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Roundtable Recap: Successful Strategies for Shaping Your Future — Reviving


On April 22, REX Roundtables and Club Solutions Magazine presented the third installment of a weekly virtual roundtable series aimed at helping clubs navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, sponsored by The Abs Company:

Panelists included Vicki Brick, the CEO of Brick Bodies; Ed Fogarty, the founder and CEO of Club 24 Concept Gyms; Bill McBride, the president and CEO of Active Wellness; and Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM and owner of WORX health clubs. The discussion was led and moderated by Brent Darden, the founder of Brent Darden Consulting and chair of REX Roundtables.

Following is a summary of top takeaways from the discussion, including cleaning and sanitizing tips upon reopening, insights into scheduling technology and more.

  • Many clubs are struggling to plan financially because they don’t know when they can reopen. As a result, you may consider thinking through multiple scenarios so you have a plan to fall back on once reopen dates become more clear. 
  • Fogarty’s leadership team is using this time to identify and fix pain points in club operations. For example, prior to the pandemic the new employee onboarding process was time consuming. As a result they are working to transition to a digital format — they are looking into Eloomi’s platform, for example. 
  • Every employee needs to be trained on cleaning protocols, including how to approach members who aren’t following cleaning rules. You don’t want to get in a situation where members are policing other members. 
  • Brick Bodies is using this time to do sensitivity training so staff are better equipped to deal with conflict resolution. 
  • The panelists are also utilizing technologies like MINDBODY for scheduling — including scheduling access to the gym, and reserving spots in group exercise classes. 
  • In addition to looking at your entire member journey, it’s also important to look at the employee journey. How will you make your staff feel safe and comfortable upon reopening? 
  • Active Wellness will be taking employee’s temperatures as soon as they arrive to work. However, you need to think through how that process will work. For example, you can’t take temperatures at the front desk, because if an employee does have a temperature, that could be embarrassing for them and cause member panic. Think through where you would execute that process in private. According to panelists, the standard would be a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more means an employee can’t work. 
  • Brick Bodies is charging $9.99/biweekly for access to their virtual group exercise studio. 
  • When doing LIVE videos, make sure you thoroughly test-run prior to ensure staff understand the process and can execute properly. 
  • Brick Bodies is looking into the creation of PT Pods — designated areas for personal training. They’re also transitioning large group exercise classes to small group with five to six individuals. 
  • Look at what other businesses, even outside the fitness industry, are doing to tackle the pandemic for inspiration.
  • Fogarty’s clubs are considering complimentary membership freezes on a case-by-case basis. A lot of members will continue to lose their jobs. Don’t get into arguments with members on canceling or freezing memberships. “The default should be ‘yes,’” he said. 
  • Mental health will be negatively impacted as a society. How can you make a positive impact as a fitness organization? 

To access the on-demand version of this webinar, click here.

UPCOMING: Don’t miss the fourth installment of our virtual roundtable series, “Successful Strategies for Shaping Your Future: The Path to Reopening” on April 29 at 2 p.m. EST, in partnership with REX Roundtables and Club Solutions Magazine and sponsored by Sports Solutions. Limited seats are available. Click here to reserve your spot.

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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