Fitness centers and gyms are often haunted by a dip in attendance in the summer. The nicer weather leads to more options for outdoor activities, making it easier for your members to take their workouts outside, away from the gym.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, this typically slow season may see an even larger gap in attendance as your members turn to social distancing alternatives.

To counter this downturn, be clear about your safety measures so your members feel at ease and keep them engaged. Try these solutions:

Member Retention

Keep your revenue up in the summer by focusing your efforts on retaining your existing members. By keeping them motivated and involved, they will be more likely to stay through the season.

  • Create challenges or motivational activities – Start a new 28-day challenge each month, or even promote a 12-week challenge to enhance your members’ workouts. Even hosting fitness events is a great way to keep everyone pumped up.
  • Reward attendance – Set attendance goals for your members and provide discounts or free branded swag when they hit the goal. Offer bonus prizes like a free personal training session that will drive revenue for continued training.

Take advantage of the outdoors!

  • Offer new, unique summer classes – Offering classes like yoga or strength boot camps that take place right outside your facility. Make use of some unique outdoor recreation that can be incorporated into their workout. In our current COVID-19 environment, this allows members to take a fun class and be socially distant.Outdoor Group Training
  • Get social and virtual – Summer is a time for being social, and this pandemic can be especially hard on those of us who love to get out and grill with friends and family. Host non-fitness related events or virtual gatherings that encourage your members and staff to socialize and stay connected.

Finding New Members

Get in front of your ideal audience often, and in as many places as you can.

  • Participate in outdoor events – Increase your lead generation by sponsoring or getting involved in local events in your community. These events could include fundraisers, golf outings, or farmer’s markets, for example.
  • Get active on social media – Post-workout selfies are becoming popular and are promoting a health-focused, active community on social media. Your prospects are interacting on social platforms more than ever before, and many are looking for safe ways to get active with a gym. Host contests that reward check-ins and offer giveaways on sharable content and virtual training. You can take advantage of social media marketing and paid advertising as an inexpensive way to easily reach these prospects.

Non-Membership Revenue

Though some may still be hesitant to join a gym for regular workouts, there are other ways to bring in revenue over the summer. Your members understand these are tough times, consider reaching out to them for their support to work through this together. Encourage your members to support your gym by making purchases on products and services. Offer them discounts and incentives so they gain something in return.

  • Bring in more retail revenue – Celebrate milestones with your members to get them excited by offering a fun discount drawing or prize wheel. You can actually generate more sales by giving your members ways to save money through a discount or limited-time prize.
  • Promote your personal trainers – Talk up your personal trainers and group classes, and offer virtual training sessions as an alternative for members. COVID-19 may cause these classes to have fewer members, but encouraging social distancing in the classroom may improve attendance! Offer new members free assessments from a trainer, and check in on your existing members’ personal progress. They may benefit from an instructor’s help to see better results.

It has been a stressful time for fitness centers, and summer, in the best of times, can be a challenging time of year. This doesn’t mean there aren’t ways you can still promote your gym and earn some extra revenue in the process! Stay proactive and listen to your members –focus on the things that pump them up and get them motivated to continue membership through the season.

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