énergie Evolution Conference 2016

On Saturday, David attended and presented at énergie’s Evolution Conference 2016. It was their 13th annual conference but this year marked a change as Jan Spaticchia (CEO) officially announced their rebranding from the énergie Group to énergie Fitness.

Alongside the announcement of their rebranding, énergie Fitness announced E-labs, a first for the UK fitness sector. It’s the opportunity to pitch an idea for investment and helps to promote innovation within the industry. The top 10 ideas will be chosen to pitch to Jan Spaticchia in a new start up programme. Best of luck to those entering!

Amongst the 11 speakers scheduled for the day, David was asked to discuss ‘Innovation Impacting the Fitness Industry’. David opened his presentation discussing how the fitness industry has seen tremendous growth in the past year. The 2016 State of the UK Fitness Industry report, published by The Leisure Database Company in May this year, notes that the industry has more members, market value and clubs than ever before. 

David, and the Leisure Database Company, are fascinated by the impact of technology advancing and innovating the fitness industry. We are a screen generation and the development of apps, wearables, social media, virtual reality, augmented reality and real-time data is changing every industry as we know it.

David was recently quoted in the Investors Chronicle about just how technology and innovation need to come hand in hand…

"Between 2007 and 2011 the industry ticked along quite effectively, but with limited growth due to little innovation. It takes a while for new technology and innovation to have an impact on an industry. Smartphones have revolutionised the way consumers record their daily activity and check their health. The interest in tracking devices and wearable technology could help maintain general interest in fitness and be good for the industry.

The penetration of private health clubs (not under local authority control) has grown from 7.5 per cent to 9.1 per cent in the past four years and the joint public-private penetration is an impressive 14.3 per cent - an all-time high. Although we can point the finger to the rapidly expanding low-cost market for most of this growth, it is worth looking at the underlying technology that makes it possible.

Low-cost clubs are a hub of technology, relying on immediate data science and enterprise security software. Their presence on social media and ability to communicate digitally with customers is impressive and also allows for secondary spend across their mobile platforms.

Timing has played its part in bringing fresh technology, vision, innovation, interest and finance into an industry that we have always believed has enormous potential. Parts of it have been driven from 'data poor' to data-driven businesses and some consumers have turned themselves into walking, running, cycling, swimming and fitness data hubs.”

During his presentation, David mentioned the Amazon Echo, a wireless speaker and voice command device. It responds to the name ‘Alexa’ and is designed to allow hands-free convenience, it can control switches and connect to a number of devices…but most importantly it’s the future of technology. An Amazon Echo was up for grabs in a prize draw at the Evolution Conference and we’re pleased to say that Carmel Dungan from énergie Huddersfield was the lucky winner. Carmel contacted David to thank him for mentioning the Amazon Echo during his presentation and how she’s looking forward to using it! Congrats Carmel!