By Adie Meyer
Picture the scene: you’ve put a new piece of equipment into the gym… Now what?
Some of your more confident members will no doubt jump straight on to see what it can do, but many of them will have questions: what is it, how does it work, why should I use it?
A virtual studio is no different: it needs to be promoted, talked about, put forward to members as the antidote they’ve been seeking to quiet times on the studio schedule.
It really is about getting the conversation going. Indeed, Wexer’s Global Consumer Survey found that 67% of members who don’t currently use virtual classes would potentially be converted if their club promoted the offering better.
And what better way to get members enthused and informed than by mobilising your staff? Build a team of passionate virtual fitness advocates who can create a buzz around your new virtual studio, then watch as they kindle that same passion in your members.
Here are my top tips for ensuring that your team are not only on-board, but actively encouraging members into your virtual studio.
1. Show your enthusiasm
Be visible, be vocal and lead the change from the top. Tell your team why you’ve chosen to invest in virtual fitness. Explain what it will mean for the member experience, satisfaction and retention levels at the club. Explain how it can convert prospects into members. Get them excited about the positive impact it can have on the business.
2. Involve every member of staff
Everyone in your gym needs to understand the benefits of virtual fitness and how the system works, from front of house staff to PTs and group fitness instructors. Spread the word internally and use Wexer’s support material. Make sure everyone can talk knowledgeably and enthusiastically to members about it. Run staff brainstorming sessions where everyone shares ideas on how to make the most of the system.
3. Invite the whole team to try virtual
There’s nothing like experiencing a class for yourself to understand how Wexer works, which is why your whole team should do a virtual class together. Encourage them to try something they wouldn’t usually do: if your in-house yoga guru becomes a HIIT hero, and your high-speed Spinner a convert to the joys of meditation, through word of mouth this could encourage members to explore more of Wexer’s 800+ class options. The more classes they find that they love, the more likely they are to stay with you as a member.
4. Highlight how virtual increases live class take-up
Some PTs and group fitness instructors might be curious about the impact of virtual fitness on their work. Will fewer people attend their classes? Will the club reduce the number of live classes it runs? Absolutely not, and it’s vital that this is communicated to your staff.
The main focus of virtual fitness is to encourage more people to attend live classes. It’s a route in for those who are too intimidated to enter a room full of regulars, allowing them to build their confidence and learn the moves at their own pace – ultimately preparing them for a live class. Virtual sessions are also great add-ons to live classes: a virtual core class directly after a live HIIT session, for example.
5. Keep it fresh
New classes are added to Wexer players all the time, so keep your team up-to-date. It’s motivating to always have something new to recommend to members. And listen to their suggestions if you’re putting together a virtual schedule – they will be more tuned in to member requests than most.
Support, Wexer style
We’re here to help at every stage of the process, whether you’ve been running our virtual programme for a while or are just starting out, and whether you want face-to-face or online support. With downloadable support materials to get your staff briefed and on-board, and options for regular updates through our newsletter, social media and website, we’re here to help you build a team of virtual champions.