It is generally accepted that group fitness is an important part of a successful club but, for a part of your offering that has the ability to reduce your cancellations by 26% and achieve all the key elements essential for retention (motivation, progress, social connection and enjoyment,) does it really get the focus it deserves?
So what are these key metrics?
1. % of Group Exercise Attendance
The best performing clubs can attribute 35 – 50% of their total club attendances to some form of assisted exercise, however the average is currently below 25%. Assisted exercise ranges from small group personal training to running clubs to more traditional group fitness classes.
2. Class Spaces per Member
Attendance is essential for member retention and success. Does your group exercise offering provide enough opportunities to contribute 50% of club attendances? Your available capacity should at least match 50% of your member numbers e.g. 500 places for every 1,000 members. To achieve the perfect two sessions per week your ideal capacity should be one space per member.
3. Average Weekly Attendance
Know this figure per class, programme and instructor. How does this compare to individual attendance targets, how does this compare to your membership base and is it growing month on month? Your group exercise attendance each week should match your total number of members.
4. Cost per Head
How much does a class actually cost you to run, including instructor salary and program licenses? This should be considered when planning your timetable. Set a budget for each studio or group exercise area and create targets to ensure a positive return on investment. Your expected return may vary depending on the type of class but your overall timetable should perform efficiently and within your agreed range. Note: reducing costs is not the only benefit here, retaining your exceptional group exercise instructors is essential - where cost per head is managed well bonuses related to attendance can be evidenced and afforded.
5. Return on Investment (ROI)
Any investment into your club or group fitness programming is generally expected to see a return - but is this actually tracked? The cost of running a studio compared to the cost of procuring gym equipment is significantly lower per square metre, however it is historically difficult to secure budget for this. Can you evidence the impact of new equipment, program launches or scheduling changes on your ROI, attendance growth and cost per head?
Before the cries of “we can’t do this, we are at capacity” begin, consider some thoughts.
- Assisted exercise does not have to be confined to the studios – be creative! Get outside, look for spaces you could convert or run small group training in the gym area. Is it possible to take your offering out into the community and utilise other spaces to run additional classes?
- Plan for the future, track these metrics to evidence the need for expansion or to consider the ROI for spaces in new facilities or refurbishments. What would you do if your gym floor was at capacity?
- How much time does your group exercise space lay empty? It is common for a cycling studio to sit unused for up to 80% of the week! Look towards virtual classes or other ways to fill these spaces without heavy investment into instructor costs.
- Consider your programming – are you filling classes with the same members multiple times per week or attracting a wide range of members with high numbers of unique visits?
Discover a better way to effectively create, manage and measure your group fitness programming with group exercise management solution CLUBCOUNT™, created and delivered in partnership with TRP.
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