5 Steps to Setting Up an Open House at Your Gym
Opening a fitness business can be a daunting task. Besides all the legal work, there’s construction, hiring and advertising work to get done, the so-called “Business of Fitness.” I’m not going to go into the complexities of opening a gym today. I will, however, go into the process of having a successful open house for your gym. Two things will happen when you open your business. You’ll either have a line our the door, or you’ll hear crickets for the first few weeks. There’s no better way to increase membership than to make sure you have people lined up outside your doors when you open for business. How do you get these people interested in your business before it open? Simple, hold an open house! Here’s how.
Choose Your Date Carefully
First and foremost, sit down with your marketing team and make sure you pick a date far enough into the future that you’re not going to be scrambling to put together a so-so open house. The last thing you want is a half-assed event that people attend and immediately leave. You want it to be an fun personal event, not just a sales event. I’d personally recommend a week before your grand opening. That way, most of the people who attend will be able to start working out at your facility within a week of your event.
Put Up Marketing Materials
Once you have a date in mind, you’ll need to start marketing your event. Create some nice fitness advertising posters, telling everyone about your business and your open house. Make sure to include any information about food, games, raffles, etc. The more exciting you make the event, the more people will show up. If you’re looking at generating new member leads, put your FitnessTexter marketing code on the flyers as well.
Invite Some Local Food Trucks
What’s an open house if there isn’t any food?!? Give a couple of your local food trucks a call and see if they’ll work your event. Sometimes you’ll have to pay them to cater an event, and sometimes they’ll do it for free, as long as you can guarantee a certain dollar amount in sales. Subsidize their prices a bit so that people don’t get “food truck sticker shock” when they see the size of the $10 slider they just purchased. 🙂
Set Up Fitness Demonstrations
If you’re a high intensity interval training center or a CrossFit box, you can have some of your training team do little demonstrations of the workouts that you’ll be doing at your gym. This is a great way to get people excited about the level of fitness prowess that they’ll achieve at your business. If you’re feeling really motivated, you can ask people in the crowd to join the demonstrations. Show them your teaching style and get them motivated to become a paying member.
Encourage Visitors to Come Back and Join
You’ll want to show some appreciation for all the people that come to your open house. Offer discounted memberships for these people. Maybe just a 50% discount for the first few months. Normally, I’m not a fan of discounted memberships, but I think it’s a nice way to say thanks to all the people who joined your business because of the open house. Getting more gym members is hard work, but having an open house can help your new gym fill its membership roster before even opening the doors.