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Industry Buzz: Insight from the 2017 Club Solutions Leadership Summit

2017 Club Solutions Leadership Summit

From May 4-6, 25 top health club leaders and six sponsors gathered in Louisville, Kentucky for the annual Club Solutions Leadership Summit at The Kentucky Derby. Over the span of three days attendees participated in roundtable discussions on topics such as technology and Group X, networked and attended one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

Of course, the roundtables were a highlight of the Club Solutions Leadership Summit. How could they not be, with 25 of the top health club leaders in the U.S. gathered together to exchange ideas? Here are some key insights from each of the four roundtable topics for you to consider.

Roundtable 1: Pricing Strategy for Growth

Topic: Good pricing strategy helps you determine the price point at which you can maximize profits on sales of your products or services. When setting prices, club owners should consider a wide range of factors, and determine key markers within those factors that signal a need for change.

Discussion: For this roundtable, attendees identified factors that impacted how they priced memberships. Some of those factors included: Competition, volume (supply and demand), business model and operating expenses.

Key Insight: Concerning the pros and cons of membership wait lists: “You can charge for scarcity — even if scarcity is an illusion. However, managing a wait list can be difficult, and it’s challenging for sales team. It takes a different mindset and approach.”

Roundtable 2: Navigating the Tech Revolution

Topic: Technology is everywhere and there is no denying that it will continue to impact our world. Trying to figure out what technologies to utilize to support member success and drive business growth can be a daunting challenge. However, we must continually keep our focus on new technologies and evaluate how they may be able to benefit our members.

Discussion: For this roundtable, many attendees shared that one of the biggest challenges with implementing new technology is getting buy-in from both members and staff. Attendees identified the need for an educational strategy surrounding new technology that educates staff on its importance and how to use it, so that they can become ambassadors for the technology and answer member questions.

Key Insight: “You need full buy-in on technology. People jump on the latest new piece of technology, but no one has buy-in. You have to go all-in and make technology a part of your DNA.”

Roundtable 3: The 5 Levels of Leadership

Topic: In his book “The 5 Levels of Leadership,” John C. Maxwell outlined five levels of leadership and how to become a Level 5 Leader. Being a Level 5 Leaders requires not just effort, skill and intentionality, but also a high level of talent.

Discussion: During this roundtable, attendees discussed how clubs could identify leaders within their organizations that have the potential to be Level 5 Leaders, in addition to how to support their development. They agreed qualities of top leaders included: humility, people smarts, motivation, and the ability to give credit to others.

Key Insight: “Identify people who have the right values and core competency. There’s a lot of science behind identifying people who are wrong for a position, but not a lot of science behind how to pick the right person. There’s an art to picking and identifying the right person.”

Roundtable 4: Growing Membership and Profit — The Group Effect (Sponsored by Les Mills)

Topic: Member retention remains the industry’s largest challenge, with typical fitness facilities losing 50 percent of their members every year. It is more important than ever to focus on retention, as well as acquisition, to protect your club and membership base. And Group X continues to be a top way to achieve this goal.  

Discussion: Attendees discussed the importance of having staff be brand ambassadors for group exercise. Many shared it should be required for staff to take classes each quarter, so they can better connect with members and share their personal experiences with specific classes or instructors. A member concierge can also be a great way to introduce new members to Group X, who can go with them to their first class and make sure they have a great experience.

Key Insight: Concerning fee versus free: “You have to identify what’s free versus fee when it comes to Group X. If it’s 10 or less, make it fee-based. If it’s more than 10, it’s group exercise and it should be free.”

Stay tuned for more insight from the 2017 Club Solutions Leadership Summit. A full recap will appear in the June 2017 issue. A huge thanks to our sponsors for making this event possible: NuStep, Epsilon, Les Mills, Matrix Fitness, Power Systems and ABC Financial. 

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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