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We explore the future of fitness; do boutique fitness facilities hold the key to long term membership engagement, and what is their magic sauce? 

Commercial gyms have been the go-to fitness choice for many people over the years. They’re large and they’re well-equipped, easy to join with a membership – and the rest is up to you. These spaces can feel daunting and impersonal as you need to know what you’re doing or train with a personal trainer to get real fitness benefits from the membership. Interestingly, a large percentage of commercial gym members do not attend gym regularly, but continue to pay fees in the hopes that they will once again discover the motivation to attend consistently. 

On the other hand, a boutique gym is owned by a fitness practitioner, passionate about training people in a certain discipline in a more personal way, usually offering group classes. Think CrossFit, yoga, pilates, boxing and dancing studios. In this environment, you’re known by name and it is in the gym’s best interest for you to attend and have a good experience, as members of this kind of gym will typically cancel immediately if they are not seeing value in their membership. In terms of community and accountability, training with others in a group setting offers social and competitive advantages that help you to engage with fitness activities consistently and to push yourself competitively. Group training also holds the benefits of better affordability, expert coaching and enough guidance and attention. 

We’ve also seen a shift in the motivation behind why people exercise and train. Historically, fitness was closely motivated by aesthetics. We believe that this attention has moved to a focus on performance, health, enjoyment, community and general well-being. This means that people want to step into an environment where they feel comfortable in their skin and where they can be held accountable by a community of like-minded people, engaging in fitness for enjoyment. The results being tracked are more about how their performance and fitness are improving and how they feel, rather than how their muscles look in the mirror. Boutique gym facilities provide the ideal environment for these motivations to flourish. 

As a software platform, Octiv is perfectly geared to support boutique fitness facilities. Octiv offers a plug-and-play solution for gyms that can be used to automate and professionalise a studio’s operations, while offering their members the best digital experience out there. Offering a great digital experience and freeing up the gym operators’ time is key in keeping members engaged and consistent, which is key to retention and success. When gym owners are operational on the Octiv platform, they can free up their time to really focus on what they love: fitness, the community they serve, engaging with their members, and growing their business.

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