Recruiting new gym members—and retaining them—requires that they actually attend classes. Boost attendance by knowing your current numbers, engaging your members, and giving them what they want. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Make sure members are signing in. Every class, every time. It’s important to know who is in your gym, and when, and make sure they’ve got current liability waivers on file.
  2. Track attendance for one month. You might want to do this mid-year or after, since gyms can sometimes double their membership in January, and then lose half by March, thanks to New Year’s resolutions.
  3. Open new communication channels with your members: social media, email, text messages. Ask which they prefer, and set them up to receive all gym communications through that channel.
  4. Set your attendance improvement goals, and give them deadlines. It’s estimated that only 30 percent of a gym’s members work out twice a week. Set realistic goals, and make sure they’re in line with your recruitment and retention efforts
  5. Designate one staffer to head up the communications part of the project. It’s OK to delegate this part to someone with a gift for words and a knowledge of social media, if that’s not your thing.
  6. Focus on customer service. Studies show that gym members are more likely to quit a gym where front-desk staff won’t smile and greet them. Make it policy that someone is always covering the door, ready with a smile and a greeting (and a sign-in sheet or kiosk).
  7. Get members to sign up for classes in advance. Commitment might even be incentive enough to get members to their scheduled workout, and it keeps your trainers from showing up to a 5:30 a.m. boot camp class with no one to train.
  8. Offer free classes and “bring-a-friend” programs. Most gyms see great attendance at the start of a new week, but members are tired and ready for the weekend by Friday. Boost the social element and you’ll attract the members who would rather mingle than lift. Then they can do both.
  9. Check your attendance reports regularly and reallocate resources as needed. Cancel classes that consistently attract few athletes, and reassign the trainer to a larger class that could use a better trainer-athlete ratio. More personal attention builds a stronger community, and improves attendance.
  10. Survey members to find out when they want classes. Adjust your class offerings, and let clients know their feedback is important and helps you set the schedule.

Whether you need reports, the ability to set benchmarks, or the option to communicate with your entire membership (or a certain group) in one text or e-mail, Chalkbucket Labs can do the job. Find out more about the gym management software that can help grow your business with tools designed for gym owners, and improved by gym owners.