We spoke to top ClassPass partners on their strategies for hosting outdoor fitness classes. With several studios closed for the foreseeable future, outdoor classes provide a way to drive revenue and stay connected to your client base. If you’re looking for additional ideas, partner with ClassPass and maximize revenue with digital content.

Before diving into spinning up an outdoor fitness schedule, first check your local government guidelines for hosting outdoor fitness classes. See if an outdoor permit is needed. Some cities are implementing strict social distance guidelines, and others are restricting capacity. 

Get Customer Feedback and Sentiment

If you are thinking about offering outdoor classes, you may want to take David Blitz’s, CEO/Founder of Studio Three in Chicago, approach. He advises listening to your members and your community to see where the demand lies. Similarly, Ed Stanbury of BLOK said he wouldn’t make any decisions without talking to his customers first.

David Korijn, Owner of Velo in Amsterdam, says everyone is jumping on those spots. Customers like the classes and they keep showing up. Similarly, Tom Moos, CEO/Founder of Saints & Stars in Amsterdam says they have a pretty full schedule, and classes book up quickly. 

Plan The Location

If you are thinking about hosting outdoor fitness classes, you must first consider where you can host a class. Take the following points into consideration:

Is there space for the equipment? Do you need equipment?
David Korijn, Owner of Velo, located in Amsterdam, said he needed a set location where he could leave everything, meaning his spin bikes. He was looking for a space with the least amount of logistical problems setting up every day. He opted for a space that also provided storage for his bikes, so he could set them up quickly every day. 

How do you want the decor to be?
Tom Moos, CEO/Founder of Saints & Stars in Amsterdam, really wanted to find a space that had a great look and feel. He ultimately rented a house with a large garden where he could host classes. He says “We put a sign on the screens. We had music. And we just made the entire area look nice. We put new flooring in. We put signage up. It’s been working really, really well for us. If you put the effort in, people will really like it.” 

How big is the space?
You’ll need space to comply with your local social distancing standards. David Blitz, CEO/Founder of Studio Three in Chicago converted a parking lot that was barely being used due to the decline in commuting. He was able to set up stations 10 feet apart for maximum safety. The lot is also next door to a hotel, where they can store equipment overnight. 

Outdoor Fitness Class Pricing

Studios will have to consider how best to price their outdoor fitness classes. Outdoor classes means that students have limited access to amenities. Additionally, some outdoor fitness classes will have less equipment than an in-studio class. 

But several customers have credits they want to use, and in some cities where in-studio fitness is still delayed, they are eager to use those credits. David Korijn of Velo decided to stick to the current price level so that everyone could use credits in their account. 

Tom Moos of Saints & Stars slightly decreased pricing when they reopened. They knew the experience they were providing was not comparable to their indoor experience, with the lack of amenities. However, Tom says he would have considered following David’s approach and keeping the same pricing since people were so happy and thrilled to get back to their fitness classes, regardless of amenities.

David Blitz of Studio Three is taking the flexible approach. He is allowing members to use their various class credits across all of their offerings. David said: “If you have a cycle membership, you can take an outdoor class. And if you have a yoga or interval membership, you can take an outdoor class. Really the reason for that is because there is going to be capacities, especially with cycling. You may not get into a cycle class in which you desire. So we want to create options. We are trying to create spots.”

Not everyone is ready to return to fitness outside of their home. But for those that are ready, the outdoor experience has been great.

Partner with ClassPass, the world’s leading fitness and wellness network, to start filling your classes and appointments.

Looking for more resources? Watch this webinar roundtable where fitness studio owners discussed outdoor fitness classes for Summer 2020.