The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/Making Events and Social Outings Work for Your Fitness Business

Making Events and Social Outings Work for Your Fitness Business

Friday, August 04, 2023



gym, contests, event, powerlifting, hosting, good, work, spot, fun, powerlifting meet, lifters, comedy club, barbecue, fitness, owners, crossfit, people, talk


  • Using social outings to grow your gym. (0:01)
  • Catering to the athletes. (3:40)
  • ​Pillars of Fire. (7:16)
  • If you're not one of us it's you. (12:33)
  • Reaching out to comedy clubs. (18:08)
  • ​The importance of networking. (23:32)
  • ​How to attract the right type of people? (27:03)
  • How to get people into your gyms? (32:27)
  • How to acquire new members on facebook. (38:14)


Tyler 00:01

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week's episode of the gym owners podcast. I'm your host Tyler stone over there is John Fairbanks How are you doing John?

John Fairbanks 00:07

I'm doing excellent Tyler.

Tyler 00:09

John has made it back to the East Coast after his weekend trip into the land of mass and comics here in the Midwest. It was amazing. Glad you made it home. It was a good time. So we helped, but we didn't help. We came and attended. So put together, Macedon put together a very high level, very fun powerlifting contest here in the middle of the boonies in masa nomics headquarters Western northeast, South Dakota. John came down to visit on a business trip. The timing worked out great. So we could check out the powerlifting meet as well. And fun was had all the way across the board, which is why what we're going to talk about today is something that we kind of experienced this weekend is something we've also done, for gyms that we work with, as well as for my gym, we've done these types of things. And it's something we see done well. And something I see very often done very poorly. And that is using events, social outings and gatherings, to grow your gym to simply nurture your local community to get attention to your gym, whatever that is. But there's a social component to this that I think is really great. And a lot of gym owners do it wrong. A lot of gym owners simply just don't get enough out of it. So hosting events, hosting competitions, doing social outings. That's what we're going to cover today. Before we get started, make sure you go to gym owners That's where if you want to join the gear academy or learn more about it, it's sitting there. So that's our coaching group for gym owners doing gym owner things taking their gyms to the very next level. We also have the gym owners blog that sits there, as well as all of the old transcripts and all of the archives of the gym owners podcast. In the link in our description, make sure you go to the gym owners revolution Facebook group, that's where we keep you up to speed on all the cool stuff we got coming up very soon. And follow the show at the gym owners podcast on Instagram. Follow me at Tyler effing stone. That's Tyler eff ironstone. And John,

John Fairbanks 02:05

you can follow me at Jay banks f L. All right, guys. So

Tyler 02:08

This weekend was meathead powerlifters, a very nice clean event. As far as the experience was very professional, you guys have been to a lot of local contests, local meats, where I'm kind of okay with this, it being just like a simple little in house thing. There's not a lot of bells and whistles, it's just kind of fun. It's almost like a mock meat for a lot of the things that I see Jim's doing in house. There's nothing wrong with that. Unless you want to be cooler unless you want to really get attention. And there is again, there's a book I really like to read called conversational capitals, how to make things that make people and how to create things that people talk about. And one of the things is you really got to over deliver and it's not all very expensive. Sometimes it's just a matter of making things look clean, crisp, really, really professional. And that can go simple, John, let's talk some of the attention to detail that we saw kind of at this meet. That made it very next level. And I'm gonna start with a few things. First off, backdrops, big, nice, cool backdrops, really good design for the contest, well branded stuff. The setup of the event was very professional. You had a very large competition platform, on very nice solid equipment, it was set up to be spectator friendly. Whereas a lot of these things are kind of stuffed in a hotel, small hotel convention area or if you're at a CrossFit affiliate, it's just kind of like working around your rigs and there's still all your normal shits laying around and that kind of sucks. There was never an

John Fairbanks 03:41

issue of being able to see it. We had seating on the floor. And then you also had stadium seating because of the venue that they chose. So it allowed you to be elevated. And those stands were always full, like it was always full, because that's where people sat. And then if you wanted to be closer and get sweat on and then the heat. Yeah, overwhelming. You could but it was very easy to be able to enjoy whatever the lift was including bench press, which is usually just crotch shots and acid.

