6th European Health & Fitness Forum brought an innovative breakout session format, placing the focus on Marketing and Sales

EuropeActive hosted the 6th edition of its European Health and Fitness Forum (EHFF) on Wednesday, April 3rd 2019 in Cologne at the Congress Centre Nord, Exhibition Centre. This year’s focus was on Marketing and Sales, key issues to the fitness market in the last decade, with the sector growing from 36 to an impressive 60 million members – a remarkable 67% growth between 2007 and 2017.

EuropeActive’s CEO Nathalie Smeeman opened the event by focusing on women’s position in sport: “Only 10.9% of Senior Executives are women. Boards must look closely not just at placing women on the board, but also developing them for leadership positions to create sustainable diversity”. WIFA Board Member Emma Barry also highlighted WIFA’s work on “unifying women globally, forming key alliance across different sectors and becoming the go-to organisation for Women in Fitness representation”.

EuropeActive Board Member and EHFF Moderator Herman Rutgers took over by asking the audience to name a company and a person famous worldwide for great Marketing & Sales. He pointed to Steve Jobs and Apple as an inspiration to reinforce that “in Marketing and Sales we must put the customer first in delivering benefits”.

Keynote speakers in the spotlight

EHFF was divided in two, with the morning sessions and early-afternoon making way for five high profile keynote speakers:

  • Karsten Hollasch, partner at Deloitte, took delegates through the research outcome of our “European Market in 2018” study, emphasizing that club memberships grew by 3.5% to 62.2 million in 2018, strengthening fitness as the #1 sports activity in Europe.
  • CEO and Co-Founder Orangetheory Fitness David Long gave valuable insights on how science, coaching and technology are changing the member experience. He stated: “Fitness is my passion, it was meant to be”.
  • Holmes Place Groups CEO Jonathan Fisher spread his philosophy of ‘opening up the industry’ to make it more accessible to clients in the Digital Age.
  • David Greenfield (Global Head of Consumer Obsession, Philips) provided a look into Value based customer segmentation: “it is key to place consumer at the centre of activities”.
  • The morning concluded in the main room with David Patchell Evans (Founder and CEO Goodlife) focusing on how ‘Patch’ and GoodLife Fitness evolved and turned into the largest fitness club chain in Canada.

After keynote speakers’ sessions, the FIBO Innovation Awards unveiled the winners for the 2019 edition in the following categories: Digital Fitness: Faceforce, Health & Prevention: BALLance Concepts, Lifestyle, Life-Balance & Wellness: Charles Simmons Music & Fitness, Performance: Neuron Academy International, Start Up: Sphery.

Innovative Break-out session format

A new format was introduced in the late afternoon, where delegates had the chance to choose their own programme by attending the sessions that were of the greatest interest to them. Co-founder of ClubIntel Stephen Tharrett hosted two break-out sessions about pricing strategies and the fourth Industrial Revolution. DSM Nutritional Products Head of Personalised Nutrition for EMEA Catia Pimenta de Sousa provided valuable insights into personalised nutrition.

EuropeActive Agency Director Sander van Weerdenburg moderated afternoon break-out session in which Nuffield Health’s Head of Marketing Kirsty Angove, SATS’ Nordic Head of Marketing Marianne Orderud and Fit for Free | SportCity Head of Sales and Marketing Jos Traa spread their knowledge on three different marketing case studies.

After the breakout sessions, three young entrepreneurs introduced their new club concepts:

  • Brand Owner at TIMA and CEO at Fitness Track Co. Fatima Batook shared her expertise in empowering young Saudi female instructors to achieve a healthier body and mind by using a holistic approach of fitness tips and tools.
  • Saints & Stars owner Tom Moos spread his philosophy of uniqueness and exclusivity as key attributes that place his boutique gym to be considered one of the most luxurious fitness centres in Amsterdam.
  • Nienke Thomas, Fit20 Group Marketing Manager explained the success behind Fit20 Personal Training, an innovative and unique fitness method based on a 20-minute training a week.

EuropeActive’s new publication: “Marketing and Sales in the Fitness Sector”

The day culminated with the launch of “Marketing and Sales in the Fitness Sector”, EuropeActive’s new publication with plenty of thought-provoking ideas and practical tips for operators. The 2019 edition is an essential tool of growing your business in an increasingly competitive market. It includes different chapters for online and offline communication, pricing and location selection, sales management and case studies from world experts with an insight in to the fitness sector.

EuropeActive Board Member and Moderator of the event Herman Rutgers said in his concluding remarks: “The sector has reinvented itself several times, going from a focus on bodybuilding, to aerobics, to fitness and wellness and now into healthy living”. Mr. Rutgers summed up by mentioning his proposal for a plan of action for our industry: “Increase Diversity in management and staff of our sector, improve Market(ing) Research, make marketing more Strategic and investment in innovation”.

Photographs of the event can be found here: https://bit.ly/2ODoi1M
Find out more about EuropeActive’s new book here: https://bit.ly/2WBcnEq

Detailed information for press and commercial use can be requested via Carlos Fernandez, EuropeActive Communications, via communications@europeactive.eu. Photos, logos and other materials supporting this press release are available via the said email address as well.

About EuropeActive

EuropeActive is the not-for-profit organisation representing the entire European health and fitness sector in Brussels.

In 2018, the European health & fitness sector served over 62.2 million consumers, generated EUR 27.2 billion in revenues, employed about 650,000 people, and consisted of approximately 62,000 facilities. Alongside its significant economic contribution, the industry plays a major role in creating a more active and healthy Europe. EuropeActive’s ambition is to reach 80 million health and fitness club members by 2025.

EuropeActive currently represents more than 25,000 fitness clubs and 21 national associations, together with market-leading suppliers, education providers and individuals.

For further information, please visit www.europeactive.eu

or contact;

Nathalie Smeeman, Executive Director

About FIBO

FIBO is the world’s largest international trade fair for fitness, wellness and health: the industry’s key players come together here in Cologne. This is where innovations are launched. This is where international trends are set. This is where the industry comes to invest. 1,133 companies participated in 2018, meeting over 143,000 trade and private visitors from 120 countries. FIBO is scheduled to take place at the Exhibition Centre in Cologne from 4 to 7 April in 2019. Kicking off the trade show on 3 April will be the 6th European Health & Fitness Forum, expected to attract 400 leading representatives from the European fitness sector.

Find out more information here: www.fibo.com/en/