What is IHRSA?
IHRSA is a global community of health and fitness professionals that includes over 8,000 member clubs in 70+ countries. “IHRSA’s mission is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful (Source: Ihrsa.com).
This year the convention is in San Diego, California which is only a 1 and half hour plane ride from our headquarters in pleasant hill, california. This will be the first year that our mobile engagement platform SAM; since its formal deployment, will be in production during the scheduled event.
A Medium for the Health and Fitness
SAM is an approach that aims to append the three relationships within the health and fitness space which include: club operators, technology providers and the member community through a medium we can all relate to. SMS or more colloquially known as text messaging. IHRSA has an assertive innovative nature it places on all of the technology in the health and fitness. The culture at the convention is to bring the cutting edge of your niche to the table. This belief has lead all of the innovative software backed ideas to create some pretty special solutions for all. SMS service providers have proven proposition when it comes to developing member communication and steam lining club operations. There are numerous case studies that tell exactly how effective SMS can be on operational processes such as:
- Accounting and billing collections
- Day-to-day member outreach
- Lead generation
- New member onboarding
- Member retention and loyalty
The exciting take away about it all is it is only the beginning for how this medium will enrich these processes. What was once imagination is now coming to fruition.
From SMS to RCS
Text messaging functionality began somewhere in the early 1980’s (source: Wikipedia). To be completely honest with you, as connoisseurs of the medium and trying to understand its history, it hasn’t changed much. Which is a true testament to its value. That says a lot for the short-form, 160 character medium. SMS is evolving into a more rich message protocol called RCS. The updates would make the medium offer a lot more multimedia capabilities to your messaging experience. Instead of the alphanumeric version we see today (text, numbers, and symbols), it will give the message thread a more engaging canvas, creating functionality for participants that allows creates a path of least resistance when it comes to the buyer journey. You may ask, what that means and that is the big curiosity in the hub surrounding the topic. RCS will make the business to consumer messaging experience very conversational and data friendly. Imagine being able to design conversational layouts for sales scenarios that will guide your leads to the right details, product and cost they are looking for all from within the message thread. You can get a glimpse of how we are currently designing it for two clients here.
SAM is even offering more
SAM is launching, even more, features this year! On top of all the solutions we are bringing other engaging features that include:
- Mobile Scratcher: a digital scratcher that makes unveiling promotional offers more fun! Similar to the experience you have when you make a run to the local convenient store and buy lottery scratcher to reveal your fortune.
- Enhanced loyalty program: a fun rewards scheme that’ll encourage your members to continue the relationship with your health club.
We are extremely enthusiastic about sharing these ideas on what we have been developing for the health and fitness this week. Are you going to be at IHRSA and would like to learn more about what SAM is bringing this year?