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Thinking outside the box
And that’s a wrap for the last major UK fitness industry event of the year. The BP: Fitness Trade Show, formally known as Leisure Industry Week, took place at the NEC Birmingham, September 2017. As with almost every year since 1999, the Escape team was there to inspire, educate and motivate the crowds.
Working the stand in our notorious bright yellow t-shirts, we were there to showcase a new solution designed to help clubs make the very most of their outdoor space. Read about this new solution below. But first, let’s take a step back and look at the purpose of events like this – and whether the BP show really hit the mark.
WHAT’S THE STATE OF TRADE SHOWS IN THE UK?
This show has always been a highlight in the Escape calendar. In fact, LIW in 1999 was the first show Escape attended, where we just had a 3x2m stand, with a set of dumbbells and a few weight plates to exhibit. It was the event that launched Escape in the UK, bringing us lots of new customers and key contacts across the industry.
Back then, LIW was a thriving event with lots of energy. Anybody who was anybody was there. It was a fantastic opportunity for suppliers and club operators to share ideas, and to find out about new training styles and equipment. Those energy levels are still there at many trade shows around the world, but in recent years that’s not been the case in the UK.
There doesn’t seem to be the same level of interest, excitement and support from the UK industry for this type of event. The organisers work very hard to promote and reinvigorate the shows. But it seems that the UK industry as a whole no longer appears to be as excited about supporting them or sees the value in these events.
A FORUM FOR INNOVATION
The most successful trade shows bring together the best minds in the industry, sharing ideas and meeting new people. New ideas are formed, partnerships are made and the seeds for new ventures are planted. That makes them the perfect forum for any business struggling with a changing and increasingly competitive environment.
What’s especially great about the best shows is they way they open up the door to innovation; and that’s essential in today’s fitness market. In the UK and elsewhere, clubs are often choosing to base their strategy purely around aggressive pricing, but even the operators that seem to be competing on pure price are in most cases extremely innovative. They innovate on how they are selling memberships, their use of technology, their member experience, the way they balance their costs and so on.
Innovation across all business models is vital. This is why attending industry events is so important, bringing you great opportunities to see what suppliers and other operators are working on, and which of their solutions will give you the edge on everybody else.
Escape always aims to bring new ideas to every show we exhibit at. We want to be a catalyst for new ideas and new opportunities. At the BP show this year, our focus for innovation was around outdoor training…
INCREASE REVENUE WITH THE OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE
During the two day event, our stand visitors were excited to be a part of the exclusive launch of our outdoor training fitness solution. As one of the main talking points of the show, we were blown away by the positive response it created – and the fantastic comments that flooded our social media feeds were proof.
The container has the dimensions of a 40ft shipping container (Length 6.06m, Height 2.59m, Width 2.43m), holding an impressive amount of equipment. Escape are offering the outdoor fitness solution to enable customers to enter a new fitness category and get a slice of the trending outdoor training action.
Outdoor training has rapidly gained popularity within the fitness world over the past few years. Whether it’s due to the inception of obstacle courses such as Tough Mudder or the several health benefits of exercising outdoors, it’s clear to see that this style of training is here to stay.
It’s so popular in fact, that ‘outdoor activities’ has been voted among the top 20 most popular fitness trends in the annual survey of worldwide fitness trends, since 2010. Findings are gathered from almost every continent and include Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States. And with nearly half of survey respondents having more than 10 years’ experience in the industry, it’s safe to say that these findings are reliable.
Perhaps it’s the mental stimulation of being in the great outdoors or the invigorating feeling you get when battling against treacherous weather conditions; but one thing’s for sure, if your club is looking to revamp its offerings, this is it. Here’s a summary of the benefits that the outdoor training fitness solution can present to you.
As well as a hub for group training or to enhance the bootcamp experience, the container itself offers a perfect storage solution. Storage that’s safe, secure and weather-proof!
As proved at BP, the container can hold all the equipment a club needs to run small and large group workouts, with integrated RACK5 storage. It only took the team just five minutes to unpack or pack the equipment – essential for quick-fire workouts and if bad weather strikes.
Limited storage space is a common issue for many clubs, and the container will create extensive extra storage capacity. Just take a look at what accompanied us to the show: Corebags, Bulgarian Bags, CMTs, GRIPRs, Sandbags, Dumbbells, TIYRs, Quad Sled, TRX, Kettlebells, Battle Ropes, Medballs, Deck 2.0 – and our new PLYO360 and Ammo Box.
The container can transform unused outdoor space or car parks into a fully functional training area – creating additional revenue at the same time! The solution can be used as an extension of indoor offerings, as a way to generate more space; or as an avenue to introduce new training programmes, new training experiences and to spread your brand across new locations.
Keep in mind that bootcamps have made their mark on the fitness industry within recent years. With the right equipment, instructor and training programme your club has the potential to appeal to a whole new range of clientele.
For personal trainers, the bootcamp route could be just what you need to establish yourself as a stand-alone brand; offering small group, large group and one-on-one sessions to the public on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Brand it your way
Your branding is an integral part of setting you apart from competitors. That’s why clubs can put their own mark on our outdoor training solution with bespoke design, branding, lighting and flooring. Get all of that right and you will have something attractive to offer new and existing members – an ideal outdoor destination and an experience like nothing else.
Early adopters of the solution are having success doing just this. Clubs are already having fun with colours and branding, to create unique outdoor training experiences for their members.
GROUP PROGRAMMING COMPLIMENTS THE OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE PERFECTLY
As demonstrated at BP last month, the container is the perfect hub for group training programmes. In particular, we see it is the basis for BATTLE FIT programming, with an outdoor environment matching the rugged nature of this military-style training.
Look out for an update soon on how our training programmes can give the outdoor training fitness solution some life.
In the meantime, if you would like to talk to us about our outdoor training fitness solution or any of our group training programmes please contact us today: firstname.lastname@example.org
UK: +44 (0)1733 313 535
USA: +1 (614)-706-4462
Germany: +49 (0)2921 590 10 70