Discussion #4387

Where We're Going

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In 2020, the entire Pilates industry had to pivot to adjust to new restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic. In this discussion, Jared Kaplan and Amy Havens talk about how the pandemic has impacted the community and they share the trends they expect to see for 2021. They also offer advice and tools that studio owners and teachers can use to stay resilient through the uncertainty that has become a big part of our lives.

Links and Resources

- Jared's Previous Webinar

- Fitness Industry Trends

- ClassPass Wellness and Fitness Trends

- Run Repeat

What You'll Need: No props needed

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Jan 28, 2021
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Welcome to the Pilates report. This is Amy Havens and I have my wonderful friend, Jared Kaplan here. Thank you, Jared for helping us kick off 2021. This is our first Pilates report for this year and a lot to talk about. As Jared and I were kind of having our welcome chat there.

I do have a dog. She is here. If she starts to make any noise, I'm going to mute myself so y'all, don't have to listen to her. Jared's in New York and he has some urban sound that might grace our ears, but we'll, we'll try to do our best to mute anything that's not appropriate. So I'm going to start and say again, welcome and thank you everyone for chiming in this is a very important topic.

Where are we going? And so I want to give us all a pat on our own back for surviving. We're here. We're here to talk about it. We're still showing interest to want to move forward.

And last year I think we all can say was really challenging. It, our industry got taken out the health and fitness in Pilates studio and business has gotten pretty well taken out. So kudos for us for staying and surviving. We were the hardest hit financially I think restaurants and bars as well. Emotionally how it affected many of us, maybe from our sense of purpose we got hit pretty hard.

And I'm speaking more from like a studio owner perspective. We also have large businesses, corporations, you know franchises of Pilates organizations and things. They also got hit. So if the top tier all the way down, so a lot of change we had to adapt and work with in this last year. And we're still working on that and moving forward this year.

So we're here to talk about the trends, not the fads. We're not talking fads. We are definitely talking trends which are often consumer driven behavior. Jared, would you like to say anything's, since I'm just jabbing around. You can intro and give me a little backstory on where you're at, how you're doing.

Yeah. Of course. So I'm in New York city. I founded Students 26, about 10 years ago. We are a home for fitness professionals. So we have sort of unique take on this and that I really work on the daily with Pilate teachers personal trainers, physical therapists, massage therapists who run their business.

So we see classes, we see private sessions. We see people that are adjacent to our employees of other facilities. So we have this really interesting take on it. And it's giving me a perspective where I can both as a former player, as a teacher for 15 years and thousands of client hours, one-on-one plus classes. And I've been an employee at many different facilities.

So I have that the background where I've been in lots of different roles and the unique role that I'm in now is that you get to really see how people are adapting. As you said, and pivoting, if you're talking about words from 2020, that will linger with us for awhile. I'm going to ask Amy later if we can pop quiz on 2021 words, hopefully we'll see. But yeah, just the perspective of what people have gone through and having lots of conversations, both one-on-one in person and via all of our technologies to talk with people and more really in more depth, not the quick survey version. And there's lots of information and data that we compiled even for today.

But really the juice for me is the in-depth conversations which give context to who people are where they're at and what they are going through. We know that not everyone has the same experience and I can't assume to know anyone's experience but by asking questions, by leaning into the conversation we can get a more in-depth picture. Some people have taken the horrific pulling out of the rug and made amazing opportunities happen and some are still reeling and are still grieving and are still not sure which way is up. So I hope we can hold space for both of those experiences. I imagine those of you who are watching and encompass the entire paradigm of that and my hope with Amy too, is like we can talk to and contextualize some of those conversations.

What would you say I can imagine it's gonna be right for everybody, but if you're a little patient, I think we can probably speak to some of the things that we can have experienced but also can forecast might be things to think about for your situation. Yeah. Wonderful. Thank you, Jared. And I will agree to that. And we are one thing I want to preface too is there's so much curiosity, I think going on in the industry of the, also another scene, you know where's the whole industry going where we we're talking about that we will reserve talking about in-person conferences and things like that.

We're reserving that we are not speaking to that today. We're not talking about teacher training programming and things like that today. There's so much to talk about. We willing to condense that'll be for future conversations. But you know, I'd also like to say the United States I think has handled COVID differently than some of our other wonderful neighbors in the world and who are recovering from the COVID tragedy much quicker than we are in the U S in our market.

So some of our friends in other other countries this may not be relevant to you, and you're getting back to work and studios are maybe coming back much quicker. We are still in trauma. I'm going to call it. We're locked down where we can go in lots of restrictions. So we really are still having to do the rethink, the juggle the introspection on a lot of this.

And I think if we kind of look at the blanket trends I will read a list just real quick for those of you who do enjoy a list we're also going to pop in some links in our chats over you. Please reference those. And these also go up on the website later. But I thought these fit, this is interesting. This is I'm going to read from a list here.

This is from a glofox.com article. Number one, there are 11 of them. Do you care if I do this Jared I'm just going to pop this list out. All right, here we go. Go for it Outdoor fitness is here to stay outdoor.

Okay. Remote personal training and wellness coaching hybrid fitness, impeccable health standards and hygiene standards for gyms and Pilates studios. Digital digital digital is here to stay specialized fitness programs for risk groups connection of mind, body, interesting home workouts, inclusive fitness, wearable and fitness tech, high interval, intensity training or high intensity interval training and corporate wellness. That's a list that's to kind of listicle. Jared do you have any specific listed items that you want to throw into that mix that I didn't make?

No. I think those, I mean, hearing that list there's nothing that I'm like, Oh no, that can't be a trend. Right? Like they all are very grounded. And I think the reality that a lot of us have experienced and they make sense and we'll go back through and we can talk some details about them. There are probably some details we could dissect what the word inclusion means. Like, are we talking about anti-racism or are we talking about social justice?

