The Gym Insight Blog has already taken a look at 2017 trends in gym ownership. However, as you will find below, I currently have doubts about how wearables will fit into 2017. This post is more of a round-up of what the blogosphere is thinking about for the coming year.
The beginning of 2017 marks the third year that this blog has covered the trends; follow these links to the posts for 2015 and 2016. How do they look compared to your personal experiences of the last few years?
Tech For Gyms Trends
Videos for search engine optimization are now a leading digital trend. It’s easier than ever to publish video content. Even Instagram will be supporting video in 2017. If you are a busy gym owner, you can get a quick fix on adding content to your website.
Create video content – According to Small Business Trends, video and mobile are a must for your content. It also discusses voice search and structured data in your content.
Mobile is driving new technology – Voice search is such a natural part of the mobile experience that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. If you have an Amazon Echo or use Google voice search in Android or Apple’s Siri you are using a voice search algorithm.
You’ve probably used voice search on your smartphone by now. Since it’s fundamentally part of mobile-search, you may consider optimizing content on your website and Facebook page for voice search by putting headlines in the form of questions.
Wearables are going flat – The leading wearables have been wristbands that will only get full traction when they are part of fitness as defined by health care providers and within a framework of health. Enforced wearables also risk a backlash; if you have to wear a band every day at work because your medical coverage depends on it, then you may quickly come to resent this "mandatory" intrusion.
Wearables will become part of the mesh networks of the Internet of Things that encompasses healthcare. Beyond that, they look a little flat in my opinion. If your experience of wearable tech in the gym has been different, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Fitness Trends For 2017
Writer Peter McCall of the American Council on Exercise has released a set of predictions for 2017. Interesting stuff, as the world is changing faster than ever before.
Urban living – Young adults AKA Millennials are choosing to live in urban settings more than before and getting exercise as part of the daily commute. McCall says gym owners should expect that walking or cycling to work slows gym membership growth.
Sports league branded fitness concepts – Gyms will become more aligned with fitness brands such as UFC and others.
Live streamed group workouts – Video in real-time means that you can have instructors giving classes remotely, where the participants have a two-way video link to the instructor. Why fight it? Make sure your gym or studio space has adequate broadband Wi-Fi and encourage members to come in and use your space while they take classes remotely.
The list is worth the read, and I’ll probably discuss it more in future posts. McCall goes on to list ten specific trends. The insights from the ACE list are all worth watching closely in 2017.
Club Industry also posted a short list of trends for 2017 that focused on experiences, value, and small group training. Likewise, Women Fitness posted a list of ten fitness trends that sum up the general points of most lists for the topic this year. The consensus, quite reasonably, is that activities such as group training, strength, and body weight training, among others will lead the trends for the year. Again wearables rank highly, and again I disagree a little.
Small Business Trends
According to Inc. Magazine’s Website, there are some business trends for 2017 that are heavily tech-dependent and that is good for small business owners and gyms.
Gym business owners will be interested in trends that involve consumer focused business and B2C marketing. Automation deserves a special mention here. In automation, there is a steady, long-term trend that might make employees of large companies quake in their shoes. But if you’re a gym entrepreneur just starting out, automation is the solution that will drive your business. Gym Insight has been promoting gym automation since we founded the company.
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