Owning and operating a gym is no easy feat. After all, look at the COVID-19 pandemic over 1.5 million gym employees and 22% of gyms and studios closed their doors for good in 2021.
But pandemics aren’t the only challenges gym owners face; there are recessions, tough neighborhood competition, managing retention, an increase in digital fitness, attracting non-members, and much more.
Therefore running a successful gym requires wearing multiple hats and deserves to be recognized and appreciated at every yearly milestone. If you haven’t already, you must consider celebrating your gym’s anniversary each year.
In this article, we will look at why you should celebrate your gym anniversary, what to consider before hosting, and 9 ideas to celebrate. Skip ahead to:
Why celebrate your gym’s anniversary?
Whenever setting up as a gym or a boutique studio, you can often have the stacks against you with a failure rate of 81%.
Looking at these figures can soon cause you as a fitness entrepreneur to jump into survival mode, with determination and working on your management, looking into the future, and forgetting how far you’ve already come.
The truth is, an anniversary celebration can be an important contributor to the success your fitness center holds in the future. Part of the reason for this is that it can be a unique marketing technique to help retain your current members, improve team morale, grow your community, and, most importantly, your sales.
After all, 52% of business leaders across a range of industries feel that marketing is their biggest return of investment with a ratio of 3:1-5:1. Plus, it’s believed that 70% of visitors to a market event can become regular members, making it a fantastic form of lead generation.
Moreover, a yearly anniversary party can help put your gym on the map, grow your reputation and make you look like a leader in your industry. These are just a few benefits; there are actually a lot more that exist, which is why amongst all the downfalls and positive moments, your gym experiences deserve to be celebrated.
What to consider before hosting your gym anniversary
Before you jump right into hosting your gym anniversary, you must think about a few factors; in order for your event to be a major success; therefore you will want to think about the following:
Method of promotion
If you truly want to make your gym anniversary an event to remember, you must be organized have a robust promotion plan. At first, it may be difficult to know where to begin, but as soon as your planning for the event starts, so should your marketing planning. After all, if you didn’t have a promotion strategy, how would you get people talking about your anniversary?
If you’re stuck for ideas, you can find a lot of marketing templates online to help get your plan started. While planning, it’s also a good idea to start thinking about what other methods you will use like social media, print advertising, specific brand advertising, and more.
How regularly do you update your company website? For many, a company website is a sign of credibility and authority on the internet. Many people visit websites to verify the information they’ve found on social media posts and blogs.
If you’re planning on a big event for your anniversary, you could choose to have a different website or make it the center of your existing one.
Doing this is essential, as it can be the primary page members can visit to gain information such as registration and details of the event.
You will need to include the key information about the address and make it persuasive enough, so members want to register on your website. You might even want to go a step further and hire some experts to help you collect and streamline information from potential attendees, member sign-ups, and fill-in forms.
Event email and/or SMS marketing
One of the best ways of a marketing event is through people who are already in your community. If you’ve already got members in your gym who have consented to receive email or SMS notifications, you might want to market your event with messages to them.
Doing this effectively can help get them interested, talking about your event, and even potentially a few sign-ups before it begins! Remember, though, you don’t want to spam your members with messages as they could unsubscribe, preventing them from accessing important gym information in the future!
Social media promotion
If you’re present on social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, you should promote your even on each platform you’re on. Doing this can be a cheaper form of marketing than print advertising, and you can often gain a larger reach and interest in your event.
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Depending on the type of event you plan on hosting for your gym anniversary, you might want to gain certain sponsors. Sponsors are useful as they help gain more interest in your event and make it that little bit cheaper to run. But, if you plan on attracting sponsors, you will also need a marketing plan to help pitch to them!
When thinking about event sponsors, you might want to think about local businesses that are related to your such as sportswear or supplements. This will help you build greater professional relationships and make the event more exciting. Plus, you don’t have to get them to fund your event; you could get them to contribute by giving prizes, experiences, deals, and vouchers.
When hosting your gym anniversary, you should always consider your budget for the event, such as the budget to market it and run it. Make sure you factor in things such as direct costs like venue cost, food, and drink, entertainment, rental and more.
Similarly, it would help if you thought about indirect costs like the costs of the activity and event as a whole. To gain a better insight into your budget, it’s probably best you coordinate with your finance team.
9 Top gym anniversary ideas
When it comes to celebrating your gym anniversary, the sky is definitely not the limit, and there’s no short of events to plan. To give you some creative ideas, you could consider doing the following:
A danceathon or marathon
One fun idea to get people to celebrate your anniversary is hosting a community event such as a challenge. Two simple yet effective ideas are a danceathon and a marathon.
The reason they’re great is your members can get involved, and so can people from the community, leading more attention to your gym. You can even go a step further and tie your anniversary event to a charity, making attendees raise money for a greater cause.
Gym membership discounts
Milestones can be celebrated by offering specific gym membership discounts to existing and new members in your gym. For example, you could offer free classes or personal training sessions for new members or a specific percentage of existing members.
Membership discounts can be a good way to upsell your gym services during this period. However, to do this effectively, you must review your membership and pricing plans to develop a unique offer that can lure people into using your services.
Inhouse seminars or workshops
Let gym members build on their knowledge by offering theory-based or technical workshops to boost their skill sets. Most of the time, workshops give them practical knowledge, whereas seminars are more theory-based.
You can go a step further and get professional athletes or sports-related speakers to host these events. Plus, you can also open them up for non-gym members and charge for attendance, whereas keeping it free for your members allows them to feel like they’re gaining exclusive benefits from your gym.
A fitness retreat
Another great way to grow your community is by hosting a retreat on the anniversary of your gym. The retreat could be inside or outside the country, but whatever it is, it can attract new members and boost your income.
Another way to build your community is by hosting a fitness challenge, which might help boost your retention. The fitness challenge can be anything covering a specific timed event, over a distance, or the number of calories burned. When organizing a fitness challenge, you must think carefully about what it could be and who you want to target.
For example, if you’re running a competition, it’s likely more competitive people will want to enter so they can win. Similarly, if you’re hosting a challenge that’s easy to achieve by all, more people might want to participate as it’s more inclusive.
A dedicated event hashtag can be a great technique to help promote your event prior, during, and after it happened. Try and come up with an easy-to-use yet memorable one your members can use on social media channels. Depending on the type of event, get members to post during it to generate organic content to promote your gym.
Host a tasting event
Does your gym have a restaurant or cafe? If so, you might want to host a tasting event specifically for members. Think about getting your members to sample new snacks, smoothies, menus, and more.
Throw a party
One easy option of celebrating your gym is doing it the traditional way by hosting a party. Doing this can allow you to invite people of all ages to celebrate your gym.
It’s also beneficial to members who are family orientated as they can bring their children to the event. If hosting a party, make sure you plan lots of games and activities for everyone to make it that bit more exciting. Also, factor in if you’re going to do it indoors, outdoors, and the event space.
Another effective way of celebrating your gym anniversary is by giving away free stuff like fitness gifts. But, the trick is you don’t want to give away anything; you should try and give away items that market your gym brand well. For example, some gift ideas are a branded reusable water bottle, sweat towel, t-shirt, yoga mat, and more. Doing this will not only allow existing members to feel valued but will also help you effectively market your gym outside.
Overall, opening and running a gym is a difficult challenge, especially with the rise of digital fitness in today’s times. Upon each year since opening, it’s important as a fitness entrepreneur that you celebrate all the highs and lows in an anniversary milestone. Not only is it a chance to enjoy, but it can also help boost engagement and be an effective method of lead generation. Therefore, you should remember to plan your event and market it well.
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