Are we talking about ability or affordability or access? Like we can get into a conversation on from that. And yeah, I think it's a good place to start. The, those categories are pretty clear. They are clear.

Okay. Yeah I think my perspective where I sit was large studio owner that needed to shift. I closed the studio at the end of October and all year was, you know, or from March going forward just really in shock, quite honestly, what am I going to do? My identity is a studio owner, you know all of those things. But what I've been able to do in this and I would like to kind of talk about this is since the closing is and is to really think who am I trying to reach?

Who am I trying to reach? Okay. So this I'm going to speak to this and blend this into the digital being here to stay. Okay. And also encourage everyone to think about this as you know, what do you need as a teacher business owner? Do you need volume? Do you need to simplify?

Do you need to specialize? Omit, add in, you know really get clear with what you want. And if it's not becoming a digital business, don't do it. Maybe don't put that pressure on oneself to like scramble and do all the pivoting and the dancing around and spending all that time trying to figure that out when you might be missing out on who can really be reaching. Yeah.

Super smart. And by the way, Amy how long did you have your studio before it closed on October? I'm going to say 24 years. It was 19 and three quarters. Thank you Jared. Thank you For context, context, right?

Like that kind of a shift because it's not only a time-based shift but so much investigation and commitments. So kudos to you for making that decision. Obviously not an easy the, from my perspective, I think and I've had my studio for 10 years in a lot of ways when when this all hit the fan and I actually can think back to talking with John in our last report last year in March. I was like, Oh this is a, it's a crisis, but it's temporary here We are almost a year later. And we're still sitting in it and wrestling with it.

And when I talk with practitioners of all different types there's this general sense that how much are we attending to the band-aid to get through? And how much are we dealing with what's next? Those are different questions, right? The band-aid, as you said, for some people like digital is just a band-aid because they their skills are best served at some point in the future. And depending on where they are, some places are more open than others, even in the U S.

The sorry I got distracted by geo putting the Lincoln. The band-aid approach is useful if it's a short term time-based constructs. Right And like, do whatever you need to, if you know you can make X number of sacrifices, short term that's one thing. And for many of us the reality is this is not any longer, a short term thing. whether you choose to go back to in-person teaching or stay digital or a blend, because those are pretty much the three options that we're all thinking about but.

So what of that sustains to use Amy's word from before? What is sustaining to you as a practitioner? When, you know, assuming that you're in a place where the circumstances allow you to do what you need to do next, right. If you need to do get a different job right now because that's going to pay your bills and your you have food on your table. Of course, that is a short-term crisis choice that you absolutely should make, but in six months you might have other options available.

And at that point, are you looking to stay digital? Do you want to do a blend? And what does that look like? And what are the pros and cons to that? Or are you just going to go completely back to in-person and that's such a unique it really depends on the individual to figure out which constructs worked the best for them.

Right. Great. Do you have any advice for anyone on let's say it was me coming to you and saying I really do think I've sorted this out. I don't want to go back to a physical space. I really have enjoyed the Zooming and the interaction that thus far this way but I'd like to create more of an in-depth business online or virtually, do you have some Yeah. So I do I have more questions and advice or wins, right. And I think the first questions I would ask you or try to understand how much of your decision making process is around you personally and the role of you taking care of your personal life as opposed to you professionally taking care of your business, your clients your bottom line, your income, your family, and to then understand which decision is a more priority, right?

So are you prioritizing your immediate and personal needs? Which of course matter, or is, are you in a place where you can prioritize your clients and your business? Once we know that question then you can start to make decisions to say, Hey so if you're thinking about your clients instead of making a decision for you because you enjoy being at home with your dog that might be good for Amy, the person because it's comfortable and it's safe and all the reasons it's you know enjoyable but that might not be good for your clients depending on what you have set up. Right? So if you're running a streaming class business and your dog interrupts their classes all the time it's cute for a minute. And we've all adapted to they're really fun interruptions.

Long-term clients have a choice. Are they going to have an interrupted class? Are they going to go with a really high quality professionally made studio driven steam, where it's just a product in a different way, and maybe lacks some of that furry friend interrupted version. And those might be different clients. Right So not to get too far down the line But I really want to be clear that when you think client centric, it can lead to different answers than being client centric.

Right. And I would like to just say that wasn't an example. That is not me. We were just using Amy as an example, since I post that Am just clearing that up I don't have any plans to do a whole digital offering. I've now raised Amy's blood pressure and she is My cheeks.

Well, well, that's not me. No, but I love that client centric always, always always is the way I think. And I love that you said that, Jared, what do they need? What do they want? But we also can sift a little bit more there is, we've got different demographics now, right?

Because of this way, we've been able to expand and look into last year and shape, have that shape this year. My in-person clientele tends to be on the older side. I'm just going to say, and I love them. I serve them in the way I do. And they've done well on my Zoom classes but they're also really excited and eager to get back in person.

But that's not to say that all the people I've taught this past year would they can't come in person I've been doing so, and they're younger. So the way I have to work with some of the younger clients is different. So we have to, we get lots of choices of age brackets, those millennials, they don't they're kind of like in the virtual thing. I think, I think they like it. Can I interrupt you for a second?

Cause there's some good data on this and we pulled a bunch of data. So I'm gonna have to look down the computers as sorry to lose my contact for a second. So ClassPass did a couple of studies and one of the things that they've found was I can find this one sec. G is probably gonna find them before I can. But in general.

So I won't go into details. ClassPass when they looked at their demographic first while ClassPass revenue was down 95%. If you know their model you don't understand why that happened. But they also serve a generally younger audience. Most of the audience were very confident that they would go back to their boutique fitness classes again.

And at a much higher rate than true gym goers who tended to skew a little older and said they were less likely to go back or they wanted to cancel their gym memberships sooner. And as we go through data and all that and you read reports and you look at some links we might share later, thank you, Jia on it. Classmates link is there. Remember that. And we were talking about the Pilates world for most of us are not at all.

