Friday, 24 January 2014

A Different Class for new beginners?

It's widely acknowledged that classes and group exercise help to engage members more and therefore improve member retention. But how many extra classes do you put on in the busy new member periods of January/February or September?

Hopefully, you know how many of your new members are completely new to exercise, and can adjust or balance the class timetable accordingly. Classes like Spin, HIIT, Tabata, or ViPR are all very exciting for the industry, and for the experienced gym bunny. But they can be scary and intense for someone who hasn't done much exercise since school PE, and could be really off-putting to a brand new member.

Running taster classes for new members is a great way to get them engaged. Your taster classes could be a mix of several classes to give members a sample to see what they might like, or they could just be shorter, simpler versions of the full class.

It's not just new members who would benefit from some extra classes, it also shows that you respect existing members' needs as well, as they'll often want to hit the New Year running and quickly fill the class schedule. If you know that an existing member hasn't tried classes before, send them an invite to the new introductory classes.

Extra tips:

  • Get new members to pick up some weights in a beginners class… (not kettlebells or massive bars) but give them a little instruction in technique
  • Make it up as you go along – ask the members what they’d like to do in the class, and then run a circuit on the kit they’re unsure about – think of it as a big group induction 
  • Take them out – give them a taster of a couch to 5k programme, showing them that exercise is not all about being the club
  • Build the sample classes into your new member journey – don’t mandate them, but say they’re highly recommended as they’ll help the member to stick around and keep coming to the club (which is what everyone wants, after all!)

What extra classes do you put on in your club, or how do you manage the new/existing member class booking conundrum? Comments below...

No comments: