We often hear from studio partners that are looking for creative ways to increase exposure to their studio and classes. While social media and marketing are a great start,  the occasional fitness event can be an effective and fun way to connect with new and returning clients. A great fitness event is typically a combination of a workout and a fun social gathering post class. We put together some Do’s and Don’ts to help you plan your next fitness event.

Do encourage your clients to bring a friend! Events are a great way to make an impression on potential new clients, especially those local to your studio.  We all know it’s more fun to work out with a buddy! And if they have a friend who already attends your studio, they’re more likely to come consistently!

Do partner with a charity! People love to support a great cause, and this can be an exciting way to increase traffic to your event. Donating proceeds from the class to your local pet shelter or even featuring pets for adoption after the class (who can resist helping sweet animals?) can help drive interest. You can even sponsor your local food bank by having everyone bring a can of food to donate. Incorporating helping others into your events benefits everyone involved.

Do cross-promote with a local juice or salad company (or another healthy eats joint!). People love refreshments and snacks after a hard workout. This is a great way to showcase both products to the others’ clients and create new relationships. Perhaps you can offer each other promotions that benefit both the other company and your studio.

Don’t leave everything to the last minute! Preparation is key. Plan a dedicated e-mail blast and post updates on other social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Give your guests plenty of notice (a week and a half is usually perfect!) and send a reminder email the day before. You’ll have an accurate idea of traffic and a heads up if you need to bulk up attendance.

Don’t attempt to run the event ‘on the cheap.’ If there is anything you do want to offer – like special food or drinks – that isn’t donated,  beware of extreme frugality. There’s no need for extravagance, but you want to make a good impression.  Find the balance! A little investment goes a long way.

Don’t Leave anything to chance. If your RSVP list is looking a little thin, recruit your friends on standby to fill out the class! You want newbies to see a fully engaged and bustling event that makes your studio and classes look great (Plus, that’s what friends are for)!

Don’t assume that everything will go smoothly.  Sometimes things happen that we can’t anticipate – more people show up than there are spots available (the ideal problem!), the juice company runs behind schedule or your music system fails. Think on your feet and have a back-up for anything that you can possibly anticipate. A huge smile and positivity doesn’t hurt either- don’t let anyone see you sweat (unless it’s from a killer workout).

And of course, the last and most important DO: Have fun! Be engaging! You want to highlight why YOUR studio is great and what makes YOU unique. What are you doing differently than the other pilates studios on the block? What does your CrossFit gym do to infuse fun into each WOD? Play around where you can and have an awesome time!