Making the most of every inch of your recreation center is key to maximizing student engagement and satisfaction. Group exercise studios are one area that can pose an efficiency challenge because they often sit vacant when classes are not being run — sometimes 80% or more of the time. So why not look to non-traditional settings?
According to Athletic Business’ 2022 College Recreation Survey, two-thirds of respondents reported their members prefer small group training with more trainer-to-client instruction over large group classes. So, what if you could offer more small group programs throughout your facility to optimize the use of all your space and equipment? A great option is combining a mix of popular cardio equipment with nearby functional training space. Then you can run classes that build a sense of community, offer accountability and ensure results.
Offering additional programs run in non-traditional settings can be beneficial to your rec department because of the flexibility of the space, the emphasis on community building, and the potential recruitment and revenue opportunities that could allow you to enhance recreation services moving forward.
Identifying a new area that can be used for classes will kickstart the vision of what your new offering could be. If using cardio floor space is an appealing option, signage can help to reserve a selection of cardio machines. Following this reservation routine can minimize impact on equipment usage, especially when your campus community can still use their favorite machines during non-class times.
Emphasis on Community Building
Recreation services are key to helping students engage with their community. Group classes are significant motivators for patrons to integrate wellness into their routines and keep them coming back to the rec center. Building an offering using already organized floor space can expand the available options for busy students to work out and interact with fitness-minded friends.
Potential Recruitment and Revenue
Promoting a new program across campus can draw the attention of touring visitors and students. It can also prompt their first interaction with campus rec facilities.
Once inside the rec center, visitors and students can watch group classes running in visible areas of the facility. Not only can an additional offering impact recruitment, but it can also tap a new revenue stream. Findings from the Athletic Business 2022 College Recreation Survey concluded 72% of survey respondents generate revenue by offering group classe.
Maximizing the use of facility space by offering small group classes in non-traditional settings has many benefits:
- Optimizing the use of equipment you already own.
- Engaging with more students.
- Building community and attracting people to interact further with rec services.
Rebecca Cofod is the functional training solutions director at Matrix Fitness. For questions about maximizing programming on your fitness floor, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.