January is a time when many new members join the gym and commit to some sort of healthy New Year resolutions. Keeping your members motivated past the January boom is a big task. Considering half of all new members quit within six months of joining the gym, member engagement and retention are hot topics.
Fitness events not only keep your existing members loyal and happy but can be helpful in attracting new ones. Events can be as small as a healthy cooking demonstration or as big as a two-week yoga retreat. The best fitness events depend on your brand, target audience, goals, and budget. In this article, we look at current fitness industry trends and give you some fitness event ideas to kickstart your 2022.
- Current fitness industry trends
- Why host fitness events
- 10 wellness and fitness events to get your members moving
Current fitness industry trends
As we move into 2022, there’s a continued focus on wearable tech. This year could be a pivotal year for fitness in the hopes that the COVID crisis finally eases up as the vaccine rollout continues across the world. By understanding the latest fitness trends in the industry, you can look to create fitness events that reflect current trends and have demand. Create a space where members can connect.
More people are honing down what makes them feel good and incorporating tracking into various areas of their life. Advances in technology mean that fitness trackers are getting more powerful. It’s no longer a niche market; it’s something that your standard person can use and benefit from, not just a fitness fanatic. The wearables market is expected to reach 344.9 million shipments in 2022, led by fitness and sports trackers. The upward trend in growth shows the demand for personal health and fitness data in making healthy lifestyle decisions.
Some of this year’s top trends look set to be the home gym, outdoor exercise, and bootcamps. While trends come and go and we will likely see new ones pop up throughout the year, this is a great place to start. Think about how you can tap into the home gym market with an online-only fitness event designed specifically for your digital members or make the most of outdoor exercise.
Why host fitness events
Planning a fitness event takes time, budget, and a great understanding of your target audience. While it can feel a little stressful pulling everything together, especially for large-scale events or retreats, they can be hugely beneficial for your fitness business.
Keep members loyal
The member experience is important to your retention strategy. When you want to elevate your fitness business and create a cult following of members, the member experience has a big role to play. The experience builds along every touchpoint of your business and it’s one of the reasons that members leave your gym and feel compelled to share how wonderful your brand is. Fitness events can increase member satisfaction and loyalty, boosting retention.
Encourage word of mouth
Fitness events can create buzz and excitement. If you create and host an engaging and exciting event, your members are more likely to tell their friends and family about your brand. Through organic word of mouth off the back of fitness events, you can open up your business to plenty of new leads.
Encourage members and customers to use your fitness event hashtag and run a social media campaign around the event. Fitness events can be a great way to create user-generated content that you can use to create buzz around future events or as an organic way to market your business. User-generated content is transparent, relatable, and effective in marketing. This is especially true when you see a normal person using your services and seeing results; it creates trust.
Additional income streams
Running events alongside your gym business can create additional streams of revenue. Fitness events not only add value to members but can be a good source of income to manage quieter months. For instance, you can plan fitness events around times of the year when there is a natural slump in members to not only attract new members but an additional revenue stream.
For expert insight, listen to Chris Stevenson talk about the importance of the member experience on The Fitness Founders Podcast. Chris is a 20 year veteran of the fitness industry and IHRSA board member, he discusses the key factors of a great member experience and how you can use data to improve the experience.
The essentials of a successful fitness event
As fitness events come in all shapes and sizes, the actual planning and time needed will change depending on your event. But to create a successful fitness event, you should start with the following:
- Target audience – a deep understanding of your target audience and who will be joining your fitness event.
- Timeline – the time you have to organize logistics, plan, and set up your fitness event.
- Goals – what you intend on achieving through your fitness event. This could be to increase brand awareness, launch a new service, or boost member retention.
- Budget – how much budget do you have to dedicate to this project?
Although there are a lot of other spinning cogs when planning a fitness event, the foundation remains the same. By knowing your who and why, you can organize your how and plan for logistics. To help get you started, we’ve pulled together a quick guide on organizing a fitness event that goes into more detail with step-by-step instructions on how to begin.
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10 wellness and fitness events to get your members moving
Wellness and fitness events are a great way to gain interest from both members and non-members, raise brand awareness, and create additional revenue streams. There are a lot of options for fitness events from a one-day sports day to a seven-week bootcamp. By starting with your goals and target audience, you can start to build a fitness event your audience will love. Here are ten fitness event ideas to get your members moving.
