11 Must-Have's Every Gym Owner Needs Before Spring Break

By Nicolas Fisher

Published 21 March 2022

As the last of the seasonal January clients slowly disappear, like fries off your plate that your partner swears were unwanted, we move into spring.

Just because the guilt of holiday ham gluttony has worn off, doesn’t mean your clients need to drop off too.

Spring break is one of the best times of year to renew old memberships and potentially gain an influx of new clients. After all, this is the time of year when most people are getting in shape for the warm weather.

College students are one of the groups that feel compelled by an unspoken force to shed their clothing over the warmer months. Many want to obtain that “ideal body” before consuming copious amounts of alcohol on strange overpopulated beaches during Spring Break.

While we drift closer to this time of year, an important thing to remember is we have the power to create positive environments for young people to get the right ideas about their fitness goals and the right mentality towards their bodies.

Prepping your facilities

Much like a mother chinchilla gathering leaves and twigs to form her nest, we also must prepare when expecting an increase in clients (not chinchillas).

One way to prepare is to ensure that our facilities have enough equipment to keep up with demand.

Now before you go buying your third elliptical (yes, we are talking to you, Susan.), Consider which pieces of equipment have the potential to be used by the most people.

Multi-use machines are great for this as they occupy the least amount of space while being used by multiple people

Take a look at what is currently unavailable or at maximum capacity. If you check, you might notice a slight irritation towards individuals who enjoy using the bench press as their personal sanctuary.

Get out! Encouraging online classes for members outside your gym is a great way to maximize your membership and occupies little to no space

Prepping your staff

When managing large groups, things can get out of hand quickly. Now, for a moment, imagine this applied to carb-starved college students jacked up on pre-workouts and Lacroix.

Have a place for everything, and put everything in its place. One way to manage a large group is to create activities or classes. If clients are doing classes, this makes it harder for them to be doing curls in the squat rack.

Educate

Create plans for your new members. We’ve all seen it before, the directionless gaze staring over a sea of foreign machines and weights. “Where do I start?” “How do I use this?” followed by three lifeless reps on the leg press, a selfie (#gymlife) a sip of $10 vitamin water, and out the door.

Creating plans for new members provides new members with direction, goals, and inspiration. It also encourages the flow of equipment used inside the gym, so Kyle isn’t hogging the forty’s for thirty minutes because he “needs chiseled Chris Hemsworth biceps”.

Advertise where they are online

Have you heard of the never-ending feed of hand dances, filtered faces, and new and innovative ways to make garlic bread? Well, your gym can be there too!

Using TikTok and Instagram Reels to advertise your business is a great way to reach college students. You might be saying, “I’m 48 and perfectly content with my garlic bread recipe.”

Not to worry!

Offer free trials to influencers in your area that come to your gym and post their experience on their social media.

Post an ISO on your gym’s social media, app, or bulletin board. You might have some secret influencers in your midst already. A sponsored collaboration or friendly exchange of services for free gym merch might be what your gym needs to get in front of the right crowd.

Advertise where they are offline

This might be shocking to some, but a great place to find a high concentration of college students in one area is… A university!

Most universities offer booths you can set up at an affordable price in the most heavily trafficked areas of their campus.

Offering free merch, branded stationery, trial memberships, etc. is a great way to get new members into your gym and gives you and your team the chance to interact face to face with your potential clients.

Host a pre-spring break event

Remember that what you offer is even more important than your presence on campus. Consider hosting an event or party at your gym to start on an enjoyable note.

Many people are a little less than enthusiastic about an invitation to sweat and pain. An event invitation is a smooth segway for them to get their foot in the door, meet the team, and begin their journey to becoming loyal members.

Events can be very simple and in most cases, music and free food are enough to get even the most cautious people to let down their walls.

Be careful not to focus too much on member sign-ups at the event. No one likes juggling a clipboard and pen with half a corndog in their mouth.

Instead, use your time on campus from the previous point to acquire leads, emails, phone numbers, and names. That way can you let Kyle finish his corndog in peace.

Making bonds

Events are also a great way for your potential clients to form bonds before even stepping foot in your gym. This helps to create an accountability system for workout consistency. It forms a positive imprint of your gym in the minds of your new clients.

If you choose not to create an event for your clients and potential new members there are many ways that you can form experiences in which your members can bond.

One way to do this is to encourage group activities or challenges that involve teamwork. Something happens to people when they’re participating in a team environment that triggers our ancient “pack mentality”

Long term challenges

Challenges go hand-in-hand with teamwork. Conquering the same challenge or striving towards the same goal link group mentality. They can get everyone working together, helping each other to further the group towards their end goal.

Make sure your challenges pay off. Rewarding your group challengers is a vital part of any challenge. Sure, meeting your fitness goals is a reward, but having that extra cherry on top provides a huge positive impact.

Body positivity and shifting mentality

As we see this influx of youth entering our community, it’s good to create a positive environment. It can be easy for a pious attitude to emerge from more physically fit members of your gym. This mindset is not unique to young people either.

Making sure your gym is a judgment-free zone is vital to creating a positive environment that people want to come back to.

Encourage conversation amongst your members by grouping them in pairs during activities. You can “mismatch” members to start a conversation that otherwise would have never occurred naturally.

As the adage goes, if you can get two people to talk together, they will find that they have much in common. When two people can connect, it’s much harder to be critical or pass judgment

Set up at Spring Break

Now that you’ve established relationships, it’s time to take the party to spring break.

Many businesses set up at spring break to promote their services or products as it is a great environment to encourage a positive first impression of your business.

Set up pull-up bars, planking, or push-up competitions where students can win prizes and free merch from your gym. As a sign-up to the competition, have them give you their Instagram or TikTok handles so you can reach out to them after spring break is over for virtual classes and challenges.

Virtual classes and challenges can boost your client base and don’t require people to live in your area to become members.

Keep the party going.

Remember that even after the warm weather leaves, new clients don’t have to as well. Long-term goals, events, and challenges switch your clients’ mindsets over to thinking about their fitness journey for the long term.

It also gives them something to look forward to and hope for the future.

So as we don our fluorescent tank tops and cheap sandals, let us remember that this time doesn’t need to only be about guzzling sketchy substances upside-down. It can also be a time to create lasting relationships with your clients that will benefit their physical and mental health for years to come.

Nicolas Fisher

Nick is a Marketing Specialist with a keen eye for market introspection and relevant insights. Adept in relating to people, he often seeks ways in which we can use human relations to bring our businesses and clients closer together to create lasting bonds.

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