IHRSA 2023: Key Takeaways and Recap
Welcome to our recap of IHRSA 2023, one of the biggest events in the fitness industry. This year’s annual convention took place in sunny San Diego, California from March 20-23, and brought together fitness professionals from around the world.
As usual, the conference was packed with informative sessions, in-depth workshops, and exciting product launches, all aimed at helping fitness business owners and operators stay up-to-date with the latest trends. This year, the event was particularly notable for its focus on the post-pandemic recovery and the challenges and opportunities facing the fitness industry in the coming years.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the highlights of IHRSA 2023 that we talked about in our recent webinar recap of the event.
One of the most striking things about IHRSA 2023 was the palpable positive energy that permeated the event. After challenging years for the fitness industry and the world at large, it was refreshing to see so many people come together with a shared passion for health and wellness. From the keynote speeches to the networking events, there was a sense of optimism, resilience, and innovation that inspired and motivated attendees. In fact, the energy spilled out into the social media feeds creating a view of the event not seen before.
Member Experience and Centricity
A recurring themes at IHRSA 2023 that we discussed in our webinar was the importance of member experience for the fitness operator. As the fitness industry becomes increasingly competitive and consumer-driven, it’s no longer enough to offer a basic gym membership. Today’s fitness consumers are looking for personalized, engaging, and seamless experiences that meet their individual needs and preferences. From the moment they walk through the door to the moment they leave, every interaction with your facility should be designed to enhance their satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. This means gathering and using data to understand your members’ behavior, feedback, and preferences, and using that information to continuously improve and innovate your offerings. Technology becomes a means in which you can create time to work on the member experience.
We talked about member experience during our panel discussion where we debuted our 2023 market research. Titled “Is Fitness Recession Proof?”, the panel looked at how members value their memberships to find out how consumers might react to economic headwinds. We saw that by making your members “sweatisfied”, they will remain with you, even opting to give up leisure travel and take-out food, before abandoning their gym membership if an economic downturn were to occur.
Prediction for 2023: AI
In our webinar we discussed how one of the big predictions for the future of fitness was the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry. With AI technology becoming more sophisticated and accessible, fitness operators are starting to explore how it can enhance their offerings and business operations. AI has the potential to transform many aspects of the fitness experience, from personalized workout recommendations and real-time performance tracking to predictive maintenance and virtual coaching. By analyzing large amounts of data and using machine learning algorithms, AI can help fitness businesses better understand their customers’ needs, optimize their operations, and improve their bottom line.
For us at ABC, this data component hits close to home as we have always looked to data-driven decision making within our business. As we embark into the future with AI, we expect to be able to utilize our large repositories of data to make incredible products powered by the latest innovations in the nascent field.