13 Creative Gym Event Ideas to Boost Member Retention

Creative Gym Event Ideas to Boost Member Retention

Implementing creative gym event ideas can lead to a significant boost in attendance among your existing customers, whilst simultaneously attracting new ones to your business. 

To kickstart your creativity, we’ll cover events for gyms that you can personalise to suit your business and your customers.

Earning a specialism with OriGym, such as our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course, is the ideal first step. You'll develop comprehensive knowledge in a specialist area of health and fitness, and discover new avenues you can use to diversify your gym's events and promotions.

You can also download our FREE prospectus and learn more about all the courses OriGym offers.


#1 - Host Some Seasonal Workout Gym Events

Seasonal events for gyms are a great way to take advantage of special occasions and holidays throughout the year.

One way in which you can do this is through the creation of themed fitness classes to coordinate with the holiday in question. This process can involve tactics such as:

  • Decorating the gym 
  • Creating specialised playlists 
  • Offering limited time deals

For example, you could promote Valentine’s Day classes where the customer can bring a partner along for a free taster session. Industrial Fitness do this really well with their Valentine’s deals:

When promoting your own creative gym events through similar marketing techniques, avoid using the word ‘free’ - you’re unintentionally telling your customers that what you offer isn’t worth anything.

Instead, you could market this seasonal event as a ‘Unique Valentine’s Day experience typically worth £50 per person’. 

Such language will highlight the worth of the event to the customer, making them feel positive that they are getting it at either a discounted price, or entirely for free from a ‘bring a friend’ offer.

These events for gyms will work as taster sessions, highlighting how valuable your service can be to those who have yet to sign up for a membership. 

In turn, this will encourage a higher rate of retention, as your existing members can attend with their newly paying partner.

#2 - Use Fitness Challenges to Create The Best Event Ideas For Gyms

When looking to keep your customers engaged, a simple but effective idea you can implement is to create your own workout challenge. 

This will ensure that every customer participating shares a similar or identical goal, whilst simultaneously creating a sense of friendly-competition. To give you an idea of what these challenges can look like, here are some examples:

  • Completing the most reps in a certain amount of time
  • The highest number of miles walked
  • The most gym visits in a given time
  • The most calories burned

Before you begin to create challenge events for the gym, you must first take into account what facilities you have available. You should also ensure that there is actually an interest in the challenge among your customers.

One way you could do this is through conducting a general survey which directly asks customers what kind of workout challenges they’d like to participate in.

PureGym has a great example of how to properly implement workout challenges:

This challenge can help to increase retention rates by furthering the idea of community. Members of the PureGym will not only be united under the goal of completing a challenge, but will also want to support the other to raise more money for charity.

If you’re looking to increase your retention rates then we’d recommend implementing some of these creative gym event ideas. This will not only help your business, but can also benefit the local community.

#3 - Offer New Year’s Focused Gym Events 

Gyms will likely experience an influx of membership during January, as new members will undoubtedly wish to commit to a fitness programme in line with their New Year’s resolutions. 

In addition to this, your existing members are already likely to prioritise fitness as part of their resolutions. 

To capture the attention of both audiences, you should create a specific deal that is accessible to all your members. An example of how this approach can be implemented comes from London-based DigMe Fitness.

Here we can clearly see how these gym events ideas are implemented, as the fitness studio is offering their new customers a special deal (50% off), and existing customers 3 classes for just £20.

This creates a demand for a specific class or session, and allows members who would otherwise not be able to attend the opportunity to do so.

Just remember to not exclude your existing customers from this offer, as many will feel that you’re favouring new members. 

By making this deal accessible to everyone you can guarantee that customers stay happy, and that retention rates will stay high.


#4 - Hold a Meet and Greet Gym Event with Someone Well Known in the Fitness Industry

When looking to host gym events, your ideas can be somewhat limited by your own reach. 

Even if you’re personally well known within the local fitness community you can lack the ‘star power’ that other big names can provide.

But by capitalising on someone else’s popularity, you can gain new customers and keep your existing ones engaged. To do this, invite ‘fitness celebrities’ to do meet and greets or master classes at your gym.

Ideally you should look for those with links to exercise and fitness, like:

  • Olympians or professional athletes
  • Popular influencers 
  • Celebrity trainers

An example of a gym which implemented this event idea is Action Group:

In this instance, the London fitness company invited former Olympian and current Team GB coach, Tim Benjamin to give a masterclass in sprinting.

Similar gym events with UK sports stars are likely to attract a large number of attendees. To ensure your current customers know this event is occurring you should implement a variety of marketing strategies in the gym, which could include:

  • Posters
  • Leaflets
  • Reminders during sessions 
  • Social media posts

But to attract new customers, you can take a page out of Action Group’s book and invite journalists to attend the event. 

This will further promote your business to audiences that may not be aware of your existing, extending your reach to generate a higher retention rate.