Tyler 04:08

Yeah, yeah. So there's always the dilemma when you're hosting a powerlifting meet, do we deliver the crotch? Or do we make it so nobody can see? The answer is turning around, we don't need to see their head, we seem to see the bar move. It's okay. the bench press is boring to watch no matter who's doing it at all levels. So it's okay. Now it is interesting. We're hosting. We're gonna get into more than just competitions of course here today. But I want to stay on this tip because while we kind of recap that weekend here there's two types of people that you're catering to here when you host an event like this. One is the athletes. Now the athletes for powerlifting meets kind of probably need to come first because that is where most of your money is coming from. Most of their wives, girlfriends, families, parents, cousins, friends are not on the verge of getting into powerlifting. So if you do want to have a good event and have it be something that people continue to show up for, you do need to cater to the interest of the lifters which means you need to have a really nice kind of package for them to give them a payroll, it should feel clean ish that system should be organized. The Warm Up area was great, really nice top level equipment, they did not compromise on that at all. So there was tons of space, tons of extra equipment, the event itself ran extremely smoothly, which when you have good event organizers, on the back end, that's great whether you use a federation or whether you dry loaders and spotters are extremely important. So you need a ton a ton of volunteers so that the team can turn things over fast. And they were lightning, and they were lightning fast. Now that rolls over into the second group of people that you need to make happy when you're hosting an event. And that is the people in attendance. People watching spectators now contests, they take forever. They're normally eight hours usually, right? This one ran nine to three, you're looking at six hours for this, you know, this one, still is a long day. It's a long day, but there's no getting around it, especially in powerlifting. But then you need to do something for the spectators. First off, you need to understand that nobody is staying for the whole thing. It's not true, nobody, like very few people are going to come and go, I'm just gonna check this thing out. If they don't know somebody's doing it, they're not going to be there the whole time. So the whole rest of the stuff that goes around it should be if someone comes in for an hour or two can they can their experience be a good one. And I think the mass and crew did a really good job with this. What they did was they had one, great music, good music set, good sound setup, they have a solid MC so the thing moves pretty quick, the event moves quick. So it stayed exciting. The details were there were great booths with good products to buy. And for those of you out there, having merch was not just for the meet. But for other sponsors, other vendors, whatever, when people are in a captive environment like that, and they get a little bored or they need a little bit of break and they'll walk in. I have bought shirts for powerlifting meets that I didn't compete in when I was just there. And they were ugly, but I just bought them because I bought a white shirt from a powerlifting meet one time and I have a hard, hard opposition to white shirts, because I'm seeing messy and gross. And I was like well I'm here I might as well and never fuck with him once never Ward again. So it is just good for the vendors to have things set up there to give people something to do and have food like you can cover all the basics but if you can just level them up a little bit it goes really far. These guys had two giant pillars of fire so that if anybody hit their second or third deadlift attempt, massive 1015 foot flames would fly up just he's I mean, you always forget how hot that shit is. Even if you're like in the back row, your buyer is buyers. 100 I thought it was gonna be but that attention to details now makes it where someone comes in and goes, you know, I've never even bid if that's your first powerlifting meet to go see. And it's like a friend of a friend is competing, and you go check it out. You're like, Holy shit, that was cool. Like, no matter what is cool, people are fired up, people are yelling. So I think understanding the difference between who you're trying, you know that you need to deliver for two very different types of people just for the sake of the event. By the way, this isn't about the things we're going to get into next. But for the sake of the event, you really need to over deliver, and you need to craft a solid and enjoyable experience for everybody. Not just worrying about how you can this is the thing I always hated about CrossFit, the way they the way they handle a lot of their contests is it's more about finding the fittest person and the workouts and the workouts going off then it is like can this be fucking entertaining at all? You know, there's nothing more less interesting than good. I didn't go to the CrossFit Games a few years ago. And they have a marathon row. Fuck you now, right? It's all about the test of fitness. But don't ever fucking ask somebody to pay money to go sit in a goddamn stadium and watch people sit on ass for hours. It's crazy, right? NASCAR will weigh less beer. So on the other extreme end of this is what we've done with powerlifting meets that we had hosted. The tanner put on it with mass economics before we went the opposite direction, purely spectator friendly. Purely. That's all it was when the events went so fast. There's two things that happen in strongman contests when you go have a strongman competition. Either everybody's worried so much about the lifter's experience that everybody gets enough time to warm up. And if we're gonna go to the log in between events, everybody gets to practice with the log for an hour. And then the lightweights go up and then they start doing their lifts. And then when the lightweights are done, they let the middle weights come in and practice with the log again. So there's just all this downtime and it sucks. So what we did with every mass anomic powerlifting meet was we said absolutely not. You as the lifter are on it is your responsibility to be warm. We do not fucking care. Now we'll do it. I think we can to facilitate you getting one, we do have equipment, but there will never be a moment where things are not happening on the lifting floor. Yeah. And trust me, this guy just completed a lot like those are my favorite means because once I start, I just want it to continue powering forward, I would rather have to go out. And with a little less rest than I wish I had then wait three hours between lifts, which very often in a fight, I've, I've had many 12 hour strongman contests for five events. You can't even convince your wife to stay way crazy, dude. So most of the ones we did were three hours or less two and a half hours or so. So we tested that with then, we've also done strongman contests that are teams where it's Red Team Blue Team, each competitor only does one event and then that becomes very easy to get high level competitors come in, because you will not pull me out of retirement for five event contests. And to beat up to all you might get me out to rip a lug around. You know, that may happen. But then you get some big names, big people, big freaky people that maybe aren't gonna stick out the whole thing. That is a very spectator friendly event that might have been the most riled up crowds we've ever seen. And that, that ends up being homework. Megan had then hosted one here at Masson omics, as well about a year and a half ago. And I think with 40 competitors, give or take, done start to finish in two hours and 15 minutes. So anybody who says it needs to take longer than that just quit letting these lifters be divas and babies and just fucking say no, you're you're going to be up when you're up. So when your weight class gets up, it's fucking on you. So just be one, get one, pay attention. But I'm not stopping this event so you can get your second turn a warming up with the yoke just fucking warm up Princess, I thought you're a big strong guy. So as a super if you if you can frame your events like that, by the way, most of the lifters really appreciate all of them who said maybe they wish they had a little more rest time, not a one of them who traveled Sure wish that the event took an hour longer before they got to turn around and drive back home. And every single person in attendance was able to stay the whole time. And if you want to grow the sport within your community, and get better eyes and do this from year to year, and have it continue to grow, and have it become a very big thing within your town as well as your gym. Making a spectator friendly event is the best thing to do. I love these things as tests of strength and stuff. So fitness. But there's nothing worse for the sport than something that's that pretentious and does not deliver any entertainment value.

