How to Host an Open House for Your Fitness Studio
By Katie Philipp
Busy is always the goal, and that means continuing to attract new customers. For many of you, the beginning of the year is your busiest time, and your business is packed without having to work too hard to bring new customers in. But how do you make sure you’re growing your business year-round?
When was the last time you held an open house?
Open houses can serve multiple functions. A well-planned event appeals to both regulars and newcomers. You can let existing clients know about fresh and exciting things going on at your fitness studio, and bring in new clients and sell them something—all in the same day.
“Well-planned,” of course, is the important part. Don’t throw one just for the sake of throwing one. Make sure you plan out some incentives and activities—and get your staff members excited about it, too.
Some winning strategies for your open house
- To boost attendance numbers, encourage pre-registration and market some retail discounts that will be exclusively available at your open house.
Offer something FREE or at a discount. That could be special one-day-only pricing on your classes or memberships, or for appointment-based businesses, something like two hours of free sessions.
Time your activities, raffles, and prizes so that people will stick around longer.
Remember that it’s NOT a party, and communicate that to your staff.
Have extra staff that day, put together a nice array of snacks, and be enthusiastic!
Marketing your open house
You’ll want to both spread the word to existing clients and get some exposure beyond them to attract new clients.
For your existing clients:
Feature it in your newsletter and create some e-blasts focused on promoting the event.
Create postcards to distribute, whether in your fitness center or, if you’ve seen success with it before, via direct mail.
Remind your social media followers about the event in the weeks leading up to it.
Consider a referral-based incentive—something like, “Bring a friend to the open house, and you’ll both receive ___!”
For attracting new customers:
Feature the event prominently on your website. That includes the homepage, of course, but also take a look at Google Analytics to see where new visitors are landing, and feature it on those pages, as well.
Run paid advertising campaigns through Google AdWords (consider banner/display ads, too), Facebook Ads, and any other platforms you’ve seen success with in the past.
Get the word out in the community with a sandwich board outside your business. Take it a step further with posters at local coffee shops, juice bars, natural foods markets, boutiques, or any other local business that’s likely to have significant crossover with your ideal clientele.
Not sure what to say? Here’s some sample text.
*Note the brackets around the details you’ll need to fill in, since they will be specific to your event.
For your overall message:
Join us for a great opportunity to try out our studio for free in a fun, non-intimidating environment. Current members can come in, bring their friends, take advantage of discounts and snacks and win free prizes. First-timers get the opportunity to try out classes. It will be a day of fun, so come on by, grab lunch or a juice, and find out why you need [Name of Studio] in your life.
To promote your special offerings:
Free Classes All Day! We’ll have free classes every hour on the hour between [hours]. Space will be limited, so sign up online to reserve your spot. See the detailed schedule below for what we're offering and when. You can also use the below schedule to sign up online. You can also give us a call, or stop by 15 –30 minutes early to take care of registration in person.
Discounts Galore: These epic discounts will be available on the day of the open house only. [List some special online purchases] will be available at a discount online on this day for those of you who can't make it in person.
[List out what’s only available during the open house here.]
Light refreshments will also be available to enjoy while you’re here.
To promote any prizes:
Free Prizes: Attend class, get a massage, make a purchase, and you’re automatically entered to win one of these great prizes. We'll contact you via email within a week of our open house if you're a winner.
[List out the prizes offered on your open house day.]
Overall, what matters most is that you use the day to give everyone an authentic glimpse of what it’s going to be like to work out at your fitness center. Have fun with it, make it your own, and enjoy the results!
By the way, you can use MINDBODY to track clients (new and old) who attend the open house—and then see how that translates to future interactions with you. Contact us to learn more.