Experts predict that the fitness and health club industry is poised for growth in 2016. Club  Business International asked some of the health and fitness club industry leaders, including members and board of directors for IHRSA as to their predictions for this year. Here is what they said.

Integration to the Digital Landscape

With fitness apps on the rise, there is a trend towards clubs supporting and using digital platforms to better stay connected with its members and get them to stay loyal to their fitness club. Fitness clubs that utilize the digital landscape will be very successful. Early adoption is key.

Personalization will make the difference

We will see less of the large clubs dominating the market. It is about personalization and boutique clubs that know their members’ needs and cater to the local market will be very competitive. It is vital for clubs to know what their members want, need, and expect. This will be a key differentiator.

Legal matters will be a hot topic

EFT cancellation policies and overtime compensation is becoming something to look at. Some of the larger clubs that have lost control of their personnel are susceptible to lawsuits and need to pay attention to the legal ramifications. For this reason, franchise health club models that provide the proper legal guidelines, contracts, etc.. are becoming the more popular method of gym ownership.

Small Group training will continue to expand

Boutique clubs with smaller, more intimate group training sessions are becoming more popular. Those larger health clubs with thousands of members are finding that people prefer to be in smaller groups.

Wellness programs will grow thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Larger companies are seeing the need to offer health and wellness programs to their employees. This could mean corpore contracts with health clubs or gym reimbursement programs. These are all good things for fitness club owners.

Fitness Club Members are being more demanding

With the many club models that are available offering a variety of amenities, members have become picky. Health clubs that can offer multiple amenities such as: food and beverage, children’s programs, dedicate personal trainers, and more will have a competitive advantage.