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Zoom is releasing a new tool to let paid users charge for admission to online events like conferences or fitness classes



Eric S. Yuan standing in front of a sign: Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom Video Communications takes part in a bell ringing ceremony at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York Reuters


© Provided by Business Insider
Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom Video Communications takes part in a bell ringing ceremony at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York Reuters

  • Zoom is introducing OnZoom, a new way to host events — free and paid — using the popular videoconferencing tool.
  • Zoom has come to be used to host all kinds of events amid the pandemic, from board meetings and conferences to fitness classes and concerts. The new OnZoom platform includes the ability to charge for tickets, as well as a directory of public event listings.
  • Zoom is also launching a new kind of app integration, called a Zapp, that can bring information from productivity tools like Dropbox, Slack, or Asana directly into a video chat.
  • Facebook launched its own features for paid videoconferencing events over the summer.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As the pandemic drags on, Zoom is releasing a new way to host online events — importantly, now including paid events — as well as new types of apps that integrate outside business and productivity tools like Slack, Dropbox, and Asana directly into Zoom meetings, the company announced Wednesday. 

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Zoom has become a household name amid shelter in place and social distancing mandates, with users turning to the videoconferencing app to host events from board meetings and conferences to yoga classes and concerts. It’s led Zoom’s business to skyrocket, but also forced the company to rethink its ambitions beyond its original enterprise approach. 

The online event platform, called OnZoom, adds features to Zoom that make it easier to host online events — notably, by allowing event organizers to sell tickets for paid events on Zoom, thanks to an integration with PayPal. There will also be an event marketplace, where people can find and sign up for public events, free and paid.

At launch, the events platform is only available to US users, but will be available more globally next year. There’s no additional fee for paid users to try out OnZoom through the end of 2020, but Zoom says that it plans to revisit the possibility of taking a cut of ticket sales next year. 

Notably, Facebook announced something similar earlier this year, allowing businesses, creators, educators and media publishers to host paid events on Facebook Live or its Messenger Rooms app. Facebook has said it won’t collect fees from tickets sales until at least August 2021.

The catch is that you will have to be a paid Zoom user to set up events with OnZoom, with a capacity ranging from 100 attendees, up to 1,000 for enterprise users. For anything larger, users can livestream the event with a Zoom Webinar license. 

OnZoom is actually getting its first public test right out in the open: Zoom is using it to host its annual Zoomtopia user conference this week. The company bills it as being well-suited for other companies to host their own conferences, for fitness instructors to hold paid lessons, for nonprofits to set up fundraising events

Crunch Fitness Channelside Renovations To Allow Boutique Classes

TAMPA, FL — Crunch Fitness announced the upgrade of its Channelside location in Downtown Tampa to a Crunch Select Club. The first of its kind in the area, this $200,000 renovation will allow Crunch Channelside to offer its members boutique-style fitness classes as well as increased workout space in the main gym by 20 percent.

The new fitness studio will be located directly across from the main entrance of the main gym in Grand Central to provide classes such as hot yoga, suspended yoga, barre classes and more. The renovations and new studio should be complete by the end of the year.

“Our goal is always to make serious exercise fun while offering a top-quality environment and fitness equipment,” said CEO Vince Julien. “We saw a need in the Channelside District community to revamp our group fitness programming, and we are extremely excited that this renovation will allow us to offer high-value classes at affordable prices.”

Prominent features of the expansion will include:

  • An extra 2,400 square feet of workout space in the main gym

  • A first-class cycle studio with a 100-inch video screen and low-voltage lighting that dances with the music

  • Upgrade the existing group fitness room with new flooring and fitness equipment

  • A new studio with infra-red heat panels, bamboo flooring, backlit mirrors and a stage

  • A new tanning and hydro bed area with two high-performance tanning booths

Crunch Channelside is owned by veteran fitness industry operators Vince Julien, Geoff Dyer, Tony Scrimale and Jeff Dotson, who are confident in the future of fitness and have successfully opened six clubs during the coronavirus pandemic starting in May. This franchisee currently owns and operates a total of 28 Crunch locations in the Tampa Bay community as well as in Orlando and Atlanta.

