The pandemic-related restrictions have forced fitness gyms to find alternatives to regular training in the club to convince members to return. One of the most simple and popular methods is organizing outdoor group classes.
At this type of class, it's simpler to maintain social distancing and allows members to enjoy the nice weather. Furthermore, if you organize these workouts in public spaces, you can also promote your gym more uniquely.
An outdoor-fitness group class is not much more different than a regular class indoors, but you need to be aware of a few aspects to make it a memorable experience for your members.
Location is the most essential aspect of an outdoor class. If you are lucky and your gym already has a generous parking lot, you can organize various classes there, especially those that need special equipment.
Some clubs are in large retail spaces, which usually have open rooftops where you can organize classes with a fantastic view. Classes that end at sunset on such a rooftop will be truly impressive – nothing comes close to a spectacular sunset as a reward for a challenging workout.
Another option for outdoor group X classes is sports grounds, parks, and public gardens in town. Such events in public spaces can require certain permits, so make sure you fully respect all the local regulations. Look for a location as wide and level as possible for classes in the park, where participants have enough space to conduct their workouts.
Keep away from areas with tall grass, trees that could obstruct visibility, or areas with many benches or playgrounds for kids. Ideally, participants will be able to train peacefully and without large groups of curious people gawking at them.
Once you've decided on a location for your outdoor-fitness classes, you can start choosing what type of classes you will set up. Of course, not all classes are suited for such a space, but that doesn't mean you can't improvise.
You can set up CrossFit and interval training classes in the gym's parking lot. You can bring out weights and various equipment, ropes, and other accessories that members can use.
Cycling classes can also be organized in the parking lot or even on the rooftop if moving the equipment is not too tricky and any other type of classes.
However, for classes in parks, especially if they're at a considerable distance from your gym, it will be more challenging to move larger equipment. Here you can set up yoga classes, meditation, Zumba, aerobics, or Pilates, for which you only need a mat. At sports grounds, you can hold up running sessions.
It's recommended that the instructor have an emergency first aid kit if one of the participants gets hurt at every class. They should also have as much water as possible, even if you tell participants to have some on them..
Once you've settled on the location and type of classes, don't forget to put them in the schedule. If these classes are not open to the public but to members only, they should be reservation-based . Then, depending on the options of your gym management system, the instructor can confirm the attendance there using the software or a list.
Regardless of how outdoor classes are organized, it's essential to set up a maximum number of participants to avoid overcrowding or lack of necessary equipment.
Don't forget that when you set up the schedule for the outdoor classes, you need to mention the fact that they take place outdoors, detail the exact location, especially if it's not close to the gym, and inform members about what they must bring. Also, it would be well to explain to them that at outdoor classes, especially the ones in the park, they will not be able to get a change of clothes, so they need to arrive already clothed for training and proper shoes.
Another aspect you need to consider is the hour those classes will take place. During summer, it's better to avoid organizing them in the middle of the day when the temperatures are extremely high, especially if the area doesn't provide any shade. Plan classes starting at 7 or 8 in the morning, ending up before 10 and then in the afternoon, after 6 pm.
Outdoor classes are a unique service that deserves the undivided attention of your members. That's why it's extremely important to promote them properly.
Put up the schedule and all the necessary information at the front desk, on the locker-room walls, and in the gym area. Create posts on the gym's social media, send newsletters to your members, and post on the club's website. The front desk employees should mention them to all the members checking in, and the instructors should also promote the outdoor classes.
At least for the first classes, make sure that somebody is filming and live streaming on the Facebook page and Instagram profile to promote them more efficiently. That way, members can see the atmosphere and unfolding of classes.
When you organize outdoor group x classes, you rely on a highly unpredictable factor, or better said…. volatile – the weather. Even if you check the weather forecast, it's possible to change last moment, and the weather is less than favorable. That's why it's crucial to have a backup plan.
CWhat happens when a class can't be held outdoors? Do you use the club's studio? Is there a covered area nearby, or is it just delayed? You must have an answer to these questions, and if you plan to reschedule in case of rain, members should know that from the start to not travel to the location if they notice the change in weather.
In the summertime, but most of all due to the restrictions enforced by the authorities after the pandemic, outdoor group classes are a great idea, which will surely attract a lot of participants. Generally speaking, this class type is very similar to the usual ones, but you need to remember a few key aspects.
First of all, you need to find a suitable location, then, depending on that, you can decide what type of classes can be organized there and what equipment will be necessary. Then you need to set a schedule for these classes, which needs to contain all the relevant information for members, from location to things they must bring with them, and how they can book their spot in these classes.
Being a unique service, don't forget to massively promote it in the club and online. Instruct your team to talk to each member about this and explain how they can be a part of it. In the end, don't forget to have a backup plan, in case the weather is not suitable, and mention it to your participants so they know what to expect.
There is an easier way to get more members! Communicate efficiently with them through automated emails, provide them the option to purchase memberships online, delight them with a professional mobile app and member account, and surprise them with fast services at the reception desk.
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