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Press Release 6.4.2017: Europen Health & Fitness Forum 2017 addresses customer engagement in the European fitness sector

The 4th annual event brought together top experts and close to 400 delegates from all European countries to discuss customer engagement in the European fitness sector.

The European Health and Fitness Forum, the leading conference for the European fitness sector, concluded on Wednesday in the Congress Center Nord at the exhibition centre in Cologne.

The sold-out event opened with the release of the latest comprehensive study on the European fitness sector, “EuropeActive Health & Fitness Market Report 2017”. This European Health & Fitness Market Report, the sixth joint publication of EuropeActive and Deloitte, represents the most comprehensive report on the European health and fitness market and serves as a valuable source of information for industry stakeholders, investors, banks, and many more.

Karsten Hollasch, who works as the corporate finance partner at Deloitte, presented the report. He commented: “If we take the annual grow rate we will exceed the target of 80 million members of health & fitness clubs by 2025. Not even taking into account the customer engagement and digitalisation that will translate to more people active”

During the day, experts from the active leisure sector, politics, health care and associated industries shared helpful input and practical examples on how change and innovation can be implemented successfully.

One of the experts at this year’s Forum was Luis Huete, who discussed the challenges and strategies of customer engagement. The Professor of Entrepreneurship and Accounting at the IESE Business School in Barcelona said: “You earn relationships with customers by giving. You are the one that should start.”

In the context of customer experience from the airline industry, Andreas Harting, MD Deloitte Digital, said in his presentation: “We need to reframe our thinking from exercise to personal transformation in order to stay in business and reach more people with the fitness industry. The way of doing business changes with data and for this we have to broaden the ecosystem.”

Roundtable discussions covered the topic “Engaged customers and the role technology can play in this” During the debate, Cees van Dok, Head of the TomTom Sports Product Unit, said: “An engaged customer is a happy customer that knows what he gets. As a brand you live up to that expectation and to deliver is creating engagement”. Jonathan Fisher, CEO of Holmes Place, added: “We have to ask customers to learn what is relevant to them. Engagement is created by the customer’s sense of commitment and sense of relevance”.

On the technology side of things, Jonathan Fisher, CEO of Holmes Place, said: “You really need to believe in your idea and be passionate about it because customers are getting smarter and can smell a bluff from miles away.” Adding to that, Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of Pure Gym, said: “We invest in technology to engage with the youth. If you ask any 25 year old how often they use their smartphones as phones and they will tell you: not often. Processing interaction is done with 3 to 4 apps and we have to keep that in mind when engaging customers.”

The day culminated with the release of a new industry outlook study “Customer engagement & Experience in the Fitness Sector”. This book is written for club owners and managers in the health and fitness sector who
want to learn more about the ways and means to improve their business. For this reason,
the book contains contributions from a mix of experts, both from the academic and the
business world, but also some interesting case studies and practical strategies on how to
improve business in terms of customer engagement and experience.

For continuous updates and more information, visit EuropeActive’s blog.

Photographs from the event may be found on the EuropeActive Flickr page

About EuropeActive

EuropeActive, formerly known as the European Health & Fitness Association (EHFA), is the leading not-for-profit organisation and the unique voice representing the whole of the European health and fitness sector. Its mission is not just to turn back the tide of inactivity but to ensure that more and more people get active as a result of an effective synergy between all the sector’s actors.

The European health & fitness sector serves over 52.4 million consumers, generates €26.7 billion in revenues, employs 650,000 people and consists of 51,200 facilities.

For further information, please visit www.europeactive.eu

or contact;

Nathalie Smeeman, Executive Director
thesecretariat@europeactive.eu

About the European Health and Fitness Forum

Organised by EuropeActive, the European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF) is the opening event of FIBO, which is the largest international trade show for fitness, wellness and health. An expected 120,000 people will attend the FIBO tradeshow in the coming three days.

Following on the success of the three previous editions of EHFF, top speakers came together to present lectures and discussions on the state of the fitness sector and the issues concerning the industry. Experts from the active leisure sector, politics, health care and associated industries shared helpful input and practical examples on how change and innovation can be successfully implemented. The presentations were accompanied by roundtable debate with representatives from leading suppliers and operators.

The theme of this year’s edition was “Customer Engagement”. Changes are needed in all areas – experts from the industry, government, and healthcare explained how to do it in practice. The forum also saw the official launch of the new industry outlook study “Customer engagement & Experience in the Fitness Sector”.

For a complete programme of the event visit www.europeactive.eu.

Customer engagement & Experience in the Fitness Sector – a new book by EuropeActive

With more than 56 million members, fitness is the largest sport in Europe. However, with a penetration rate of around 15% of total population, the market has not yet reached its full potential. There are many opportunities to grow and achieve EuropeActive’s goal of 80 million members by 2025. To achieve this challenge, the sector needs to focus on finding ways to keep existing members and clients longer, and to reach out to new target groups.

The term customer engagement and customer experience pop-up regularly in business literature. In short, it is about the perception that customers have of all their interactions with an organisation. If the fitness sector provides an experience that customers like, they will have a positive feeling, and will be more likely to spread positive messages. They are also more likely to continue to be a customer for the long term, will increase their purchases, and will enhance their loyalty and retention.

This book is written for club owners and managers in the health and fitness sector who
want to learn more about the ways and means to improve their business. For this reason,
the book contains contributions from a mix of experts, both from the academic and the
business world, but also some interesting case studies and practical strategies on how to
improve business in terms of customer engagement and experience.

The book can be ordered through the EuropeActive Knowledge center; www.europeactive.eu

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