Going digital and building a hybrid model with wearables can help your community rec center better serve your members. Community recreation professionals across the U.S. have begun to breathe a sigh of relief as states are finally giving the green light to reopen to the public. But, as the government’s restrictions continue to change, the future is far from certain. Although the virus is still much lower than at its peak, the number of infections is increasing and with winter approaching, it’s safe to assume it is possible the country will see more regional lockdowns.
Despite the uncertainty, there are measures operators can put in place to protect their businesses and ensure they stay relevant and connected to their members. And the simple way to do that is to go digital. Now, it’s fair to say a lot of operators will be grimacing at the thought of offering remote fitness to their customers, but building a hybrid model is not difficult and frankly, operators risk getting left behind if they do not get on board.
Even if a facility is fortunate enough to avoid future lockdowns, the social distancing requirements currently in place means facilities can’t cater for the number of members they did previously in their group workouts. This means facilities are disappointing their members, and everyone knows where that can lead.
With an online fitness offer, facilities can still meet the needs of members in house, but also cater for those who couldn’t book into the class, who are shielding family members or who just don’t feel confident in returning to the facility environment.
Numerous clients have reported that the first ever virtual live group workout, MZ-Remote, has saved their clubs during lockdown by allowing them to stay connected with members and enable them to exercise together, while receiving real-time biometric feedback and personalized coaching from their usual trainers. They’ve also been able to reach entirely new audiences.
COVID-19 will be around for the foreseeable future, so it is important for everyone to adapt, and that means offering a digital fitness solution to complement the bricks and mortar business. The government is encouraging the nation to get fit and lose weight to give themselves the best chance of fighting off COVID-19. The fitness industry is best placed to help the public do this, but that means ensuring facilities deliver their services where people want to consume them. For some, that will always be in the facility, but for many others that will be at home where they feel the safest.
The hybrid facility, which combines a digital with traditional in-club offering, has the best chance of succeeding in these challenging times.
Dave Wright is the creator and CEO of Myzone. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.