Socials include events that give your members or non-members a chance to connect and interact with each other. The primary aim of social gatherings is to nurture your fitness community. You are creating a space for connection so that your community can continue to grow in and outside of the gym. Events could include a non-alcoholic night out, silent disco, healthy dinners, or a special after-hours personal training session for a select group. The point of these social gatherings is to nurture bonds and create a welcoming environment.
Fitness challenges, contests, and competitions are ideal for creating a sense of competition. Challenges work for a large number of people, both members, and non-members. If you’re looking to motivate members and really engage your target audience to achieve a specific result, fitness challenges are perfect. They build a sense of community and can help members to hit goals and see progress, which can do wonders for your retention strategy. A fitness contest tends to have a prize and could be more targeted towards your experienced gym-goers. Whereas, a fitness challenge usually involves everyone, but can still be great for motivation.
One-off free fitness class
If you’re launching a new class or looking to pique local interest and attract new members, a one-off free fitness class could be a good idea. It’s a great way to give non-members a taster session into your gym without offering free memberships. For a launch event, you could invite local fitness influencers to the event with the aim of creating more buzz around your new class or fitness instructor. A one-off free fitness or yoga class also works for workshops as it gives you the opportunity to show your authority, help the local community, and raise awareness.
Morning dance event
Events like Daybreaker and Morning Gloryville have paved the way for wellness raves and sober morning dance party events. With live music, non-alcoholic drinks, and movement, you can create your own morning dance party events. Fitness events are ideal for doing something out of the ordinary for your members. They give you a chance to create a unique member experience. If you have dance or Zumba classes, a morning dance event would be ideal for your audience.
Charity group fitness classes
With charity group fitness classes, the money raised for the event goes to your chosen charity. Holding charity fundraising events can increase your awareness and highlight your business in a positive light. As many people love to give to charity, it will likely bring in some new leads from non-members. In addition, charity events can increase media coverage. Bring in a special guest instructor for a charity event or host a unique bodyweight session. Survey your members to ask for their chosen charity. By including your members, they feel like they have a part to play in the donation and will be more motivated to attend.
Bootcamps around certain times and holidays are great for upping motivation and helping members achieve fitness goals. A good example is a Valentine’s bootcamp, but it also works for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the summer. Bootcamps could be a one-off session or over several weeks to improve cardio fitness. You can carry out a weekend bootcamp alongside your normal gym activities. Because outdoor exercise is so popular, tapping into this fitness trend is a good way to maximize your revenue.
Half marathon training program
The focus of the training program will depend on your members and target audience. If you have many runners and there’s a local half marathon, you may get a sense that a half marathon training program would be beneficial. The best way to find this out is to survey your existing members and evaluate fitness levels so you can build an effective program. A half marathon training program can run over several weeks and give participants personalized programs to help them achieve their goals. A training program also works for a triathlon, cycling, rowing, and sports, if you have the demand.
Healthy recipe tasting events
Nutrition is a huge part of fitness and living a healthy life. It’s also something that is a big obstacle for many. Fitness is a part of the overall health puzzle alongside nutrition and wellness. A healthy cooking demonstration or recipe tasting event is beneficial for members to learn more about food. The event also positions you as an authority and showcases your want to help people improve their health & fitness. In turn, this can increase brand awareness and member satisfaction. You have the option to stream fitness events as well so your home members can join too and follow along.
Fitness and wellness retreats
Retreats, wellness tourism, and fitness holidays are growing sectors. Although they require more work and time to plan, they can bring in a steady stream of income to the business. Weekends away, Pilates retreats, and mindfulness breaks give members the opportunity to connect with your brand on a personal level and elevate the brand. Fitness retreats can target both members and non-members, and include locations all over the world.
Pop-up fitness class
A pop-up fitness class or event gives you the opportunity to generate buzz in a new location or with a new class offering. These types of events give you the chance to bring in new people and spread awareness in a previously untapped location. You can use parks for pop-up classes or arrange partnerships with local businesses. Try hosting a pop-up HIIT (high-intensity interval training) in a new location to build excitement surrounding a launch.
There are a ton of possibilities and opportunities for upcoming fitness events. Depending on your target audience, goals, and budget, you can create a fitness event that your customers love while increasing member retention and loyalty. Whether you’re looking to create a buzz around a launch, add another stream of income, or build brand awareness, fitness events are a valuable tool for your business and are sure to kickstart your 2022 in style.