegal.
- Include information about how to handle friend requests from club members. If the employee chooses not to participate in the company community, they should direct members to the company’s social media pages.
- Conversations via social media with current or potential members should be handled with the same level of professionalism as if they were talking to someone inside the club.

Ultimately, when they make posts, employees must always ask themselves: Does this help or hurt the brand?
Read more answers to this question at www.ihrsa.org/industryleader


 


photo: www.shutterstock.com/Minerva Studio

Employees must be professional on social media
 


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Features List



SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2014 issue 4

View issue contents

Leisure Management - News

IHRSA update

News


Trending now....Kristen Walsh picks out some of the highlights of IHRSA’s new Trend Report

Kristen Walsh, IHRSA
The social opportunities that come from joining a health club are increasingly important to consumers photo: www.shutterstock.com/wavebreakmedia

In February, IHRSA published The IHRSA Trend Report: Volume 3, Issue 3.

The quarterly trend report – conducted in partnership with the Leisure Trends Group – analyses health club consumer behaviour among Americans aged 16 and older. The latest report compares findings from the second and third quarters of 2013.

Millennial interest
According to the report, membership reached an all-time high during the quarter ending 30 June 2013, due largely to increased participation among Millennials (Generation Y: members between the ages of 21 and 30). One-in-four Millennials (27 per cent) reported belonging to a health club – the largest penetration rate of any generation to date.

“For health clubs wanting to attract and maintain Millennials, findings suggest focusing on programmes aimed at retaining these members beyond their short-term membership agreements,” says Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “Targeted seasonal activity and sports-specific training programmes will also be effective at maintaining and improving membership levels among this group.”

Also reported are findings and club opportunities based on gender. When it comes to maintaining their membership, women say they continue using their club because they want to get in shape, it’s convenient, and they want to attend group exercise classes. Men say they return to have fun, because they feel an obligation to make use of the money they spend on their membership, and for social interaction.

Says Ablondi: “The social opportunities that come from attending a health club are increasingly important to consumers, and clubs should offer events that allow members to interact socially.”

For those who cancelled their memberships, expense was claimed as the number one reason; it was also the main factor claimed to put people off joining in the first place. “The Trend Report discusses ways to make price-sensitive consumers more comfortable, such as offering new member promotions and tiered membership options,” says Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA senior research manager.

Key questions
Each quarterly report contains responses and analysis based on the following questions:
1. Are you currently a member of a health club (a dues-paying member with a PAYG, monthly, seasonal or annual pass)?
2. What keeps you coming back to use the health club you currently belong to?
3. Which of the following are personal goals for using the club you currently belong to?
4. What keeps you from joining a club now?
5. Why did you leave your former club?


FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more detailed findings and growth opportunities, download a pdf of The IHRSA Trend Report at www.ihrsa.org/research. It’s free to IHRSA members and costs US$99.95 for non-members.

DEFINITIONS
Membership
- Members: Those who are currently members of a health club.  
- Non-members: Those who are not currently members of a health club, and never were.
- Former-members: Those who were members of a health club at one time, but are not currently.

GENERATIONS
- Generation Z: Members between the ages of 16 and 20 years.
- Generation Y: Members between the ages of 21 and 30 years.
- Generation X: Members between the ages of 31 and 45 years.
- Baby Boomer Generation: Members between the ages of 46 and 65 years.
- Eisenhower Generation: Members over the age of 65 years.


Events diary
Visit www.ihrsa.org/calendar
5–8 August 2014
The IHRSA Institute: Executive Education for Club Professionals
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, US

28–30 August 2014
15th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil Latin American Conference & Trade Show – São Paulo, Brazil

16–19 October 2014
14th Annual IHRSA European Congress – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

11–14 March 2015
IHRSA 2015: The Annual International Convention and Trade Show – Los Angeles, California, US


About IHRSA
Founded in 1981, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the only global trade association, representing more than 10,000 health and fitness facilities and suppliers worldwide.
To learn how IHRSA can help your business thrive, visit www.ihrsa.org

Locate a quality IHRSA club at www.healthclubs.com


Sector stats: A note from Belgium

 

Eric Vandenabeele
 
Eric Vandenabeele Director De Fitness Organisatie (DFO)

I think, to a large extent, the impact of the bad economic situation in Belgium came under the radar. While other markets crashed, the Belgian economy experienced zero growth, or at worst a small decline. Even with higher unemployment, most citizens’ financial situation therefore isn’t too dreadful.

That said, there has been some short-term pressure, as well as increased competition from low-cost solutions, which has meant that small enterprises in the fitness sector have had to lower their prices to prevent members from dropping out and switching to other clubs. Unfortunately, this has resulted in some closures.

In my mind, this could probably have been avoided, as recent studies show that Flemish people practise more sport than ever before and are willing to invest in their health. However, there’s no gym-based participation among youngsters and only a small increase in adult participation; most people seek sport in various other environments. Running is, by far, the most popular sport, with 30 per cent of active adults saying they run.

I think the greatest challenge for the fitness industry is to latch onto this evolution and diversification of the way people exercise. This means stepping away from the traditional fitness offering and looking for creative solutions, including a broader variety of activities, family offers, and most importantly out-of-club activities.

In addition, it’s up to fitness industry leaders to lobby for better financial conditions for the club business, based on the economic value and the indirect and direct macro economic benefits through the impact on public health. Of course, directly linked to this, our industry has to make actual participation in club activities a priority, rather than people simply ‘joining the club’.

This piece was excerpted from The IHRSA European Health Club Report: Size & Scope of the Fitness Industry, which was published in October 2013.


 


photo: www.shutterstock.com/Jaromir Chalabala

Running is by far the most popular physical activity in Belgium, with 30 per cent of active adults running

Ask the experts: Staff codes of conduct for social media
Is it within our rights as an employer to have our staff sign a code of conduct agreement for social media use? Josh Gerber, marketing director for Brick Bodies Fitness Services, offers his thoughts:


 

Josh Gerber
 
Josh Gerber Marketing Director Brick Bodies Fitness Services

“As an employer, it’s well within your right to have your staff sign a code of conduct for social media. We allow our employees the option of joining the Brick Bodies social network, but employees must then be aware that, with any posts they make on their social media pages, they’re making statements that are a representation of the company.

Some key points to include are:
- Employees cannot use the sites for anything personal during work hours.
- Employees cannot make any posts that give a negative connotation to the company or its employees.
- Employees cannot post anything illegal.
- Include information about how to handle friend requests from club members. If the employee chooses not to participate in the company community, they should direct members to the company’s social media pages.
- Conversations via social media with current or potential members should be handled with the same level of professionalism as if they were talking to someone inside the club.

Ultimately, when they make posts, employees must always ask themselves: Does this help or hurt the brand?
Read more answers to this question at www.ihrsa.org/industryleader


 


photo: www.shutterstock.com/Minerva Studio

Employees must be professional on social media

Originally published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 4

Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd