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group exercise


Create a ‘wow’ group fitness space: investigate the status quo in the market and then take it up a level


Create a group fitness marketing plan Savvy marketing will boost attendance, retain members and propel your club to even greater success. Just ask Feiko Boonstra and his son Erwin, from Sportschool Ursus in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. This privately-owned independent club has found that a marketing plan focused around quarterly re-launch events for its Les Mills programmes – tying in with the release of each new routine – is the secret to acquiring new members, as well as keeping current members happy. It has enjoyed the greatest success


by implementing a diverse advertising mix for two weeks prior to each event – verbal in-class promotion, profi ling the event in the club newsletter and on the website, banners throughout the facility and point-of-sale fl yers. With all of the advertising encouraging members to bring a guest, the club ensures every space in each event class is pre-booked. Staff also track which members bring a friend and reward the member with one month’s free membership. Ambitiously, at one recent event,


the club left half of the studio capacity available for guests. Yet it paid off, with plenty of guests attending and 42 per cent of the 200 attendees on the day signing up as new members, creating annualised revenue of around 35,700. Not a bad return on investment given that the club spent only around 500, providing food and drink to make a real occasion of the event.


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Invest: The ‘club within a club’ at Fitness in Motion, Queensland. Group fitness now accounts for 46 per cent of total club visits


Of course, this switched-on Dutch


club certainly isn’t the only facility enjoying real returns from quarterly events. There are thousands of clubs around the world that successfully host similar re-launch events and sell anywhere between 20 and 200 new memberships each time.


Plan and budget If you want your business to continue to value and invest in group fitness, having a comprehensive plan is the way to go. Plus, with a road map to success and measurable milestones along the way, you’ll foster a sense of camaraderie and purpose which leads to increased passion and effectiveness from the whole team.


Appoint (or become) a world- class group fitness manager Just as a great instructor can bring in hundreds of members over time, a great group fitness manager will build a team that will bring in thousands. Put simply, recruiting a passionate and driven group fitness manager can change the future of your club. Tania Wilson from the Portsmouth Naval Base in the UK has proven this. Despite the unique setting, Wilson set out to target naval staff who were not exercising and successfully


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


launched group fi tness at the base’s fi tness centre. Now there are hundreds of staff and civilians who can’t get enough of the centre’s classes.


A final word I have seen first-hand the world over that, if you combine these eight key elements along with world-leading group fitness programmes, your group fitness operation will be set for success. If you’re interested in learning the arcane art of group fitness management in more detail, I recommend a Les Mills Group Fitness Management course, which you can attend for free in most countries. You can find details through www.lesmills.com


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Phillip Mills is founder and chief executive of Les Mills International, the world’s leading group fitness brand (www.lesmills.com). He is a former international athlete and New Zealand’s 2004 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.


april 2011 © cybertrek 2011


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