4 Steps to Holding an Open House at Your Fitness Business
The good old open house. You probably hear the word open house and think back to your days in primary school when all the parents got invited to walk around the school, eat some cookies and juice, and look at their children’s artwork on the walls. At least that’s how it was at my school. However, an open house can also be a great way to gyms to get more members. People will get an inside look at your facility, they’ll see a class in action, and they might even sign up to join your gym right on the spot.
That said, having an open house isn’t as simple as just opening your doors one day. The last thing you want is to have no one show up and your open house to be a complete failure. To avoid this situation, we here at FitnessTexter have put together a little guide to holding your first open house.
1. Schedule a Date with Plenty of Lead-Up Time
Lead time, one of the best things you can do when you’re scheduling any sort of party. There’s nothing worse than being in a time crunch; having to cut corners and produce a so-so quality event. That said, sit down with your marketing team and schedule a date at least 3 months in the future. This will give you ample time to work out the logistics of your open house. Not enough time and you’ll be in a hurry, too much time and you’ll be wasting your time planning the first when you could already be planning the second.
2. Encourage Current Members to Participate in a Demo Class
One of the must have events at your open house is going to be a demo class. If you’re inviting a bunch of potential new members to your facility, they’re going to want to be able to watch a workout to see if they like it. This is especially true for those CrossFit box owners that are reading this. Most people are very confused by what CrossFit is, so they’d be more than willing to watch a workout in action. So, recruit a handful of your most loyal members and see if they’d be willing to be part of a demo class. Maybe do a 15-minute bootcamp or a 5-minute WOD. Nothing crazy, but just something to give the open house guests something to watch.
3. Talk with Local Organic Restaurants about Catering the Event
Getting corporate sponsors for an event can be kind of hard, but many restaurants will work with you. If you’re going to have an open house, you need to have some sort of food. Remember the juice and cookies at the grade school open houses? Yeah, just like that. So, head on over to the local organic (or at least healthy) restaurant in town and see if they’d be willing to cater your event (for free or for a discounted rate). They can set up a little marketing stand in your business so that people can chat with them about the food and they can get the word out about their business. It’s a simple way for them to get some new people trying their food, and you’ll have something for guests to eat when they’re touring your facility.
4. Reach Out to Local Media about Getting Some Coverage
This one is a bit of a stretch, but if you can figure out a newsworthy angle for your open house, you might be able to get some free PR and have a local news crew come and write a story about your event or even get some on air footage. You’ll have to figure out how to spin your event so that it’s newsworthy, but if you do that, you’ll be able to reap some huge rewards.