With the recent explosion of popularity in wearable tech, health clubs have been forced to evolve. Programs that integrate smartwatches, step trackers and various technologies are becoming more commonplace, and in a way, necessary.
Creating an ecosystem that supports members’ usage of wearable tech has become an important tool for helping clients reach their fitness goals.
Club Solutions talked to Travis Shannon, the vice president of information at Leisure Sports, Inc., about the importance of integrating wearable-friendly technology into a club’s offerings and how it can be used to engage members.
CS: What role has wearable tech played at Leisure Sports?
TS: We’ve really started, at the executive level, working with experts at our clubs to figure out how best to integrate this [technology]. Some of our conversations here have been that there are certain individuals who are self-motivated, and we’ll kind of utilize these wearables to enhance their training. That’s one set of people you don’t necessarily need to worry about. However, you need to make sure they have easy access to those things. And different people use it to varying degrees.
CS: Operationally, how do you make sure wearable tech is implemented into the club correctly?
TS: That’s the challenge, right? I think like with all technology, you really need to build critical mass to ensure there’s ongoing success with something. In the end, some of it is about training the trainers, and those people that are working directly with the members, in being aware of and utilizing that technology to enhance the member experience kind of on an individual level. Really kind of targeting the areas where we have seen use pick up and kind of investing in those areas to help reinforce the ecosystem of that technology.
CS: How do you set up trainers and clients for success, so that the tech becomes an asset?
TS: Some of it is about developing the ecosystem, and that’s not just technology. It’s the help and support, and multiple programs utilizing these types of technologies. So you can’t just check the box by having it in your pro shop.
CS: What if members have their own trackers they’re using — can trainers use those to help keep clients accountable?
TS: Oh yes. Absolutely. We definitely encourage standardization for participation in things like the challenges, as well as in small group settings or studios. Don’t approach it as a “check the box” thing. Unfortunately, wearables also have a habit of ending up on the desk after a couple of weeks of using it, and people don’t put them back on.