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Future-proofing: how your club management software can help you take advantage of the trends for 2022

Future-proofing: how your club management software can help you take advantage of the trends for 2022 Content

By Srishti Singh

The club industry has seen a lot of change over the past 18 months. Some of those changes arose directly from the emergence of Covid-19. Others have been developing over time, but their significance was amplified by the pandemic.

As we look to 2022, it’s valuable to examine how you can deploy your club management software to help address those trends that will continue to shape the club experience for your members and prospects. Let’s take a look.

2022 Calendar

Trend: Golf continues to experience a renaissance

Around 2003, golf started to experience a slow decline in participation that would last until the pandemic. That’s when things changed. People needed an activity they could participate in while social distancing. Golf was a natural.

According to the National Golf Foundation, 502 million rounds of golf were played in 2020, a 14% increase in the rounds played of 2019, despite course shutdowns at the beginning of the pandemic. This trend is expected to sustain.

This is a boon for clubs. The challenge will be managing the increased demand to make the most of the opportunity. Robust reservation functionality allows clubs to easily run reservations lotteries to ensure fair and equitable access for all members. The technology also gives members added convenience, allowing them to request tee times on the club website or through the club app on their phones. The members can even access a buddy list as part of the process, giving them the ability to build their foursomes and automatically send out invitations to those friends to play.

Best-in-class club management software will also allow the club to handle the other in-demand amenities surrounding golf. This includes reserving resources like a practice bay. And allowing members to see their favorite teaching pro’s schedule and book a lesson – all through the app.

Trend: The rise of the “third place”

Sociologist Ray Oldenburg coined the term “third place” to describe the space outside of the home (the person’s first place) and work (the person’s second place). It is defined as a destination where people meet to enjoy themselves and build relationships. When the pandemic restricted access to so many places, the value of having a safe and welcoming third place became even more important. The private club was well equipped to fulfill the role of that third place. And people began to look at it in a new light.

Even as things open, there will continue to be a halo effect of this renewed positive perception of the club that will extend into 2022 and beyond.

To take full advantage of it, clubs will need to move beyond the old-school view of the club as a place for special occasions and golf. Today the opportunity lies in repositioning the club as a more family-oriented destination and a more frequent gathering place. This fulfills that need for a third place, especially among the prime prospects who are 35 - 45 years old and have families.

Marketing will be key in the effort to shift perceptions. Your club management software can help. Start with your website builder module, revamping messaging, and adding promotional banners to feature those parts of the club that support this new position. For example, you can highlight amenities such as your spa or family-oriented programs you have developed. Maybe you added new casual dining options. Some clubs even retooled a room, offering coffee, wi-fi, and all the amenities you’d expect in a coworking space.

Use your software to deploy campaigns through email, text, and app notifications. Of course, you’ll want to include your social media in the effort, encouraging your members to repost to their friends (your prospects).

Promoting these aspects can help your club become that much-sought-after third place.

Trend: Great technology becomes table stakes

Best-in-class club management software helped clubs manage through the new reality that the pandemic ushered in. Members turned to the club website and app for contactless access to do everything from checking in at the club to ordering food to paying their bill.

As we look to 2022, there are a couple of drivers that will continue to elevate the demand for advanced technology.

  1. The pandemic increased members’ use of the technology. This has now created an expectation that it will continue to be available and even evolve (just like all the other technologies in their lives).
  2. Millennials have reached the prime recruitment age for clubs. This is a generation raised with technology. These prospects have an expectation that they will be able to reserve and access club amenities on their schedule, not yours and that of your staff.

Your club management software solution will continue to grow in importance. Members will rely more heavily on the club app and website, viewing both as extensions of their club experience. The opportunity for clubs will be to integrate the disparate departments, creating one seamless experience for members. And allowing club staff to better manage the operations.

Trend: Shifting lifestyles

The pandemic and the influx of younger generations are shifting the expectations of the experience the club delivers. This will continue into 2022.

The dining offering is a great example. The need for social distancing drove a desire for contactless ordering. Additionally, members gravitated more and more to outdoor dining for both safety concerns as well as the appeal of the more casual environment.

Club management software helped clubs meet the demand, introducing food ordering to the app. Members could now request delivery outside, dining on the patio. Or they could order Grab ‘n Go.

With the addition of the younger generations, clubs will continue to see a desire for more wellness offerings at the club. That includes healthy menu items as well as amenities like yoga classes and resources like a workout facility. As mentioned before, there will be an expectation that they can book their session, receive reminders, and pay for any services all through the app and website.

Trend: The Great Resignation Lingers

2021 saw the rise of a phenomenon labeled as The Great Resignation. With the pandemic as the catalyst, workers left their jobs in record numbers. That included almost 7% of workers in the hospitality and food industry in August – more than twice the average rate of the rest of the economy according to a US Department of Labor report in October of 2021.

Businesses of all types have experienced worker shortages. And it looks likely the trend will continue into 2022.

As part of the hospitality industry, clubs need to be particularly aware of this lingering trend. Club management software can play a vital role in helping you mitigate the effects of The Great Resignation by building better communication, empowering workers, and more. For a deeper dive on this, check out the post How your technology and club management software can help you navigate The Great Resignation.

Future-proofing

The 2022 trends will be accompanied by challenges. But with those challenges come opportunities. Opportunities for clubs to find new ways to engage and serve members that meet an evolving expectation of the club experience.

Crystal Ball

The right club management software can help a club put itself in a position to take advantage of all these opportunities in 2022. To learn how, request a demo, of the Northstar Technologies complete club management platform. A premier platform built on one database to give your entire operation a single source of truth for better decisions for the club. And a better experience for members. Request a demo, today.