According to Julie Goodchild, the club manager of Cincinnati Sports Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, the club’s social calendar is just as important as its health and wellness calendars.
“We have a higher member retention rate by those who attend our social events than those who do not,” said Goodchild. “We like to think of the club as their second home. They don’t want to leave a place where they can mingle with friends [and] see people who they might not see if they weren’t a member.”
Cincinnati Sports Club puts on a number of events for a wide range of member demographics. For parents and toddlers, the club has an event where both groups can mingle in a fun environment. For adults, the club hosts “Tuesday Tastings,” where members can enjoy samplings from local chefs. And these are just two examples.
“Our social programs target all ages from toddlers to seniors,” said Goodchild. “No one is forgotten.”
According to Goodchild, the club makes an effort to create environments in which social interaction comes easy for members. “The new group exercise room suite will have a member lounge for participants to chat before or after class,” she explained. “The NCAA basketball court has a lounge area for players to talk about the game. Health and wellness can be a wonderful, fun experience when you are connecting with those who are doing it with you.
Cincinnati Sports Club’s events can draw between 500 and 700 people, depending on the popularity. After a social event has occurred, the club sends out a survey to those that attended to gather feedback about their experience. “We conduct transactional surveys that are no more than five questions long after each large social event,” explained Goodchild.
Despite whether or not the feedback the staff receives is positive or negative, it’s important the club takes action. “We are always striving to improve,” said Goodchild. “One thing for sure on our transactional survey is that they almost always say they will refer a friend or family member to attend, and close to 100 percent say they will attend another. That says something.”
At Cincinnati Sports Club, fostering social interactions is a group effort, one the club evaluates on a regular basis. “The Cincinnati Sports Club is an exciting work in progress,” said Goodchild. “We are a hybrid club, combining the best parts of a health club, wellness facility, a recreation center and a city social club — a club [that’s] purpose is to help people of all ages lead an active life.”
By Rachel Zabonick