Your members want to do much more than work out at the gym. While working up a sweat and getting in their reps and steps is still important, more and more members are taking a holistic approach to exercise.

They understand that their physical and mental wellbeing are all interlinked, and they want their gym to support this with social elements and peripheral activities and services.

Making the decision to meet this growing demand can be key to sustaining a successful gym business. Bringing more new members through your doors while retaining more of your existing ones.

Why should your gym business care about additional activities?

Meeting the changing needs and demands of your members with additional activities is no small task. You need to commit to offering the right services and activities, and this can result in cost and time implications.

But the results for your gym speak for themselves. Investing in activities that complement your fitness offering:

  • Increases footfall – meaning more people are paying for memberships
  • Incentivises people to spend more time in the gym – giving you more opportunities for upselling
  • Creates new opportunities to generate revenue – meaning you can increase the value of each member to your gym business
  • Creates a sense of community – which will help you to retain more members who feel like a part of a real fitness community

Which activities & services do members want?

Before you invest in new services and activities for your gym, it’s important to focus on the services and activities that your members will value.

Exclusive research, conducted by Untangled on behalf of Xplor, identified six additional activities and services that your members want to see:

  • More community engagement (46% of members) – Think charity events, social get-togethers and supporting local initiatives. All of these will increase your gym’s visibility and offer more value to your members.
  • Massage (41% of members) – Massage is the next most requested peripheral service according to our research. Set aside your unused gym space as a massage room, or partner with a trusted local provider to meet this need.
  • Nutrition services (32% of members) – Stock nutritional supplements which you can sell to members and offer them advice on how nutrition impacts their health and fitness. Consider investing in a café area for post-workout drinks and conversation. This space could even be used for evening social activities and get-togethers.
  • Meditation classes (30% of members) – Mental wellbeing is a key consideration for large numbers of gym members. Find a quiet spot away from your noisier classes or machines and offer guided meditation sessions to your members.
  • Mobile apps/Online access (30% of members) – Invest in smart software such as Xplor Gym to make gym attendance easier and use social tools to encourage members to interact while they’re away from the gym. You can also focus on social media support groups to help foster a community feel.
  • Shop/Fitness clothing (20% of members) – A shop or retail area is another great place for your members to interact away from the gym floor. Stock and sell high quality branded gym gear, and your members will spread the word every time they pull on their new workout top or hoodie.

Broadening your offering is all about new opportunities

Broadening your gym’s offering with new activities and services isn’t just about delivering a better customer experience for your existing members. It also offers you new opportunities. New products to sell, new services to advertise, and new ways of encouraging your members to get out there and spread the word about your gym.

Give your members what they want, and they’ll reward you by staying members and encouraging their friends to join too.

The more social and wellbeing activities you can offer, the more your members will want to stick around. Our latest guide details several other ways you can increase member retention: 8 Ways to Supercharge Gym Member Retention.

Article by Xplor Gym

First published: 20 September 2022

Last updated: 09 February 2024