John Fairbanks 12:33

Well, because it's already weird. Yeah, you have to accept it as if you're not one of us, right? If you're not one of us, it's you, it's This is stupid. This is dumb. This is stupid. This isn't interesting. You all are dumb. But if you get somebody who wants to come out like wow, let me check it out. You will if it is fun, people will be like, I don't know what the fuck that they're doing. But like it was, it was a party like it was a gas like it is. The last thing you want to do is have people start to be well, I'll check it out. Because it's brand new to your area. Right? I can't live in our area. We participated in powerlifting. Me, that was the first powerlifting meet, according to anyone that's lived here for the last 50 years that has ever happened. That involves any teams allowed to be involved at all. And that never happened before. Thank God, no one came to it. Yeah. Because it was terrible. It was terrible. Now they didn't know what they were doing. And it just was like a dude doing his best to test the thing out, but there were like five people there. So it's really important that if you want to continue to grow something, and be able to have people come in and be interested, the last thing you ever want to do is have people show up.

Tyler 13:44

So we want to talk then about the application. This is that was our kind of wrap up of our experience with the events that I've participated by John,

John Fairbanks 13:50

There's one thing that we didn't talk about, which I think really endears like the people that are the participants, or the families or whatever. And it's what the Macedonians dudes did before the actual event. And then after the event. Oh, yes, yes. And it goes really hard. Like they're already their mantra, the idea of like, lift hard, live easy. So there's always this concept like we're gonna do some hard shit, but then we're going to fucking party. Yeah. And then