This article originally appeared on the Tampa Patch

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Spin Classes Lead To Twenty One People With Coronavirus From One Gym

A spin class gym in the Canadian city of Hamilton has been linked with an outbreak of 21 cases of Covid-19, with a further 100 people potentially exposed. The news was originally reported in the local press and cases have so far been found in one staff member and 20 patrons.

The outbreak comes amid months of speculation as to whether gyms and other indoor facilities hosting fitness classes are high-risk during the pandemic.

Concerns seem to focus on two main aspects of gyms which may make them high risk environments for viral transmission:

1) The number of high-touch surfaces, which may be used by multiple gym goers without effective sanitizing between uses, including weights, mats and machines. However, scientists generally now think that the risk of surface transmission of the coronavirus is smaller than originally anticipated, albeit studious handwashing is still recommended.

2) Person to person transmission via droplets and/or aerosols containing the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus. Droplet transmission has always been known to be a route of infection and more recently growing evidence has suggested aerosol transmission too. The difference between them being the size of exhaled particles. Heavy breathing during intense exercise is known to increase the production of these airborne particles, especially if patrons are unmasked.

In the case of the spin fitness gym in Canada, the business had reportedly implemented many extra safety measures. These included reducing capacity by half and giving a six foot radius between each bike and cyclist, as well as enhanced screening and sanitation measures. These measures complied with local public health guidelines.

However, these restrictions did not prevent the outbreak in this case and although difficult to definitively prove, airborne transmission would seem likely to be a large factor. Assuming bikes were effectively sanitized between uses and patrons physically distanced when entering and leaving the facility, it’s hard to conclude that transmission happened another way.

The outbreak is just one of several sourced to gym facilities in Canada recently. Ontario, where Hamilton is located along with the bigger cities of Toronto and Ottawa, is recording record Covid-19 case numbers with a 7 day average of over 700 cases per day. Recent data from Canada’s largest city, Toronto shows that in excess of one third of all Covid-19 community outbreaks can be traced back to bars, clubs and restaurants. Just as of yesterday, the provincial government shut down gyms, casinos and inside dining in restaurants and bars in the worst-hit areas, but Hamilton, where the spin class outbreak happened, is not yet under these restrictions.

Despite many health and fitness businesses following restrictions and public health guidelines to mitigate risk, it may be that the very nature of what they do makes it impossible to entirely make these places safe. High intensity exercise in an enclosed space with others is likely always going to carry some risk, especially

SoulCycle’s At-Home Bike Launches Across The US, With Live Classes And New Variis Fitness App

Starting today, SoulCycle riders in all 50 states can bring the sweaty, high-energy, in-studio experience into their home with the national launch of SoulCycle’s at-home bike. Initially released to a small set of markets in March, this national launch coincides with the co-launch of Variis mobile app. SoulCycle’s live and on-demand classes stream to the at-home bike’s screen via Variis, Equinox Media’s digital fitness media platform. In addition to powering the digital SoulCycle experience, the standalone Variis mobile app also launches today, powering digital access to a variety of Equinox’ other notable digital fitness and mindfulness modalities.

Not surprisingly given the current climate, demand for SoulCycle’s at-home bike skyrocketed after safer-at-home orders were issued earlier this spring, necessitating a change in rollout plans for the greater launch. According to Equinox Media and Variis CEO Jason LaRose, “We launched this March to select markets and had planned to test and iterate before going national. With the pandemic, it felt critical to accelerate our roadmap and give our members and riders the ability to pursue fitness from wherever they are. On the first day we started taking SoulCycle at-home bike orders, consumers from 47 states and 11 countries were reaching out to us asking when the bike would be available to them.” 

