Retention Convention hots up as technology experts around the world fly in to speak

The line up for this year’s Retention Convention is hotting up with innovative, new technology companies on the bill, alongside sector stalwarts and global technology expert, Bryan O’Rourke, ready to give insight into the world of tech and its place on the gym floor and beyond.

Delegates will be given true insight into the capabilities of beacon technology from US company Gym Farm, which already partners with Precor and Life Fitness to automatically log members in to the kit as they approach. From push notifications in specific areas of the gym, adding workout data to health insurance records or ordering lunch as the member enters the cafe, Matthew Schober’s presentation will open delegates’ eyes to the opportunities beacons present, with case studies of clubs using beacons to their best advantage.

Schober’s presentation forms part of host, Dean Hodgekins’, interview sessions, which also include Mike Hills, General Manager of software company TRP, who will explain how high performing operators use technology to inform effective business decisions and deliver an exception club experience.

“Drawing on my experience from working with operators across the world, I’ll advise on maximising technology to save time, money and effort, as well as how important the human touch is in making technology come alive,” said Hills. “I’ll share real-world stories around the challenges and successes of implementing Net Promoter Score® technology to manage and measure member experience – showing delegates how to avoid the pitfalls and supercharge their success.”

Also on the line up is Shai Neiger from technology company, Coach AI. Hodgekin will interview Neiger about chatbots, how their virtual coach uses AI-driven behavioural psychology to help people make exercise into a habit, thus improving member retention, what they’ve learnt so far and the reality of what this could mean for the fitness industry.

“We are starting to give technology human attributes and so this automated process feels as though it’s a human interaction. Whilst people accept that it’s a robot, they interact with it as though it’s a human. This belief that someone cares leads to improved member engagement and therefore retention,” said Neiger.

Global retention expert, Melvyn Hillsdon, will be taking to the stage again at the 2018 Retention Convention, to help operators measure whether their retention efforts are paying off. He will explain the methodology behind research clubs can carry out themselves to test and check their retention projects.

During his own session, Retention Guru, Dr Paul. Bedford, organiser of the annual event, will talk about how we integrate human and digital contact into the customer experience.

He said: “We explored technology at the 2016 Retention Convention and in that time things have moved on rapidly. In line with this, customer expectations are changing too and while accepting a treadmill can’t be retro fitted with an echo dot, they do expect the infrastructure of their gym to be more frictionless and more focussed on them. Our speakers at this year’s event will advise operators on exactly how they can do that.”

The Retention Convention 2018 will take place on Thursday 26 April 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. Tickets are available from or search Eventbrite for Retention Convention.

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For further information or photographs contact:
Abigail Harris at Big Fish Public Relations
Tel: 07738 331019

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