How to win in January and beyond 

January sees your members hit refresh on their fitness habits – but committing to doing things differently isn’t just for your movers. How have you planned to help them reach their goals this year? Showing your members you’re invested in their goals now, and throughout the year, is key to reminding them their fitness journey matters to your facility, increasing your chances of securing their loyalty for the long run.   

So, what’s the best way to do it? Making your club addictive is a great place to start. When a new member signs up, many clubs focus on the sale and then assume the member will be fine left to their own devices. Little wonder then, that 50% of new gym members quit within six months (IHRSA, 2020). Dialing up the social side of your facility is key to ensuring that members keep coming back. A smart way to start boosting connection at your facility is with events. Events are simple, retention-driving moments that bring your members together, boosting the ‘sticky’ social bonds that are crucial to habit formation. They’re easy to segment by audience and are an effective way to bring like-minded people together over program launches and new releases.    


Events are also a great place to start winning with your existing members’ extended network. Open days and taster sessions are a great way to let prospects try group workouts, giving them a sneak peek at all that’s on offer and a chance to imagine themselves at your facility. What’s more, events aren’t time-bound, making them an effective route to showcase the magic of your club to prospects throughout the year, not just in January.  

Sweat the details  

Modern members, particularly young people just starting out on their fitness journey, seek choice but often don’t know where to start with intimidating weight-based equipment. A rigorous onboarding process is crucial to their long-term success – and that of your club. Curating an in-club experience that supports new members’ confidence will kickstart the all-important element of routine. Make sure your team are primed to nurture new starters and check in with them as they arrive at and leave the club. And if they’re not already working out with friends, consider helping them make new ones.  


Dial up the fun and tackle trends  

Creating (and publicizing) a member experience that reflects fun and engagement is key to positioning your club as the natural next step for fitness fans. Challenge-based workouts are a great way to gamify and electrify your studio, encouraging members to connect, compete, and compare progress while forming in-person connections.    

There’s no doubt that in-person connections are at their best in the group training studio. Directing footfall to the studio eases the pressure on equipment and demonstrates to your members that their goals can be achieved in other areas of the gym. One such example of this is strength training, which is back in a big way. A recent Mindbody report declared strength training the most popular fitness genre of 2022. Gen Z is driving this trend, with strength training identified as their favorite way to work out. But the myriad gains of this workout make it popular with members of all ages, thanks to its ability to increase bone strength, build lean muscle mass, and improve all-round mobility.   

Other trends set to continue dominating the fitness landscape include yoga, Pilates and sculpt workouts – highlighting the appetite among consumers for workouts that challenge both their stamina and their strength.   


The star ingredient  

With strong consumer demand for social connection, it’s somewhat inevitable that the people fronting our clubs will have a vital role to play. Having great people is key to winning new members. And your next Rockstar Instructor could be right under your nose. Keep an eye out for your most engaged participants and have your team shoulder tap participants they think are ready to make the leap into Instructor training.  

A successful 2024 is all in the planning – and it’s never too late to start. So what are you waiting for? 

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.