FitNation 2021 - Global Brands and Influencers Emphasize Importance of Personalization for the Future of Fitness

  • Third installment of annual B2B fitness event held to educate and inspire gym and studio owners, personal trainers and entrepreneurs
  • Event included three keynote presentations, 11 exclusive workshops, 1:1 networking sessions and a real-life virtual booth exposition center
  • Invaluable insight and advice shared on fitness, technology and the future of the industry


Amsterdam, November 29, 2021

The short and long-term success of the fitness industry is dependent on fitness businesses providing more personalized and localized experiences for their customers, according to leading fitness industry brands and influencers speaking at FitNation 2021. 

During the annual leading B2B event for the fitness industry, which shares invaluable expert insights and ideas for fitness owners, operators and entrepreneurs, it was made clear that these experiences should combine both the physical and the digital, with online fitness complementing and enhancing, not replacing, the traditional fitness offering. 

This comes after a period of significant change within the fitness industry that was catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued after the reopenings of gyms and studios.  This has seen fitness businesses increasingly using technology to build seamless digital and physical experiences, and customers becoming more accustomed to the freedom and speed of digital services and the flexibility to work on their health wherever and whenever it suits them.

The third installment of FitNation included keynote presentations from prominent fitness brands including ClassPass, Prime Time Fitness, Snap Fitness, CLMBR, Active Wellness and WIFA, as well as influencers such as Stephanie Elsewood, Emma Barry and Matthew Januszek. These were live-streamed from the studio of global fitness technology provider and sponsor Virtuagym to attendees from more than 31 different countries. 

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“In the fast-moving world we live in, it’s vital to keep learning and growing, so it was great to have so many people from our industry coming together to be inspired and share experiences and knowledge,” said Hugo Braam, CEO and Co-Founder of Virtuagym, who opened the event. “I’m extremely excited about the journey of innovation that our industry is going through.  I cannot wait to see how technology, from gamification to wearable technology and virtual reality, can engage people with fitness and help make the world a healthier and happier place.” 

For Nat Carruthers, Co-Founder & Chief Product Design Officer at CLMBR, fitness businesses should now be focusing on creating enhanced customer experiences, not simply products and software. These should be looked at as long-term solutions for better member engagement, not just as short-term fixes. 

An important means to achieving this was outlined by Henrik Gockel, Patrick Baumann and Serge Reit of Prime Time Fitness, who emphasized how vital data connectivity is to improving customer experience, revealing that companies are only using 12% of generated data to inform business decisions. Meanwhile Greg Maurer, Vice President of Fitness and Education at Workout Anytime, underlined the value of integrating wearable technology into fitness programming to enable trainers to track performance and provide more informed fitness plans and goals. 

Building and maintaining online communities is integral to a personalized approach, as outlined by Fitness Influencer Stephanie Elswood, who shared her invaluable insights on online engagement, such as the importance of utilizing different platform content styles and ensuring clear calls to action. The relevance of experience design was also highlighted by Javier Santín, Director of Operations at Struct Club, who stated that fitness consumers now and in the future are tech-savvy and looking for experiences that transcend a fitness workout. 

An additional key takeaway was regarding the changing expectations and habits of the modern fitness consumer. According to Shari Castelli, Senior Director of Industry Development at ClassPass, “The more flexible hybrid workplace is here to stay, with customer schedules shifting from traditional evening workout times and a 61% increase in shorter 30-minute, in-person class reservations.” For Castelli, another notable trend has been the greater focus on wellness experiences, which are being booked by more than one-third of ClassPass users. 

In addition to its annual event, FitNation also produces regular webinars and podcasts to provide education and inspiration and ensure fitness professionals never stop learning. 


To view upcoming events, click here: 

To listen to the ‘How To Grow Your Fitness Business’ podcast, click here: 


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