Tyler 14:14

really hosted a full kind of like, for the people now grand masks is a bit of a different brand than just there being some like regular usapl Meet going on in your town. Right? Right. But there was kind of a party the night before a little gathering, right, have some pizza, whatever. And then afterwards, after the event itself, there was a fully hosted bar after party. And by the way, that after party isn't something that takes a ton of work. It was just hey, you let the bar know we're gonna be here. Like you kind of and that's it like there wasn't they didn't sound like they set up fucking appetizers for us or anything. But having it become a socially endearing experience as opposed to just an entertaining experience is what takes us to the very next level. Now for those of you as gym owners, I think It's very important to know, if you're going to host an event, I would like you to maybe keep those things that I just described in mind, right? The problem is hosting competitions like that it's fucking hard. Doing it in your gym is really hard. Doing it yourself is really hard if you're at the gym, or it is a lot of damn work. If you don't have the ability to delegate out or kind of like give this project to somebody where you can kind of just work with them on it. There's a lot of work one of our coaches in the gear Academy has done for this fourth weightlifting meet. And he's had him in the past. He's there's just such a damn headache and jams up their gym a lot. And maybe their gym space isn't ideal for it. And it was just so much work that he kind of took a few years off of it. But now it's like they found a different location to do it at, it's more of a, I think if you're not associated with the gym, or that specific gym, it just feels like an event to contest, which is great. That means you can attract people from all different types of work life to the contest instead of just going to a gym to go to a gym thing. But it's a lot of damn work. So there are other ways to get the same benefits, the social benefits of having a big contest and having everybody coming in, having fun and having a good time. And we'll cover a few of these here today. So one of them is you can do a lot of these things via just outings, right, I think regular, good old fashioned social outings. We were talking with manufacturers, the same coach, and the same gym owner in our group the other day, and he said, " I don't know what to do. Because you always feel like you have to put this thing together. Like I have to plan a trip. And they like to try to make everything fitness focused. And I said, Well, maybe just once you guys just let people know that he doesn't have to be everybody's gonna go to this type of thing. Just say, Hey, we're gonna go to this place, this local school, support this local business and just hang out as a group. Anyone who wants to go, just let us know, RSVP. And we'll meet you there. You get 1015 20 people, whatever. It's cool that 20 people are having a great time with people from their gym. And it's a home run. And he was like, Oh, shit, that probably sounds like an oddity. It's a lot less planning. It's a lot less bullshit. And what do they do, they're just like, oh, let's go to the comedy club. There's a comedy club for comedians, we know. And then boom, 25. So people go in, and all of a sudden, they're pretty valuable to this comedy club that night, right. And they're a good group of beautiful people out having a good time. And they're spending money. So now that comedy club owner, the bar owner, whoever it is now. That is a big value addition to them that you've added. You're not. You're now patronizing their business, you're supporting things your people are having a good time with, it's a win-win across the board. And it gives you the opportunity to start to further those relationships doesn't cost him any money. That's like everyone paying their own weight. Now granted, it's not a moneymaker for you. But having your people be fit and beautiful out in the town. Right. And people asking and talking about who you are, where you're from, that's the we talked about a very real organic form of true networking. That's not fake. And that's one of the many ways right, I think that that definitely fits the bill.

John Fairbanks 18:07

He's got to know that the comedy owner, you will become a referral, he will become a referrer. Yeah, right. Because it's and it's to make sure that they're aware. Like if you hadn't reached out, which you probably won't write and go to a comedy club or whatever, and everyone's buying their own ticket. But afterwards, it's taking a few steps of like, tagging, tagging the company on social media, like we had a great time shooting them an email, like whatever shooting a message, like there's just not that much follow up that can happen afterwards. That will really allow you to make sure that you have the proper visibility, which we had a great time here. We can't wait to come again. So it is clear that we had 25 People come out. It was awesome. It was great. We had a great time again. Just as you're opening the doors, you're planting the seeds all over the place. Compared to where it like just like you said it's it's no it's literally no work other than showing up

Tyler 19:04

and I'm also okay with contacting them ahead of time to like that's always a good one like hey, we're bringing so we're gonna hand right now got 15 confirmed might be 2025 Let them know ahead of time that they should be one prepared and also pretty fucking appreciative. Because if I show up with me and my wife, I'm spending two people's worth of money. That's it. If I roll in 30 deep and they know that my business is the reason for it. They are worth 30 times as much as my big ass walking into them.

John Fairbanks 19:30

There's an element to that I really like which is as you start to think about or brainstorm like where you would want to go, whether locally or whether you're going to travel whatever it's thinking about the people either who you are and who you want to be attracting. Right, understand that like it's if the comedy club is your scene, and it is the people that you go and that come to your gym a larger percentage of people at least that you'd want to spend time with, like that kind of comedy. Then you're walking into a place where there are more people that could be members of your spot. So just as you choose these different locations, you need to understand that you are knowingly putting you and your members in a position to have their best foot forward and to have the highest opportunity to have people say how many we were at the bar or the mass nomics thing. People wanted to know if there was a bouncer convention, come into town. Yeah.

Tyler 20:29

Why are all these huge Jack dudes here? What is going on? Why is everyone wearing such tight clothes? Is this a gay thing? Why are these guys wearing speedos in the bar

John Fairbanks 20:38

So many bears that all showed up?

