The Value Of Holding Events
What do you do for your marketing and promotions currently? Hopefully, you are connecting with local businesses and getting creative with trial memberships. But in addition to that, have you been sponsoring or holding events that bring people into your gym space?
These days, you can put any unused capacity to work better by getting involved locally. Do some networking by using a web-based or mobile application like meetup.com and Eventbrite to connect with like-minded fitness fans around you. This can extend to promotions, sponsorships and even to organizing paid events.
Get Some Digital Leverage With MeetUp.com
Go to a few meetups and find out where you fit in. I’m pretty sure there will be one that stands out as the one for you. Potentially you can offer services and even take a leadership role.
You can get a lot of mileage from just having a crowd gather to work out or to do a yoga class or hosting a talk about the value and risks of certain kinds of fitness trends such as CrossFit or other HIIT programs. Having the local circuit-training club in your gym once a month might get members asking questions about becoming your members.
You potentially have a great opportunity to get some feedback from committed enthusiasts about what is in demand and what doesn’t work for them. That’s at least as good as any focus group study you’d pay thousands of dollars to a consultant for.
How you choose to run an event is dictated really by the purpose that the event serves. Who will be going and what is the purpose? For casual periodic get-togethers, meetup.com works just fine, but if you want to do anything more elaborate there’s Eventbrite. This app is free to use as an event management platform if your event is free.
Just because you’re not charging entry it doesn’t mean that you don’t want to keep track of attendance. Eventbrite gives you some planning and show runner tools and ticketing services. If you charge entry, it’s conventional to pass the Eventbrite fee to the ticket purchaser.
When you get to the point of hosting events regularly and for more than just local enthusiasts you can leverage your credibility by providing additional features like the Whova mobile app, which was originally intended to compete with Eventbrite but the founders wisely pivoted to facilitate networking between attendees. They now integrate with Eventbrite and have become a great resource for connecting at events.
Sponsorship doesn’t have to take the form of cash payment between marketing departments. The world would be a much duller place if that were true, right? You can offer your space for free or provide some products and merchandise that gets leverage. Make it whatever you have on hand that’s already been paid for and is now sitting in your closet.
Even if you just lend the event promoters some of your folding tables and chairs it’s still enough to get a mention in the announcements and the promotions material. You might even get a backlink to your website from a major brand’s website which helps your site get traffic.
Don’t forget to do a giveaway for some goodies like a few branded t-shirts. If you have to commit resources or invest a payment of some kind, mark it down directly as part of your marketing budget.
The Events And Sponsorship Rundown
Sponsorship can be a great marketing and promotions exercise, which could ultimately lead you to refocus your gym and pivoting to a new model, or just bring in new members. Seriously, there could be something out there that you hadn’t considered:
- Get involved and network with local groups through meetup.com
- Provide sponsorship or host a meet up at your gym
- Lead the way with your own meetup group
- Host free ticketed events at your gym
- Host paid events at your gym
Reap the reward with new members until you need to start a wait list or raise your prices. Let’s hope so.
OK, so this has been a pretty broad outline of how to do some great things. At this point, it is up to you to come up with what to do. That might seem like the most difficult part. But given the above tools I’d like to think that, once you put your mind to work, it will be the most fun and rewarding part.
Elivate. Events for Driving Sales in Your Health Club. August 22, 2014. http://clubindustry.com/managementoperations/events-driving-sales-your-health-club (accessed October 25, 2015).
Fagan, Lawrance. Health Club Promotions That Give Back. May 12, 2014. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2657-health-club-promotions-that-give-back/ (accessed September 10, 2015).
Pozin, Ilya. 5 Essential Tools You Need To Make Event Planning Easy. September 24, 2015. http://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/5-essential-tools-you-need-to-make-event-planning-easy.html (accessed October 25, 2015).