You only get one chance to make your first impression. We know it intuitively, we heard it from our Moms, and experts say the same thing. So when it comes to a grand opening, it has to be right. Fortunately, good planning will ensure a great event, so we created this list to get you started.
To begin with, you need great signage. We’ve talked about the importance of good signage for your fitness business , and it applies more than ever the day of your grand opening. Be sure your signs are clearly visible from the road. You should also put some temporary signs throughout the neighborhood to announce the event. But don’t forget to swing by and take them down after your event.
The Event Details
Here’s where the little details matter. You’re going to want to have set hours for your event, food, beverages and music. You’ll also need a team to dazzle your guests with their fitness knowledge and warm personalities. Even if you don’t have paid employees yet, you should recruit a couple good friends or family members to support you on this day.
To make sure things go smoothly, you can prepare a few key talking points for your team. It’s also important to plan for facility tours, a steady use of your restroom, and good bit of trash to carry out at the end of the day.
A great way to stay on track and manage all the little details is by using a project management software or template. If you Google “project management template,” you’ll find a bunch of free templates. When it comes to project management software, I personally love Trello.
To get the crowd you’re dreaming of, you need to advertise your event. This is a list of some ways to bring in the crowds.
- Advertise on social media
- Advertise in a local newspaper, community paper, school yearbook, church bulletin, etc.
- Flyers for neighborhood
- Form a MeetUp Group
- Sponsorship at local schools or silent auction gifts (membership)
A helpful tip to remember when you’re preparing your advertising is to be sure answer the “five whys” in any flyer, sign, or social post. Doing so helps you avoid missing a key detail, and with all the excitement surrounding your event it’s easy to do.
Who: You’ll indirectly answer this based on where you post your advertisement.
What: This one is a must- clearly label your event.
Where: Make sure this is clear, and share a crossroad or landmark if it’s difficult to find you. You might also want to list a contact number for questions, but remember you’ll be super busy the day of your event. So an employee or friend might be best tasked with answering phone calls the day of your event.
When: Be sure to list a start and end time.
Why: This is another question you should indirectly answer. Just remember to tell your prospective guests why they should come. Will you be giving something away? Will they see something interesting? Will you have a special guest? Be sure to give them the why, and it will improve your turnout.
Incentive to Join
Now that you have them there, how are you going to get them to join? You need an incentive to try your classes or services. Some easy to implement incentives include no money down memberships, “buy one get one” classes or memberships and a free introductory period.
Your team needs to be well versed in the promotion, ready to add people to your gym membership software and you should have a few signs posted around your business. You can also mention the incentive in any advertisements you run. Plus, having an iPad or two at your event will allow you to offer the option of signing up on the spot.
Plan to Follow Up
Don’t let those guests get away without capturing their information because you’ll want to follow up with them after the event. A great way to capture names is to have someone stationed at the front desk or entryway. This person can act as a hostess and gatekeeper, not letting anyone slip by without their information.
Once your event is done, you’ll need a system to manage your new leads. Ideally, your system will allow you to send automated emails so you can keep in touch with your guests until they decide to join your gym.
A solid advertising plan is not only important for the opening of your fitness business, but also for its ongoing success. You can be the best instructor in your city, but if you’re not properly promoting your classes and your gym, you won’t have members to train. Get your copy of our free 10 Step Marketing Guide.
Zen Planner is a management and billing software for boutique fitness businesses.
We help gym, school, and studio owners streamline their day-to-day tasks so they can get back to doing what they love — helping their members. Enjoy all the features you need to manage your fitness business, including robust reporting dashboards, automated payment processing, skills and belt tracking, attendance history, and online retail.