Ask the Expert: Emmett Williams on Wearable Technology
What’s currently trending in the wearables industry that club operators should be aware of?
Having attended the infamous CES show in December, I can confirm sleep hygiene is the next large wave in wellness. Not only tracking the amount of sleep, but the type of sleep you are getting. The message is the “deeper the sleep, the better” as this drives more alertness and lower health risks. Encouraging your clients to have a reverse sleep-in — go to bed early — is one of the best complements you can suggest adding to their exercise routine.
What are tips you can share for how clubs can use or incorporate wearables successfully?
It is about proper execution, which involves five things:
- Vison: Communicate a clear vision to all staff.
- Skills: Provide the talking points so they appear competent in front of members.
- So what: Explain the, “what’s in it for me” to all groups, namely trainers, instructors, salespeople and managers.
- Tools: Provide resources to promote.
- Plan: Develop a one-page plan with a goal and strategy.
What are some common mistakes you see clubs making with wearables or heart-rate tracking technology?
They buy the system, hang the devices on a J-hook in retail, bolt the telemetry monitor to the wall and think it will work. It won’t. It requires planning and execution, like any worthwhile initiatives, and the five steps above are the key.
What are the biggest advantages to incorporating wearables into a club setting — specifically heart-rate tracking technology?
It is all about driving member engagement to enhance lifetime value (LTV). Anything that gives the members a sense of progress, win or achievement will help make them feel good about exercise. This will lead to more engagement, especially if they are socially connected, which is what wearables provide. That very dynamic is what captures members’ spirits, and more spirited members stay longer, pay longer and are more likely to buy other things — that’s LTV.