Looking for gym event ideas to promote your club or keep members loyal? Then this is the article for you… It contains 15 different ideas to get you started, along with a few tips for running a successful gym event too.
We briefly covered events in our fitness marketing ideas article, but since they’re such an effective promo method we decided to go into more depth here. Feel free to skim the sub-headings for quick ideas, or read the whole thing in detail…
How Effective Are Gym Events?
The short answer = very. Running events is a great way to boost sales and build a community. In fact, most marketers believe that events are the single-most effective marketing channel over digital advertising, email marketing, and content marketing.
A huge proportion of event attendees turn into paying clients. Research shows that a whopping 70% of users become regular customers after an experiential marketing event. With results like this, including events in your gym marketing plan is a no-brainer.
So now that you know they ARE effective, let’s move on to some actual ideas that you can implement…
Gym Event Ideas Overview
Events can take lots of different formats, and are ideal for new product launches or getting people to ‘try before they buy’. Here’s an overview of some gym event ideas to get you started…
- In-club competitions or challenges
- Tasting events
- Social dinners
- An audience with…
- Train for local events
- Community seminars
- Paid courses
- In-house workshops
- Launch events
- Client appreciation days
- Charity fundraising
- Retreats or fitness holidays
- Partner with complimentary businesses
- Train the trainer
- Online events
Now we’ll dive into each of these ideas in more detail…
Gym Event Idea #1 – In-Club Competitions Or Challenges
Competitions and challenges are a great way to build a sense of community, which in turn boosts retention. Make them fair and appealing to everyone by having categories for different abilities and training targets (e.g. time, distance, or calories).
⇒ Competition or challenge? Think carefully about which of these you want to run as they’re slightly different. Competitions have a winner so tend to appeal to the more competitive members (funnily enough). A challenge on the other hand can be more inclusive, since everyone who completes it is considered successful. There are arguments for and against each option, but ultimately it’ll depend on what your members are likely to prefer.
Gym Event Idea #2 – Tasting Events
Launch new products or menus by organising tasting events for clients. People love to sample smoothies, healthy snacks, or even entire seasonal menus! Encourage them to post about their experience on social media, and spread the word about your new offering.
Gym Event Idea #3 – Socials
Why not go out for a group dinner after your Friday night Spin class? Or a non-alcoholic night out on the town? It’ll build social bonds between participants, so they’re less likely to quit. You can even promote it as part of the class so that everyone feels welcome.
Gym Event Idea #4 – An Audience With…
Invite celebrities or authority figures to give a talk or be interviewed by a member of staff. People love to hear stories and get insider access to knowledge they wouldn’t otherwise have. The speaker gets to promote their latest book/podcast/product and you give your members additional value = win/win.
Gym Event Idea #5 – Train For A Local Event
Not all gym event ideas need to be organised in-house – you can also take advantage of those run by others. Identify nearby events such as Tough Mudder or Colour Runs, then create specific programs and training sessions for them. You can even compete as a team, and have t-shirts made to get extra brand visibility on race day.
Gym Event Idea #6 – Offer Community Seminars
Get involved in your local community by running seminars on popular topics. Why not arrange a 45 minute seminar on healthy family meals, active ageing exercises, or meditation for stress? Make sure you encourage people to invite a friend for free, then collect all their details during registration so you can market to them afterwards.
Gym Event Idea #7 – Run Paid Courses
Combine practical training with theoretical knowledge and create 4-6 week courses on specialist topics. Popular themes include pre or post-natal fitness, IronMan preparation, or nutrition-related topics. These provide extra value to members, and position your brand as an expert.
Gym Event Idea #8 – Hold In-House Workshops
These offer greater flexibility than courses since they’re one-off events that don’t need a long term commitment. Workshops tend to have a practical, hands-on element as opposed to seminars which are usually more focused on theory. You can either charge for attendance, or offer them for free in order to generate leads. Be sure to offer complimentary places to your existing client base as an ‘exclusive loyalty perk’.
Gym Event Idea #9 – Launch Events
Launch events ensure that new marketing campaigns start with a bang. Whether you’re opening a brand new club, trying to generate pre-sales, or launching a new product, events are super-effective. Invite local journalists along to try out your new class, venue, or equipment, so that your launch generates even more coverage and awareness. Promote it on social media and invite all of your existing database to take part.
Gym Event Idea #10 – Hold Client Appreciation Days
Boost retention by combining several of the above events into a whole day. Put on a free seminar, small group PT session, or exclusive preview of group exercise classes before they launch. Members will feel valued, and that they’re getting extra bonuses for free.
Gym Event Idea #11 – Support A Charity
Do your bit for charity and fly the flag for corporate-social responsibility. Choose a cause that means something to your members or aligns with your brand values. Then co-organise a charity fitness event that raises money for them, and promotes your business too. You get media coverage, your members get to feel good about their fitness efforts, and the charity gets donations. Oh, and everyone leaves feeling warm and fuzzy inside!
Gym Event Idea #12 – Organise Retreats Or Fitness Holidays
Wellness tourism is growing 50% faster than other travel sectors, and offers huge revenue potential. Organising weekend retreats or health-oriented holidays for your clients can substantially boost your income. Plus it develops a community-feel which boosts loyalty.
Gym Event Idea #13 – Partner With Complimentary Businesses
Partner with another local business to run a combined event together. You’ll get to reach their audience and generates new leads, and they get the same in return. Pick a complimentary one that doesn’t offer competing services, such as a chiropractor, physiotherapist, massage studio, smoothie bar, health food cafe, or nutritionist.
Gym Event Idea #14 – Offer Train The Trainer Certifications
Invite training providers to run their events in your fitness space. It’s a great way to generate additional income, and you may be able to negotiate some discounts or free places for your staff. There are bound to be a few dedicated members who are also interested in taking their hobby to the next level. PT certifications, Spinning® qualifications, and yoga instructor courses are all popular right now.
Gym Event Idea #15 – Online Events
Not all events need to be held in person. You can organise online events too, like webinars or Twitter chats. Or participate in digital events organised by others, to help promote your own brand to new audiences.
Putting Your Gym Event Ideas Into Action
Now that you have lots of awesome gym event ideas, it’s time to put them into action. Here are a few quick tips that’ll help you run a successful event…
- Be clear about your purpose – why are you doing an event? What’s your end goal?
- Get organised – make a project plan or checklist of everything that needs doing.
- Remember the tiny details – it’s the small things that really impress people.
- Include gifts & giveaways – choose good-quality items that people wear, carry, or use regularly (such as tees, canvas bags, or water bottles) so that other people will see your branding.
- Have a promo plan – know how you’ll generate attendees from the start (no-one wants an event with empty seats).
- Get feedback – so you can evaluate what worked well and how to improve next time.
By implementing these gym event ideas you can generate more brand awareness, leads, and revenue for your business. Events are also an important part of community building, which leads to better retention and loyalty. Whichever option you go for, remember to plan it thoroughly to maximise its effectiveness.
Do you have other gym event ideas that you think should be included? Let us know using our contact form…