Tips for Preventing a Summer Lull
While summer is typically considered a tougher season for some gyms, there are opportunities for clubs to leverage the popularity of pools and outdoor activities to engage members while the days are longer and much warmer.
When asked about the best practices clubs can implement to see success during the summer, Paula Neubert, the president and general manager of Club Greenwood, had a simple answer: “Be prepared.”
Club Greenwood’s pools, fitness programs, cleaning procedures and marketing strategies are all valuable components to summer success, so Neubert focuses on optimizing all of them to most effectively engage members.
To be prepared for the summer months, there are three simple yet effective strategies Neubert implements to ensure Club Greenwood is actively engaging the families coming through their doors:
- Open your pools before Memorial Day with new signage, umbrellas, furniture, landscaping and whatever it takes to make your outdoor space inviting, safe and member-friendly.
- Lifeguards need to be hired, trained and ready to make the space safe and fun for your members and guests.
- Guest check-ins will increase, and members will want to bring family and friends who are visiting. Train your desk staff to “manage” your facility by stopping everyone and obtaining the appropriate ID and documentation to enter the club. Make pool passes for kids convenient and less expensive for members who are purchasing for visiting family and friends.
One of the biggest competitors for health clubs during the summer is the great outdoors — very few people want to be inside while the sun is out. This puts the onus on your club’s marketing strategy — it should share what members can experience at your facility.
“We take advantage of special marketing during our summer months, referring to the club as a ‘neighborhood resort’ and telling members ‘you don’t have to vacation to get your summer oasis.’” said Neubert. “We also offer a membership special with a Club Greenwood beach towel — this is always popular.”
Along with an effective and engaging marketing strategy, Club Greenwood also integrates unique programs that emphasize being outside. “Members really enjoy being outside and doing something different,” said Neubert.
There are several programs Club Greenwood takes outside, from Group X to youth fitness, and many of them take place in a park right next to the facility.
“Boot camp is big for us,” said Neubert. “We also offer Camp Greenwood for our young members for 11 weeks, with a kick-off on Memorial Day. And another class we take outside during summer months is morning yoga by the pool.”
It’s easy to put heavy cleaning to the back of your mind while you’re planning new classes or hiring new staff members, but the cleanliness of your club plays a big role in summer engagement.
And, according to Neubert, if you’re doing your due diligence on a daily basis, spring cleaning won’t be necessary. “We feel strongly that you shouldn’t need to spring clean, as your club should be in pristine condition all year long,” she said.
By putting focus on these areas, Club Greenwood has created a destination that engages members year-round, including the summer months. As the weather gets warmer, try practicing some of these strategies at your club.