Tyler 20:40

It looks like a bear convention. We did have a very old woman come and ask my wife while I was standing there. She's pointing at my shorts because this is some kind of a thing.

John Fairbanks 20:52

So But that's that is that is the power that you end up having? Because then people do ask because people are fucking nosy. So it's just like, Why are you all here? Why do you all look the way? Why is this happening? And then immediately be like, Oh, this is what it is. And then it is such an easy conversation starter. That's way more fun. in the right place where you already are connecting with people on a totally different level, then you want to come to my

Tyler 21:16

gym. Yeah. Now there's also fitness focus outings. And I still think these can be things that are essentially free. This is also you going to other businesses, right? I think it's, I think what a great opportunity. If you're a CrossFit gym, take your people's spare time to go to a local kickboxing gym, hit some bags or go. You don't I mean, if you get 30 people together and you hire your local martial arts instructor to come to a fun little thing with your group. That's it. What a great way to bring people together and do something different. It's the thing that I think that the sport that the word the the philosophy of what CrossFit was originally got so right, was that it involved phrases, and trying new sports. Yes, always be trying something new, because over the course of your life, you never know what's gonna click, you never know when you're gonna get bored of the thing. And if you get bored of the thing, and you have been very standoffish towards trying other things, you're gonna run out of fucking things to do, dude. And so I think it's really good if you're in the functional fitness space, or any sort of more community focused fitness space, right, where you're doing group classes, semi-private stuff that may be tough to execute in a 24 hour period and people are maybe a little less connected. But I still wouldn't, wouldn't advise against it. For sure. But anything like that, a fitness focus outing, that it still fits your brand new are doing hot things. So instead of it being like, let's go out to the bar of an after party, which I still am totally on board with. This is something that maybe doesn't compromise your diet and maybe appeals to someone who's like, Hey, I don't drink or I really don't like dirty comedy, or, you know, I'm just, I'm not into that kind of stuff that is, but I'm here to get fit. You know what this sounds like a fun addition. And I think it's a great way to involve your people, as well as things like hikes. Water waters, do have a beach day, have a beach day where maybe you just plan a few activities that you do, like, we're going to have some fun little sand thing or a swimming contest, like an open water swimming thing that's, that's not stuffy and not an actual contest. But like, here's a few things we're gonna do this day, bring yourself out there, it's all just gonna be a fun day. Don't make it, don't overstay your welcome. With a lot of these things. Come in, get in and get out. And these are the things that people will remember five years from now about your job.

John Fairbanks 23:32

And it is such easy networking. Like I can't, I cannot, like we can't overstate that enough. Because it is, especially if you're a fitness thing. There is still as you all know, there's still a really, really weird relationship that you all have in your local communities with other people that do fitness see things? And it's what sucks, in my opinion. That's the reason why we started this whole thing was all you motherfuckers were all trying to do the exact same thing no matter where you were on planet earth around 2019. And none of you were talking to each other, like some fucking gym in Perth, Australia is somehow going to have like is gonna one up you when you live in Des Moines. Yeah, like get the fuck out, like talk to each other. Because you're all trying to figure out the same thing. It's going local too. So locally, stop having a scarcity mindset, like there's not enough people in your town to go around and if you truly are coming from the right place, which is you genuinely want to help humans, it's Who else wants to do this too. So it's if you have a BJJ place that's in town, or you have whatever who the fuck like karate places, whatever these places are, that are like, I love the idea, the where if I have a spot to have someone come in and just expose my people to it, like it's such an easy gesture of because technically you could take this from the right of the standpoint of Why don't want some theory, if I have somebody come in, they're paying me to work out with me for twice a week, or once a week or three times a week. And now I'm going to bring a fox into the henhouse to steal I

Tyler 25:10

I don't want to immerse myself. I don't want to take my people to this other place where they might have fun with a bunch of people who are the reason that they're not leaving to go to that place. Anyways, what the fuck guys?

