The pandemic put a halt on gatherings and social events, but as we’ve adapted to the new normal and with the arrival of summer, now is a great time to bring your fitness community back together again.
The Active Wellness Marketing team shares some of our event ideas, best practices, how to engage your community, and how we are approaching things a little differently now in our fitness centers. Enjoy!
- Host outdoors - Hosting an event outside is a great way to bring in new people who might be hesitant or want to enjoy the beautiful summer weather!
- Scavenger hunt in the club - This is always a fun game to add to any type of event.
- Enter to win activity - Create an enter to win giveaway for fitness swag, free ancillary services, or other prizes from your community partners. Collect name and email and send all the entries a special offer or guest pass to come back in for a free workout.
- Taste of membership - Offer a little of something for guests so they truly get a taste of what your membership offering is.
- Specialty classes - Work with your team to deliver unique, fun and different classes that will drive in your members and their guests to try.
- Live music - Everyone likes a DJ, local musician or band!
- Happy hour - Make healthy mocktails and/or cocktails. Partnering with local coffee shops, breweries and wineries is always a great way to drive in new members of the community. Be sure to cross-promote with any event partner as a way to all businesses to market to new customers.
- Shopping party - Invite like-minded local businesses to table or host a pop-up store.
- Welcome local groups - Moms groups, senior groups, or any local clubs are great groups that meet up and would all love a new space - and your gym might be the perfect place.
Support other local businesses in your area. Pick up the phone or stop by businesses to connect with local partners to collaborate on events. It’s a win-win for both of you! Type of businesses to partner with might include:
- Boutiques. From everyday clothing to fitness apparel, local boutiques are great partners to bring in your club and encourage them to invite their customers.
- Food trucks or restaurants. Have them help with catering at your next event or see if they will let you have a healthy menu item in collaboration with your business name on the menu.
- Local bands or artists that want to get their name out there.
- Non-profit partners including: fundraising classes, hosting clothing, toy or food drives in support
- Local coffee shops, local breweries and wineries.
- Animal Shelters: host an adoption event or a fundraising class Many are struggling post-pandemic and could use the extra attention and support. Plus, everybody loves our furry friends!
COVID Precautions for Events
- Provide sanitation and masks available as an option.
- While some are ready to return to life as normal, others are easing back in with reservations. Help ease concerns by sharing a ‘what to expect’ information on your event page, including information on mask requirements, social distancing and sanitation practices.
- You may even consider wrist bands that indicate attendees’ comfort level, with color designations like green for “high-fives welcome” and red to indicate “please maintain social distance.”
- If possible, phrases like, “masks are optional but remain welcome” can help ease concerns.
Determine Cost: And No–It Doesn’t Have To Be Free!
An event doesn’t have to be free to be open to the community. In fact, many now place a higher value on in-person experiences and expect to pay a nominal fee of $10-$30 to attend. You may also see a lower attribution rate with fewer no-shows when people have paid even a small amount like $5 upfront to save their spot. Don’t be shy about covering your costs, or better yet, collecting a donation for a great community cause.
Before the event: Get the Word Out
- Contact former prospects and members
- Your sales funnel likely slowed during temporary closures, but those prospects you contacted before your doors closed may now be interested in re-engaging and getting back into the gym now. Reconnect and let prospects know about your event.
- Leverage your corporate and community partners who might not have an onsite gym to help spread the event to their contacts as well
- Digital promotions are a must for any event. We like email, social media, Nextdoor, and free sites to list events in particular. If you are partnered with any influencers this could be a great way to get the word out about your event.
*Pro Tip: Be sure to create Facebook Events for any community activities, including fee-based classes like yoga or cycling that are open to non-members with a registration. People may come across your events when searching “yoga classes near me this weekend” on Facebook when they otherwise might not have found you.
Active Wellness is a fitness center management and consulting company. Our marketing department functions as a boutique fitness marketing agency with proven strategies to engage your community. Our services include:
- Brand Strategy
- Environmental Design
- Digital Marketing
- Website Development
- Loyalty & Engagement
Contact us here to learn more about our fitness center management, fitness staffing or fitness center design services.
You might also like:
Jessica is the Marketing Manager for Active Wellness and leads our B2C strategy for our partners with a focus on medical fitness including overseeing the marketing at our Active Wellness Center locations. Jessica’s 10+ years of fitness marketing experience combined with a background in the community sector gives her unique insight on creating mission-based brand experiences that support membership growth and retention. She has been featured in industry publications like Club Solutions and as a speaker at IHRSA's International Convention, Medical Fitness Association Annual Conference and Club Industry's Future of Fitness 2021. Jessica works from her home state of Tennessee where she enjoys hiking, yoga and time with her two active boys.