The Active Leadership Forum (ALF), EuropeActive’s invite-only executive gathering for CEOs and executives of the fitness and physical activity sector, took place from September 5th to 7th in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 12th edition of the Forum gathered C-suite industry leaders from the main club operators, equipment manufacturers, suppliers and tech companies for expert presentations and insightful discussions about our industry’s onwards development and common future.
Participants enjoyed a networking dinner at the Royal Opera House on September 5th; EuropeActive CEO, Andreas Paulsen and President’s Council's Secretaries, Herman Rutgers and Jennifer Halsall, officially welcomed the audience and encouraged them to make the most of two intense days of networking, business opportunities and keynote presentations.
Copenhagen Club Tour & afternoon sessions
Wednesday, September 6th began with participants splitting into groups for a Club tour visit around Copenhagen to discover SATS, PureGym, Vesterbronx and Technogym Store facilities. At the same time, tech company representatives visited the IT Campus of the University of Copenhagen to discuss the role of AI in the fitness sector as well as the strategic development of the T20 Group, EuropeActive’s Fittech Advisory Group on digitisation and tech.
Afternoon sessions kicked off with a panel discussion on the state of the Scandinavian fitness market moderated by Stefan Ludwig (Deloitte), which featured Johanna Riihijärvi (Liikku), Anders Carlbark (STC Training Club), Morten Bentzen (PureGym) and Sondre Gravir (SATS). Panelists provided key insights on Scandinavian market growth and consolidation, digital solutions implemented at their facilities as well as the importance of community and social interaction for customers.
Sustainability and green leadership took central stage with former EU Commissioner and Danish Minister for Climate Change, Connie Hedegaard, who addressed the importance of implementing green policies during her keynote presentation. A practical implementation of green transition in the European fitness and physical activity sector followed-up her session to showcase how sustainability strategies can be integrated. Helena Barton from Deloitte Denmark, who emphasised "The sustainability agenda can be a catalyst for growth and new opportunities in ways that can reinforce and execute on the business strategy."
Sessions concluded with a thought-provoking panel discussion with Hugo Maurstad (Monte Rosa Capital), Nick Bishop (Morgan Stanley) and Pieter de Jong (3i) to analyse the reasons behind investing in our sector and its future growth. Moderator Herman Rutgers, encouraged panelists to share their views on how external investments and development can support EuropeActive’s goal of getting 100 million club members by 2030. "At the end of the day, it does not matter if it is a gym, outdoor facility or any type of exercise, for us, it is the most important to contribute to the health trend."
The day culminated with CEO Andreas Paulsen summarising the main takeaways of the programme and pointing participants towards EuropeActive's Vanguard Club Dinner, a unique networking gathering at The Tower (Christiansborg Palace).
Day 2: Our sector as an effective solution to public health challenges, the role of AI in the ‘wellness economy’ and the future of European fitness clubs
The Active Leadership Forum resumed on Thursday, 7th September with a panel discussion led by Oliver Patrick (Future Practice), who was joined on stage by Anna Bogdanova (Personal Trainer & author), Paolo Caserotti (University of Southern Denmark) and Henrik Duer (Health Coach & author), to discuss the main reasons why our industry should be recognised as an essential solution to public health challenges.
Louise Herring from McKinsey & Co, took central stage to take the audience through the role of AI in ‘the wellness economy’ and how impactful it will be for the fitness sector in the coming years.
The day concluded with Steven Ward (GO fit) moderating a panel with Marcel Boots (Basic-Fit International), Aimee Barry (Les Mills), Silje Garberg Ree (SATS) and Rasmus Houlind (Agillic), to discuss the future of fitness clubs "Content is an important key in our functioning. As a business, we constantly think about what we are bringing to the markets and what are the trends that we can set and follow."
The Active Leadership Forum is kindly sponsored by
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