Thriving Trends: Exploring LATAM Fitness Industry Insights from IHRSA Brazil
Last month, I had the privilege of visiting Sao Paulo for IHRSA Brazil for the first time, and what an incredible first impression did it make! The vibrant resurgence of the fitness industry across the Latin American (LATAM) region was great to see. While last year, people were still on the rebound from the pandemic, this year’s attendance was the busiest we have seen, and the show served as a dynamic showcase of the market’s remarkable growth and transformation.
As fitness enthusiasts and industry professionals converged at the event, several key trends emerged that provide valuable insights into the current state and future direction of the fitness industry in LATAM, and I am proud to say ABC Evo is already on the forefront of several of the developments and trends being discussed. Some of my key observations are as follows.
The Vibrant Return of a Booming Market
After a period of rebounding and adaptation, the Latin American fitness market has come back stronger than ever. The IHRSA Brazil Show of 2023 highlighted a remarkable resurgence, signaling that the industry is experiencing a vibrant boom. Unlike the recent previous years, where uncertainties loomed, this year’s event was marked by a palpable sense of energy and optimism. Attendance was notably high, reflecting the renewed interest in and investment in the fitness sector across the region.
Embracing Technology: Data-Driven Growth
The IHRSA Brazil Show of 2023 unveiled a powerful undercurrent of technological innovation, with big data emerging as the cornerstone of growth for fitness businesses across LATAM. In several sessions, the spotlight was on cutting-edge technologies like ChatGPT and machine learning and their potential to revolutionize gym operations, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) being the predominant topic in more than a half a dozen sessions.
Data analytics has emerged as the compass guiding business decisions, providing invaluable insights into member behavior, preferences, and trends. By harnessing data, gyms can tailor their offerings to cater to individual needs, optimize services, and chart a path to sustainable success. Data is now the major component fueling growth, and so demand for insights that drive better, faster decisions is on the rise.
It was, therefore, timely that at IHRSA Brazil 2023, ABC Evo unveiled Evo Insights to become the first integrated club management platform with business intelligence solutions in the LATAM Market. EVO Insights is a data reporting/DWaaS (Data Warehouse-as-a-Service) solution that provides a 360-degree view of a business by profit center, location, member segment, and more, with one-click analysis for improved decision-making. Leveraging the ABC Fitness technology infrastructure and data from over 2,600 clubs, it is a real-life example of how we are accelerating delivery of innovation with our comprehensive and integrated suite of solutions..
Reigniting Member Engagement in the Post-Pandemic Era
As gyms become busy again, there was a lot of buzz and enthusiasm to reignite the engagement that defines the fitness community. The IHRSA Brazil Show of 2023 highlighted a dynamic exchange of ideas on how to keep members connected, motivated, and committed to their fitness journeys. Among the strategies discussed, social media stood out, particularly due to its pivotal role in reaching and engaging Gen Z customers, who are increasingly forming the majority of membership. Fitness providers explored how platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok could be harnessed to track member engagement and manage the gym’s reputation.
Creating an online fitness community not only fosters a sense of belonging but also allows gyms to share success stories and deliver valuable content that resonates beyond the gym walls.
The new ABC Evo CRM solution announced at IHRSA Brazil 2023 includes tools to incorporate social media tracking into a club’s customer relations management strategy. It allows club owners to harness the power of social media to listen and monitor trends and individual members’ activities to better align with their values, needs, and preferences.
The IHRSA Brazil Show of 2023 revealed a fitness industry in Latin America that is not only bouncing back from challenges but also embracing the latest trends with fervor. The revival of the market’s vibrancy, coupled with an increased focus on technology and data, highlights the industry’s commitment to innovation and growth. Furthermore, the emphasis on member engagement through social media underscores the industry’s evolution in response to changing member preferences and behavior.
As the fitness landscape in LATAM continues to evolve, a blend of technological integration, data analytics, and creative engagement strategies will be key to thriving in the new era of fitness.