As a studio owner, you know to capitalize on events around the holidays, but often there are other smaller, more timely events—a local sports championship game, for example—that can be a great way to boost community and fun at your studio.
Kenny Santucci, the program director and manager of the body studio at CrossFit Solace, has had recent success with events at his studio. He says, “Anytime you can capitalize on something going on that you celebrate nationally or citywide, it’s a good time to jump on board and celebrate whatever it is.” Santucci ran a 2-for-1 price for Valentine’s Day, for example, to encourage couples to sign up for class together. But not every month has a holiday, which is why Santucci gets creative with planning and marketing events for his clients. Solace’s latest endeavor? A series of events called Crunch and Brunch, which includes a workout and post-workout brunch with the class.
Santucci says the events, which will soon have shirts that read ‘This Is My Brunch Shirt,” are a great way to expand the community of your clients beyond the studio and take people from working out with a group, to actually being part of one. He’s found that restaurants are happy to cater to these events, too, since most fitness groups will start eating well before the big crunch crowd starts around noon.
“It’s a win-win, a bunch of revenue for them,” he says. “And a fun group for us.” As an added benefit, instructors can socialize and familiarize themselves with clients, therefore boosting the likelihood of those customers returning to your studio if they know a friendly face.
When brainstorming ideas for your own studio, don’t be afraid to get creative. Overthrow in New York City offers a Boxing and Booze event every Friday, where clients get a PBR while they’re stretching out. Uplift Studios, a women-only workout in NYC and LA, organizes “Uplift Your Career” sessions with speakers targeted towards young women looking to grow professionally. Y7 Studio hosts weekly #hiphopwednesdays and #hiphopsundays to showcase what their hip hop-themed, “sweat dripping, beat bumping, candlelit yoga” is all about. A recent class was called Drake Yoga Flow, for example.
Not everything has to have a theme, though. Many studios get creative by teaming up with other studios to mix up their offerings. In New York, FLEX Studios partnered with CYC to host a two-a-day workout that included 45 minutes of spin and 45 minutes of barre or pilates, with a fun reception afterwards. Both studios were able to get exposure to new clients they may not have had before.
Events or themed classes are also a great way to promote any deals and perks you may be offering. Flywheel, for example, hosts themed classes like Friday Beats and Sundays at the Barre, encouraging members to take any two of their new themed classes to earn a free class.
Santucci warns, though, that some events, if done too well, can make it difficult to meet demand.
“It’s hard to advertise on social media because you get so many people interested,” he says. “As soon as we put something on social media, it’ll sell out.” Of course, that’s a good problem for any studio owner to have.