ukactive’s Active Uprising took place in London on 1 February 2024. Here are 3 quick takeaways for gym owners and operators.

Active Uprising took place as a standalone event at London’s QEII Centre. On a sunny 1 February 2024, health and fitness professionals gathered for a day of learning, networking, and activation.

Organised by ukactive, the 2024 event focused on growth, development, and improving the health of the nation. It was a packed day! So, we’ve put together 3 key insights for gym owners and operators from Active Uprising.

Let’s get stuck in!

Photo of ukactive Active Uprising 2024 with Mike Farrar, Chair of ukactive, on stage

#1: The impact you have on people is seen

A theme that was introduced during ukactive Chair Mike Farrar’s open address, and continued throughout the day, was the recognition for the considerable impact you have on people’s lives.

Being more active can have a positive impact on preventing, treating, and managing many health conditions. And according to ukactive research 21% of people would rather get support from a fitness facility than a medical one for many physical and mental health conditions.

Although progress has been slow, the number of prescriptions for support from gyms and fitness facilities, rather than medication and other therapies alone, has grown.

We know you’re passionate about helping people through the power of fitness. Yet, for those who’ve not ventured into a fitness facility before, and for those who are nervous, it can be tough to know if you’re in the right place.

The creation of recognised standards can help.

How? By giving consumers something to measure against, so they know they’re investing their time (and money) into something that will help them. That might even mean upskilling trainers to deliver physio style programmes for certain conditions.


Reach more people by extending your offering – for example, outdoor activities like walking and running groups may appeal to those who don’t want to be in a gym environment.

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Photo from ukactive Active Uprising 2024

#2: You are playing a massive role in creating communities

Beyond helping people prevent, manage and recover from health conditions, gyms and fitness clubs, like yours, play a massive role in building strong communities. Many of the speakers talked about the community hubs you’ve created.

Your members may join with a goal like losing weight, improving a health condition, or getting more active. And often they get so much more than that. Through your hard work to create social connections between members, they leave (or hopefully stay) with new friends.

And beyond the distinct communities you are creating, there’s an opportunity to build other partnerships with organisations in your area.

For example, many businesses would benefit from having a healthier workforce. Create corporate memberships with exclusive rates for local businesses. Extend your offering to provide services like classes, workshops, and fitness assessments on-site at corporate partner locations.

Photo of ukactive Active Uprising 2024 with a panel led by Labour MP Kim Leadbeater on stage

#3: Data is powering the industry forward

The final insight for gym owners and operators from Active Uprising 2024 is all about data. As an industry we’re getting much better at collecting data.

For example, when you choose to invest in software like Xplor Gym, you’re investing in collecting better data. And that means you’ll know much more about who your members are, the healthy habits you’re helping them build, and so much more.

This data is vital to helping you grow your business through smart decision making. And even when you want to create a better business case to benefit from funding, loans, and investment.

When combined throughout our industry, this data will help us get better support from the government, healthcare providers like the NHS, and other organisations.

Why? It helps us prove our impact on health. And as we improve the health of the nation, we improve the health of the workforce. So, a bigger proportion of the workforce is in work and taking less sick leave – improving the UK economy.

For gym owners and operators, specifically, this means the industry is likely to be able to put forward a better case for improved business rates.

The wrap up…

So, there you have it, 3 big insights for gym owners and operators from Active Uprising 2024.

But, before we go, on the eve of Active Uprising we were lucky enough to take part in one of ukactive’s Strategic Partner Group events. And wanted to share some insights with you!

James Black, CTO of Xplor Technologies, hosted a panel session with leaders from The Gym Group, David Lloyd Leisure, and Everyone Active. The group shared how they are navigating emerging tech like AI.

Photo from ukactive SPG meeting with a panel led by James Black, CTO of Xplor Technologies

Emerging tech: A friend to gym businesses

It was clear from the discussion that newer tech is being embraced by big name gym operators. And it’s definitely something gym businesses of all sizes should pay attention to. Over the next year or so the true value of these solutions will be realised.

“For me (emerging tech) is about utility and productivity. That’s what I’m most excited to see. I hate laborious tasks, I hate admin, and I hate process. And the thought that something can shortcut some of those to speed up productivity to focus on really important things…

It’s really something that’s there to help you, there to support and I think we’ll see the use cases and utility really start to rapidly improve.”

Jim Hingston, Digital Product Director, The Gym Group

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Security, privacy, and ownership of your unique business information should be considered when using tools like ChatGPT
  • Big names in the industry are considering investing in their own solutions using emerging tech. For many cost will be prohibitive, so choosing the right partners to source solutions will be vital
  • AI offers gyms the opportunity to create highly personalised journeys and experiences to win new members, engage members, and address the risk of attrition
  • Tech is really there to assist rather than take over. For example, chatbot tools will answer questions from a predetermined bank of answers. The tech is advancing now to spot common questions that it can’t answer. Human intervention is needed to create the right answers to those questions identified
  • Above all, one of the biggest opportunities for gym businesses is the admin that emerging tech can take away. This creates the opportunity to focus even more on the experiences delivered

“I think our industry is going to be all about experience moving forward. And at the moment, and in the past it’s been about administering the activities. That I think is going to become more and more of the past and we’re going to have to be more of an entertainment industry.”

Ben Beevers, Group Development Director, Everyone Active

Find out why gym businesses of all sizes are switching to future-ready gym management software. Book a demo to see Xplor Gym in action.

Article by Xplor Gym

First published: 02 February 2024

Last updated: 12 February 2024