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All 5 Retention Conventions (2015-2019) all in one place

2015 Creating Customer Expereinces Speakers 

Rob Gregory

Rob has been working behind the scenes for years. He was Global Retention Director with Fitness First and consults to some of the largest health club operators in the world particularly around member experiences. He is going to talk about how data influences business decisions.


Dr Melvyn Hillsdon

Dr Melvyn Hillsdon a true pioneer in the field of health club member retention. Melvyn brought us statistical methods designed to accurately measure member behaviour. He then wrote these up into a series of articles called Winning the Retention Battle. He also co produced the 2008 Retention report for the FIA (UK Active). Melvyn spoke about the results produced by the research he completed for TRP 10,000.


Dr Paul Bedford

Dr Paul Bedford, international speaker and consultant and working with just 12 operators per year focussing solely on health club member retention. Paul is the author of the National Retention Reports 2013 (The White Report) and co produced 2008 Retention report for the FIA (UK Active), 1 million strong for IHRSA and The National Retention Reports for Australia and New Zealand.  In this session Paul discus the questions he uses with operators to develop and business specific retention strategy.


Guy Griffiths

Guy Griffiths works in the UK with operators helping them develop retention strategies for both public and private sector clients.

In this session Guy illustrates how he tackles retention and attrition for his clients.


2016 Digital and Data


Arron Williams

Arron Williams, former Special Projects lead at Life Fitness, who believes designing and driving stronger human connections into the fabric of health and fitness facilities helps turn members into profitable customers and employees into apostles. His diverse background as a personal trainer, coach, university lecturer, and facility and fitness product designer delivered a fun and thought provoking session that decodes the current exercise experience and then recodes it with added value to meet the needs of the customer and the business. 

In his session ‘the Ordinary vs the Extra Ordinary’,  Arron will explain what drives people to pay £25 for a single class - more than some gym chains charge for a month of membership.  He will also describe how boutique operators deliver their service and how they measure performance using non traditional metrics.


Dr. Niels Nagel

Germany’s Dr. Niels Nagel, who is head of the German Industry Federation for Health and Fitness.  Neil has been a consultant in the industry since 1998 and also works as a lecturer and research assistant at the German Sports University in Cologne.

Niels spoke about his research on health-oriented fitness training with the focus on attendance, compliance and adherence from a behavioural psychological perspective. He will also discus how developments in technology may assist with improved results in the near future.


Molly Kemmer

Molly Kemmer is thought leader with more than 20 years experience in the health and fitness industry. She is also a former Chair of IHRSA and only the third female to hold the position in 34 years. 

At the Retention Convention Molly spoke about structure protocols, on-boarding clients, prescribing programmes, tracking performance and delivering and measuring outcomes.  All of which enable consistent, replicable exercise prescription that build trust and deliver better results. She will also reviewed the development of new technology that automatically writes and updates exercise progression programmes.


Selda Gamzeli

Selda Gamzeli, from Turkey, was Jatomi Fitness’s Group Customer Experience Director for six countries - Poland, Turkey, Malaysia, Romania, Indonesia, Czech Republic.

Selda spoke about how she was responsible for providing strategic and technical direction for customer analytics, including defining KPIs and methodology, designing test-and-learn experiments, growing data sources and producing regular customer insights to answer key business questions.


Tiffeny Gould 

With extensive experience across the sector, including 10 years at SLM/Everyone Active where she was Digital Fitness Development and National Exercise Referral Manager.

At the convention, Tiffeny discussed the technical challenges of going digital - integrating new software, staff issues, training and end user engagement.  She explained how to achieve significant improvements in membership figures, adherence to programmes and demonstrations of long term behaviour change, and how to make projects financially sustainable with a flexible resource model. 


Dr. Melvyn Hillsdon

Dr. Melvyn Hillsdon, has consulted to the fitness industry for more than two decades. His research mainly involves understanding the relative contribution of personal, social and environmental determinants of physical activity. He has consulted to WHO (Europe) the Department of Health (UK) and many local authorities and NGOs. 

Melvyn delivered a session entitled ‘What’s the price of Silence’.  Alongside Dr. Paul Bedford, he challenged the rationale behind reducing the number of fitness staff in order to cut costs and discuss how good fitness staff can have a greater impact on retention and revenue than you think.  He showed operators how getting staff to engage in brief, simple interventions with members can double income.


Dr Paul Bedford

Dr. Paul Bedford, is an international speaker and author of the world’s largest retention study, With a master’s degree in exercise and health behaviours and a PhD that focused on retention in the gym environment, Dr. Bedford is one of the global fitness industry’s leading authorities on retention, attrition and member experience management, and develops bespoke retention strategies for operators right across the world.

Paul will be delivering a session that investigates how Big Data, Artiifical Intelligence and it aplication can be used to improved member retention. 

Paul's second session "So What" will review where technology and the member expereince can be intergated to enhance member loyalty, increase retention and reduce attrion.


2017 Staff Retention


Dave Stalker

Former ukactive CEO, Dave Stalker, who is now the CEO of Oxygen Freejumping, will open the conference, when ‘great minds meet in Manchester’ on 18 May to learn about the impact a happy workforce has on health club membership retention. He is also Chair of the CIMSPA and children’s physical activity company Fit For Sport. 

Dave kicked off the day outlining how each and every aspect of the industry has changed over the last 30 years and explain why failure is guaranteed without a solid retention strategy in place. 


Justin Tamsett 

From Australia, Justin Tamsett, a former health club owner, director of Active Management and well known business and leadership thought leader, shared the seven keys to building a winning team to ensure your ‘on field’ performances lead to retention growth.


Lexie Griffiths 

Global presenter, best-selling author and owner of the professional development programme Sizzle Maker, Lexie Griffiths will deliver a session entitled ‘Sizzling Customer Service - Engage and retain life long members by creating an outrageous customer service organisation’.

Lexie shared tips and strategies to help your brand create raving fans using proven methods from her own events and clubs she has coached to success, alongside best practises from within and outside of the industry.


Keith Smith 

Training and education specialist, Keith Smith, enjoyed a 14-year career as a tutor and assessor for YMCAFit before starting his own professional development company seven years ago

Most companies send their staff on training courses and then just assume the skills are embedded and will be delivered in the facility, with no thought to how that training sits in the customer experience journey the company is trying to achieve. Keith’s presentation explored how further coaching in the working environment can help you ensure an improved and consistent member experience.


Dr Paul Bedford 

This year Paul explained how to ask questions to uncover what really motivates our staff and members’ behaviour. These techniques can be used to assist in the hiring and appraising of staff as well as understanding the member’s reasons for joining and retaining their membership.


2018 Technology to Increase Retention 

Bryan O'Rouke 



Mike Hills

Andy Brown

Dr Paul Bedford 


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