HCM Handbook 2022-2023

Page 30

industry insights

THE BUILD BACK

Liz Clark President & CEO IHRSA

T

he past two years have been a wild ride for our industry. While we are on the road to recovery, a lot of questions remain, but we have learned some phenomenal lessons along the way. The fitness industry learned how important it is to be nimble, embrace technology, have critical relationships with landlords, be flexible with staff, unify our voice with lawmakers, and so much more.

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Handbook 2022

photo: shutterstock/Mladen Zivkovic

Home offerings broadened the reach and competition

Everything has changed. We will never operate exactly as we did before – but before what? The industry was already evolving and the pandemic just expedited its evolution. On the technology side, we are seeing an unprecedented number of fitness apps, hybrid offerings, at-home training and increased options for consumers, which creates a more competitive market. On the other hand, US states such as California – which lost 39 per cent of operators – and New York, where 31 per cent of facilities closed permanently, provide fertile ground for opportunities.

PHOTO: Stephen Gosling

After a crazy couple of years we’ve reached the endemic stage, giving us the chance to take stock of the impact COVID has had. So what’s new, different, better and what still remains a challenge? We ask industry experts for their thoughts…

When we look at what has changed in our industry, the answer is … everything For some, COVID-19 brought only the virus and quarantines, but others were discovering new passions, such as painting, reading, cooking, and, yes, exercising! Participation skyrocketed in sports such as golf, skiing, paddle sports, and kayaking. More people than ever went outside to be active and those people actually got healthier during the pandemic. This provided a deeper www.HCMhandbook.com