Introduction: A Glimpse into Tomorrow’s Fitness

The Boutique Fitness Solutions (BFS) Summit, hosted in vibrant New York City, is an annual event that assembles the elite players of the boutique fitness world. From studio owners to software providers, the summit is a melting pot of ideas, innovations, and insights. This year, the Mariana Tek team was thrilled to be a part of this dynamic event, with a clear objective in mind: to connect with our esteemed clients, explore new opportunities, and immerse ourselves in the latest industry trends.

For Mariana Tek, the BFS Summit is more than just an event; it’s an opportunity. A chance to meet face-to-face with the people who drive our industry forward, to listen to their challenges and successes, and to share our vision for the future of boutique fitness. As we navigated through the various sessions, workshops, and networking events, we were constantly reminded of the passion and dedication that fuels this industry. And with every interaction, our commitment to serving our clients and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible grew even stronger.

Key Takeaways: Navigating the New Norms of Fitness

The BFS Summit was a treasure trove of insights and learnings. One of the most prominent themes that emerged was the increasing emphasis on total wellness within boutique fitness studios. No longer confined to just physical workouts, studios are exploring holistic approaches that cater to the mind, body, and soul. This shift towards a more comprehensive wellness experience signifies the evolving needs of fitness enthusiasts who are seeking more than just a workout session.

Another significant observation was the rise of female ownership and leadership within the boutique fitness industry. This trend underscores the changing dynamics of the business landscape, where diverse voices and perspectives are not only welcomed but celebrated. Discussions around selling one’s business and determining the right time to do so also garnered considerable attention. Such topics highlight the maturity of the industry, as studio owners contemplate growth strategies and potential exit plans.

  • Industry Evolution: The boutique fitness industry is rapidly evolving, with a noticeable shift towards total wellness and holistic experiences for clients. Studios are exploring diverse service offerings to provide a comprehensive experience.
  • Software Solutions Matter: The choice of software can significantly impact a studio’s operations and customer experience. There’s a growing demand for modern, user-friendly platforms that offer integrated marketing automation and appointment bookings.
  • Partnerships & Networking: The event underscored the importance of building strong relationships, not just with clients but also with industry consultants, marketing partners, and even competitors. Collaborative efforts can lead to mutual growth and success.

Insights from Industry Leaders

The summit provided an invaluable opportunity for face-to-face interactions with both existing clients and potential leads. Here are some key takeaways from the event:

Anne Mahlum from Solidcore started the event with a discussion on how she became so successful, with advice for other female owners on how to be a strong leader, “We’re constantly apologizing, and those little signals continue to give off that we’re not confident, that we’re looking for permission… I think women have to stop worrying so much about being liked by everybody.”

Emma Barry from Good Soul Hunting emphasized the importance of creating a memorable customer experience at boutique studios, “Who’s deciding? The customer. Who’s the CEO of the universe now? The customer… The secret here is UX, user experience.”

Mark Parton and Emily Katz

Mark Parton from B/SPOKE with his leadership team explained how they’ve been able to build such a high-performance team, “We generally tend to gravitate towards promoting from within, you have almost like an extended interview, they know the culture you have… So, we exclusively only started to look at lateral hires and wanted to maybe tap into different skill sets that our team doesn’t currently have.”

Becky Ceroni from GoSaga when asked about how Gen Z is approaching fitness, “I have a daughter in who’s a D1 athlete and I see just how much they know, it’s incredible, they walk into the studio and they know what they want… Our goal is to figure out ways to creatively address meeting those trends.”

Technology Insights: Navigating the Fitness Software Terrain

In the dynamic world of boutique fitness software, understanding the pros and cons of different solutions is essential. At the BFS Summit, it was evident that emerging platforms are trying to position themselves prominently in the market, emphasizing attributes like “ease-of-use” and “all-in-one” solutions. Feedback from various studio owners revealed that while these platforms might offer modern interfaces, they sometimes fall short in areas like onboarding and customer support.  

On the other hand, legacy software solutions, which have been dominant players for years, are facing their own set of challenges. Many studios are expressing the need for more modern and innovative platforms, highlighting concerns about outdated interfaces and the lack of autonomy over their consumer apps. This feedback is a testament to the ever-growing demand for software that is not only advanced but also truly understands and caters to the unique needs of boutique fitness studios.

Key Takeaways:

  • Emerging platforms are making waves with their marketing but need to ensure their service delivery matches their promises.
  • Legacy solutions, while still dominant, are facing increasing scrutiny for their lack of innovation and modernity. This presents an opportunity for platforms that can combine reliability with cutting-edge features.

Industry Consultants and Partnerships

The BFS Event was not just an opportunity for learning; it was also about forging valuable connections within the industry. Boutique studios aiming to grow and fine-tune their branding and offerings can benefit greatly from industry consultants. These consultants provide invaluable information and strategies to help businesses thrive.

During the event, we had the privilege of connecting with a variety of boutique consultants, including Telomere Consulting, The Sales Arms, Beaux Bradley Consulting, and Solmark Creative. Each of these consultants brings a unique set of skills and expertise to the table.

For more in-depth insights into the world of boutique fitness consultants, you can check out our comprehensive guide, The Ultimate Guide to Top Boutique Fitness Consultants This guide covers essential information about these consultants and their roles in the industry. It’s a valuable resource for boutique fitness businesses looking to leverage the expertise of consultants.

From left to right: Marie O’Connor, Myrna Brady, Becky Ceroni


The Boutique Fitness Solutions Summit was more than just an event; it was a testament to the ever-evolving boutique fitness industry and the importance of staying ahead with the right tools and insights. At Mariana Tek, we’re not just observers; we’re active participants, innovators, and partners in this journey. Our experiences at BFS 2023 have further solidified our commitment to providing the best solutions for boutique fitness studios worldwide.

If you’re a studio owner, manager, or someone passionate about the boutique fitness industry, we invite you to explore what Mariana Tek has to offer. From our cutting-edge software solutions to our dedicated team of experts, we’re here to help you navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

Discover the future of boutique fitness with Mariana Tek. Book a demo and become a part of our thriving community.

Xplor Mariana Tek team at the BFS 2023 Summit

Article by Xplor Mariana Tek

First published: October 12 2023

Last updated: December 12 2023