Workout experience-themed 2021 Retention Convention to continue online following record attendees in 2020

World renowned retention expert, Dr Paul Bedford, will be continuing his popular annual event online after 1,700 people from around the globe attended the 2020 Retention Convention.

The 2021 Retention Convention will take place on 9 December, where five sessions will cover how to craft online and offline customer experiences from a workout perspective to create exercise adherence, build loyalty and aid retention. 

Dr Paul Bedford explains: “You only have to look at the investment big brands like Apple and Peloton have put into their experience to realise that if bricks and mortar facilities don’t ramp up their actual exercise experience the disparity will be so big it will be disappointing. These companies design everything around entertainment, compared to most fitness instructors who are fixated on heart rate, resistance and the number of reps.

“Some boutique brands have already nailed this, and whilst many operators have copied the facilities so they ‘look’ like a boutique, they haven’t evolved the workout experience, so they don’t ‘feel’ like a boutique. It’s time to look at what we can do to provide memorable workout experiences in the gym.”

Bedford will open the event and set the scene by outlining the differences between experience and memory, detailing what we can do to design experiences that leave a lasting positive impression, that encourages members to come back for more.

Upstartr’s Samantha Cullum and Vicky Mahony, will then give insights on how to develop a product strategy and roadmap to create, innovate and transform a business, so its products and services Stand Out, Stand Up and Create Impact.

Upstartr is a boutique growth consultancy, which supports organisations to create brand impact, develop successful products and services and boost business growth.  Cullum says: “Everyone and every business has the capacity to be innovative; creativity is a habit people can develop. Thinking differently and being prepared to fail or to learn are things to be treasured, and capturing and capitalising on ideas for business progress is vital for continued success.”

Following Cullum will be former PT and experienced video producer, Richard Playfair.  When lockdown forced the sector to take business online, Fairplay set up a Facebook Group, helping operators adapt to virtual solutions and generate alternative income online.  He is now a global go-to consultant for fitness professionals who realise video is vital to both their short and long-term business strategies. 

He says:  “Any fitness fan will tell you that following an online workout is not the same as being there in person, and the same is true from the instructor’s perspective.  Being able to present to camera and authentically connect with an audience demands a whole new skillset; something most instructors have come to realise but lack the skills and knowledge to develop on their own.”

In his session, The Studio to Screen Strategy, Playfair will explain how to future-proof your business with on-demand workouts that leave participants feeling so successful that they can’t wait to come back for more.

Next to present will be Adam Zeitsiff, former CEO of Gold’s Gym, who is now the President and CEO of online fitness class platform, Intelivideo, as well as an Advisory Board Member of the recently launched US-based National Health and Fitness Alliance. 

Zeitsiff says of his session, Key Concepts of a Successful Digital Strategy Designed for Increased Revenues and Member Retention: “Whilst the modern fitness consumer has begun to come back to the gym, they are still embracing the digital platform for their workouts. But why is that?

“I will help operators understand why members are still embracing the digital model, why ‘replication’ of the in-studio offering isn’t a sufficient content strategy, and what type of digital

programming can ensure member engagement and retention as well as revenue streams. I will also explain how a digital platform’s ecosystem partners, who help provide a complete and seamless solution, can assist a gym in attracting and retaining members.”

Closing the event will be Barry and Shay Kostabi, co-founders of Fitness Career Mastery, which teaches fitness creators and entrepreneurs how to build successful heart-led businesses and immersive workout experiences. 

“When it comes to keeping newbies coming back, convincing all their friends that they have to try it too, and ensuring they stay for a long time, it really all comes down to one thing; whether or not you deliver on what your brand promises – the quality of your actual product and the experience your members have in their class,” says Shay Kostabi.  “Everything the most popular instructors on social media and big on-demand brands do to find success is based on science and can be taught.  We’ve discovered the secret four key pillars that world-class instructors weave into their classes to make them unforgettable and life-changing.”

Unveiling the Secret Science to an Immersive Member Experience, the Kostabi’s will show delegates how to captivate the room, how to use music to create epic playlists and strong programming, how to coach in a way that brings everyone into an immersive flow state, and ultimately how to have an unforgettable impact on the lives of clients so they come back time after time.

Sponsors of the 2021 Retention Convention are leading equipment manufacturer and supplier, Precor, which was recently bought by Peloton, Fitronics, which includes the well-known brands TRP and Cap2, and gym management software company, ClubWise.

The event will take place from 1pm – 6pm. Tickets will cost $29.95 and all attendees will have access to recordings of the event.  You can register your interest in the event via

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For further information contact:

Abigail Harris at Big Fish Public Relations

Tel: 07738 331019


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