Group Class Participation
Group classes are fun. They keep members motivated and they tend to keep their participants accountable to each other, but what happens when the class numbers are low? There are times when class numbers may be low due to vacations, weather, or other unforeseen circumstances. What about when class numbers are low due to low interest or few regular participants? NIHCA Knows was asked: At what point do we cancel a class? This is a great question because there is a fine balance between losing money to pay your instructor and keeping those members attending your facility. If classes are consistently changing or cancelling at the last minute, it will become harder to fill those classes and you could lose memberships.
Holding class with a minimum number of attendees can be frustrating for the instructor and bad for your bottom line. If you need to have a minimum number of participants then state that upfront with class enrollments. You do not want to consistently cancel 10 minutes before the session but it also understandable if you do not hold a session without enough participants. For example: must have 3 members signed up 2 hours prior to class or the session will be cancelled.
Continuing to offer a class with minimum participation may not be the best fit for your facility. Per our survey of clubs, there are two ways to approach minimum participation.
- Set the class up for 6-8 weeks and then re-evaluate if you can continue with the class for another 6-8 weeks. Continue to advertise this as a 6 or 8 week class until it is decided if the class is not a good fit or if there is enough continued participation to make it a staple in your schedule.
- Monitor the class and talk with participants. What are the minimum participants needed for the class to be profitable? If the class participation falls below the minimum for profit, cancel the class with notice.
Remember to be open and honest with your members about the classes being offered. Not every group class may be a good fit for your facility and your members. However, a facility that continues to make an effort will have members who continue to appreciate that effort.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~Walt Disney