When it comes to group exercise, one consideration is constant for many operators around the world: that in every club, there’s at least one dedicated studio space that sits empty whenever a class isn’t on.
This was the business case for the creation of Wexer Virtual 10 years ago: helping health club operators cost-effectively maximise the usage, yield and retention-boosting value of their group exercise studios, by providing high-quality virtual content to fill these spaces during off-peak times, complementing live instructor-led classes.
You know a concept is a strong one when its value hasn’t only been retained over the space of 10 years – it’s grown exponentially. And there are many reasons for that….
First, additional benefits quickly made themselves apparent, not least the ability to service members in a highly satisfactory way in the case of instructor absence – however last-minute that absence. Street dance instructor called in sick with five minutes to go until class? Not a problem. Choose from a wide range of dance classes available at the drop of a hat through the Wexer Virtual platform, all led by top instructors from around the world.
Second, what about specialisms you don’t have among your team at all? It soon became clear that Wexer had an important role to play in complementing clubs’ own in-house skillsets. Have a group of members who really want to try something a little more niche – a specialist form of yoga, perhaps, that your in-house team have no expertise in? Step forward Wexer, either as a permanent solution or as a trial to see if it’s worth sourcing a live instructor for that class.
Third, over the two years of the pandemic, customers became incredibly familiar with the concept of working out with an on-screen instructor. Their hands may have been forced at the beginning, but they came to enjoy the experience and the easy access to genuinely world-class trainers. This now plays into clubs’ hands as they boost their studio timetables with virtual content their members are more ready than ever to embrace.
Fourth is another one that was accelerated by the pandemic: a well-documented growth in consumer expectations of flexibility and convenience. People now expect brands to meet them where they are, and that expectation of convenience – the exact class they want, when they want it – isn’t just something for out-of-club. It extends into your facilities too.
Fifth, Wexer’s own products have continued to evolve, not least the option – launched this year – for operators to upload their own self-produced content onto the Wexer Virtual platform. It means clubs can now stream their most popular trainers onto the big screens of their virtual studios, either live-streamed or on-demand, at any time of day. In turn, this drives all-important consistency in the customer experience across all touchpoints: in-club and at-home; physical and digital.
Sixth, because it deserves its own point, is what point #5 means for instructor cover. Say your regular cycling instructor calls in sick and you can’t find a live instructor to cover their class. Well, actually there might now be an even better solution anyway. Because you’re no longer limited to picking a cycling class from Wexer’s third-party library. If you’ve recorded classes led by your in-house talent, you can now screen a virtual class led by the exact same instructor who’s called in sick that day. Cue satisfied members who still get to work out with their favourite trainer.
Seventh is the continued growth of the Wexer library. Aggregating content from leading producers and influencers to meet every workout need across all disciplines, experience and fitness levels, the strength in depth of our 1,600+ class library is unparalleled. We do all the heavy lifting here, too, keeping the library continually refreshed with new challenges and workout trends to ensure your members are always motivated to work out. Your studio really can be a place of round-the-clock ‘fitspiration’.
Eighth isn’t new, but it’s still worth mentioning: the behind-the-scenes support you get from Wexer. It’s something we’ve always prided ourselves on – the incredible reliability of our technology, the ongoing advice from our customer service team, the regular upgrades and add-ons we automatically deliver to your Wexer Virtual player. Our own in-house development team means we can continually innovate in response to the feedback you’re giving us – and that means tools, content and functionality you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Want to explore how Wexer Virtual could boost the value of your GX space? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org