SoulCycle’s at-home bike experience now includes both on-demand and a growing schedule of live classes. Class length ranges from 20, 30 and 45 minutes, and difficulty from beginner to advanced. Riders can filter by instructor, and peek at class playlists before committing to a ride (something never possible with the in-studio experience). Following rider demand in test markets, SoulCycle and Variis Media accelerated the addition of live classes. These live rides have been a major hit. According to LaRose and member data, “We’ve seen tremendous reception to the launch of our live rides last month—97% of riders have shared positive user satisfaction ratings, and live riders now ride an additional class per week. We are also building in community features that enable riders to see where others are joining from, and how many people they’re riding alongside—so wherever they are, they’re part of the pack.”

Plans for the standalone Variis mobile app launch were similarly expedited, based on Equinox member demand and a spike in at-home usage. Initially intending to introduce the app in a phased rollout in the spring, Variis accelerated the launch by more than six months and expanded from one market to 14 in less than two months. According to member data, since Variis’s member-launch in March, those who use the app are working out nearly 20% more per month compared to last year. Approximately 2.5 of these workouts each week take place via the app, across 2.3 types of classes. The Variis app now offers, via a monthly subscription, unlimited classes across Equinox’s own roster, as well as SoulCycle, PURE Yoga, Precision Run, HeadStrong, and now [solidcore], Rumble and

Wondercise’s on-demand fitness classes pair with your existing smartwatch

If you’re looking for on-demand fitness classes that sync up with the tracker on your wrist, Apple upcoming FItness+ service isn’t your only option. Wondercise, the Taiwanese on-demand fitness service, is rolling out its platform to the wider world. The company claims that, if you have a compatible smartwatch, your movements will sync up on screen in real time to help you keep on top of your form. 



a person that is doing a trick on a skateboard: On-demand fitness class Wondercise promotional image showing an at-home exercise person working out in front of a TV. They don't have a lot of furniture, because the pursuit of fitness is more important than a couch.


On-demand fitness class Wondercise promotional image showing an at-home exercise person working out in front of a TV. They don’t have a lot of furniture, because the pursuit of fitness is more important than a couch.

These on-screen metrics are designed to help trainers focus on their technique and keep parity with their instructors. Speaking of which, you can be taught classes in a number of disciplines, from Kettlebell, Tai Chi through to Resistance Band workouts and Hip Hop Dance. All you need to do is set a fitness goal and the system will produce a playlist of classes to help you on your way. 

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Wondercise works with an Apple Watch Series 3-6, as well as the SE, with compatibility rolling out in the coming weeks. The (long) list of compatible Garmin devices includes most of its smartwatches, as well as the Forerunner 245, 645 and 945, as well as the Music-branded versions. You won’t be able to sync your Garmin devices up until December, unfortunately.

And if you don’t already have a wearable, you can spend $79 to pick up Wondercise’s own smart band that’ll do the same thing. Oh, and you’ll also need to shell out for the $5 a month, or $35-per-year subscription fee for the classes themselves.

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NBC’s ‘Today’ Launches Fitness, Cooking Classes Via Streaming Video



Carson Daly, Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker sitting at a table


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NBC’s “Today” has a new digital-video recipe for the cooking and wellness segments that are a staple of its morning schedule.

Between October 5 and 9, the program’s streaming-video counterpart, “Today All Day,” will host 30-minute “Get Moving With” fitness classes at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. During the week of October 12, the outlet will feature cooking classes that give viewers the chance to sign up for emails with ingredient shopping lists that will be delivered in advance iof the session. The “Get Cooking With” shows will stream at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. eastern.

The “All Day” feed is available on NBC’s Peacock streaming-video hub as well as Today’s web site.

“This is a way to meet the demand we’re seeing from our audience for full-length programming and to experiment with appointment viewing to drive consistent and scheduled viewership,” says Ashley Parrish, vice president of strategic content and executive editor of Today Digital.

