I’m going to share how running a charity event for your fitness business can position you as a leader, get you 50+ new leads, and create a buzz in your facility.
(Best of all, it’s practically free*)
Below is the exact system to run a great event. You can use it for an open day, a monthly charity bootcamp, or just a once-off special event.
Firstly, let’s look at where most people go wrong with open days.
They have the idea to run an open day or charity workout, yet nothing about the workout is memorable… It’s just another workout.
And that’s the last thing you want it to be! To get bums on seats, to raise a heap of money for a good cause and to stand out, you need to make it epic. You need to make it remarkable by creating buzz and giving the participants the most energetic, fun workout they’ve ever had.
Second, you need to run it like an actual event. That means you need to plan it with detail and think of all of the little things. I know this sounds like common sense, but common sense is pretty uncommon these days.
Last but not least, find a charity that means a lot to you.
Perhaps you can even fund raise for a client going through a hard time, or a well known charity in your community.
I know you got into the fitness industry because you enjoy helping people. This one workout can raise over a thousand dollars for a charity. One of my clients recently raised $3,175!
People want to connect with business that have a heart. That aren’t just worried about signing new clients, but one that cares and wants to give back. Sure, you will generate leads and clients off the back end, but that’s an added bonus [Tweet This]
Be go-giver, and you will be rewarded 10x what you put out. There is nothing more rewarding than handing the family or charity you helped a cheque.
When it comes to running the event, you want to be the leader. The rockstar of the day.
So the more hands on deck to run the workout and turn the sausages the better. The minutes before and after the workout are a great time for you to build relationships and network.
If you don’t get the basics right, the event is likely to flop and the show-up rate will be low. Luckily for you, the guess work is taken out of it.
Here’s the step by step formula to run a legendary charity workout.
- Block out a date at least 3 weeks in advance. I suggest a Saturday morning.
- Ensure your team are available. Or if you’re a one-man-band, get some extra hands on the day. The more the merrier – you want to be having fun and enjoying yourself, NOT doing everything yourself.
- Print posters for the facility. Make sure everyone knows about it. Don’t be a tight arse here and try to do it yourself…. get some help from a designer.
- Approach some local businesses to help you out. Try the butcher, baker, health food store, supplement store, and mobile coffee van. Tell them your idea, and ask if they’re willing to donate some food and product so you can put on a breakfast for the participants. Nine times out of ten, they’re more than happy to help.
- Do the same thing for a DJ and a photographer for the day.
- Start a Facebook event, and invite all of your friends and clients. Put a post on your business page, linking to the event, and share it on your personal wall. Ask your team and clients to do the same.
- Have a physical registration list with name, email and mobile. Facebook RSVP’s hold little weight in the real world, so ensure you transfer them onto paper. Don’t skip this step.
- Send reminder emails 7-days, 2-days, and 1-day out from the event. I’ve included an example email reminder below. You could SMS the day prior, too.
- Confirm all food, drink, and volunteers 48 hours out.
- Advise everyone of wet weather plans if you are running this outdoors.
- Brief your team. Ensure they arrive 30 minutes prior to the start to have a team meeting. This allows you to relax and network ten minutes before the start, instead of running around stressing over minor details.
- Can you run paid traffic to a landing page? Yes, you could. But if you do this right, and have been building an email list before this, it shouldn’t be hard to get 50+ new leads, plus all of your clients to attend.
On The Day
- Create BUZZ! You want this to be an experience. Have the DJ spinning epic tunes before anyone arrives, have the facility looking amazing, and be prepared earlier than you think.
- Ensure each participant signs. Have a sheet ready with name, email and phone number.
- Have a tin for donations. Allocate this to one of your team or do it yourself.
- For the actual workout, the goal is to give a fun and energetic session. You want everyone to feel involved and not left behind. Have work stations that are time-based, and offer fully scaled exercises for beginners or those with injuries.
- Put the participants into event groups. I’ve done this with over 80 people and had 10 groups of 8. Just split them up into roughly evenly sized groups.
- A work-to-rest ratio of 60:30 works well and gives the groups enough time to transition.
- Give a demonstration of every exercise, and have printed workout cards at each station.
- Have an “all in” finisher. Ask the DJ to crank up the music, and aim for mass involvement and energy.
- Have a photographer take action photos of the entire thing.
- When the workout is done, the breakfast BBQ should be ready to go.
- Announce the final amount raised, and film it as you make the announcement.
- Tip: Asking for a “minimum donation of $X” tends to get more donations.
- You will likely have a lot of new leads and interest on the day. This is not the time nor place to be “salesy” with these prospects. Just have fun, collect their details, and demonstrate the awesome vibe of your facility.
After The Event
- After the event is a great way to further build relationships, make sales, and show appreciation to your current clients.
- Send everyone who came an email with the total amount raised. Thank them for being part of it.
- Even better: send everyone a hand written thank you card in the mail.
- Publish the photos onto social media. Those involved will be keen to see them.
- This is a great chance for some press and media releases. It will spread word of the charity, and also of you and your business.
- Offer all attendees a free week trial, or a discount to your low barrier offer. Put them on your newsletter list, and of course, stay in touch with them.
- Optional: get a massive novelty cheque printed.
Example Reminder Email
The team and I at [NAME] are really looking forward to the upcoming Workout For [CHARITY]
Here are a few details about the day…
- Arrive ready for a 9am start. We will be all finished by 10:30am and will include a free healthy breakfast after the workout.
- Just bring yourself, a towel and water bottle, and plenty of energy.
- For newcomers, our location is map / link.
If you have any questions, give the gym a call on XXX-XXX-XXX.
See you soon 🙂
PS – Have a friend, colleague or family member who would like to attend? Forward this email to them or simply reply with their name and mobile number [we have limited numbers, so this is just to ensure we can confirm their place]
Example SMS or Email – One Day Out
Really looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming Workout For [CHARITY]
Any questions, just shoot an email to NAME at EMAIIL and he’ll reply and help out.
See you soon, and be ready for an awesome workout!!
So there you have it… the complete system to run a really awesome charity workout at your facility. Did you find this helpful? Please share this article with any friends in the fitness industry you think it might help.
* Practically free: I say ‘free’ because if you do this right, local business owners and photographers are happy to donate their time and services. It just takes some time from you to organise it.