Hosting Seminars at Your Gym: Part 1

2018-11-13T17:29:21+00:00November 4th, 2016|Affiliate Gym|0 Comments

4 Reasons Why You Should Host Seminars

Every functional fitness gym owner has, at some point, thought about whether or not to host a specialty seminar. It’s pretty cool to have a high profile coach come to your facility and work with your athletes, but do the pros outweigh the cons in actually executing the seminar?

I have attended and taught a number of seminars and have had the opportunity to talk to many gym owners about their thoughts on hosting them. I’ve also been able to chat with many seminar teachers whose business model relies on the upside being higher than the downside for the gym owner. In the first part of our series, we’ll cover why you should consider hosting a seminar.

Your Development

Most gym owners who host seminars are excited about the material they take away from the teacher. Maybe your knowledge on oly and metcon is rock solid, but you haven’t figured out gymnastics. You can use the seminar as a way to fill in the gaps or take you further into a specialty discipline, and as always, you can pass this information along to your community.

Your Local Brand

People gravitate towards gyms that have the programs they are interested in. Hosting a specialty seminar that is open to the public is a great way to establish your gym as the gym that focuses on [x, y, and z].

For example, six years ago information on Olympic lifting was scarce. If there were three competing gyms in the area, none of which have an oly program, and you decide to host a seminar on Olympic lifting, you’ve just established yourself as the only gym in town that knows Olympic lifting. This day and age we’re in a similar place with gymnastics strength seminars, mobility seminars, martial arts clinics, rowing seminars, adventure and survival clinics to name a few.

Jul 10 Human MovementSupport Your Community

This has a few facets to it. First, you can host a seminar that your members have already requested. What key disciplines are people requesting more of? With a seminar, you’re listening to their needs and offering a solution, giving them the opportunity to continue to grow as an athlete.

Second, your coaches learn for free. Generally, seminar teachers will allocate a certain number of seminar seats to the host for free so that your coaches can learn with no drain on your pockets. Carl Paoli of Freestyle Connection, for example, allocates five free seats for each seminar. This can be great if there is a common weakness amongst your training staff, or for a deeper dive into a specific discipline. Seminars can be a great way to avoid dipping into your coach development fund (if you don’t one check out our blog on coach development), while still getting all the perks of investing in coach development.

free+style seminarSell-Out Bonuses

Promotion is a group effort, and selling out the seminar is the ultimate goal. If a host is able to facilitate this, many teachers will offer a cash bonus for selling out the seminar. Carl Paoli offers up to $1,000 to the host for a sold out seminar. This can be a nice way to offset the time investment of hosting the seminar.

There are several reasons why hosting a seminar is a great option for gym owners. In our next post, we’ll discuss the reasons why you might not want to host a seminar and offer advice to help you decide whether or not to it’s the right fit for your gym.


Hosting seminars can be a great way to bring some extra income into your gym. Get your copy of our free guide, Six Building Blocks to Financial Health for Your Affiliate Gym, to get additional ideas on how you can improve the financial situation at your box.

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