Having just returned from one of the eight SCW Fitness Conventions held this year, I’ve found myself reeling from the number of programming vendors and products I saw — more than I’ve ever witnessed during my long career.
Looking back on this experience, I’m not sure if I should be excited, devastated or confused, and perhaps I’m a little of all three. But this is my wheelhouse — I own 11 clubs and am the co-owner of two Group X programs — so I feel it’s my duty to help you sift through the tons of new fitness programs that are out there. How do you determine what program would be a good fit for your club?
As I went from room to room at the SCW show and took in the plethora of programs, I asked myself a few key questions: If we bring in this program, will it enhance our members’ experiences? And what am I looking for in programming to retain my members?
There are so many factors to consider, and these are just a few of the most important:
Does the program have a support system once the product enters the club?
Is the program sustainable? Research other clubs and discover their successes or failures with the product.
Does the personal relationship you have with a vendor feel right?
Are there return on investment opportunities, above and beyond member retention and ancillary revenue?
How many clubs does the program currently exist in, and what is the temperature of the company’s success? In other words: Is it here to stay?
How committed are you to the program being successful, and do you have the proper talent?
If you can’t make it to a trade show yourself, be sure to share these considerations with the people you do send, like your Group X directors. It’s so important for them to be thinking this way as well.
Lori Lowell is the president of Group Fitness Solutions, LLC, and a Gold’s Gym franchisee. For questions on Group X, she can be reached at email@example.com.