Pilates tends to exist under the umbrella of the boutique fitness business. Not necessarily the research studies that are looking at big box gyms. Of course, some of those gyms have classes and they might even have a Pilate studio. But in general most Pilate studios are going to fall underneath boutique fitness. And it's kind of a subset.

So just be clear when you're looking at the data there. But to Amy's point, because generally speaking that client context really matters. And what I've seen even in New York city, because we've all been dealing with so much is that many people have not been able to get out of their own way to actually ask their clients. And one of the big things that we talked about and I'll share again, is relationships and retention. And I've talked to a bunch of people that relationships number one have gotten a lot of people through this.

So in my business, speaking personally all of the wellness professionals, about 80 of them in a year that we serviced at Studio 26 who some have been there for 10 years, some for one. All of them, for the most part who had busy clientele and busy schedules before have sustained with those relationships, because in all of this familiarity, comfort doing the thing that you know is stable is really important. And many of them also got new clients through word of mouth referrals and various ways of doing that. So not a ton of them exploded with new business because most of them were one-on-one private trainers that shifted to digital remote sections. So some of them does some classes and things like that, but bread and butter, most of the one-on-one trainers, I know Pilates and personal trainers have sustained themselves through the past year with those same one-on-one sessions with a couple of new private clients added in.

Back to data there was a study by the Personal Trainer Institute Development Center that had something like 83% of trainers saying that they would work primarily online after the pandemic and 62% of trainers saying that they would do a blend of in-person and in studio. So even just the trainers, not to my clients just the trainers thinking ahead of well where do you think you're going to be? And that's what a lot of people who lost jobs. Who didn't know what to do next. Right? So again, back to context, then what are the relationships that can sustain to what's next?

Right, right. Good, great data. Yeah. There there's quite a bit as we were preparing for this talk, a lot of data and Jared did a great job in collecting that. Thank you for that. And I will keep popping those in as we find them.

But I'd like to talk to that too. The communities that many of our businesses have grown into, you know they're like these little mini communities or some large communities. And because this past year we were of course required and asked to stay inside. We now have different types of communities but not really in a way. I mean, we do because there's, we're doing it this way.

But the relationships are, it's a huge component. And I guess I'm more simple minded in I like it because I'm kind of in that this is my lane. I like this type of clientele. I like this. But for those that might be wanting to reach out and branch out a little bit, they might be looking at these trends and saying, Hmm, I might really want to take on doing some more specialized fitness programs.

What might that look like? Where can they find some research on that? I'd go online. Right? And look that up. What about inclusivity in fitness? In our, studios, in our, and we're not going to go too political here, folks, but this is a really important issue is creating it now we've seen a lot last year.

So how can we move forward? Yeah. If I, if we go back to relationships and segue then so relationships whether you're teaching a group class whether you have an online platform that sells to other teachers or prospective teacher trainers whatever the platform is that you're using through relationships are really the bread and butter right? We know that fitness is intimate, it's physical. It can be vulnerable. You can be dealing with someone's most kind of protected or aspirational selves. So there's a real trust that happens on the mat, on the reformer.

On like, you know everyone knows that watching this, right. Even if you're a Pilates fan, you seek out your players, your favorite players, anytime videos because there's a relationship you have to that teacher. There's something about that connection or how they say something or how they move whatever it is that sparks, you want to be like them. You want to learn something from them. So those are relationships whether they're digital or in person that matter.

And for me, that's always been this industry. That's why I got into it. It was you to have an impact on people's lives to quickly pull one more data point and I'll get to inclusion. There was an 88% average increase in exercise for people who normally exercised over the past year. And that was from our statistics can run repeat.

When we talk about mindset, this one got me there were 50% of Americans said that they were less active during the pandemic because of shutdowns. Right. Makes sense. But when you look at the rate of depression I think it was 57%. I'm not going to look through the weeds now, but it was really, yeah. So 57% of people experienced depression, not to say causation correlation, but you can probably infer that.

Well, with less activity you're going to see a spike in some stuff come up. So you just put the runner. There's a ton of stats in there, but stats aside I think we know anecdotally too. I know for myself, when I exercise, I get endorphins. I feel better.

I can move. I can work some stuff out. Right. So we know there's a mindset component which is also a much bigger topic we can address with relationships and how it deals with community. Because when you connect with one person or 30 that is a community in of itself. Right? So if one of those teaching clients came back year after year after year after year for 15 years and always know what I was doing to bring them in.

And sometimes I did, but there was there's bonds that form, it can become like family within a work context. I then had to extract myself and recognize that some of those bonds were not family. I needed to be clear about some boundaries but that's a different Holocaust though. But in terms of relationships, the point I want to make as we talk about social justice and inclusion and anti-racism, and diversity is who is included matters who you're reaching out to matters, representation matters, right? So it's not just, well, I'm teaching in a bubble.

I don't exist in a bubble. I exist around people who I'm around and in what my marketing materials say and who I teach and who I attract. Like that is all part of this conversation. So who are you in relationship with and who do you seek to be in relationship with? So I think that piece of the conversation we can really tie in we know that relationships are such a key to this industry.

And I would venture to say it's one of the reasons why there's so much passion. there's so much commitment. And there's so much angst around where a lot of us have gotten it wrong. Right. And that is really important. And so recognize not that we're just horrible people.

And just, we, in general, I would just say that we care and that because relationships matter and because we might not have done a good job or we just made outright mistakes in the past that we want to do better. I'll speak for myself. I want to do better in terms of doing my work to be anti-racist with my studio with myself, with the people around me, because it matters. And because we know that so many people will have not been included whether intentional or not, whether conscious or not. More to say on that but I don't want to go on a total model.

