We’re not suggesting you stow away in a member’s SUV or invite yourself on a cross country holiday season trip, but it is a good idea to stay in front of your members even when they’re on the road for the holidays.
Fall and winter are prime time for members considering their expenses and tightening their belts for the year ahead. Add to that a break in their normal gym routine, time away from their classes and workout schedules, and it’s easy to become forgotten in the long list of seasonal priorities. But taking some simple steps can keep your club members connected to you, your brand and gym experience wherever holiday commitments take them this season. And doing so can actually make your members trips balanced and healthy too. Here’s how.
- Fitness can’t be forgotten for the holidays
The last thing on most people’s minds around the holidays is working out. That’s a can that can be kicked to January’s new year resolutions. But there’s an opportunity from Thanksgiving until the start of the year to engage members in a different way than the rest of the year. Try providing them with the kinds of information and tools they need to make smarter, heathier and fitter choices during the season of great temptation. Over indulging on a holiday meal can add 3,000 calories to the waistband – which requires four to eight hours of intense cardio exercise to burn.
As we enter the holiday season, make a plan to provide members with tools they can use: healthy portion information, diet and nutrition facts, and simple, ready-made workouts they can try on-demand wherever the holidays have them headed in December. Tailor your social channels, website, app content and member emails to helping members understand they are what they eat and their exercise programs need to accommodate it.
- Mobile makes it easy
Working out away from home used to mean members would forget about their gym for a while, pack some free weights and figure out a game plan on their own. But mobile – and the prevalence of on-demand content – has changed all of that. As your members head out to holiday travel, or even find schedule conflicts around this busy time of year, make it easy for them to fit mobile-based workouts into their schedules. Can your instructors offer more streamed sessions in December to keep members engaged with the classes – and the club – that they love? Are personal trainers set up to conduct one-on-one virtual training sessions with their out-of-town clients? And review your content portfolio preferences at this time of year too. It’s a good idea to promote to members the kinds of short-form circuit exercises, stretch and winddowns that can help with travel stress on the mind and the body as much as more cardio-based classes.
- On-demand classes like they never left
If members feel like they missed too much of their twice weekly class, they’re candidates for drop out at this time of year. If your instructors aren’t able to stream lives classes, make sure members know there are similar offerings in your on-demand library. HIIT classes that work the same muscle groups as their usual class. Or yoga and mat-based workouts that keep them flexible and focused while away from class.
Think too about promoting the kinds of content that members may have more need for on the road: instructor-led stationary bike, treadmill, rowing and elliptical classes that make working out on a relative’s dusty, disused piece of cardio equipment in the basement just a little more engaging and rewarding. There may even be content and classes that closely mirror the offerings from your instructors’ classes. Check with each and have them make recommendations to members to keep everyone on track through every holiday and beyond.