gym events

How To Run An Intramural CrossFit Open: Make It Simple, Fun, Profitable

Running an Intramural Open at your gym doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are three tips to make it simple, effective, fun and profitable!

Monica Hilton
January 26, 2023
How To Run An Intramural CrossFit Open: Make It Simple, Fun, Profitable
Running an Intramural Open at your gym doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are three tips to make it simple, effective, fun and profitable!

For three magical weeks, The Open brings an air of excitement to the CrossFit community. Running an Intramural Open is a great way to bring your own gym community together and have some fun. But if you’re not careful, you can overcomplicate the plan and stress yourself out.

More stress? No thank you.

Not unlike the holidays, this once-a-year event that’s meant to be a celebration, can quickly turn into something you dread. But what if it could be different this year?

Three tips to run a gym Intramural Open

If you see The Open as an impending pile of work, it won’t be fun for you or your community. But you don’t need a comprehensive guidebook or a ton of prep time to run an effective event.

Keep it simple! Prioritize the important parts, have some fun and it can quickly become a highlight of your annual calendar.

Three Tips For A Simple - But Effective - Intramural Open

1. Community First.

The CrossFit Open is all about communing around fitness and testing our own physical capabilities. Ultimately, although workouts are the benchmark and scores are what advance the elite, the purpose is community.

This is a chance for you to help connect your gym, locally and globally.

First, hosting an Intramural Open is a fantastic way to rally your members. So for gyms that host various social and fitness events, this one combines both. It allows your morning classes to meet the people in your evening classes. It challenges people to push past their normal class limits.

Think of it this way: Fun is the focus and fitness is the byproduct. It motivates people to move and the “shared suffering” creates a unique connection.

Secondly, encourage your members to register online for The CrossFit Open. By recording their scores weekly and joining various leaderboards, they’re connecting to the global CrossFit community.

While a fitness competition may not seem like an obvious way to make an impact in the world, the opposite is true. Consider the numerous success stories you’ve seen in your gym. As affiliates, we know that CrossFit is changing lives. Therefore, the larger the brand gets each year, the more impact the methodology can make.

Connect members through fitness for better results

2. The Logistics.

The first step in hosting an Intramural Open is the hype. Use your social media, website or gym blog to create some teasers that The Open is coming.

This step should also include education for members who are new to The Open. Create a short video or blog post explaining what it is, and why they should participate. Make sure everyone understands the divisions, weekly workout announcements and deadlines.

Pro Tip: Want to keep your members in the loop about upcoming events with automated texts and emails? Book a demo with the PushPress Grow team today to find out how!

Now it’s time to create your Intramural Open events! Friday Night Lights is a common idea among CrossFit gyms. The premise is simple: For three weeks, the gym community gathers on Friday evenings to do that week’s workout together. Pair people up to judge each other and encourage people to attend all three.

We recommend picking a theme for each week. From superheroes to gym colors, themes are a fun way to make each week different and fun.

Finally, if you haven’t noticed this yet, here’s an industry secret: CrossFitters love to eat. So once they’ve finished their workout, cap off the event with a fun meal or snacks. Try a chili cook-off, healthy potluck or even an ice cream social.

The goal is to keep people from packing up and heading out immediately after the workout. So encourage socialization to connect your community and create memories.

3. Make It Profitable.

Good news: You don’t have to do this out of the goodness of your heart. Hosting an Intramural open can also drive some gym revenue!

For direct revenue, charge members a one-time participation fee. Consider including branded gym swag with a fun event design. But don’t forget to increase the entry fee to cover the apparel costs.

Fun idea: Promote the event fee as an equipment fund! Every dollar raised will go toward new equipment for the gym. So it’s a win-win for everyone and makes people feel like they’re benefiting from the event in multiple ways.

Spread the word about gym events

For indirect gym revenue, create a marketing campaign around the event. Encourage members to invite friends to Friday Night Lights, either as a spectator or participant. Seeing the camaraderie during community events like this can lead to new memberships. And reach out to local news crews to promote your event as a feature story for some bonus PR.

Finally, as a lead-in to your event, encourage members to write their goals on a board in your gym. If you know someone is working toward a particular skill, talk to them about options to get there faster. From individual training plans to personal coaching, they may be interested in high-ticket gym services.

In Summary: Keep It Simple. Get It Rolling.

Running an Intramural Open at your gym doesn’t have to be complicated. First, prioritize community, both in-house and worldwide. Start by hyping it up and educating your members about why they should participate. Make it fun with connection, themes and food. Finally, explore ways to drive gym revenue through each event. Instead of turning you into a ball of stress, The Open will be something you look forward to every year!

Monica Hilton

Monica is our Content Manager extraordinaire for PushPress. She also owns her gym in Indianapolis, Together We Rise CrossFit, which she opened in 2014 and previously worked in IndyCar racing.

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