5 tips for welcoming gym members back to the club

A March 2021 Club Industry report indicates that membership levels are between 50 and 60 percent compared to March 2020, with many members on freeze without a committed return date. New data suggests that members do eventually want to return to the club - help guide them back through the doors with these tips.

How to guide your members back to the gym with a safe and unbeatable experience:

1. Help members create an attainable and measurable fitness goal.

Achieving a short term goal will give them a sense of accomplishment and in turn, a dopamine surge in the brain that will leave them seeking that same rush of pleasure once again. It could be as simple as attending two classes per week or increasing their FTP in their Stages Studio account by 5 watts. Before they know it, they’ll have a lasting fitness habit and will be committed to the program. Consider running a goal-oriented challenge so members can help keep each other accountable and work together towards success.

2. Offer members a personalized workout experience.

Now that they have an established goal, give them a workout to simply follow along with to reduce the barrier to get started. They might prefer to gain confidence by riding with a virtual guide on the cardio floor, or might feel more motivated by following a workout personalized to their level but alongside their friends in the group environment. Allow them to book a bike in the group cycling room so they have a bike waiting for them and commit to working out. They'll appreciate it when they hop off the bike sweaty, and with workout stats in their inbox.

3. Create a unique experience by investing in innovation in your group class programming.

Bring elements of what your members have grown to love on their fitness apps during lockdown into the studio, but with the unbeatable atmosphere of camaraderie. Offer workouts with visual stimulation and enable post-workout email summaries with members' analytics. These digital elements will in turn attract the connected, tech savvy generations such as Gen Z and Gen X, who are your growth opportunity. Incorporate their desire for challenging and results-driven experiences into your programming. Tech companies are quickly creating competing solutions for your members to use at home, but an experience where the latest innovation meets group camaraderie will be an unbeatable match.

4. Bring your instructor team back up to speed with an online course or a virtual group training.

Top-notch trained instructors will be one of your greatest assets. If you’re still working on re-opening plans or are in a limited reopening phase, now is a great time for instructors to dive into an online training course from the safety of their own home. They will brush up on their knowledge, learn new tricks and tips, and will undoubtedly feel a renewed sense of excitement to get back on the podium with a education certificate in hand. Recruiting new instructors? Showing that you'll invest in their career by offering training will make for an attractive offer, and will result in a consistently high-quality experience for your members.

5. Ensure member safety within the club.

List out what you’re doing to ensure the safety of your members, and share pictures so that they can visualize their safe return. Aside from complying with the local guidelines and increasing ventilation, you might consider spacing out bikes on the cardio floor with a digitally guided workout. Once you've outlined what safety measures you've taken, use social media to engage with your members. Encourage them to share their safe return, incentivize them to bring a friend, ask them to provide feedback. Word of mouth is always a top marketing tool!

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