NBC News launched “Today All Day” in July in a bid to extend the flagship morning program to digital venues as younger consumers migrate to new streaming venues. The round-the-clock feed, which offers four six-hour blocks, contains segments from recent show archives as well as  original shows starring current “Today” hosts.

The classes will feature a range of instructors and experts. Fitness teachers will include celebrity trainer Isaac Boots and Olympic water polo player Ashleigh Johnson. Cooking teachers will include Nyesha Arrington of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and reality-TV personality Jessie James Decker, as well as “Today” mainstay Al Roker.

“In a time when the pandemic is making it difficult to take classes in-person, head to the gym or get together with friends for a meal, these classes offer a way for viewers to stay healthy and are a fun activity for friends and family to enjoy together virtually,” says Melissa Dunlop, senior producer for Today Digital.

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Virtual fitness classes allow this community battling addiction to gain strength during lockdown

The Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone — but for the nearly 21 million Americans battling addiction, it can be especially harmful.



Scott Strode sitting in front of a laptop computer: Scott Strode's nonprofit is helping people in recovery stay connected and supported during the pandemic.


© Provided by CNN
Scott Strode’s nonprofit is helping people in recovery stay connected and supported during the pandemic.

“For somebody in recovery, social isolation is a really slippery slope,” said Scott Strode, a 2012 CNN Hero. “It can often lead to the relapse.”

Strode knows firsthand the reality of being in recovery. He was able to overcome his addiction to drugs and alcohol through sports and exercise. Encouraged by his success, in 2007 Strode started his non-profit, The Phoenix, to help others deal with their own addiction.

The organization has provided free athletic activities and a sober support community to more than 36,000 people across the United States.

When Covid-19 hit, the organization had to close its gyms and practice social distancing. But the non-profit found a new way to keep those connections — and quickly pivoted to virtual programming.

Now, clients can log on to free virtual classes offered throughout the day — everything from yoga and strength training to meditation and recovery meetings.

“We hadn’t done virtual programming before, but we pretty quickly learned that it allowed the Phoenix to offer programs to rural communities that we historically couldn’t reach,” Strode said.

The group now has people in recovery joining classes from all across the US, and four other countries. They’ve also been able to bring their programming into prisons nationwide by recording content that is then distributed to inmates.

“I don’t think we’re going to find some magic solution that’s going to fix addiction in all of our communities,” Strode said. “I think we have to do it as a community and be there for each other — letting people step into the pride and strength in their recovery can get us out of this.”

CNN’s Phil Mattingly recently joined a Phoenix class and spoke with Strode about his work. Below is an edited version of their conversation.

Phil Mattingly: What is it about these classes that you feel really resonates with people who are generally going through a pretty tough time?

Scott Strode: I always say that people come to the Phoenix for the workout, but they really stay for the friendships. When we face that greater adversity of that workout together, we build a bond. And in that bond, we find a place where we can support each other in our recovery journey. Often times we keep our struggles in the shadows, in this dark place of shame. There’s something really special about finding a community where you can just be open about all the challenges you’ve faced.

I think we’re all in recovery from something. For me, it just happens to be a substance use disorder. And when I find a community that accepts me and loves me for who I am, it just allows me to build different kinds of friendships.

Mattingly: There’s no silver lining or bright

Virtual fitness classes allow this community battling addiction to gain strength during lockdown | Live Well

Mattingly: There’s no silver lining or bright spots for many people over the last several months. Do you feel that whenever we get back to normal, this will end up almost being beneficial for the reach you were able to achieve?

Strode: I do. The idea that people can find recovery support through Phoenix now, really almost anytime, anywhere in the world is really exciting. It’ll just allow it to reach so many more people because of this virtual platform. I didn’t realize how much that was limiting our ability to get our programs to people who really needed it.

It just always lifts my heart to log into a Phoenix virtual class and meet somebody in recovery who’s doing the workout in their basement somewhere in Tennessee, where we don’t even have in-person programs, but they can come to the Phoenix anyway.

