Social Events: The Need to Gather
The Newtown Athletic Club and Cincinnati Sports Club share tips for running successful social events your members will love.
Humans crave communication, entertainment and social interaction. After facing many trials and tribulations from the COVID-19 pandemic, your members are likely craving these things more than ever.
A great way to meet these cravings is by throwing awesome social events and parties at your facilities.
Nicole Beck, the marketing manager for Newtown Athletic Club, said in order to host a great social event, you must know the event’s purpose, promote it well and appeal to a wide audience of members. Other factors to keep in mind includes theme, entertainment and budget. Overall logistics also play an important role in your event’s success.
“All special events, from a fundraiser to a social gathering, have a lot of moving parts,” explained Beck. “Such work requires a collective team effort to reach the goal or purpose of the event. In the early planning stages, it is crucial to establish an event team to handle all the planning from conception through completion. Effective communication within the team will broaden your resources and improve organization.”
One club that is great at collaborating for special events is the Cincinnati Sports Club in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Together with health partner TriHealth — the largest health network in the region — they are aligned with the philosophy that social activities are a piece of overall wellness. Social events have been part of the landscape at the Cincinnati Sports Club for over the past two decades. It started one evening with a club focus group and a small whisper from a member who commented about the difficult time she was having meeting people in the area.
“The club’s annual social calendar features more than 45 events a year with live music,” said Mary Frank, the sales and marketing manager for Cincinnati Sports Club. “Social is a routine experience at the club versus one large event a season. The calendar features a variety of socials of all shapes and sizes, with the largest being the weekly summer poolside happy hours with member gatherings upwards of 700. These larger events have featured pony rides, carnival games, bungee experiences, soap parties, obstacle courses, make your own ice cream, ninja courses and more. In the winter the happy hours move indoors with smaller family gatherings of approximately 200.”
To pull off a great turn out in your community, you need to have an effective planning and marketing strategy in place.
According to Beck, when planning an event one of the most important factors to consider is what value you are going to provide your members. Understanding the needs and preferences of your audience — while considering the nature of the event — will improve event planning and development.
“Every social event at your club should start with a strong, thoughtful and memorable strategy,” said Beck. “After you review the limitations of your club and map out the logistics, create a compelling list of ‘wow-factors’ to increase the value of your event. Entertainment, decor and theme are areas of opportunity to make your event unique and stand out from the rest.”
While pulling off a successful event will take time, effort and teamwork, it will have a lasting impact on your members and keep them coming back for more.
“The power of a social event, or party, is it builds community by bringing members together,” said Beck. “Engaging your members to foster relationships with one another will make them feel like they belong together. Furthermore, increasing their long-term commitment to your club and your brand.”