Operators to lead fifth Retention Convention

Dr. Paul Bedford’s fifth annual Retention Convention will be lead by operators from across the globe, who will share the secrets of their success, when it takes place in Birmingham on Thursday 2 May.

Already confirmed to speak are Californian health club owner turned international speaker on retention strategies, Chris Stevenson, Portugal’s Jose Teixeira and Dean Hodgkin from the UK, who will also host the event for the third year running.

When the industry’s first Net Promoter Score (NPS) study was carried out six years ago the US had an average score of 44 and the UK just 22, while Stevenson Fitness scored a whopping 77 – the highest in the whole of North America. The club now maintains a score well into the 80s, as well as boasting consistently high retention rates.

Stevenson says: “If you work out on your own and leave on your own you are more likely to leave the club too. So at Stevenson Fitness, we create a ton of systems to encourage members to engage with other areas of the club. The stats show people crave a great experience and not enough companies deliver it. That great experience comes through small interactions that have a big impact, and I’m looking forward to sharing these tricks with the delegates at the 2019 Retention Convention.”

Teixeira is Head of Customer Experience at SC Fitness in Portugal, a country-wide chain boasting 30 clubs across its low cost brand, Pump, its mid range clubs, Solinca, and it’s premium brand, Lagoas.

Teixeira, a former athlete, has worked in the industry since 2004. He says: “I’ve had a keen interest in retention since I was a duty manager, when I set up a Retention Plan to help find ways to balance new members and cancellations in the sales-driven environment I was working in. As a result my clubs enjoyed above 50% retention, compared to a former company average of 30% and just 25% across the Portuguese market.”

Now, working across the whole group, Teixeira has boosted the brand’s retention to 60%, more than double the national average. But most impressive is the clubs’ membership lifetime, which he has raised from seven months to 20 months in just five years. During the convention, Teixeira will talk about key actions made during this period and advise delegates on how they can study their own database to make an impact on their membership.

Back for a third year to host the 2019 Retention Convention is Dean Hodgkin, himself an operator with more than 30 years experience across all aspects of leisure, from local authority with GLL, the budget market with Fit4Less, premium clubs with David Lloyd and more recently the boutique sector with 1Rebel and Victus Soul.  Hodgkin is also a consultant to luxury spa brand, Ragdale Hall. During the convention, Hodgkin will present ‘5 Spa Service’, explaining how they deliver the spa’s exceptional service, with tips on how to adopt and adapt to help to improve the customer experience in the fitness sector.

He said: “Ragdale Hall plays host to up to 260 guests at any one time – some arriving, some leaving, some looking to celebrate, some to relax, some to kickstart a fitness regime and some to simply be pampered. Our job is to ensure we deliver precisely what each one of them wants. I’m looking forward to sharing how we strive for service excellence and how that can translate for health clubs.”

The Retention Convention 2019 is organised by world-renowned authority on retention, Dr. Paul Bedford, who will also present to delegates on the day. It will take place on Thursday 2 May at Austin Court, a converted Georgian Industrial building that is the Birmingham home of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), between 9am and 5pm, lunch is included. Further speakers will be announced soon and tickets will be available to purchase from January.

Dr. Bedford said: “It’s exciting to have so many operators share their success stories at our convention next year. It’s easy for consultants to talk about their clients’ successes but the operators themselves can describe the situation, the journey, what works and what doesn’t, warts and all. So whilst the presenters won’t be presenters, their content will be invaluable as they’ve been through the process and have the members to prove it!”

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For further information or photographs contact:
Abigail Harris at Big Fish Public Relations
Tel: 07738 331019
Email: abigail@bigfishpublicrelations.co.uk

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