Our hero today is Lauren George, trainer of thousands of instructors and launcher of the Clemson fitness company, the FitBiz club, PulsePoint bar, and LG fitness virtual studio. She’s also the program director of pumped up strength and the musicality method, co creator of bar above and adjunct faculty for kinesiology at Mississippi state university.
Lauren George emphasizes the importance of understanding the purpose behind hosting fitness (or yoga, or martial arts) events and retreats, whether for revenue generation, lead generation, or community building. Lauren highlights the difference between events and retreats, noting that events are usually shorter and focused on a specific activity, while retreats offer a more immersive experience, often including various activities and accommodations.
How to Market Fitness Events & Retreats
For marketing these activities, Lauren suggests a strategic approach that includes a mix of direct marketing to existing clients and outreach to potential new clients through partnerships with other businesses.
- Clear Goals and Expectations
- Early and Comprehensive Planning
- Utilize Partnerships and Collaborations
- Diversify Marketing Channels (be on as many platforms as you can manage)
- Create Compelling Offers and Experiences
- Consider Budget Implications
- Set Clear Cancellation Policies
- Effective Follow-Up
- Ask for Referrals
- Provide all Promo Materials to Partners
She stresses the importance of early and comprehensive planning, especially for retreats, which require more logistical considerations and a longer lead time for marketing.
Practical Budgeting and Financial Tricks for Successful Fitness Events
Additionally, Lauren offers practical advice on budgeting, highlighting potential costs and suggesting ways to mitigate financial risks, such as negotiating lower minimum commitments with vendors. She also advises on creating an engaging experience that stands out, leveraging partnerships for marketing, and following up with participants to convert interest into long-term engagement.
Below are several ways to minimize financial risk.
Room Blocks: When negotiating room blocks at hotels, aim for the lowest possible minimum commitment. This reduces the risk of being responsible for unsold rooms. Many hotels negotiate on room blocks, so starting low gives you room to adjust based on actual registrations.
Food and Beverage Minimums: Similarly, negotiate the lowest possible food and beverage (F&B) minimums. This can be a major expense, and setting a realistic minimum based on your expected attendee count can prevent overspending.
Flexible Contracts: Seek flexibility in contracts with vendors. This could include clauses that allow adjustments to quantities or services based on actual needs closer to the event date.
Value Adds: Instead of just focusing on lowering costs, negotiate for value adds that enhance the event without additional costs. This could include complimentary items, upgrades, or services that provide added value to your participants.
Bonus: Fitness Event Pro Tips
Vendor Relationships: Build good relationships with vendors, as they may be more willing to offer favorable terms to repeat or reliable clients.
Market Research: Conduct thorough research to understand standard rates and services in your event location. This knowledge will strengthen your negotiation position.
Transparent Communication: Be transparent with vendors about your budget constraints and event goals. Many are willing to work with organizers to find mutually beneficial solutions
Backup Options: Having alternative vendors or venues in mind can provide leverage in negotiations and ensure you’re not locked into unfavorable terms.
Conclusion & Where to Find Lauren George
For those new to organizing such events, Lauren recommends starting with clear goals and a well-thought-out budget, ensuring that the event or retreat aligns with the target audience’s interests and is accessible to them. She also offers a retreat planning checklist to help beginners navigate the planning process.
To connect with Lauren or learn more about her work, she can be found on Instagram and Facebook under Lauren George Fitness and on her website, LaurenGfitness.com.