I’ve been teaching at 5:30 a.m. for at least 6 years now. My club doesn’t promote individual classes unless it’s new, so it’s up to us at instructors to promote it and get attendance up.
I’m fortunate to have emails of most of the class (lots of regulars that early), so I email out reminders of when I’m teaching (I teach Mondays and every other Friday, so I let them know what Fridays).
I have “theme” classes where I decorate the room for Halloween or whatever is going on and I usually give out little gifts that go with the theme that I can find at the 99 Cent Store.
The first Monday of the month, I actually bring in a coffee maker and make coffee and we call it Java Monday. The folks working out on the floor can smell the coffee and usually ask about it and I pick up people that usually don’t do the classes because the coffee lures them in. The regulars tend to bring guests more on Java Monday and they usually stay after that.
Whenever there is something to celebrate, I’ll do it in class – someone had a grandbaby, a baby, a promotion, (my cancer free celebrations are always big turnouts).
I put a lot of effort in it because at 5:30 a.m., it’s generally just me, the front desk person, and the janitor working, so it’s up t me to fill the room.
Actually one place I work at had an excellent way of promoting the spinning class recently. The program has been in place for a while… so the promotion was used to re-invigorate interest and it worked.
There is a small fee for classes at this club. So, for one month, for every 30 miles ridden during classes, a person would get a free class voucher. On top of that the person with the top mileage got a “yellow” jersey. There were some other prizes as well and it really got people excited.
While the spin classes take part all day, the attendance in all classes went up. So, create a program that involves a bit of competition and specific rewards. In the above program, everyone got a free class for the mileage, while the hard core competitive types got a “trophy.” Everybody won something.