#5 - Use Social Media To Create & Promote The Best Gym Event Ideas

Not all events have to be in-person. In fact, some of the most successful events are hosted online through your business’ social media accounts.

This form of marketing will keep your current members engaged, whilst also making your content accessible to potential customers who have yet to sign up.

One virtual approach that you can take is to host a competition through these accounts. This could be as straightforward as hosting a raffle for a fitness-related prize. 

For example, Village Gym ran a competition on their Instagram in which members could win a free smart running watch.

If you intend on implementing these event ideas for a gym event then it needs to have some form of structure. 

For example, you must stress that Only Members Can Enteras this will engage your existing customers, whilst giving prospective ones an incentive to sign up. 

To enter the competition, ask your followers to:

  • Like the post
  • Comment
  • Tag a friend
  • Share the post on their own story

In the case of the two final examples, you can become visible to a whole new audience and potentially attract new members. 

You could also advertise the competition on your own stories each day, or include it in your social media header photo to attract more interest. 

Find out more about using social media to your advantage with our article '17 Creative Gym Social Media Post Ideas'.


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Boost your career prospects with our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course!

#6 - Host A Sales Gym Event With A Fitness Equipment Or Gym Wear Brand

Hosting events that can generate additional revenue will be a welcome experience for any business owner. 

To achieve this, you can host a gym event in which you partner with another fitness brand to sell their products. 

This has been a particularly successful marketing technique for brands such as sportswear retailer WIT fitness, who partnered with CrossFit in 2021.

This partnership was created in order for the clothing line to sell their gear at CrossFit’s flagship gym in London. This idea proved to be successful as both companies extended their deal for a global roll out. 

As a result of this partnership, both companies received advertisement from the press with The Industry.Fashion praising the overall concept and execution of the deal. 

Regardless of what the partnering brand sells, you can set up a stall near the entrance of the gym. This will promote a sense of convenience, encouraging your customers to make a purchase as they enter or exit your facility. 

When your customers see these products in your gym they will see it as a form of endorsement and trust the quality of what they’re buying. 

Naturally, you may not be able to work with a brand such as WIT Fitness due to the size of your company, but this shouldn’t stop you from contacting local vendors to try to form a mutually beneficial partnership.

#7 - Organise Gym Events That Centre Around Food and Nutrition

In your pool of existing members, some will likely wish to prioritise an interest in diet and nutrition, and hosting gym events that cater to that interest is a great way to both promote engagement, and bring in new customers.

One easy way to implement this idea is to invite brands to set up in the entrance of your gym, offering the likes of free samples and exclusive deals for members to try larger portions at a discounted rate.

This can be a one off event, or something that you wish to host on a long term basis. In the latter instance, you can partner with a food brand to provide catered meal plans to your customers.

This will make any nutrition related advice you provide more actionable, as customers can go straight from the class into the food provider’s location on your site. 

A great example of this can be seen below with Rise Fitness Studio in Liverpool, which partnered with Nude Kitchen. 

This long-term idea for gym events can significantly help to increase retention and profit in your gym. Customers will undoubtedly be hungry following an intense workout session, and will be more inclined to purchase food that helps to facilitate their training.

- - - - 

If you’re interested in creative ideas to boost member retention rates and make your gym successful, then you’ll also enjoy these other OriGym articles:


Become a Level 4 Specialist Personal Trainer with OriGym

Boost your career prospects with our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course!

#8 - Educational Workshops Are Some of The Best Event Ideas for Gym’s to Implement

When hosting gym events, some UK businesses choose to place a focus on education. During these sessions, you’ll pass on the expertise you’ve acquired over your years in the fitness industry, to customers who are considered to be novices. 

To gain a general understanding of what workshops your customers may be interested in, you should conduct a simple survey, simply asking them which topics they feel would benefit them most.

Some examples include:

  • Health and wellness classes aimed at older adults, giving tips to help them retain balance and flexibility.
  • Prenatal workshops for women and their partners, focusing on ensuring that they have a healthy pregnancy.
  • Chronic disease management hosted in conjunction with medical professionals 

Take the pregnancy specialist BusyLizzy as an example:

From the advertisement alone we can see that these event ideas for gyms help to impart information such as:

  • Dealing with lower back pain
  • Improving general wellbeing
  • Building general strength to improve post-birth recovery

As well as members, you could choose to open the workshops to the local community, charging one-off fees instead of your regular package. 

This could act as a taster session for non-members, and if executed correctly will incentivise them to sign up for further training. 

#9 - Holding Fitness Retreats As Gym Events In The UK Or Abroad

A fitness retreat is an example of gym events that take a lot of time and dedication to plan, but if executed correctly, they can significantly boost your revenue and retention rates.

For those who are unfamiliar with the process, the best fitness retreats typically last several days and will require members to attend a programme conducted in a location away from the gym.

