Following a kick-start from the pandemic, many fitness centres are continuing to strengthen their digital offering to members. From digital only memberships to virtual workouts, to new technologies enhancing the member journey – many gyms and leisure centres are looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve.
Innovatise, the team behind myFitApp is leading the way in revolutionising gym’s and leisure centre’s digital strategy. The latest technology within myFitApp’s platform is Access Control – using the member’s smartphone as an alternative way to enter & check-into the gym or register attendance. With Access Control, members can get into the gym or sign into classes & activities quickly and easy with just one tap or scan from their phone running your myFitApp branded member App.
Access Control transforms the member journey with a great user experience. Users love the modern and convenient approach to gym entry. Forgotten your membership card or wristband? No problem – you’ll always have your phone with you.
Not only do members love it, but there are many benefits for the centres themselves too. Access Control increases revenue by reducing fraudulent entries as well as freeing up staff member’s time to focus on other things, like member retention. It also saves the gym money as there is no need to purchase a card, tag or wristband for each member.
It’s an environmentally friendly option, reducing plastic usage and so helping gyms and leisure centres to reduce their carbon footprint. And it drives even more members to use the App, making it easier for gyms to easily communicate and market to members in real-time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in one place.
We spoke to Aaron Grant, General Manger at SETU Arena, who have transformed their member experience with Innovatise’s Access Control solution.
Can you tell us a little bit about SETU Arena?
SETU Arena is the largest sports, conference and events centre in the South East of Ireland. The multipurpose facility caters for a wide range of events such as recreational gym users, high performance athletes, multipurpose sports, kids’ activity camps, leisure and entertainment events and conferences. It also boasts are “Edge Gym”, high performance gym, fitness lab, fitness studios for over 40 different exercise classes along with three training (lecture) rooms for SETU Students attending sports’ courses.
Why did you need an Access Control solution?
We want our members to be able to engage with all our services in one place. Our App gives us this functionality. Currently members can book a gym slot or fitness class, purchase a membership, issue feedback and their activity in our App. We wanted to be able to add a feature to allow them to have the option to access their membership card and gain entry to our facility within the App / their mobile phone.
How does the Access Control solution benefit your members?
A large number of members have lost or forgotten their membership cards. Access Control in our App is great for members as it is ‘one less thing to remember to bring’. We surveyed our members prior to implementing tap and scan gym/class entry, and we found that 97% of members own a smartphone, 80% bring their smartphone to the gym or fitness class and 90% of members who used the gym, used their smartphone to listen to music while working out. This made it a logical solution for us to move toward this Access Control feature.
Feedback has been positive, and the Access Control solution has been very well received. Members find it very easy to use.
So that’s the Access Control benefits for your members, what about benefits for your club and team?
Not only can members access our facilities more quickly, it also saves reception staff time generating and producing membership cards, allowing them to focus on other tasks.
We’ve also seen some cost savings – the changeover has saved us in the production of membership cards and the associated administrative costs that are associated e.g., ordering, design, and the set-up of cards for members.
How did you find the Access Control set-up process?
The set-up process was very straight forward. Prior to the install, we were operating with our facility management software on a desktop PC, a Nortech controller for our turnstile, and a barcode (USB plug and play) reader for members to scan their membership card for entry.
Installing Access Control involved simply replacing the barcode reader with NFC and QR code tags – allowing members to either tap their smartphone or scan the QR code to gain entry.
The install was straight forward. Innovatise provided the fully branded tap or scan tags. We installed a couple of cables to which their engineers, CCTech, configured. All that was then left to do, was to update our Branded Member App with a tile linking to the reader, for members to be able to access with their smartphone upon entry.
How does Access Control compliment your digital and mobile offering?
It allows our members to access another service feature from our Branded Member App. This means they can now access our facilities, book a fitness class or gym session, refer a friend, and view the latest news and information, all in one place!
I would highly recommend using Access Control if your members currently own and use smartphones. The solution is slick, simple, and effective.