Check-In Behavior in Gyms Post COVID-19 Lock-Down
As the coronavirus pandemic began, fitness and health facilities across the country went on lockdown to prevent infection. Many turned to home workouts to stay fit, and technology became the essential component of all fitness or health facilities to stay connected to their members. More importantly, the motivation behind why people were exercising changed. For years, the fitness industry was primarily by aesthetics and beauty.
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Now, people are concerned about exercising for their health. More and more people are looking for ways to support their immune systems and reduce factors that place them in risk categories. There is a growing desire for diet changes and exercise to boost the body's defense against infection. In times of the "new normal," people are aware of the ongoing pandemic but want to take their fate into their own hands and support their health.
What do the Statistics say? New Memberships on Par with 2019, Overall Check-Ins Slightly Below.
EGYM conducted an analysis looking into members' behavior and EGYM equipment usage in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. The analysis looked into differences in activity and new memberships before the COVID-19 lockdown and after re-opening. To achieve this feat, the number of both total check-ins and first-time check-ins were normalized on the number of CW 10 in 2019 and 2020 to compare figures and seasonality.
In terms of new membership numbers, the study found that 2020 is right on par with 2019. Numbers have risen steadily since the dip in early April to around 90% of the 2019 numbers in late July and beyond 2020.
Existing member activity has also increased but is slightly lower than in the same period in 2019. In August, existing activity for 2020 was at 63% versus 75% in 2019 compared to early March of each year.
So what? Make Sure to be Well-Positioned to win new Healthseekers for Your Facility!
This data shows that people are willing to work out, which means that business is open and growing for operators. The new membership numbers tell us that there is a "normal" number of new members to be won and attracted to keep the business running.
Another EGYM study also found that members are focused on improving their immunity through physical exercise. Looking at members that were active after the lockdown, and splitting them into those that selected their training goal before versus after the lockdown respectively: 63% of members enlisted for programs that boosted their aesthetics compared to 33% that chose health-focused programs. When facilities re-opened, aesthetics-focused programs saw a 44% share, while 53% chose health as their primary goal for exercising.
What Does This Mean for Fitness and Health Facilities?
Operators and personal trainers can reap the benefits of the new wave of fitness motivation. This shift is excellent for any facility hoping to boost their membership numbers in the current situation. The new customer segment isn't interested in aesthetics as their primary goal. They want health-based workouts that boost their immunity, perhaps with aesthetics as additional benefits. By adjusting offers to suit health goals, you can continue to win new customers.
However, we all are fully aware that we're still in the middle of a pandemic. As a trainer or operator, it's essential to create a safe and hygienic space that encourages members to continue checking in and also work out without fear of infection.
Here are several ways to ensure that members trust your facility and are willing to check-in post-lockdown.
Lead by Example
The best way to enforce hygienic practices is to lead by example. If you're an operator, ensure that your staff regularly cleans their hands with soap and water and assign each staff member regular cleaning duties. You can also install smart automatic temperature scanners that check for fevers and keep accurate records of each member when they check-in.
Other points to keep in mind are the reduction in physical contact between people and equipment and safe social distancing between individuals.
Ensure That All Members Practice Hygiene Too
Remind all members that hygiene is also their responsibility. Share your new policy with new and existing members before they visit your facility. Encourage them to:
- Wear masks where required
- Maintain social distance
- Wash or sanitize their hands when they arrive
- Go through a health check before getting in
- Sanitize machines regularly
- Prohibit entrance for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test
Create Health-Focused Programs to Win New Members
As earlier mentioned, clients are more conscious of their health, and for this reason, workout sessions that boost their physical health are essential. Strength training, general fitness workouts, and cardio are essential for overall physical wellness. With the right program, you can retain existing members and what's even more critical right now, continue to attract new members.
How EGYM Solutions can Help
Our products can help you boost check-in numbers at your facility, without compromising safety or quality.
- We have designed an Immunity Boost training program designed to improve your members' health. Instead of taking shortcuts and creating inferior programs, or splashing marketing gimmicks on older programs, use our training programs to support members in achieving real results. A quality program ensures that your members see outcomes and trust your facility. With great results, your members will be willing to refer to your services.
- You can use our white-label platform to create a branded member app. The app can help you communicate with members, create class schedules, monitor your members' progress, and share virtual lessons for home workouts. A hybrid model – that blends physical and digital touchpoints – enables you to extend your reach beyond your physical facility's limitations and into the homes of your members.
- Our Smart Strength machines guide your members through personalized training to ensure that they attain training goals without over-exerting themselves. Each session automatically adjusts itself to each user. What's more, you can sync the equipment with your devices and your app to track member data.
The nature of check-ins has changed since the COVID-19 started, but we see activity levels approaching the levels of 2019 and new memberships being on par with last year. As an operator or trainer, adjusting your offerings to suit the current market needs can help you attract and retain members. By providing health oriented-workouts, ensuring hygiene at the facility, and using smart devices, machines, and data, you can improve check-in rates.