John Fairbanks 25:19

Come on. Oh,

Tyler 25:20

I think that that but that category, right, you can have a social focus outing, and then fitness focus outings, I think the reason we're covering each of these, each of these bases here is that you don't have to do one of them exclusively. And it also means that when you're doing it you should do it for at least a few years. And then we don't always have to be the same thing. Because sometimes we'll talk to gym owners about it. And they'll just be very surprised that oh, oh, yeah, I could just do that. It's always a barbecue. It's always a fucking barbecue with you guys. And I'm okay with it. I love meat and stuff. Yeah, but it's always like we'll have a barbecue. Well, that seems like it's okay. But that's like a very narrow expectation of having a barbecue in the back of your gym. I don't know. That's wonderful. But that's not my fucking like sweet idea of an awesome time. There's many other things out there to be experienced. And that's how, again, if you keep doing that, nobody's going to fucking talk about that. I'm sorry. And those people are going to their job the next day or the next Monday, and we just began, we had this barbecue, it was a blast, it was totally new. I've never had burgers on a grill while standing up holding paper plates.

John Fairbanks 26:29

And also, it only confirms that you're a cult. Yeah, ready to only kiss continues to strengthen, so you had the weekend, you worked out at the place Monday through Friday, and then in your free time, you hung out with the exact same people at the same place. We ate this time. Cool. So that's where it is that allows you to be able to remember how people will be able to be talking about it. But also, if you continue to do the same thing over and over you're only attracting just that one slice of even your own gym to enjoy it. So it is really purposeful, where it's like, okay, we've done something that attracts these types of people. Now, what about these types of people? Like what are the different avatars? What are the types of styles of people that you like in your spot? And are you doing something for them, and more importantly, who would like to grow like that? I don't want to derail it and push it towards too much marketing. But it is understood that this is all part of it. Like it's it's it is cloak and dagger style marketing of

Tyler 27:31

These are two functions. The first function is retention. This is at its most core, it is a retention strategy, it's that my people need to feel connected to the people in my gym. And that's the way it needs to be. This is how I keep people warm and fuzzy. This is how people go, what do you do, why do you go to the gym, the community is better, right? That's the one function that this serves. The other function is marketing. This is in hopes of getting eyes, getting attention and getting people talking that over the long term, your spot is the spot that's fun spot that does things together, the spot that looks like they do all sorts of different things. And there's different types of people, and you're out in the town or in your community representing yourself, your gyms and your community. That's a second function that I think is very important.



Tyler 28:19

there's events that we talked about, talk competitions, which are competitions that you host that you're doing. Don't sleep on doing other people's stuff, too, right? If another gym is doing it go in, work their ass, do whatever you got to do, but also can go for just other competitive things that can give you something to focus your training within your gym at for a while, whether it is a marathon, a half marathon, a fun run, whether there's a triathlon going on, whether there's whatever else is going on in your community, I think participating in those types of mostly fun, maybe some highly competitive contests as a gym, not everybody, but like, put a call out to your people and your people, the ones that want to go do it, because they will represent you there. Hopefully they represent you well, again, that makes you and your people very visible within your community. All

John Fairbanks 29:07

all of the positives that we talked about, like the social non fitness side of things for you just out and about in the right places. That's where it's, it ends up being like through osmosis, you're going to generate leads like that people see like, Oh, that's really cool, like, whatever. But when you come into this area, like the arena or competitions or fitness based events, we're going to go to those things. You have people that like to fit us. So it is a very warm or hot market. And I was talking to a gym owner that owns a boxing spot in town. I mean, it's a small garage under a tattoo parlor. Right? locally in town, because one of my sons wants to get into boxing. So we asked the guy who asked the guy and was like, Well, this is the spot we showed up were like, Oh, shit, this is awesome. So that's where we're at. Come to find out. They've exploded with people coming to this little garage in the last two weeks, because the last competition that they went to was 45 minutes away. Every fighter on the card, one of the fighters was from their spot. And everyone was like, you realize that if your gym didn't show up, reason gym loosely, your gym didn't show up. We wouldn't have a fight tonight. Like there's so many competitors. So it's like, we are here, like the folks that were local. They're like, we're 10 minutes down the road. And we couldn't even do two fighters. Well, we couldn't get two fighters to sign up. Yeah, and you guys brought like 12. And it was like, so immediately people started, they wanted to come straight out of the spot. So just the power of like, going up and showing out. It's a little bit like it's you got to make sure you don't suck. So if you show up, you have some athletes that do some things that start to turn heads and start to give people the excuse to come check you out. Yeah.

