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Using data to survive the postcovid drop-off

TOP LEFT: Graph 1: Pre-covid vs post-covid member numbers by membership status and state TOP RIGHT: Graph 2: Top five age groups that have highest proportion of cancelled members BOTTOM LEFT: Graph 3: Pre-covid vs post-covid member number by membership status and deprivation BOTTOM RIGHT: Graph 4: Top five age groups that have member duration decline

D

uring the covid pandemic, aquatic and leisure centres have seen membership number decline. While many members have only suspended their memberships, there are realistic fears they many may not be coming back. James Ellender, CEO of ActiveXchange, says analysing data from across the sector as well as from individual centres provides the opportunity to focus on those most likely to return, and in doing so, securing future membership for the post-covid world. ActiveXchange, powered by the SportsEye platform, enables analysis of data from hundreds of aquatic centres, as well as sports, fitness and leisure centres. The data analysis indicates that venues may be drifting towards an even greater crisis in the months ahead. However, Ellender says that by interpreting the data, it is possible to avoid the pitfalls ahead and maintain a healthy membership. “The platform is purpose-built for analysing member and participant data and making sense from it; working out who is leaving and who is returning so we can have much more specific information on which programs to target, based on the changing age groups and demographics returning or not returning to the venues,” he says.

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“As well as the general spread of data we can look immediately at their catchment and understand supply and demand at their location with a much greater insight.” He says a whole range of other factors can help understand supply and demand at the venues. “Because we’re monitoring participation of members in our fitness centres, we can understand different age groups usage of particular programs, learn to swim for example, and can adjust their programs to suit.”

What is the current picture?

Graph 1 compares, as a baseline, the number of members prior to covid (February) with the average percentage of members who have cancelled, or are still on suspension, and the similar proportion of new joiners over this period (through to September). Graph 2 shows that when we split this out by demographics, we can see which is the highest proportion who have cancelled or are still on suspension. “This data is helping operators focus on which groups to re-engage, how to prioritise these efforts, and how to optimise and tailor the messaging and offering, tracking across the industry what’s working best on a rolling basis,” says Ellender. “You can then apply this up-to-date intelligence to each partner venue.”