FIBO 2017 was huge this year, with 1,000 exhibitors and 150,000 delegates from around the world converging on Cologne, Germany.
Les Mills presented the Fit Business Live event to a hall packed with leading European operators within the giant FIBO complex. It also debuted a new-style tradeshow booth combining the latest digital technology with a warm New Zealand cultural welcome, including specialty Kiwi coffee and an evening tasting top New Zealand wines.
Visitors to the comfortable meeting space enjoyed a 49-year historical overview of the company and its founder, Les Mills, alongside information about the company’s latest programs and its renowned 360-degree support for customers.
The focus of Fit Business Live was a topic vital to club members and management – motivation.
With research showing that we continue to lose 50 percent of new gym members within six months of joining, this remains a core issue that our industry must address.
In launching Fit Business Live, Phillip Mills, founder of Les Mills International, stressed the company’s philosophy. “We’re not just in the business of fitness, we’re in the business of motivation.”
To provide a wide perspective on the topic, the event offered knowledge and insight from leading sports executive Mike Forde.
Drawing on his many years working with high performing teams such as the San Antonio Spurs, Chelsea Football Club and Team Sky Cycling, Forde challenged attendees to concentrate on building curiosity-driven team environments that nurture talent and inspire motivation.
“The number one priority when it comes to achieving sustained high performance is cultivating a mindset of curiosity,” he said. “How do you grow? How do you keep refocusing your expectation on what is possible?”
He also advocated for high levels of accountability and ownership of the process within the team: “Performance is the focus, and everything must lead towards making the talent accountable and engaged in this process.”
Ish Cheyne, Fitness Director of Les Mills’s New Zealand club chain followed Forde. He advised the audience to teach personal trainers to use group fitness as part of the program schedule they set for clients. “PTs often write programs that exclude group fitness in favor of only training on traditional cardio equipment,” he explained.
“When PTs understand that mixing group fitness and personal training increases the member’s overall experience and enjoyment of exercise, and when this is coupled with the accountability of a personal trainer, results are massively improved.”
Cheyne also suggested fitness teams within clubs create a culture of working out together, to learn from each other and strengthen bonds. “PTs should teach and attend group fitness classes,” he said, “while group fitness Instructors should use personal training and train on the gym floor.
“Staff workouts run by PTs and staff group fitness sessions are ideal for team building and developing product knowledge.”
Phillip Mills then took to the stage for a passionate presentation on where the industry is now and where he believes it will go next.
Phillip opened with the proposition that “Generation Z has reached 23 years of age and they, combined with Millennials are the must-win battleground for traditional clubs.” He followed with his prescription for how to succeed with this market.
Fit Business Live concluded back at the Les Mills booth, where guests were treated to a selection of New Zealand wine, paired with European cheeses, and mingled with speakers and audience members to share their thoughts and experiences from the event.
Supporting the industry
Les Mills is building a community of industry professionals who support one another. Following the success of Fit Business Live! at FIBO 2017, the event will also feature at trade shows around the world, with plans for Shanghai, Amsterdam and Auckland to all take place in the next 12 months. The events will continue to offer inspiring and practical content from external and industry speakers.
Keep an eye out for the next Fit Business Live event near you. You can sign up for the Fit Business email here.