I get passionate about it. I know. I love that. Thank you. And I know you are, and it's important. And I, along with, who we're speaking to and is and how are we getting to them? That's another, maybe that's another layer to this but how we're talking to them how we're inviting them into our inclusivity in our studio or if it is just a virtual, let's say you're the teacher watching right now that you said I'm used to work for a studio and I'm at home now doing a beautiful business for myself.

I've created a much more balanced schedule in my life. So I have more of a balance of work rest play and that is fulfilling me. And so they've stayed with home teaching, right? And they're making more money. Maybe working fewer hours, making more money.

So it's all wrapped up for them. It's this going well. But how, you know how are they continuing to show up and have an invite more in? You know, I think it's how we are speaking to one another is also extremely important. That's why we're here to, you know, embed some more thinking in that.

And again, I kind of keep going back to old school methods are great. You already pointed to it. Hey, good old fashioned word of mouth is wonderful. Ask a current client for a referral, send a thank you card on paper. Hey guys, that's really fun.

A birthday card. Like, you know, mind, body sends the birthday card through the mail email, but a lot of people just delete. Especially with last year. We, I think so if I say what a trend can be, keeps them old fashioned goodness going. Like an old fashioned fracking, postcard or something in the mail.

How I like opening mail. It's kind of nice. You're like, you feel, you feel, I feel seen. I feel like, Hey, look, they remembered my birthday. I don't know That. It's such a good point.

So I want old fashioned goodness from Amy like I'm here for it. But the point you just said is that everybody wants to be steamed. Yes. Right? And in the industry, we haven't, many of us we can point fingers all day.

Many of us have not done a great job at seeing who's in the room. Right. So how to do that in a way that is conscious. And by the way, it's a beautiful thing when we reach more people who could be served by the work that we do, all of us, Right. We might not even know that they're there but opening up our eyes, educating ourselves changing our awareness and committing to anti-racist work for me, whether that's important to you or not the you being general, Amy. There's a business case for diversity if we're gonna use corporate terms, but on a human level when you people remember how you make them feel.

So exactly what Amy is talking about. The old fashioned goodness that client who feels seen guaranteed they will be a more loyal customer, guaranteed they're going to refer friends. He's like, Hey, that studio makes space for me. I feel comfortable there. Whether you are black, Brown, trans, gay, straight, white Asian, abled, disabled, whatever the things are.

If you're seeing whether it's digital with someone's product or in a studio, you're going to want to go back to that. I would, as a person, I only want to work with companies or individuals who I'm paying, that I like get me and make space for me and understand what I'm about on both a professional level but also where I am personally in terms of how I want to spend my dollars. Right, right, right. Great segue. I have a question about, so with this pandemic that we're still in and negotiating how we're going to move forward.

You know, certain areas again at it is United States centric in this conversation, but we have some economic gaps, right. We know we have some economic gaps going on. There always will be there maybe got really undivided or extreme last year. So again, how to find ways to serve our consumers because they are what are impacting these trends. So, you know, certainly you already pointed out in some reference some data that people are probably ditching their gym memberships because they found a better way to get going. But what about the areas that really even how am I trying to phrase my question?

Economic gaps. What do you think? Yeah. Yeah. So I think in all of these categories whether we're talking about digital versus in-person whether we're talking about representation and who's included and who are you inviting into your space or your product.

We're talking about financial accessibility. Each one of those, my metaphor has been I think I've said this before here that there's kind of been this giant shaking of a tree. And I mean, I'm on the East coast. So we have seasons, right? So when it's triaged shaken really hard, shook, shaken whatever that word is. The stuff that's kind of not vibrant anymore is kind kinda let go leaves fall for a reason but they're part of a process of replenishment, right?

But then what's left is really core and essential. So I think there's really big opportunities for new growth. And that requires letting go of, what's not serving anymore. For some people, that's a studio for some people it's in-person with their commute and the expense and studio fees and all of the things. For some people it's being in their homes and another day anymore, right. If they have the opportunity to the meals.

So whatever it needs to be let go of there's space for new growth. And that means changing structures. It means changing ways of doing things. It might be changing the pricing which there could be opportunities for some to have complete different audiences that we haven't seen before. Right If I can read it.

So if I'm a Joe Trainer and I decided I'm just going to do these group class models on my phone at home, because I don't want to go out anymore. Wherever I live, I might reach a thousand people across the world that I never would have had access to on the corner of 18th and eighth Avenue in New York city. Right. There's an opportunity there if you have the ability to embrace it and structure a product in your business to meet that demand but it requires and creativity. And I'm excited honestly, the excitement is as much grief as there is as much. I'm trying not to curse someplace anytime fill in the blanks as there is. There's also, I think we can hold space for the amazing incredible opportunities that are coming out of this moment whether we see it or not, you know, cause you know, history you can look back at history in any country and recognize that the moments of chaos are also the most creative and you see business empires emerge from them.

Or just a decent cottage industry where someone makes their livelihood. But it requires you being able to be nimble enough to adapt and figure out where you're best served within that new environment. Exactly great. I wrote down the word replenishment. That is what a great word to replenish, not just ourselves but our businesses and just maybe mindset of looking at that.

And you know, I think this huge to the economic part, I was you know, we're, we've got these big, big, big companies out there offering all kinds of things, digitally their apps, we're getting kind of app overloaded. That's maybe I'm speaking for myself, but if I'm the consumer wanting to not leave my home or I can't leave my house and I really liked working at my pajamas and I'm, you know, scrolling, I am overloaded by my options right. So where do I go and how do I get what I want? Am I going to chime into the Peloton and the Apple Fitness and Orangetheory and all the things or do I go to my home neighborhood studio that I used to go into person and say, Hey, what have you got for me? I'm still here serve me, pay attention and get, you know right.

