You've always dreamed of starting a fitness studio. After a lot of hard work, now it's time to open the gym. How exciting!Now what?Your first order of business (assuming staffing, buildout, and fitness equipment are all delivered and installed) is to make your business known and get people in the door.So you decide to host a gym grand opening event.The goal of your gym grand opening is mainly for the attention and “social splash” in your community. Done effectively, this will get the local media, newspaper, other businesses, and potential new client eyes on your business and services. Another reason to host a gym grand opening is to connect with your staff and any of your early supporters. This marks a milestone for you and them!
The Chamber of Commerce
Before you start purchasing decorations and securing raffle prizes, you need to visit your local Chamber of Commerce and register as a member. This might not be obvious, but becoming a member of your Chamber of Commerce can give you a big leg-up in your grand opening, and comes with some benefits.
- The Chamber coordinates local events and mixers. These are great opportunities to network. Often times, the chamber of commerce attracts other, very active, local business owners. They are more likely to refer their customers to your business.
- Grand opening or ribbon cutting ceremony. Most cities have an official schedule for grand opening ceremonies. Ask the Chamber about the process for hosting a grand opening and coordinate with them on the best date.
- On-going support of your local community and peers.
Once you've enlisted the help of the Chamber of Commerce, its time to host your event!
Gym Grand Opening Checklist
On the day of your grand opening, many members of your City Council will attend. The Chamber leadership will attend, as will plenty of other business owners. They typically bring a photographer to capture your official ribbon cutting ceremony. It’s a great idea to invite the local paper to do a story and have a friend or staff member available to take pictures or video for content creation later. Make sure to have things ready on your end:
- Marketing materials. Usually, post-card sized handouts, with info on your services work best here.
- Have an easy way to capture lead-contact information. A digital lead capture system is always recommended. Your gym management software should have this.
- Have a small speech ready thanking the Chamber and City Council members for attending, but also educating them as to your vision, mission, and reason for being in business.
- Hire a photographer or bribe a friend who is comfortable shooting pictures!
- Meet and greet. As a service based and community centric fitness studio, you'll want to let your team and your personality shine.
Post Grand Opening Ceremony
Once the “official” ceremony is over, invite everyone inside to the gym. This is where they get to really experience your business for the first time. Some ideas for what to do:
- Host a workout. You are in the fitness business! Give attendees a glimpse of what they can experience by joining your gym.
- Host mini competitions. This is a great way to get participant involvement and hand out giveaways. Make sure to reach out to local businesses for possible giveaways.
- Host a catered meal or cocktail hour. Attendees might not be ready to work out just yet. Hosting a meal or cocktail hour will allow you and your staff to get some face time with your attendees.
- Again, make sure you have someone taking photos, video, or grabbing testimonials. This is great content you can use in the future to post up on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social networks.
- Make sure to thank everyone involved. It takes a big team to get to this point.
Enjoy the moment of your gym's grand opening. You deserve it!