Once you reopen, some of your members will be lined up at the door waiting to get in. But attracting back some members might be more difficult. Some members will have lingering fears about the safety of your facility, especially as COVID-19 cases rise in several states. They also may wonder what the new procedures will be and how things will look inside. Taking the mystery out of this will help allay those fears. And you can do that in one simple way: post a video about your procedures and what people will find when they walk through your doors for the first time.
Show them how they will now check in, what they can and can’t use in the facility, how the facility now looks with equipment set further apart and social distancing tape on the floors, new cleaning procedures your staff is implementing, and what will be expected of the members when it comes to cleaning and wearing (or not wearing) masks.
The unknown causes fear and can stop people from coming in, so remove that fear by giving your members information that will show you care about them enough to not only create new procedures and protocols but also to educate them about those.
Several health clubs large and small have created videos that you can use as a guide for creating your own. Some of the videos are highly produced, but some are not. All get the job done. Take 15 minutes to watch what your peers are doing, and then “steal” the best ideas to create your own video. But the videos are only worthwhile if you make sure all members see them, so share them on your website, in social media and through a link in an email or text to your members.
The first video from Iconix Fitness in Long Beach, California, was posted in February prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns, but its message about good gym etiquette still applies, so I had to share it here. I hope they update it now with some post-COVID-19 verses. Obviously, this video sets a high bar that few gyms may be able to reach, but the most important thing is your message, not the production quality.
Three of the largest club companies in Chicago have done a great job with their videos:
You don’t have to be a large club with a big budget to put together helpful videos for members. Bay Athletic Club in Alpena, Michigan created two videos before they reopened in June 13. The first one shared how to access the facility. The second one shared more about the cleaning and social distancing efforts.
Saco Sport & Fitness in Saco, Maine, is reopened, and the team there put together a video highlighting what members who have returned to the club are saying about the gym. This is a great way for your members to do the talking instead of you. After all, the proof is often in the pudding, and who better to share how the pudding tastes than those who have tasted it (rather than the cook)?
Some clubs are not yet open, but they have prepared videos to get members ready for the day they reopen. It's never too early to start communicating your efforts.
Even though Chelsea Piers Connecticut has reopened, its locations in New York are not yet reopened. Here’s a video that Chelsea Piers shared on its website.
The Gold's Gym East Northport, New York, features its new safety protocols in this video.
YMCAs also are reopening and sharing their new protocols with members. The West Suburban YMCA in Newton, Massachusetts share this video.
Some parts of Pennsylvania have allowed gyms to reopen but gyms in the rest of the state were to reopen on July 3 until the governor changed the order this week and noted that reopening won’t happen until at least Aug. 1. Newtown Athletic Club is located in a part of the state where gyms are still closed, but the company, which put together protocols for cleaning that were approved by the U.S. Surgeon General, created this video.
New Jersey also is not yet open, but The Atlantic Club Red Bank team put out this video, featuring COO Kevin McHugh, to share the steps they are taking to prepare the facility for reopening:
Gyms are also getting some press on their reopening plans.
In Massachusetts where gyms can’t open until phase three, which currently is scheduled to start July 6, Healthworks Fitness and Republic Fitness were featured on the local NBC station showing their new cleaning protocols.
IHRSA also put out a press release to share with the general public the steps that health clubs are taking to keep members safe. You can view that here.
If you have created a video for your members, feel free to share it with us ([email protected]) so we can add it to this page for others to see.