Technology theme sees global expert Bryan O’Rourke at Retention Convention 2018

Global technology expert, Bryan O’Rourke will open next year’s Retention Convention, which will take place in Birmingham on Thursday 26 April.

The fourth Retention Convention, organised by world-renowned authority on retention, Dr. Paul Bedford, will focus on the use of technology to improve retention and will give delegates the opportunity to hear more about the use of artificial intelligence and chat botts in a gym setting, as well as location devices such as ibeacons.

O’Rourke is President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, founder of the investment firm Vedere Ventures and CSO of Golds Gym in Houston, as well as serving in a variety of advisory and governance roles, including being on the board of IHRSA. O’Rourke will be first to the floor, looking at how business models are being affected by technology.

“It’s no longer business as usual, as business isn’t usual anymore,” said Dr. Bedford. “In the past the use of technology was the IT team’s decision, but now it’s a whole business decision. Companies cannot function without technology.”

Considered a leading expert in technology, consumer behaviour, economics and fitness and health club trends, O’Rourke, who speaks around the world on innovation and technologies, has contributed to and written four books and is widely quoted in major publications like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

He said: “Paul has been a long-time friend and collaborator whom I’ve enjoyed working with, following and learning from, so I am honoured to contribute to the upcoming retention convention, which to date has been utterly fantastic. We hope to make this year an even better one.”

The 2018 convention will once again be hosted by industry stalwart, Dean Hodgkin, who will also interview guest operators and manufacturers about their successes with technology. Dr. Bedford is looking for willing people or companies to be interviewed by Hodgkin. If you would like to get involved you can contact Dr. Bedford by emailing

Hodgkin, himself an operator, has more than 30 years experience within the sector, including presenting at trade and consumer events in 36 countries around the globe. He has worked as a consultant to businesses in local authority leisure provision, the premium health clubs market, the low cost gyms sector and the boutique studio niche, as well as holding a senior management position within the luxury spa sector for many years.

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 will be available from January.

Technology theme sees global expert Bryan O’Rourke at Retention Convention 2018
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For further information or photographs contact:
Abigail Harris at Big Fish Public Relations
Tel: 07738 331019

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