To give this event for gym members some sense of direction you should ensure that it’s based on a communal theme or goal, such as:

  • Losing weight 
  • Practice specific activities such as yoga 
  • Train intensively for a fitness event 

For example, The Glasshouse Retreat offers regular retreats of this manner, providing their customers with the opportunity to:

  • Attend workout sessions in their gym
  • Meditate in outdoor wellness domes
  • Enjoy spa sessions 

Whilst the example above has only been applied to a location in the UK, you could extend your reach and organise events for gym members that take place abroad. 

Keep in mind that this takes a large part of planning on your behalf, as in most cases you will need to organise and book the accommodation, whilst also sorting out the customers’ food and dietary requirements.


#10 - Implement Gym Event Ideas Suitable for Children 

Potential customers may choose not to enrol on a gym membership because they cannot find suitable child support. To target this demographic, you can create events that encourage the attendance of children.

Customers who would otherwise be unable to attend will now be able to enjoy the facilities, knowing their children are cared for by the gym staff.

Some examples of gym event ideas suitable for children include:

  • Movie nights
  • Dining hall with child friendly meals
  • Child-friendly workout activities 

An example of how you can conduct that last option can be seen below from Nuffield Health:

The popular gym chain offers child-friendly gym events that introduce children to exercise, such as:

  • Dance classes
  • Swimming sessions
  • Judo practice 

Those looking to host these gym events in the UK will need to visit the Gov website to join the childcare register. 

#11 - Host Gym Events as a Form of Training for a Local Competition

Implementing your own gym event ideas is always encourages, but you can also take advantage of some local competitions run by other brands and companies such as:

  • Colour Run
  • Tough Mudder
  • Race for Life

These sessions can help to boost member retention rates as it creates a sense of community among those in attendance. 

Your existing members will be able to meet like minded people, whilst newcomers will be more inclined to join for motivation and support.

For example, PureGym offers classes in HIIT to increase the endurance of their customers. These sessions are marketed as the ideal teaching methods for those looking to run marathons.

To create a sense of unity you could even organise to take part in the event as a team. In this instance you should wear matching logos to help increase brand recognition. 

If the team performs well, this would be great publicity for your gym, as well as helping your members to feel accomplished in their achievements whilst attending your facility, contributing to member retention!

#12 - Organise A Gym Event Supporting A Charity Of Your Choice

To show that your business cares about giving back to the local community, you could host a charity event within your gym.

To ensure that this operation runs smoothly, choose a cause that aligns with your personal values and that of your brand. If you’re struggling for ideas, you can consult with members of the staff, as well as your regular customers. 

When it comes to organising a charity event, you can take inspiration from the likes of Industry-13 in Barrow who raised £700 for a local food bank using JustGiving:

To raise this money, members of the gym and its employees attempted to collectively run 1 million metres during January 2021. The link to this page was shared by everyone taking part, which is exactly how this event raised so much money.

If you’re interested in a similar cause, you could even set up food donation points at various sections of your gym. This will encourage members to donate what they have, which can then be transported to a foodbank.

When it comes to creating these gym events in the UK, there are plenty of charities which can use a helping hand. 

Through the implementation of these ideas you can keep your members engaged, whilst attracting new customers who wish to get involved.

#13 - Host Gym Events That Qualify Individuals to Work in The Fitness Industry 

Those who are currently studying on personal training courses will require a location to conduct their practical assessments. 

These events will help to determine whether someone passes their certification and qualifies to become a PT.

In order to host these gym events get ideas about what qualification providers operate within your local area. Following this, you can reach out to the provider and offer your gym as a location for their certification programme.

For example, students who take our full-time course in the Liverpool head office will be taken to local gym The Lab, in order to conduct their physical assessments.

These events must be hosted in an environment with the relevant equipment. When reaching out to qualification providers be sure to offer as much detail as possible about what facilities are available in your place of employment.

Holding gym events such as these is a great way to generate additional revenue, as course providers will pay a fee in return for use of your facilities.

As your space is being used by a reputable training provider, this is also a great way to advertise your facilities. You can advertise the company prominently throughout the building, reinforcing the idea that your facilities are reputable. 


Before You Go!

You will now be able to implement your own gym event ideas into your working schedule. Don’t be afraid to get creative and use the examples we have given as launch pads for your own innovativeness. 

A specialism such as our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course can help you develop your knowledge in the industry. These qualifications will equip you with specialist skills and knowledge, which you can then use to set your business apart from competitors. 

You can also download our FREE course prospectus here

Written by Rebecca Felton

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a first-class degree in English, Rebecca’s combined passions for fitness and writing are what brought her to OriGym. Rebecca is a keen gym-goer and specifically enjoys lifting weights. Outside of fitness and writing, Rebecca enjoys cooking, reading, and watching the football.

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