Open Houses

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VA Gym Coach

Hi all, yes I have yet another question that I would greatly appreciate feedback... this whole opening a gym thing poses many I'm finding ;)

I want to hold one, if not a few open houses before we open up shop. Now, I have an idea how I want an open house to run but I've never held one before. None of the previous gyms I've worked for has ever held such an event.

Any coaches/owners out there hold open houses? What do your open houses entail? Do you let the kids who come in play on the equipment? If so, do they sign a waiver before hand? Any special rates/prizes given out to those who sign up on open house days?

Thanks again guys :)
I'm neither a coach nor an owner, but my DD's gym just opened last year. They had Open Houses every weekend before the actual opening. They advertised by way of local newspapers/fliers. EVERYONE had to sign a waiver, the coaches were available and the kids came in and played on all the equipment, coaches helped the little ones get acclimated on how the use some of the equipment and enforce the rules such as only one person at a time on the tumble trak! Anyone who signed up for a class received something like a $20.00 discount (if I remember correctly). There's a LOT you can do to get everyone excited about your new gym!!
You would either need a waiver for everyone or some kind of one day blanket coverage for your event.

We purchase a mailing list from a service such as:

Mailing List - Email, Business, Sales Leads, Consumer - InfoUSA

You can target the demographic you are looking for such as families with children 2-12 years making over $40,000/year (or whatever) living within a 10 mile radius. We purchase 5,000 or 10,000 addresses and send postcards to all of them.

Our carnivals are only 2 hours long on Saturdays (10:00 am - Noon). This forces everyone to be there at the same time. It is crowded, fun, and SAFE. The amount of people creates a sense of urgency to "sign up".

We do "try it here" stations around the gym. Everything that the kids can go on in the gym is flagged off so there is only one entrance and one exit at each station. For example...enter the bar station here...pullover on this bar...glide swing next bar...hanging full turn on final bar...then exit. Each bar in the area has a coach.

We had 2 girls stations, 1 boys station, inflatable area, trampoline area, zip line. Each of these areas was staffed with at least 2 staff.

Front door is staffed by myself and owner...greeting and handing out FREE gift (a drawstring bag with our logo). The bag is filled with our class schedule, special event schedule, coupons for our activities, a pencil, a free kids meal at the restaurant across the street.

Office is staffed with 2 people behind the desk and one floater to help the clients fill out forms while in line.

$10 discount or more if they sign up at the open house.

Two staff in safety orange or yellow vests controlling the parking lot outside.

300-500 people come through the gym in those 2 hours. Approx. 20 staff. Usually get 70-100 kids signed up for classes and one or two interested in team.

Free popcorn works also.

If you don't have enough staff, recruit some of your good parents. Be sure to dress them in staff shirts.
I'd suggest more of a series of clinics or a set up like JBS than a true open house or open gym. See if you can advertise through local schools, pools, grocery stores - places families will be. Or in the local parent's magazine/newspaper. A lot of local newspaper that are small will advertise community events for reasonable prices. Or you could try to interest them in a story that contains the info - especially if you write up a press release and send it out.
We are doing an open house in collaboration with National Gymnastics Day. I think the date is Sept 17 - which is only two weeks into our fall schedule.
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