It’s difficult to predict the future, especially in leisure where there are so many factors at play. The economy, politics and even the weather all have a role in shaping the industry, making it hard to know what’s coming next. But we’re seeing some exciting leisure trends that forecast exciting times ahead – both for the industry and for your career.
Keep people posting, sharing and liking
For a long time, the leisure industry had relied on word of mouth to attract customers. But when social media exploded in popularity, leisure companies were quick to make the most of the increased exposure.
Luckily, leisure activities are one of the most popular reasons we have for posting online – whether we’re on holiday, in the gym or at a gig, we want everyone to know it. And this can be used to great effect – the top 10 fitness influencers now have an overall total reach of over a hundred million on Instagram alone.
This means that if you’re interested in a role that involves publicising a leisure business, keeping existing customers and ultimately bringing in more money, you need to know how to keep people posting, sharing and liking.
We want experiences, not more stuff
In recent years there’s been a huge growth in the experience economy. This means we’re spending less money on physical stuff and more on exciting and engaging experiences. For example, you might prefer to go to an escape room, experiencing something new and sharing the photos online, instead of just going shopping and buying a new outfit. It’s no wonder the leisure sector is attracting one and a half times more spending than retail and is growing twice as fast.
Leisure companies are having to adapt quickly to this change, and work to develop the experience aspect of their offering. For instance, more and more restaurants are displaying menus on tablets, allowing diners to place their orders directly with the kitchen, and even view a live stream of the kitchen to see their order being prepared in real time.
There are even luxury gyms popping up that offer hairdressing and free prosecco, to make sure you get a premium experience and leave looking better than you did when you came in.
This means leisure employees need to be at the top of their game when it comes to offering personalised experiences, to make every customer visit unique and memorable.
No matter what business you’re in, focusing your strategy around the customer is vital for success. After all, if you don’t have customers then you don’t have a business.
The leisure industry is no exception and is increasingly using technology to gather and analyse data on who their customers are and how they interact with their brand.
For example, smart stadiums are gathering information on the number of tickets you buy, who you go to matches with, and even what snacks you buy during halftime. All of this information can then be fed into smart loyalty programmes to offer personalised rewards based on your previous purchases and behaviour. Pretty clever, right?
So, if you’re interested in using data and analysis in your career, a job in the leisure industry might be for you.
No matter what’s happening in the world, our desire to socialise, play, interact and be entertained remains the same, which means leisure will remain an important part of life. And whatever the future holds, there’s one thing we can be confident about – there’s never been a more exciting time to join the leisure industry.
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