First impressions have the ability to make or break a business.

When creating amazing new facilities, there will always be budget constraints. As projects are scoped according to the available budget in both refurbishment and new build schemes, items can potentially be removed as a cost saving. One of these items can be the dressing of the site. However, this ultimately leads to the new leisure facility opening with a very ‘clinical’ feel, white walls throughout and no injection of colour.

The customer does not fully appreciate the cost of ‘hidden elements’ such as the groundworks or roof materials; however, they do notice the ‘look and feel’ of a facility in which they would like to spend their leisure time.

Strategic application of graphics throughout the facility can create an impactful environment, aid the customer journey, and strengthen the brand of the facility. This is evident at Northallerton Leisure Centre where Show Off Media installed graphics and signage:

Creating customised concepts and innovative spaces in your facility will truly provide the ‘wow’ factor that the current leisure consumer demands. Social media can help strengthen brands and increase footfall through facilities. The age of Instagram and photo opportunities is now prevalent with Gen Z so creating a backdrop they would be seen to be working out in is vital. Developing spaces that users want to share the images from is crucial in getting a viral message out there.

AV systems in studios and gyms are also so important to create the destination feel. The impact of a good Audio and Lighting system in both exercise studios and gyms can create an immersive environment, which can become a real USP for a facility. An example of this is Salt Ayre Leisure Centre in Lancaster, which was the first Local Authority operated facility to install an Immersive Cycle Studio and has seen amazing results since opening. A link to the case study can be found here:

Good graphics, wall dressings and AV can aid with membership sales but also with customer retention. It is so important to build impactful spaces where people want to repeatedly return to which are fun, welcoming, and exciting.

The next stage to creating a destination facility is future trends such as complete immersive environments that are on offer by Flareform.  Completely changing the look and feel of a studio or gym through the use of lighting and projectors to create a completely immersive space.

There are other opportunities through the use of technology to enhance the facility and customer experience, whilst enticing a new demographic to your centre. As an example, the progression from a soft play to TAG Active using RFID technology to create a multi-faceted adventure zone complete with gamification for the competitive older demographic of 8 years plus. A great example of creating a space that caters for a wide demographic can be found here: