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The Challenge of Engaging a Community


Ben Hackney-Williams, the head of content at Myzone, shares how to engage your community through a fitness challenge.

As an industry, we know what makes our members tick. We know how to motivate the individual, reward their progress with kind words and recognition, and keep goal-setting so that they maintain the level of attendance, accountability and accomplishment.

This has been the way since time immemorial. Gym hand people a towel and send them on their way with varying levels of niceties. Then that feel-good factor worth of endorphins before a workout maintains the ear-to-ear grin for their journey home.

What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing, but there’s a way to get more people offering that same level of service and comradeship — and no they don’t have to be working for you. When you successfully engage a community through an inclusive challenge bringing everyone into the fold, the level of communication between members of all abilities grows. With that, comes a tighter-knit bond that stands the test of time.

Challenges, created through a tech partner that meets members wherever they want to work out, will keep those lines of positive communication going whether a member is in your gym, at home, at work or on holiday. Any time they’re moving — and inspired to do so — they’re participating in a community experience that makes more people want to share their story.

Set up monthly challenges that give members something more to work for than their own physical activity goals. The aligned success story that comes from multiple members working out for themselves and for the good of the group will keep people talking and keep them pushing harder for longer. Everyone loves a bit of healthy competition.

When you reward people for their effort and not just their ability, you earn their loyalty and create an environment of growth for everyone around. Promote the challenge, encourage more people to join and be clear on how to do so.

Whoever wins, everybody wins.

Ben Hackney-Williams

Ben Hackney-Williams is head of content at Myzone. Follow him @_BenHW or email him at ben.hackney@myzone.org.

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