So I think kind of, there's two options. There's lots of options, but Yeah. And I think the point you're also what I'm hearing also and what you say which I think is brilliant is there's been a bifurcation in all these categories. So a split between those who have tons of money and those who don't has gotten more extreme, Exactly Digital versus in-person and those extremes, if we talk trends one of the things that I think will really happen in the next year is you're going to see people heavily investing in digital. Obviously we can recognize some companies had a big headstart. So the Peloton, the Mirror like big business big tech that were early in it.

Right. And we have that in our space too. Right? So there are people that are already doing digital platforms in video on demand and all that. So those who are doing it now everybody's trying to do the same thing because it works in this environment for now. Will it work in two years, five years there'll be some changes that have to happen?

But you're also going to see I believe when people go back to studios some clients used to do group classes and privates. Some clients used to do on-demand video and private in-person group sessions, whatever it is. So my best guess, really, because no one knows but it seems logical that there will be blended options in the future. And clients will probably do both if you take other industries. So I love going to see a Broadway show when Broadway is open again in New York or a movie.

I also definitely putting on my pajamas and watching Netflix. I love this. Yeah, Right. So they're both entertainment. They can both be moving or comical, whatever but they're really different delivery systems. And I think it would behoove us as an industry to think through not only well which delivery system might be more profitable but which am I most lined up and aligned with to serve.

Right? So back to Amy's point about choose your lane you might not be the next, you know, Pilates version of Peloton. Or maybe you are, and you're going doubling down tripling down on just doing digital there's space for that. And that will be a winner going forward. There's going to be some major competition because everyone was looking that way right now. And I also want to make sure to stay cause everybody in media, every one of these articles everyone's talking about digital because it was amplified to such an extent and just made such a quick fix for what we're all going through.

In-person sessions are not going anywhere. There's thousands of years of one-on-one movement and training, whether it's via this portal or in-person itself like actually physical in person, that thing where you're around someone and your body is not going to go anywhere. Right? But for the client that has the convenience of rolling out of bed and doing their class to entice them to their local studio might require some innovation. And while that's a challenge, again, that goes back to experimentation and creativity. The people that are able through their local studios to create, Hey here's an undeniably amazing immersive experience in a studio.

Of course, someone wants to do that. And I'm with camp Amy, like the less hours I can spend on my phone and my screens, the better in some ways because I want to experience the world. Not only through my screen, I get tired, right? There's I've seen countless teachers talk about teaching virtually the one-on-one live people or group class. You can't teach as long.

It's more exhausting. Some of that might be getting used to it. And we'll see in the future, how long that lasts and how you kind of flex that muscle and learn that pattern. But the in-person experience, if you have a tricked out movie theater that gives you dinner and a drink and then you see your movie, well that might entice you to have a girl's night out and go to this amazing theater, as opposed to just sitting at home and putting the TV on. Right. Great.

I love that, Jared. Yeah. I love that. That's actually is exciting to I mean like, so I, cause I tend to, you know, kind of stay in the, I would, I want to go back to in-person teaching and I'm creating a way for my, you know, to do that now and where I have found a wonderful spot to see private clients, which I am, and that'll serve only trios going forward when things are really safe to come. But there's a whole back area outside of where where we can do an outside class and some of the so this is my example. Like I am trying to bring in that creativity based on their feedback, they really want to come in person.

They're still a little afraid. I want to respect that. But these are my folks. They trust me. You've already brought that word up.

Trust is huge. Even if we're talking to large facilities. So, and I enough of my example, we can ask me later. But with trust is a big thing too. I look at the facilities, what happened last year in our corporate environment, corporate facilities, some of that are Pilates some are gyms that how their employees got affected by last year.

Okay. With the COVID the with COVID and all of their restrictions is Where they were. They seen where they really put in a place of being respected in terms of the shutdowns and not shut downs. Come on in, keep working it's okay. We're only in this tier, but wait, we're in this tier. Some of the people I know had big decisions to make to either stay in their corporate job or leave because they did not feel safe and taken care of. Right.

And so most of the examples I can think of they're thriving now because they did they're still in their lane. They're still teaching. They are authentic to themselves. And I think that's what we all get to look at authenticity to self. How do I show up here?

But they've created their home studio. They're like, well, I can take a breath. I'm not running from place to place and client to client. And I can walk my dog in between sessions. I actually can go to farmer's market and buy my groceries and cook from, you know, if that balance.

Yeah, me too. It's great. A bigger smiles are, it's kinda nice. Right? Yeah But I mean, not everyone has that option. And I realized that we are talking about some big things here, but Yeah. The on success and what it looks like no one can tell anyone else what their success looks like.

Right? I can't presume that my way of running a business is going to work for everybody because I'm not them. And I have my own unique strengths and weaknesses. And I can ask questions about, you know KPIs and how they're doing with their business. And what's going on, Laurel is agreeing with this but I'm not going to pretend like I can assume what anyone else's success should be.

Right. And the reality is with most of us having online experiences these days, it's easy to get in the echo chamber of wanting to do things like someone else. So, the entire heard, You say that again. Yeah. In with social media, as it is because most our interactions these days are online for now depending where you're living.

So many of us have turned into social media and online access to each other this being case in point, right? That there's an echo chamber that forms. And within that echo chamber, the surface idea of what everyone's doing tends to dominate. So for example when the pandemic first hit all of us, right me so like, Hey, what things were now what do I need to do to survive this? What's everyone else doing?

Let me learn as quickly as possible, forums got created, coalitions forums to help out like the best of intentions because it was necessary. And we also have a seen within the U S recent political things. Those echo chambers can be really fraught. They can be politicized. They can be weaponized.

They can be misguided whether intentional or not. So just as a, like a dash of salt in there I want to go back to the sense that you have to know your own definition of success. You have to know what serves you. And that might take some time. It might take some experimentation.

