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Thursday
Jan122017

Train Your Group X Staff to Create a Boutique Studio Experience 

This post is part of our Session Spotlight series, previewing just some of the extensive education that will feature at IHRSA 2017, March 8-11 in Los Angeles.   

Ask any boutique studio member what they like about the experience and they’ll likely tell you the same reasons: the classes feel personalized, instructors foster a sense of community, and the workouts deliver results. 

And it doesn’t hurt that they’re trendy. 

Improving Group X Experience Will Boost Retention 

“There are a lot of different aspects to boutique studios’ popularity, but I think the first and foremost is they provide a real social [and] community aspect to the experience, and people are really looking for that these days,” says Marisa Hoff, general manager for Stevenson Fitness in Oak Park, CA. “We’re not a big-box club, but I’d imagine the bigger gyms have a hard time providing that personal experience. When people seek out Soul Cycle and Orangetheory, they’re in a place that feels like home and it’s really appealing to a lot of people.” 

While creating that level of personalization may be a challenge for traditional health clubs, it’s a worthwhile goal to strive for. Creating a boutique experience can raise retention and revenue at your club, Hoff says. And your group exercise program is the perfect vehicle to deliver that boutique-style experience.

“Doing whatever you can to provide a great experience is going to help with retention, period,” says Hoff, who will present on the subject at IHRSA 2017 in Los Angeles this March. “So the more you can get members involved in different programming—whether it’s group X or small group training—the better.”

Train Your Group X Staff to Create a Personalized Experience

So, where should you start? With your fitness staff.   

The number one core value at Stevenson Fitness is building real relationships with members, and leadership instills that in their staff in order to create a more personalized group exercise experience.

For example, instructors are encouraged to:

  • Friend and interact with members on social media
  • Acknowledge when members work hard in class
  • Participate in group X Facebook groups (e.g. the morning bootcamp group)
  • Engage with members before and after their group X class

“We build mini-communities within our community,” Hoff says. “To do so, we train our instructors to enhance that community feel and make sure they’re always interacting with people.”

Hoff will go further in-depth on these strategies and more during her Thursday, March 9 IHRSA 2017 session, “Creating the Boutique Experience in Your Group X Program.” Her presentation will help attendees:

  • Learn why the trend in boutique experiences has been so successful in the industry.
  • Discover how using the boutique experience can raise retention and revenue at your club.
  • Identify key elements to creating a boutique experience – regardless of club size.
  • Review what specific practices can be used by instructors and staff to craft an amazing experience.
  • Learn which tools are critical for designing and implementing the boutique experience for your group X program.

Learn more about IHRSA 2017, March 8-11 in Los Angeles.

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