Monday, 23 May 2016

The Retention Convention 2016

While some of the presenters didn’t quite come up to the high standard of last year’s retention convention [joke], this year’s event had some great content over 2 days in Birmingham, and a real international feel.

Arron Williams talked about the boutique market, and how members at boutique clubs are basically getting hooked on exercise as a drug. The flow genome project video was a very interesting side-line, but overall, we need to remember that boutique clubs are not just Soulcycle and Barry’s, but also the local Pilates/Yoga studio, or Zumba in the church hall.




Neils Nagel presented his research on exercise adherence (or non-adherence) with wearable devices. In a nutshell, clubs have to be the centre of competence in a digital world.

My personal highlight for day one was Molly Kemmer, who talked about providing the complete experiential club offering, and delivered her top 10 tips for improving retention, which went like this:
  1. Manage expectations
  2. Deliver more than you promised
  3. Stay transparent
  4. Encourage loyalty
  5. Get personal
  6. Stay top of mind
  7. Prove your value
  8. Be there when things go wrong
  9. Change
  10. Accept feedback

Melvyn Hillsdon kicked off day two with one of his best presentations yet, bringing together a lot of the comments and content from day one, along with down to earth retention advice and evidence. Talk to members, make commitment interactions if you can, and you will see improvements. Measuring retention is complex, but the solutions are not. Melvyn also told the story of the referral patient who swapped their very expensive and accurate pedometer for a one from a packet of Ricicles, because it gave them ‘better’ results (i.e. the results they were looking for).

Selda Gamzeli brought a unique view on the European fitness market from Jatomi, with important insights on customer feedback through NPS, text surveys, and mystery shoppers and visitors.

Tiffeny Gould talked about wearables and integration of fitness and wellness with a number of great case studies from preva, mywellness, egym and myzone.

And finally, Paul Bedford wound up again on day two with a rallying call to the industry once more. We know what to do to improve retention, we just have to get on with it.

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