The Health Club Collection is a group of boutique health clubs operating in and around London since the early 90s, including the Bankside Fit Hub, the River Bourne Club, and Rize.
Each Club has its own unique brand and client base, but all have benefited from using the white label digital workout platform provided by Venueserve Fitness.
The Health Club Collection turned to Venueserve Fitness to help with customer engagement during the pandemic. Since Spring 2020, across the group, its live streamed and pre-recorded content has received 9651 views. As a result of its popularity, the Health Club Collection is now developing its offer and is using virtual wellness as part of its long-term strategy and membership provision.
Heidi Blackburn, Operations Director, Health Club Collection says: “We introduced the online platform as a way to connect with our members during lockdown. However, we always had the belief that online wellness was something we wanted to provide; it was inevitable for the leisure sector. The pandemic simply sped up our implementation of this strategy. We needed to be fast to market with our virtual offer, and the content had to be authentic, meaningful and ensure our instructors had online security built in. We wanted to be able to offer our members a round-the-clock ‘lifestyle’ experience, and Venueserve Fitness helped us to fulfil our desire to create a club without walls.”
The Health Club Collection’s River Bourne Club, based in Chertsey, has a suburban demographic, and is now creating bespoke training schedules for some its niche markets. Blackburn says: “We have a lot of members who are retired. We can provide comprehensive, bespoke training plans for this group online, something that’s costly in person. For our prime-time customers aged 65+, our inspirational instructor, Dee, who is 70 years herself, has created some fantastic lower impact, age-specific sessions.
“At first we wondered if this age group would engage with the online technology, and we filmed some short ‘How to use the platform’ instructional videos, but they have tuned in and turned up. Now we’re creating more content for other demographics, including post- and pre-natal. The fantastic thing about virtual wellness is we can provide a vast range of content cost effectively. We’re also considering online teenage/youth sessions, prehab and rehab sessions, weight loss programmes and long Covid recovery support.”
The Bankside Fit Hub in London has a young and corporate membership and has naturally been impacted by more people working from home. However, it has good relationships with other businesses and universities in the area and is developing its online provision with local partnerships in mind.
Blackburn says: “Many of our corporate partners are now offering our virtual membership as an employee perk. It’s important, now more than ever, that employers provide their workforce with affordable wellbeing opportunities, and the online provision is a good fit for this. The Venueserve Fitness platform upsells our memberships to our corporate partners whether their staff are working from home or from the office.”
The Bankside Fit Hub recently offered a 14-day free trial of its online platform and developed a bespoke four-week programme covering all areas of wellbeing, including training sessions, stretching techniques and mindfulness, along with nutrition and diet plans. Blackburn says: “We simply couldn’t provide this type of programme without the Venueserve Fitness application. Our customers feel safe and reassured using our content as we are already their trusted wellbeing expert.”
The Health Club Collection’s, Rize Studios are small group exercise studios, offering sociable, coached group exercise classes based in Balham, Queens Park and St Margaret’s. Rize is offering its online membership for £8 per month or free for its full members. Blackburn says: “The real benefit of the Venueserve Fitness platform at our smaller clubs is managing unavoidable disappointment. Covid has meant we’ve had to reduce capacity in all our studios. The online platform allows us to say, if you didn’t manage to book your HIIT class, there’s a HIIT class online for you. Moving forward we plan to live-stream all classes online, so if a customer misses out on their favourite class, they will be able to participate virtually, with the same instructor and same class, as the customers who are physically there. This will help our members know we value their membership and to prove we are doing our best to provide a round-the-clock service.”
The Health Club Collection’s Group Sales and Marketing Manager, Ian Hassett says: “Virtual provision extends our membership offer and naturally creates flexibility and opportunity to grow the business. The Venueserve Fitness platform is white label, so we can customise it to make it look and feel like our brands, so our customers feel connected to our clubs. Brand loyalty is important for customer retention. Members can use the online platforms should they be working from home, away with business, on holiday or too busy to get to the club itself.
“The reports created by the platform show that both pre-recorded and live streamed sessions are popular. What we’ve learnt is that choice and convenience is important to customers.
“We also use the platform as a great sales tool for potential new members; turning enquiries into new members by offering a try before you buy seven-day virtual membership. The potential new customer gets a feel for the clubs and gets to meet instructors before committing. They gain valuable insight into the club and, we hope, enjoy the experience.”
Hassett concludes: “I’m excited for the future of the health and wellbeing industry. There are limitless opportunities to bolt on and add value to our customers experience using the Venueserve Fitness platform. Blended memberships, bespoke wellbeing packages and customer convenience will be at the heart of everything we do.”
Links to the Venue Fitness platforms
Address: Venueserve, Centrepoint House,
2 Denmark Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4DA
Phone: +44 (0) 207 112 8078