Surefire ways to increase your group fitness attendance

Surefire ways to increase your group fitness attendance

Standing out when your competitors all offer similar products is no easy feat. This is particularly true of health clubs – a growing market with lots of centres in close proximity, vying for the same customers. It’s a problem many organisations try to patch up with money, purchasing the latest technology and the fanciest equipment. But if your fitness classes don’t have the appeal, then your chances of making a return on those investments is pretty slim.

So what’s the alternative?

1. Get analytical

Explore class data

Start analysing trends in your fitness class attendance. Things like peak attendance times, class occupancy and repeat visitors are very telling. Start by looking back over the past couple of years and pick out very visible trends. From here you should be able to build up a clear picture of which classes are over and under-performing.

You should be able to find all this information stored in your club management software. If you use Xn, then have a chat with your account manager for more advice on how best to do this.

Ask for customer feedback

Send out feedback forms, surveys and net promoter scores to get an idea of how your members are faring. Generally speaking, customers won’t fill out forms at home, so try to get people to complete them in centre or sent them out via email. Be mindful of the language you’re using. Ask open-ended questions to encourage people to open up about their individual circumstances. What do or don’t they like about the facilities? How do they feel about the cost?


2. Get sociable

Hire top-quality fitness instructors

Your fitness classes will only ever be as good as the people delivering them. People will often go to a certain class because their favourite instructor is leading it. It’s imperative, therefore, to make sure you have the best instructors in town. Fitness chain, the Village, employed this approach and within three months, they’d managed to increase class occupancy by a staggering 78% to 96% in its pilot site.


Focus on building relationships with your members

Look to create a sociable atmosphere. Something as small as remembering someone’s name on their second visit can have a huge impact on their desire to return. Again, this requires enthusiastic, welcoming and, ideally, non-cliquey fitness instructors who are accepting of everyone.


3. Get promotional

Create Facebook groups

There are loads of ways to promote yourself over social media, but one of the best ways is to build an online community. Creating a Facebook group is a great way to nurture your relationship with existing members and push classes. Get your fitness instructors to engage directly with members on the group and promote their classes.



Gyms will be familiar with seasonal promotions – it’s impossible to compete without them. But few provide incentives and rewards for repeat members. Consider setting up a loyalty program that gives people access to freebies like new/exclusive fitness classes, massages or free personal training sessions. The regular income from faithful members is a great perk, but they’ll also tell their friends – bonus income!


4. Get innovative

Think about how you can differentiate your gym from the crowd. How can you make your classes more exciting? More engaging? Boutique gyms generally do a great job of this by creating a striking and unique environment. This will show in everything from their branding – often gritty or vibrant - to the lighting and equipment. We can’t all go boutique but we can follow their lead.

Things like monthly challenges will set members against each other competitively and give them a reason to return. Or why not have a class structured entirely around your member’s music requests? Music is always a great ice breaker and will get people chatting.

You could even think big and trademark your own fitness class.


Xn Leisure is a leading provider of software solutions for the fitness industry. Xn Leisure’s unique leisure management software offers full visibilities into your classes, enabling you to control everything from member booking through to attendance levels. Find out more here.

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