Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Making Special Events Profitable

More than 40 people showed up this afternoon to attend Angela Cuocci's presentation on how to plan and execute a successful and profitable party or special event at a health club. Angela's club, Dynamic Women and Ladies Total Fitness, has about 1,000 members, and she and her staff plan several events throughout the year including a fundraiser for Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation as well as member appreciation and holiday parties. These events go beyond just fun and celebration by bringing in more members and ultimately generating more profit for her club.

During her presentation, she emphasized the importance of getting referrals from current members. In some cases, she says these referrals are even more effective than spending a lot of money on outside advertisements.

"There's a huge advantage of letting hte members do the work for you," she says.

Her club also works with several community partners, who often donate the food and drinks for the events. If a club ties an event to a charitable cause, it's often easy to get sponsors, she says.

During the final stages of planning a special event, health club owners mst confirm everyone and everything to make sure that the party runs smoothly.

She also gave the attendees several ideas for themes for parties from Survivor to Deal or No Deal. During the Winter Olympics, her club organized a competition and organized members into teams. The teams then won medals in different categories, which kept them motivated and excited about the event, she says.

When asked if her club charges her members for special events, she says she didn't have much success going this route. She only had one-fourth of the signups when she charged for an event, so her club decided to make its future events free for its members.

Every event should be tied to member referrals, she says. For example, a club can do a cash drawing and give the prize to the member who has given the club the most referrals. During the special events, she says her club also gives participants points for signing up for a personal training or massage session, which gives her club even more business at the end of the day.

When one of the attendees asked why she came to Club Industry to speak, she said that she wanted to help make other club owners successful. While many club owners have a passion for fitness, many of them throw in the towel. She said she hoped to inspire them to continue working in the health and fitness field.

I'll plan on attending more sessions tomorrow, and I'll write about them then. See you later!

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