Tyler 30:54

So we've talked about in -house competitions that you host that you run that are happening, right. We've also talked about going to other people's contests because it represents a gym out there. There's one that probably takes equal work as, as much work as hosting an actual contest yourself is hosting a non competition event. And we talk about things like open houses or kind of like just a fun fitness day, or whatever this is it goes on on location that is almost exclusively to attract new people. Okay, and it says it serves a very different function. But I think that those events are really where we've had John, we've had so much success, having gyms just run a yearly open house, as you treat them almost the same way as a contest. Right after you steal, I want you to get sponsors. I want you to sell booths to vendors, and I want you to solicit for raffles and giveaways. I need you to get as many names on lists as you possibly can, names , email, stuff like this so that you can have everyone come in and have a good time. We did one in the Northeast a while back that we kind of helped facilitate and they did a really good job. Tons of giveaways, tons of people came to the food truck, it was probably 40% of the people in attendance were not members of the gym, or sure of the course of the day. And that was really good. They brought in fitness instructors from not that gym. That was not their spot. I really liked that they had to have, they just brought in a Zumba instructor to have fun. They brought a hit coach in there. They brought you all sorts of neat stuff in a big large group setting that has a wide appeal to people and wide appeal to a wide amount of people. But then it's not going to be like they know that's not the thing that you do there. But they know you don't think it's stupid, which means then they like you. If I'm gonna go to a Zumba thing, and there's a and there's a bunch of CrossFit people hanging out doing it. I then might be interested in going to that CrossFit gym. Right because I go, Oh, yeah, they tried my thing that looks like fun. They seem like nice people, then you talk to them and relate to them on a human level. And now you're very, very warm towards that location. And you won some gift baskets. Maybe you didn't, but then you just get a little follow up email with a nice phone, email or text with a very nice, slick, easy introductory offer. Really, you know, Yeah, fuck yeah, I'll come try it. Right. That's you, if you play that game times 100 people, it'd be the most productive day you have in your business.

John Fairbanks 33:13

It also opens the door so easily to where a lot of you have gyms that you're paying quite a bit of money for it to be empty. Yes, yeah. So because we all know that that's a problem, quote, unquote. And you also can't find anyone to hire right now, because that's a problem. So but you already have Zumba instructors and yoga and like you have all these people that are around. And so it's an easy way when you hold these types of events where you get to kind of just test run somebody in a spot. Or again, you're planting a seed where it's like, Hey, would you want to pop in on like a Saturday at this time like it? We hold the thing? I can't tell you how many breweries there are in Virginia, where I'm at, we have a craft brewery every two miles. Yeah. I cannot tell you. At least 95-90% of them all have yoga on Saturdays. And if you do the yoga class, you get a free bite. Yeah, just comes with the so it's like, they figured out that it was this slow time. This brewery is kind of slow on Saturday at 8am. Yeah, surprise. So it's easy to bring in people that maybe they're maybe not there, but they're going to yoga somewhere. And I have a wide open space where I can have people yoga here. So to be able to test that and bring those different populations into your world to where hey, maybe if this person really does have the draw, because that's also another piece you don't know. People oversell and under deliver all goddamn day. So a DJ that's going to come and may act like they have a pool or if a Zumba instructor, whoever has pull and they act like and then fucking two people show up. Well, it's a lot less work for you to just kind of plug them into a slot of time on an open house than trying to like build it up and then sell it and then nobody fucking shows up and And it's like, well, people just don't like yoga. It's like, that's

Tyler 35:01

not a thing. Yeah. And some of them guys, you could do them just because they're fun. And then you can figure out what the reward is after the fact. Right? So we have one of our Gear Academy gyms hosts a full on DJ costume party twice a year in the gym, to the point where then the DJs come back and are like, Yo, can we use your spot again? And like, he's like, Yeah, fuck it, yeah, and open. And but they, it allows him to be there, allows their members to be there, they all have a really good time, guys, people having fun in your building around your people and with your people. That's like the secret sauce here, because that's what's gonna keep them there. If you can get them to experience that first, instead of just telling them about it, which fucking always fails. Don't ever tell anybody how great your community is, nobody gives a shit. Now, they can either experience it or they're going to think you're lying or trying to get them to join your cult. But if I go to a party at a spa, and I have a really good time with these people, I don't even need to hear it. It's like, alright, yeah, that's kind of cool. It can compel you to join, you'll already have social connections, it makes it like joining a spot that a friend is already going to. Okay. And I think that that's a huge, that's a great idea. Speaking of DJs, one of our spots in Europe that I used to go to a lot would have Friday nights off, everything is every other Friday night, they just have a DJ come in is a 24 hour gym, or, you know, public open gym, no real coach products there. So they're just being a DJ, and like dim lights and lights, just dropping them off. You know, like those, those things were really good times. You know. So there's, again, I think you can stick to the standard staples. Guys have a barbecue on Memorial Day who are allowed for the week, you can totally have barbecue. But it's just there's more to it than that. I just think there's more to it. And you can have your CrossFit gym, have your in house CrossFit contest once a year and you bring other gyms in and whatever you can do that you can level that up, or you can keep it small, but I think filling in the gaps with some of these other easier to execute things. I think that really warms a whole situation up and really changed it because of the things I just described for you. The yearly functional fitness contests and the yearly barbecue are shit that every single goddamn gym does. So, like what are you doing at this point, other than just like, hey, are toilets work? Come join us, we got water. I mean, it just says it's not any different. So if and when we talk about again, that book's conversational capital, how to create things that people will talk about, you can't just be doing the same shit that everyone else is doing. So your friend you and your people go have a great night out with at a comedy club. And then you pop around what a great fun night with your gym as opposed to your wife stupid friends who you hate going out with or you know, your husband's obnoxious pals from college. We get to see tweets like that blow, it might be an exceptional social event for you. And doing enough of those different types of things, pepper in the fitness stuff, the social stuff in house, the external stuff. Now you have a package over a year that's still relatively easy to manage and easy to plan that doesn't cost you a bunch of money. Do that over the course of a couple of years. And I think you're gonna have a very different reputation and a very different connection to your members all better.

