Fears of evolving technology making the health club or personal trainer obsolete should be turned around to view technology as an opportunity to reach new markets.
With the CES event wrapping up last week, people in many industries—including the fitness industry—were buzzing about how technology and certain products will change their businesses. The event featured a lot of fitness-related products (we'll share more on that later this week) as several vendors from the industry were represented and several club operators were making the rounds at the show.
As technology evolves, it creates change in industries and businesses. Change can create fear for some. For the fitness industry, some of that fear revolves around technology replacing the physical space of a gym or the need for a personal trainer.
However, Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak, speaking on CNBC last week, noted that technology will never replace trainers because people need the personal touch. Spevak, who also was recently profiled by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, then noted how technology will help clubs keep in touch with their members even when they are outside the club.
I agree that the personal touch will always be needed for many people. That technology can reach some of the 80 percent of people who do not belong to a club to motivate them to become more physically active. It can be their starting point into the world of fitness. It also can be an opportunity for health club operators. The goal for our industry should be reaching those people through that technology and showing them how taking the next step through the doors of a fitness facility will transform their experience even further.
How do you think club operators can do that?