It’s another New Year and operators are fully swamped with lots of new motivated and committed members rushing through the doors to hit their personal goals. Some are new, and some have been in hibernation.
However, while campaigns are out there to get our communities more active, is the next generation being given the same opportunities to engage? Everyone’s lives are jam-packed and hectic, and new concepts are continuously being introduced, such as using wearables to monitor and measure results in quicker time, which helps utilize people’s time more efficiently.
But what about the younger generation? What are we providing them with? Yes, we can buy them a consumer product at Christmas to count their steps or encourage them to participate in local groups or school teams, or get them playing outside.
However, less activity is happening within education with the focus on academic results. A global epidemic warning has been in place for some years now regarding the inactivity levels of children.
So how can we help them? Digital strategy is a key point and focus for operators in 2019, and as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) trends for 2019 have shown, wearables are once again at the top of the list, so should we get our children involved too? More wearable companies are engaging with children, but how does the data get dealt with and are we comfortable with it?
Within the fitness industry, companies are beginning to introduce child accounts that are linked to the parent/guardian, and allows for a complete lockdown whilst still motivating, measuring and monitoring activity in a way that is accurate and reliable. The next generation should be educated on their body and habits to set them up for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
More companies will be developing this in 2019, and the first stage for growth has already begun. So, 2019 is not just the year of wearables for members, but also the year where operators should think bigger, developing engagement far beyond the body of their member, and focusing on helping the entire family make a lifestyle change. Think what it could do for retention.