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Roundtable Recap: Maximizing Member Re-Engagement


On June 17, REX Roundtables and Club Solutions Magazine presented the 11th installment of a weekly virtual roundtable series aimed at helping clubs navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, sponsored by AV Now Fitness Sound

Panelists included Annie Ostolasa, the vice president of operations of Axiom Fitness; Stephen Tharrett, the co-founder of ClubIntel; Bill McBride, the co-founder, 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, centered around maximizing member re-engagement. 

Highlights from Discussion 

  • Upon reopening, the panel stated it’s vital to consistently be collecting feedback from members, as the situation is fluid. 
  • According to the panel, opening your facility in phases is a good move perception-wise. 
  • The panel discusses ClubIntel’s report, “What Members Say is Needed if Health/Fitness Facilities Want them Back.” The report presents the final findings and insights of ClubIntel’s study exploring the behaviors and experiences of U.S. fitness facility members pre-COVID closures, during COVID-19 closures and finally, member sentiments toward returning to their health/fitness facility upon reopening. Click here to access it in full. 
  • According to Tharrett, although many operators were concerned that baby boomers and seniors would be hesitant to come back upon reopening, the exact opposite has been true. Baby boomers are more likely to return, while Gen Z/Millennials are more hesitant. This is likely because Gen Z/Millennials are facing more financial restraints. 
  • Axiom Fitness, which has reopened, has found this to be true — seniors were itching to come back, and although the club wasn’t planning to offer Silver Sneakers right away, it ended up doing so due to high demand. 
  • In addition, according to ClubIntel’s research, men are more likely than women to return. The panel explained this is likely because women are more likely to be caretakers. 
  • If your club relies on Gen Z/Millennials and women, you’ll have a harder road toward recovery. As a result, the panel discussed the importance of building and maintaining a strong virtual fitness offering to stay connected with these groups. 
  • The panel discussed the importance of rethinking your price points and model post-pandemic. How can you be profitable with less members on billing? Rethink how you charge/bundle things. 
  • Prepare your members on what to expect BEFORE they come back. Hold everyone accountable to your policies and guidelines. Be transparent and open. 
  • McBride discusses COVID-19 member intake forms. You can find an example here
  • If your club has low cleanliness scores, members will leave for cleaner facilities. 
  • No matter how great your messaging is, if your past behavior was poor prior to the pandemic, you’ll have a harder road toward re-engagement. 

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

UPCOMING: Don’t miss the 12th installment of our virtual roundtable series, “Successful Strategies for Shaping Your Future: Strategic Thinking and Innovation” on June 24 at 2 p.m. EST, in partnership with REX Roundtables and Club Solutions Magazine and sponsored by Mio Labs. 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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