Train Your Group X Staff to Create a Boutique Studio Experience
Stevenson Fitness is leading the pack when it comes to creating a boutique experience in a gym setting. And it starts with how they train their staff.
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. “So the more you can get members involved in different programming—whether it’s group X or small group training—the better.”
“Doing whatever you can to provide a great experience is going to help with retention, period. So the more you can get members involved in different programming—whether it’s group X or small group training—the better.”
Marisa Hoff, General Manager
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.”
Marianne Aiello is the Senior Digital Content Manager for IHRSA. While her average day includes writing articles, monitoring social media, and crafting IHRSA’s digital strategy, the best part of her job is covering IHRSA events across the globe. When she’s not at work, you’ll find Marianne at an indoor cycling class or, more likely, binging on Netflix.