Group X programming is one of several club areas that can be greatly enhanced by the integration of technology. With the right Group X technology, your club’s management of class schedules, workout formats and instructor resources will be greatly improved.
“Technology makes the management of studio fitness more efficient, enhances the member experience and gives our teams an easier way to communicate,” said Alicia Whitis, the regional group fitness and Pilates manager at Harbour Island Athletic Club. “We believe that has led to better value to the membership.”
The first step is choosing the right tech provider. “To choose the best fit for your clubs, determine priorities for use,” explained Whitis. “Start with technology you could manage behind the scenes — if you make that [process] more efficient, you can put more time into the quality of your classes.”
The Alaska Club uses GroupEx Pro — acquired by Daxko in March — for its backend department management and live schedule communication, among other functions. The Alaska Club settled on GroupEx Pro after it was recommended by Netpulse, which hosts the club’s app.
“Having one system to establish the schedule and put it out to our members has been huge for us,” said Janet Warner, the executive director of group fitness at The Alaska Club. “Our instructor team is 180 strong — GroupEx Pro provides a platform to communicate to the entire team. We can submit notices and keep reference items available for the team to find quickly. We can also track certification dates. The instructor and manager receive reminder notices when approaching the expiration dates.”
Transitioning to GroupEx Pro was a big change for The Alaska Club, but well worth it. “Prior to using this system, we created the schedule in PDF form,” explained Warner. “There were several places that required updating when a change occurred.”
Group X technology, with all its comprehensive capabilities, is a great complement to your instructors and managers, allowing them to automate certain processes in order to focus on the people in front of them.
“Efficiency for coordinators is key, so look for technology that effectively manages sub requests, stores attendance data and has multiple reporting capabilities,” said Whitis. “This gives them time to spend on what matters most: the experience for members.”
GroupEx Pro has also helped The Alaska Club improve its class scheduling and instructor management. “We use the system to create the schedule,” shared Warner. “Instructors can request a sub when scheduled to a class, and we can choose the best instructor for the class and we can ensure the class is covered.”
Ease of use and comprehensive management capabilities are important qualities in a Group X technology solution, but these features lose some of their luster if the company’s customer service is lacking.
“GroupEx Pro, for being a small company, is exceptional at customer service,” said Warner. “We have received replies back in a very timely manner, and they have incorporated our suggestions most of the time.”
When determining what Group X technology solution to choose, look for companies that make class management easy, provide customer service, and help clubs emphasize the member experience.
“Consider technology that creates a frictionless member experience,” advised Whitis. “This includes an app that’s easy to navigate, a platform that allows for quick and easy class registration, and capabilities to communicate with class participants.”