We're just talking with some really good friends about it or seeking a coach or someone as a mentor. Our industry hasn't really had a structured mentorship in that kind of way in the past. It's been more allegiance and loyalty and relationships and all of that. But I will say that one of the things I can see which was not on the Glofox list that there's a real need for accountability and mentorship that I think the seeds are being planted right now in a very different way than it has been in the past. I'm not talking about teacher trainings and having a mentor in terms of physical techniques.

I'm talking bigger picture and I'm hearing from conversations I've had. And I'm seeing that because the playing field has really been leveled in terms of like old school hierarchies, because everyone can do this, the ability for anyone to step up and claim themselves as a leader is there. And that's a beautiful thing. If it's done with integrity I could not agree more. I really couldn't agree more.

I thank you, Maria, for that very generous compliment. And we are here for you. We're here for each other, you show up for us, we show for you. We are an industry that's very strong. We're very passionate.

As Jared said, at the beginning, we have big hearts. We also want to take care of ourselves. We also want to live good lives. We want to pay our bills. We want to save money for our future life.

We're setting that groundwork here. You know? So, you know the theme of this talk about trends. Yes, they can be static on a line of here's the report that says the trend, but as we're doing, and hopefully everyone's appreciating the deeper dive into how we go about the trend setting and trend creating and trend living. I don't know what is really Creation, experimentation, innovation.

Like we don't know what's going to happen next because it's being created right now. And people are trying things in such a beautiful way that didn't have the risks that it did before. Because it doesn't matter right now, try anything. And if you're able to try it go for it and experiment and fail and like fall on your face and then see what works again. And that's, it's such, I can't like overstate it that just to keep trying right now.

Whatever you have to do to pick yourself up off the ground and out of your depression and out of the way we're all holding, Holding along could be useful. And it doesn't mean you can't emulate what someone else is doing because they just did it really well. And they figured it out. So we better copy that as fast as possible. That's valid how we've all always done things.

But to keep experimenting will I think be the way that we get through this, because we need some new ideas. We need, the industry needs new ways of doing things so we don't repeat the same mistakes. And so we're not caught as flat-footed if there are future airborne diseases that come up. Right. So there are things that can keep the business side strong, protected and keep those relationships that built the business centered. Right. Right. Great point again.

Well, okay. I mean, we're we've got about 15 minutes if anyone has questions you can start putting them in Q&A. I have a question right now. What do you think like post COVID? We might be getting close to where I can think I can see on the horizon, maybe the end on the way or the little bit softer, you know, restrictions and things.

So for studios, do you think that student, and again this is going to be very, very personal, but again not everyone is going to be able to get that vaccine not everyone's going to want to get the vaccine. Yeah You know for some of us that have auto-immune or other things probably not the best idea to go get that right away. But let's say am the teacher who still really has a great relationship a working relationship with my personal studio I'm an employee or a contractor, either one. Well, what if that studio owner requires me to get the vaccine because they're trying to cover their basis which they should. We don't know if studios are going to be required to have proof of all of our getting vaccinations.

So the world of post COVID is going to be very different. And like you said, we're setting it now but I know that hasn't happened yet. So I'm not going to we can't talk to really what hasn't happened too much. Yeah. Well, there's a couple of things in there if I could speak to. One's I'm in New York city.

So my understanding of it is really grounded in what New York has done. One of the things that I foresee, if I put my little like magic eight ball hat on whatever that is is there've been a lot more intense regulations of the industry at large. Yes So I never, in 10 years of running a studio, Amy for 24 I'd be curious to experience and never had the of health knocking on my door to come do an inspection of my studio. I never had to fill out 17 pages of detailed information, and we're talking like type nine or type nine font single-spaced 17 pages that when I was done I needed a glass of wine and a tequila shot. But that level of scrutiny from the health department never existed in this industry.

And I don't think that that's going away. Number one, there's some money to be made when one regulates an industry. So there's a business case to regulate. That is what it is. Number two, the fitness industry is one of the last kind of wild West of lack of regulation, lack of standards.

Every time we try to get to standards we see what happens with that, right? So there is an opportunity for those that want to standardize to come in and make some stuff happen. So I would be kind of eyes open. Maria's asking, did the health department show up? So at the time Maria quickly we had to do a face time interview basically, right.

Or show them that we had put in place in the studio everything that we needed to in order to open up with restrictions, by the way that still exists. Right. So yes, there was sort of an interview, it was done digitally, but there have been people in New York that have had an inspector show up in person to do an actual audit and make sure that master on and protocols are, yeah. So that's happening for sure. So one tangent restrictions standards. I don't think that that's going away.

So that will, it will also, again, shake out who wants to go through that process and be held to those standards. Now, clients, by the way are probably going to feel more comfortable in that kind of studio. Because, Oh, they got certified by whatever. And I know that that studio is safe and they're following the rules. So we're okay.

Some people won't care about it and they're going to get by under the radar sort of like Speakeasy Pilate studios that don't follow the rules might show up as well in the future. Right. Good. Yeah. And you know, not all studios closed, right? We have, we have lots of like Maria example. Her business is still there.

Her studio is still there but they haven't been able to operate the same way. So there she's definitely done a different design and done virtually. I did choose to close the brick and mortar facility. I just couldn't, it was a choice. I was, I wasn't going to renew my lease.

Anyway, it's a long story, but I was ready to merge away from that. I'm wearing that hat. But for those that are still doing a brick and mortar in physical space, you know, I get it kind of goes back to relationships. If you keep it impeccably clean and hygiene at the highest, highest, highest, it's actually one of the trends anyway, which is really strange. It's a trend, but it should be on there.

We're all very OCD anyway. Pilates studios are some of the cleanest places I've ever been in Yep Because we know what matters. We know our client experience is extremely valuable to us right. For our bottom line. Yeah. And look, I think you're a great example of Amy. Cause you are working in a physical space for a couple of people.

