In the area where I teach, I’ve noticed a pretty distinct attendance cycle. Jan / Feb the gym is busy and classes are PACKED. March and April, attendance tapers off a bit. May, people come back to get ready for “bikini season” and then through summer attendance ebbs and flows as people vacation. In September, attendance bumps up again when kids go back to school, giving parents more time. October attendance is good. But from Thanksgiving to December, you can hear a pin drop. OK, I exaggerate, but Thanksgiving to the end of the year, class attendance drops big time.
Just curious about others’ strategies for retention during a slower time of year. Now’s the time to be thinking about it, before it dips.
What you’ve described is not uncommon and I have also experienced it through out the years. I’ve seen this pattern more often up here in the mid-west (Chicago IL and Madison WI), but not as much when I was working in Dallas…I guess because of the warm weather.
One thing I have tried to help me retain clients during the slow periods is to seek various races (mostly obstacle course type) and have my clients sign up for them. This keeps them motivated to continue with their training even during the holidays and vacation months. So, I guess my strategy is more of maintaining my clients and keep them challenged and focused to these goals than seeking new clients (it doesn’t work for all of them, but it does for the majority). For most of these races I also like to sign up as well, so I can keep motivating them.
I’m not sure of the type of clients you have Nancy and probably this approach might not work for all of your clients. Maybe you can find something similar to this and keep them motivated so they will continue with their training during the slow months. I hope this helps :-).