Page 42

D FOC S

W

RL

U

O

Revenue

BOOSTER Demand-based pricing, appointing a revenue manager, and promoting ‘spare space’. Our panel of experts talk to Kate Cracknell about improving yield in health clubs

A

hardcore of morning exercisers, a lunchtime infl ux and then the predictable evening rush hour. Sound like a familiar pattern of attendance at your gym? Meanwhile, facilities lie all but empty during off-peak daytime hours – but rent, utilities and staff costs still need to be paid. True, new offerings such as virtual group exercise allow for studios to be made use of off-peak, when instructor-led classes aren’t cost-effective. And there are some operators who offer things like senior sessions during quieter times, or who open their doors to schools so kids can use their facilities for PE lessons. But surely there’s more the fi tness

NEIL KING MD, 1LIFE, UK

Variable pricing is one of the areas in which the leisure industry – including the fitness sector – currently lags behind other comparable sectors involved in the ‘space selling game’. Once a time slot has gone – be it in a gym, swimming pool, sports hall, hotel room or cinema seat – you can never sell that space again. The moment is over and it’s gone forever. So why doesn’t our sector embrace the concept of variable pricing, given that one of the things that we all have is empty space? We don’t need to worry about our peak time usage – this sells itself – but when faced with a daily utilisation fi gure of approximately 35 per cent in a fourbadminton-court sports hall, there are clearly opportunities. 42

sector could be doing to drive usage of its facilities during quieter times, and with it extract maximum value from them? Other sectors – notably the airlines – have strong yield management models, making sure as many seats as possible are fi lled on each fl ight. But, while the fi tness sector is fi nally seeing some innovation in this area thanks to newcomers like Dibs – founded in New York in June 2015, which is helping studios fi ll classes and boost revenue via dynamic pricing – there’s still a long way to go for health club operators. We ask the experts for their advice on how to improve yield management in the health and fi tness sector.

“Once a time slot has gone – be it in a gym, a swimming pool, a sports hall, a hotel room or a cinema seat – you can never sell that space again” Neil King Attempts have been made with the introduction of off-peak pricing and concessionary pricing, but these were all solutions for the pre-digital age. Online bookings, social media and electronic ticketing all provide new opportunities to do things differently and more effectively. Via push notifi cations, we can now inform customers of when and where we have ‘spare space’. Add to that a variable pricing model, either realtime or via advanced discounted booking rates, and we could create a very different business – more fl exible, higher occupancy, more commercial and one

healthclubmanagement.co.uk May 2016 ©Cybertrek 2016

that’s really designed to encourage more people to be more active more often. From an operator perspective, several forward-thinking companies would already like to sell my space for me, but how little thought and effort might it take for me to do this myself? Variable pricing is therefore something 1Life is considering at the moment; we’re looking at ways we can be more innovative when it comes to the pricing of our products and services. If we get it right, it should hit two buttons: our commercial objectives and our social objectives.

Profile for Leisure Media

Health Club Management May 2016  

Health Club Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global health club, fitness and gym industry.

Health Club Management May 2016  

Health Club Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global health club, fitness and gym industry.

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded