Create a community in your club
Engaging a member with events and activities shows that you are putting their needs and experience above that of profit for the club… but we all know that a happy member is a loyal member and those loyal members are what keep us making profit.
In my club I engaged members in various ways to keep them motivated and to feel that the gym was their club, their “3rd space” other than work and home. I turned my customers into a community.
Creating this community feel within the club will not only keep your members confident that you care about them as a person (rather than just their exercise results) but they will also have a fear of loss if they do not attend… many of my members would turn up at the club even if they had no intention of training just to see what was going on.
I created various challenges for members as well as social events. These events cost very little to organise and implement but will save you a fortune in advertising costs to replace those members that you have lost.
2014 sees a great summer of sport and shared experiences which can be utilised to create some community activities within your club. The World Cup and the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire and London are just two of the main events you can use for community activities over the next couple of months.
Here are a few ideas that will create a community at your club:
- The World Cup and Tour de France – Spinning class challenges linked to the Tour’s route; sweepstakes for winners of both events; communal viewing of the main events on TV… think of ways to encourage people INTO your club during these events, rather than the danger of these events in fact keeping people at home!
- Coast-to-coast challenge – Create a map of the country and for each mile a member completes on the treadmill they are able to move 1 mile along a predetermined route on the map. So, rather than someone just “going on the treadmill” they actually have an incentive to get across the country and complete the challenge. If a member completes 2 miles a session in 2 sessions a week they would complete the challenge in 8 months. For those members on rolling contracts this helps to keep them at the club.
- Friday coffee morning – Generally Fridays are the quietest day in your club so offering a coffee morning in reception or a dedicated coffee area will boost secondary spend as well as increase member interaction. Attend yourself to allow members to give feedback in a neutral environment.
- Community fundraising events – events such as Race for Life are very popular with the local community and you will probably find that many of your members currently take part. By entering a club team you can create a real feelgood spirit. Why not supply participating members with a free branded t-shirt – great free exposure to potential new members.
- Slimming club – Many members will already attend slimming clubs and the regular weigh-in is a real motivation for people to lose weight. By creating your OWN club, members can save money by not attending outside clubs and it will improve your members’ results while in the gym.
- Regular newsletter – A great way to keep in contact with your members and inform them of events. Let members know what is going on behind the scenes and on days when they don’t attend your club. Create staff profiles, latest fitness news as well as advertising for products you sell behind reception.
Spending a little time creating a calendar of events at your club will make a real difference to your retention rates as well as turning your club into the community club that really cares about its members.