The classes you offer are a defining feature of your studio – students come to you looking for specific exercises and often want to develop skills and strength in the disciplines you provide. Offering tailored workshops can provide a next-level experience for your studio-goers, giving them a chance to hone skills and achieve their fitness goals. Consider the following steps when creating your next successful workshop.
1. Source the right theme
Leverage the knowledge and experience of your instructors based on their interactions with studio participants. Learn from about aspects of their classes that tend to be challenging or of most interest to those who attend. Also, consider integrating crowdsourcing, or in-studio polling to hear from your patrons about what they would love to focus on in a workshop. Get the information you need directly from the source.
2. Consider the logistics
When you’ve determined what the workshop will be and why you’ve selected that skill/topic/theme, it’s important to pick the right date, time, and location (most likely your studio) for the workshop(s). A critical aspect of determining these details will be understanding who you are targeting. Are these individuals available during the day or will most be coming after work? When it comes to day selection, look at your regular classes to see which days are consistently well-attended. For some, weekend workshops could be successful; for others, it may make more sense to provide it during a weeknight. Another detail to determine is the duration of your workshop. When considering this you’ll want to clearly state why this workshop is different than a typical class and what will be accomplished. Perhaps a normal class duration is appropriate to focus on one skill; whereas other workshops might call for a “half-day” or weekend approach. Look at studios and gyms like yours and get a feel for what others may be doing. Also, don’t forget to ask your studio members. The key is to focus on your target participant and what they would prefer.
3. Plan for the necessities
Workshops are a chance for individuals to refine, strengthen, and improve upon a skill, which means the experience should be enhanced compared to a regular class. Consider whether you’ll want to have additional support to provide participants in the way props or materials in order to achieve the desired result. From hand-outs to gear or apparel, these details can help participants feel and recognize the value of the workshop by offering an added level of motivation, support, instruction, and guidance.
4. Get the word out
Regardless of how great your workshop may be, if people don’t know about it, you won’t be able to fill it! Start by creating signage to place throughout your facility and have your instructors mention the upcoming workshops. Make sure your staff is knowledgeable about the details and where students can learn more or sign up. Beyond your studio, leverage any online presence you have. Update your website to reflect upcoming class schedules and special events like your workshop(s). Use your social media accounts to announce and create buzz for these events. Encourage enrollment by offering promotions or discounts within certain windows or by engaging in a specific request (e.g. refer a friend). Remember to share why you’re offering the workshop. Is it a most-requested skill or topic? Do you have a special limited-time instructor? Is the workshop specific to a season or time of year? Whatever it is, make it a part of the marketing message that helps capture attention and motivate visitors to participate.
5. Measure for success
The conclusion of your workshop is not necessarily the conclusion of the process. Make follow-up an integral part of the workshop experience for participants. Solicit feedback to understand areas that were successful as well as areas that could be improved. Take this post-event opportunity as a chance to see how individuals feel about what they learned and how they feel they are progressing. That personal touch will help increase engagement and create even greater value for your studio patrons. Re-visit sales and attendance rates to gauge how to improve or what to consider for the next workshop.
Well thought-out events will increase engagement and enthusiasm – which is beneficial for participants and the studio alike. These workshops provide an excellent extension of your regular offerings and create another avenue of value for both you and those who visit your studio.