John Fairbanks 38:14

And when you're thinking about that list of all the things that we just talked about, and then you just list it out. Compare that to how you're trying to acquire new people right now. What are the things that you're doing

Tyler 38:24

What is less fun for you?

John Fairbanks 38:28

Just totally sucks, right? It's like the majority of the people who don't want your shit. Either you're cold, cold DM and people that have liked something, or have commented on a post. So now you just are creeping into their DMS that way. Yeah. Or you're running ads, which right now, what we're seeing is like Facebook is eating a plate of dicks right now when it comes to ads across the board. And we're not the only people that are seeing it. I'm starting to see the crowd. I was like, Is there something that's happened like the last couple of months, it's like everyone just eating shit when it comes to ads. So you're running ads, and if you're not eating and playing shit, then God bless you. But that's the only other way you're doing it. And then referrals. So it's like your referral play based off of people that just already are members of the gym, and he kind of just asked, and they're all important. All three of these things are important, but the problem is we just listed for fucking 40 minutes. But some really genuinely interesting or fun ways to go about acquiring leads. That's so much better than you trying to get people excited about a free fucking class on Saturday that you're going to show up to at a park 10 no one shows up to

Tyler 39:34

one that I've missed here too, as well as cooking classes. Okay, you don't have to attend one that's already on a scout if there's someone that puts those on now you have a group. Okay, so one you'll all get a better rate two is it'll be just you and your people what another great opportunity for you to deliver real value for your people as well. So these are what I want to hear from you guys out there. So we've talked about a ton of different things. But what I want to hear from you guys is send us a D Yeah, we're posting in the Facebook page gym owners revolution Facebook page, post some of these unique ideas that you've had. Let us know if there's different things that you've done, go to the gun range, like what are some of the ones that have won? I want to know what's the most fun. All you out there, tell me what the most fun one that you guys have done. That was a blast. And then which one was the most productive as far as kind of getting you new members? Yeah. And I want to know any unique cool ideas that you've had, because one good idea should be shared. First off. And two, I've Yeah, I'm just really interested in hearing because we have a big network of gyms that we work with on a daily basis. And it is really nice to give them a laundry list of ideas out there, you guys should be sharing this stuff with all other gym owners, right? Share it with us so we can share it with ours. Because not everything is for everybody. Taking people to the gun range is not going to be for your gym, maybe especially to Europe and Canada, guys. But for some guys, you'd be like, oh shit, I never thought about that, that rules and I got two members here that have this and they can maybe facilitate for free. They can't and there's a lot of cool ideas out there to be had and I think you should try as many of them as possible. So that's what we got for today. Thanks for listening. Hope you all had a good time again, let us know your cool ideas for your cool events in house external competition wise and socially focused and fitness focus outings, please please hook us up. So thanks for listening. I want you to go to Jim Morris Make sure you go to the Facebook group links in the description. Follow the show at the Jim Morris podcast on Instagram. Follow me at Tyler Elphinstone. Is Tyler eff ironstone and John, follow me at J banks f L. All right guys. That'll do it for today. Make sure you share the show like the show, do all the things that you need to do with the show, visit the website. Thank you very much. Bye

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