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Thanks to Michael Piermont, CEO of EcoFit and FIT-C Board Member, for attending the Motionsoft Technology Summit

I go to a bunch of industry events every year - like most of us do - but a conference I recently attended surprised me.  
The conference was the 3rd annual Motionsoft Technology Summit in Baltimore, MD.  I went representing the Fitness Industry Technology Council (FIT-C) and, my company EcoFit. 
The Technology Summit is a gathering of technology leaders and club operators in the fitness space who come together to discuss technology and business issues facing our industry and to share best practices so that more clubs become aware of, and more engaged in technology solutions gym members and non-members are using to shape their own healthy lifestyles.
As a first-time attendee, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the event wasn’t the typical networking event that starts with questions like “What do you do?” and “How did you get into that?” Blah, blah, blah...
The Motionsoft Technology Summit was different! 
You could feel it from the start. I felt part of something.  I was warmly welcomed.  And, the best part, people were having fun and, engaging in honest conversations.  It was refreshing.
The three-day Summit started with a rooftop cocktail reception overlooking the Inner Harbor and the Baltimore Orioles stadium. 

We were welcomed by the Summit co-hosts: Al Noshirvani and Todd Tweedy.  They introduced the attendees to networking bingo game that industry veteran Rick Caro is credited with creating. 

Did I mention we were having fun?

As the networking bingo began, we were encouraged to put down our cell phones, relax and get to know each other which was facilitated by bingo squares that included information about attendees like “Find someone who’s been to Madagascar.”  It turned out that was Todd. After making my way around the outdoor patio and meeting new friends, I ended up winning a Samsung Gear Fit2 which was a nice surprise (I never win anything). 
I loved the energy of 124 people. 
The Summit is not a small gathering and yet I felt connected to everyone in the room.  I gotta give Motionsoft credit: they’ve created an event that encourages participation. Moderators who walk into the audience to ensure attendees are getting what they need.  Senior executives and fitness industry leaders, including Robbie Sprechman, CFO, Retro Fitness and Corey Benish, CIO, Planet Fitness among many others were open and willing to learn about new technology solutions and made it very easy to approach them.
I took pages of notes. 
When was the last time you took pages of notes at any event?  I compiled a number of helpful gems I pulled from three keynoters (Samsung, Cigna and IHRSA’s new chairman Rasmus Ingerslev), numerous panelists as well as insights from attendees. 
The first session, a CIO roundtable of the Summit’s advisory board, moderated by Rick Caro was focused on data standards, investment hurdles related to tech innovation projects and eventually turned into a conversation about security related to sharing and protecting club and member data. While this has always been a topic of discussion with the new Iot devices especially with ease in which clubs can now collect data. 

Decisions are finally starting to be made using real metrics.  I stood up and asked “How are we as a industry going to finally bridge the gap between medical and fitness data, and how can we be part of the solution to address obesity in America?”  While this wasn’t a core trends the panel was initially addressing, I was pleased that Adam Zeitsiff from Gold’s Gym International and Corey jumped right in to give their view on privacy and how the industry as a whole may address these topics. “It’s something we need to prepare for now because it’s going to take sometime to integrate all this health data,” Corey said. 

What really surprised me is how engaging panel members were throughout the whole conference. There was a real sense of community at the Summit like “we are all part of this industry.” 

As Rasmus Ingerslev, IHRSA’s new chairman delivered the closing keynote at Motionsoft Technology Summit, he reminded us that technology can be fun and, is here to stay. He also reminded us everyday’s a new day. Every day is the first day of the rest of our life. Today we get to sit and think about where we are and, where is that?
My advice for club owners and operators looking to adopt new technologies in their business:
Do your homework.
Ask questions.
Start small.
Tap into the data.
New technology works much better when you understand why it’s being implemented, not how. Change isn’t easy and adopting new technology in your club or business won’t come without challenges but remember if embraced right, everyone benefits from a business run off real data.
Lastly, think about attending the Technology Summit.  Its an opportunity to be part of a larger community.  You can start by following Motionsoft on Twitter - @motionsoft, attending their upcoming post-Summit webinars, and downloading presentation decks.
This is an event our industry can be proud of.  Congratulations Motionsoft on hosting a successful Technology Summit.