Have you thought of throwing a member appreciation event? Even if your studio hasn’t yet been given the green light to reopen, it’s worth the consideration and planning.
A member appreciation event will not only show members how much they’re appreciated, it can be an effective way to gently encourage members to get back in and train, a way to help members feel like they’re part of their martial arts and fitness family once again.
1. Make it a Week-Long Celebration
When people think member appreciation events, most think of a day-long event. But in order to create as much momentum as possible, and get the most out of the planning you put into it, we suggest hosting a member appreciation week or even a member appreciation month.
Give your event a name like “Welcome Back, [Your Business Name] Family” or “Grand Reopening Extravaganza” to create excitement.
Consider putting a theme to each day of the week to make it more celebratory. Some ideas:
Motivational Monday: Share inspiring stories from members to motivate others. Post on social media. Hang up flyers in your studio.
Try it Tuesday: Encourage members to bring a friend to class to “try it out”.
Workout Wednesday: Promote a special workout or piece of gym equipment.
Thankful Thursday: Give every member that comes into your studio, or participates in a class, a small gift, like a branded cooling towel, cooling bandana or mask.
Feature Friday: Promote a new class, a new service, or a membership special.
Saturday Shout Out: Share words of praise from members about your instructors. Or send shout outs to staff members to show your appreciation. Post on social media. Hang up flyers in your studio.
Sunday Sweat: Promote a new class or popular class. Take photos and share on social media. Encourage members to take selfies and share them on your Facebook and Instagram pages with the hashtag #sundaysweat.
2. Run special offers
To help get members back in and encourage them to bring in their friends and family, consider running special membership offers during your event.
Remember: family and group memberships are at an all-time high now as people have watched family members and friends train at home online during quarantine. Consider adding and promoting a family and/or group discount during your member appreciation event to encourage family memberships and group memberships.
Example of a family membership special.
3. Promote, and then promote some more
Once you figure out your member appreciation event details (name, day, time, location, event benefits and description, how to register/sign up), it’s time to get the word out.
First, check out our 12-step event checklist for planning success which boils down all the necessary elements of planning, promoting, and running your event.
Next: get to promoting the event! If anything, remember this: when you promote an event, promote it through ALL possible channels. Some people respond to emails; some on social media. Add your events everywhere your members will be!
- Blog about it
- Add a banner to your website
- Post on social media several times leading up to the event
- Create an event on Facebook
- Spotlight the event in your member newsletter
- Send an email to members about your event
- Add a banner to your member portal
Sending emails and posting on social media several times leading up to the event is especially important as it helps build excitement. Utilize your member management software to quickly send emails to all your members.
If you use our Member Manager software, you can send both emails and text messages to all your members easily through the enhanced communication feature.
A final word on member appreciation events
While it’s important to plan and promote your event, it’s also important to have fun. Remember that your member appreciation event is celebrating the very heart of your studio — your members, their journeys, their success. Have fun. Celebrate. Appreciate.
Now it’s your turn. Have member appreciation tips of your own? Let us know in the comments!
For more on driving member engagement and business growth amid COVID-19, visit our Business Resource Page. Be sure to bookmark the page; we’ll continue adding resources as they become available.