You have a different option now you've changed your studio right? So you have a private space now which has outdoor access. So that's a good example of many out there in lots of ways where as much as we talk about changes in digital space, they're equal sometimes opposite but similar changes in physical space and New York's a great example, the next six months guarantee. And you can come at me if I'm wrong on this there will be new spaces opening up. There are already new spaces opening up restaurants, businesses, et cetera because there's an opportunity for real estate. So the same shape of a tree metaphor that I'm beating down to the ground real estate has had a real reckoning.

Yeah. Right. You went away Trying to call me right now. Sorry, there we go. So real estate has had a real reckoning in New York city but across the country, across the world physical spaces will have to change.

In some ways there's huge opportunities. And someone might be sitting back saying, Oh I can afford that now. And if we do those protocols and here's my idea go in a way that they weren't able to move forward because the price was restricted. Right Yeah. Oh gosh. There's so much to talk about here.

And with that, you know, and downsizing versus right-sizing versus leaving completely finding a new space, finding another neighborhood to be in there are a lot of things on the real estate aspect. And the question that just came in, moving forward would you feel clients will be more comfortable in large group classes again or do you feel, do you see a shift to small group classes, sessions and trios? I, for one personally, think a smaller might be more of a trend, like a trio, maybe be a quad. A but it depends getting gone the demographic of who you're serving but I have a comment on that. One of my dear clients, John Steele who many of you know is wonderful wonderful man and author of Caged Lion.

He has been on Pilates anytime. He and I have a one-on-one every Monday morning. So I start my week. It's so beautiful. And he has a reformer at home.

And so we've done our Zooms this way. He, for one, can't wait to get in personal space with me again so we can do hands on adjustments and I can teach him the way I really would like to be teaching him. But he thinks that group classes are going to be back at it within a year or two. He has no trepidation thinking six to eight people in a reformer class. If it's clean, if they're spaced out if there's proper ventilation, if there's some extra reasons for being there, but he also agrees with this conversation, community, community relationships relationships. So Yeah, totally.

And just back to those same points that I think we all need to keep going back to client-centric what do they need? What am I best able to serve? Right. And then with the group class question, my only on that would be to say that because community matters, I can imagine in six months, a year, whatever it is that huge group classes that are more kind of amorphous than anyone that shows up won't be as successful but curated groups, whether it's a series whether it's six people that are our friend group that comes for a certain reason, or if it's around a certain profile of the person, which could be an inclusion thing it could be about ability, it could be about a sport, like whatever the group is. Like, I've already seen people that are reaching new Pilates fans, who never felt included in a Pilate space before, because someone offered a Pilates class for queer people and, or applies for class for trans people. Right? So wherever the categories could be in the future that creates a community because it invites them in.

So a group class that says, Hey, I have five people that are like me, that are going to come to a class. There's a great business opportunity because it does both. It's a win-win That's wonderful Jared. Exactly. Okay. Another question from Risto. There are restrictions to gyms and sports buildings, including Pilates studios. That's true.

There hasn't been restrictions to physiotherapists should Pilates studio owners or teachers consider in the future, great question to change or rename the service they offer instead of training, could they call for example, therapy, physiotherapy? What are your thoughts? We, have a, that's an interesting question. And I don't know if that we can get to the depth of that. We need a different way.

I think, to be classified because we all know many of us got classified as a gym this past year which we know we are not a gym in the, I am not a gym. I'm a Pilate studio. I teach respiratory work. I teach therapeutic work, but yet I was forced to end, you know, closed down. And so I, you can tell my voice got a little, Hmm. I think reclassification is something that absolutely has to happen.

And that is probably in the works in our industry by different people at this point. So Yeah. So my answer that's quite personal because it's my business. So because I've had, multi-disciplines very simply we were able to open for physical therapy in June having shut it down in March. We were able to open them for massage around July, August. We're able to open for bodies, August, September. So physical therapy for us was safer but we did all by the way, all the same protocols but physical therapy was essential by the classifications.

So could have been operating the entire time we shut down. Anyway, at first we opened first for physical therapy. And that was a game changer in terms of the business because we could have those sessions in and by the way, by modality physical therapy, more than likely for clients who are seeking physical therapy because they're in pain or they need hands-on work. That just harder to do that. I haven't figured out through the screen, Me neither. More likely that they're going to make the effort to come back to in-person for PT or massage then for Pilates or personal training.

So just a little insight from the ground in New York where it's definitely something to think about there. I would say there are pitfalls in the future if we try to reclassify or kind of blurring the lines because Pilates as a standalone I think is also really important. My personal opinion is that the physical therapy associations have absorbed a lot of modalities in the past. And personally, I think there's some issues with that. That definitely need a larger conversation A larger conversation.

Christie has a great question for us too. And do you think the new space it should save a portion of their space to fill in for clients who aren't comfortable coming into the studio? I don't see why not. There was another great example before I get to the next question, or maybe Jared can add that one is and I think someone who's on the call right now actually brought this example up to me in a conversation recently where she did I think it was Laurel and I but this is also a creative idea, right? What if you find as a teacher, you find a facility that's or a space that's and let's say you have a reformer.

What if I had a home reform? And I go, and I set up the reformer in a commercial space but the client goes to work themselves out there and they log on and they Zoom and I'm at home Zooming them in and teaching them virtually. But they actually then are on the apparatus. You know, that's another creative way in order to set Yeah. I mean, this is again the creative juices are kind of already going here and don't stop guys keep, do you want to address the next question? This is a good one. Oh Can you read it for me?

Cause I don't have my screen on what's the question. It went away. Oh no, hold on. Oh, it's not a question she just says or it says about completely agree with that. As someone who was busy with one-on-ones for people with medical conditions I feel peeved to have closed when physios could stay open.

I rightly so. Yeah. It was kind of, yeah things got a little imbalanced for sure. On who can stay open and who can't same within Santa Barbara. Yeah, that was frustrating. So I think we have a couple minutes left.

