Operations: IHRSA 2015, Technology Triumphs this Year

IMG_3540Having had the opportunity to reflect and consider my most memorable moments of IHRSA 2015 I have concluded that my number one favorite part of the show can be summed up in one word: technology!

It seemed everywhere I looked I saw technology-driven products, concepts and visions. Many education sessions centered around social media marketing, digital-age fitness programs and app platforms enhancing quantified self initiatives.

I met a handful of independent consultants that came to the show to walk the floor, making connections and pitching their various app platforms to anyone that could play in the relevant space. Wearable technology also had a tremendous presence, as it usually does, but this year had a different flavor of relevance.

My two favorite technology-driven highlights from IHRSA 2015 were the equipment manufacturers’ technology-based initiates, as well as the meeting of the minds that the Fitness Technology Council (FIT-C) hosted.

Technogym made a substantial leap — the already highly progressive equipment provider took everything a step further by making this announcement.

“This new collaboration between Apple and Technogym enables iPhone users to seamlessly integrate all the data collected through the Health app into the Technogym mywellness Lifestyle CRM platform — the first and only open platform that allows health enthusiasts to see all of the fitness information tracked by their third-party fitness apps and devices in one location.”— Technogym Press Release

The press release goes on to talk about how consumers can use their mobile devices in addition to the indoor equipment consoles in unity to bring all of their data to one place. This is most certainly a hot topic in my book and something I have been writing about for a long period of time. The long awaited ability to integrate consumer data and equipment function is beginning to happen! This one initiative will truly set a trend in motion that is going to position our industry for exciting change.

FullSizeRenderFit-C had a members meeting of the minds while at IHRSA, and I was fortunate to be a part of the meeting. I can tell you first hand that the movers and shakers in our industry were all gathered in one space, cooking up the future of technology in our industry. One partnership in particular that I know means a great deal to the council is that of Netpulse aligning to create open standards. A press release was published right before IHRSA announcing the partnership, and the full press release can be read here.

“Ms. Sweeny tells FIT-C, ‘The fitness industry has evolved tremendously over the last several years. This is a perfect time for us to focus on creating open standards that unite and empower club owners, vendors and members to reach their goals. I’m proud of the progress that FIT-C has made and honored to have Netpulse contribute to it.’ 

President of FIT-C, Bryan O’Rourke, said, ‘Increasingly, leading brands in the health club and fitness space are realizing the need for collaboration. Many leading brands, like Under Armour, Netpulse, Garmin, Amstatz, Core Health and Fitness, Integerus, Intel, Club Comm and many, many others are embracing the possibilities that collaboration offers. It is an exciting time and we plan to help grow the pie through enhanced user experience.’”

Regardless of what your role is within the fitness industry, my belief is that the impact technology has on the day-to-day business is going to continue to grow exponentially in the coming years.

I believe companies like Technogym and councils like Fit-C are going to elevate the user experience and owners’ reach, in order to truly make lasting impacts on the consumer of our industry. It’s truly an exciting time to say the least, one I am thrilled to be a part of!

 

Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping health club owners all over the south central region of the U.S. propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about Lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o.

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