Mattingly: For somebody who’s isolated at home right now, and either they’re in recovery or they have a loved one that’s going through it right now, what would be your message to them?

Strode: If you’re at home and you’re either in recovery or you’re even struggling with your addiction right now, just log into a Phoenix class. You just go to thephoenix.org, you pick a virtual class, you drop in. You can turn your camera off. You don’t even have to talk if you don’t want to. But check one out. And what you’ll realize is that there’s individuals just like you that have either overcome their addiction or are trying to overcome it maybe the same way you are.

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Virtual fitness classes allow this community battling addiction to gain strength during lockdown | Health

Mattingly: There’s no silver lining or bright spots for many people over the last several months. Do you feel that whenever we get back to normal, this will end up almost being beneficial for the reach you were able to achieve?

Strode: I do. The idea that people can find recovery support through Phoenix now, really almost anytime, anywhere in the world is really exciting. It’ll just allow it to reach so many more people because of this virtual platform. I didn’t realize how much that was limiting our ability to get our programs to people who really needed it.

It just always lifts my heart to log into a Phoenix virtual class and meet somebody in recovery who’s doing the workout in their basement somewhere in Tennessee, where we don’t even have in-person programs, but they can come to the Phoenix anyway.

Mattingly: For somebody who’s isolated at home right now, and either they’re in recovery or they have a loved one that’s going through it right now, what would be your message to them?

Strode: If you’re at home and you’re either in recovery or you’re even struggling with your addiction right now, just log into a Phoenix class. You just go to thephoenix.org, you pick a virtual class, you drop in. You can turn your camera off. You don’t even have to talk if you don’t want to. But check one out. And what you’ll realize is that there’s individuals just like you that have either overcome their addiction or are trying to overcome it maybe the same way you are.

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Downtown Palm Beach Gardens to host fitness classes beginning Friday

Jodie Wagner
 
| Palm Beach Post

Things to do in Palm Beach Gardens:

1. Downtown Collective x Fitness: Downtown Palm Beach Gardens will host the first of its Downtown Collective x Fitness series Friday morning at Downtown Park.

A socially distanced Fitness for Making Strides class will be held at 9 a.m. Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat or towel and a bottle of water. The workout will have no physical contact.

Admission is $5, cash only.

A Zumba class taught by Joanna Cavalcante will be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. Admission also is $5, cash only.

Downtown Collective x Fitness events include a series of total body conditioning, Tabata and barre-inspired workouts. 

For information, call 561-727-2640 or visit https://downtownpbg.com/.

Downtown Palm Beach Gardens is at 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave.

2. Pluck You!: Tickets are on sale for three performances of Pluck You!, an original play that will be presented Oct. 23-25 at the Palm Beach Institute for the Entertainment Arts in North Palm Beach.

The play is a humorous look at the aging process and both the physical and emotional changes that happen to men and women without warning.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 an 24, and 2 p.m. Oct. 25. Tickets will be limited to the first 25 people each day. 

The play will be co-directed by Palm Beach Institute for the Entertainment Arts Managing Director Donna Carbone and Broadway veteran Avery Sommers.

Tickets are $20, and must be purchased in advance to avoid any social distancing issues at the door. Seating is limited.

Information and tickets are available by calling 561-743-9955. 

Palm Beach Institute for the Entertainment Arts is at 133 U.S. Highway 1, #115.

3. Village 5K Run: The Village of North Palm Beach will host its annual Links 5K Ghost Run as a virtual event this year.

Participants can run or walk 3.1 miles along their favorite path, in their neighborhood or on a treadmill between Oct. 25 and Nov. 7.

Registration is available on the Village website at https://bit.ly/33i0Ccm through Oct. 18. Registration fee is $10.

After the race is completed, participants can send their photos to sbotner@village-npb.org. 

Photos also can be posted to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #Links5k2020. Finisher medals will go out to all who tracked their run/walk and submitted results.

For information, call Anchorage Park at 561-841-3386.

jwagner@pbpost.com

@JRWagner5

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