Are there more questions y'all got right here? No more questions. There was one. Great The, What's that? Okay. There is one more question.

What would be your take on the future of small home studios? And then I want to make sure to bring one more thing into here, Home studios, Jared The future of home studios here stay for many people. I think people have to think very carefully around boundaries. And does it really serve you to have a home studio where again, instructions, family, life, kids, partners bedroom next to like their issues with that that I've seen with good friends over many years who've done it in various ways. So you just have to know what you're made for and if that's really what you want or if it's just an easy kind of temporary fix.

So if it's right for you and you have the right setup and it's comfortable and you have some boundaries because you work well with that great. But again, think through your clients. Are you best serving them by doing that setup? Or is it really just because an affordability question we're trying to find a commercial space, or concerns around being out there wherever you live. I just think through the questions I don't think they're going anywhere.

I think there will be an explosion of home studios for those that can do it well. I don't think it be the only thing for sure. Right. I agree. I'd like to say a couple things near closing here as you can see, we're passionate. I'm going to speak for Jared but we're very passionate about all things business, relationships, you know, humanity I'm going to reach out and say, you can all find me.

You can come to my Instagram, Amy Havens SB. You can find me through Pilates, anytime, email me anything. I really want to offer that just as a, you know we're all in this together. We are really in this together and we all want to succeed. Jared, anything there.

And then one last bit. Yeah. Thanks Amy. So I just appreciate you to no end. Curiosity is really important right now.

That requires kind of doing the work you need to do to get out of your own way a little bit and making space for curiosity around what is to come and just trying things. And I say that as someone who is very cautious typically so I'm not used to like throwing spaghetti at the wall and running with it like controlled exists for a reason. Like a lot of us in this industry a little bit more of the control side. But to try to iterate, to try to push yourselves, to try things is really important. And it doesn't mean you're a success or failure just means that you're trying.

And we're all gonna learn from each other. Right. Beautifully said, I feel supported by you being here, Jared and for everyone coming to this conversation that wants to be included. And so thank you for coming. Thank you for Pilates anytime for letting us do these reports and sharing more information with our industry.

Thank you all so much. Yeah. All from Italy. Bye. Oh and good night. And let's keep the conversation going please. If anything, these are critical conversations because of the context and the questions are amazing Instagram, we can continue them.

So by the way, Jared n, don't forget the n Kaplan. I will find Amy on Instagram and give her a DM later to say thanks again. But thank you all for watching. Wonderful. Thanks Jared. Bye everybody.

Thank you. Thank you.

Comments

I am only half way through this conversation but can I say thank you Jared and Amy !!!!! I appreciate this so much :)
Deborah Wasko You're so welcome!  What struck you the most?
Let us know when you finish the second half - we definitely ramped things up as we continued talking!   Amy Havens 
2 people like this.
Hi! I was  online too. From italy. It was really useful and very nice hear you with su h important topics about immediate future. Ad I Am a new teacher and practitioner I really preciate to listen your experience and you are so generosi about sharing it
Jared and Amy, I finished the webinar ! I was inspired by the talk about what is here to stay in our future and I also really appreciated the advice to think about what direction suits us as individual teachers and creativly move forward in that direction. I felt inspired by the end of the discussion that we truly can design our own futures as pilates instructors and business owners currently. There really are very little limitations as there isnt a script at the moment . It really is an exciting time in the fitness industry and I feel that we can focus on that and not the obvious hardships that brought us here...

Thanks again Jared and Amy and many blessings to you both in the new year !!
2 people like this.
Hi Amy & Jared, Thanks for sharing your experiences,  thoughts, ideas, predictions and so much more. As a home studio owner in UK you have given me much to think about moving forward. Much appreciated.  
2 people like this.
I loved this chat! I went back to the video to try to find the article links that were referenced. I think that was only in the zoom chat, can you post the list in the comments?
Deborah Wasko Thank you for your optimism!  There is incredible freedom that's available right now to those who are ready to move -  if they're able + open to it. For others, that amount of freedom is paralyzing. It's all about what can work for you.  Jen H  You're so welcome! Good luck as you work on your home Studio and how you can impact your Clients.  Raelea S  Thank you!  Amy Havens can you check on the links? 
Thank you Jared and Amy. So interesting, as I was watching, I realized I am not alone in thoughts about some of the topics you discussed about the issues from the past year. One thing that has frustrated me is the constant opening/closing of studios, especially when we have been so careful and yet clumped in with busy gyms. So much so, I am thinking of going back to school for an"essential" modality, so I can still have work if/when this happens again. I enjoyed the discussion about being creative and following what works well for me and my clients. And the comfort to know I can try things and fail and try again. I have pivoted so many times this past year: some ideas failed, some ideas succeeded, and boy did I learn a lot. I currently run a small semi-private studio in my home with separate entrance. I used to work for a rec centre and studio before the shutdowns in March. I would never have gone out on my own to start my own business, but the shutdowns left me unemployed. Thanks!
3 people like this.
In Sydney, Australia, we were locked down for around 8 weeks in March 2020.
After reopening  we had restricted class numbers and of course hands on teaching is still off limits.  We have not been forced to close again with Australia handling the pandemic extremely well.  Almost no community transmition and generally only seeing COVID cases in returning travelers who are placed into strict Hotel quarantine upon arrival back in Australia.
This has forced all of us to really hone our cueing  and other skills, to connect with our clients.
I believe it has had a positive effect in many ways, and the Pilates Industry in Australia is currently booming.
Studios are increasing classes and employing more teachers,
with more and more people  looking to Pilates for their preferred exercise.  
I hope that when you find your way through this pandemic you will also find a booming industry.
1 person likes this.
Amy Goeldner Congrats on all the experiments, AND for going out on your own. That's AMAZING! I've been there and it can be scary, tho it also has a ton of benefits too. 
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