When many gyms get started, they use their first several months of existence to hire personable and knowledgeable trainers to establish a customer base and to ensure that they’ve got all the equipment they need to run a successful CrossFit box. Eventually, though, many gyms come to the conclusion that they can take their businesses to the next level if they run a competition for their members and the public at large. If that’s you, congratulations! This is a really exciting time for you and your gym. However, running a successful competition isn’t always as easy as it looks, so to ensure that yours goes off without a hitch, avoid these four common mistakes for first-timers:
One of the first steps in planning your competition is to decide why you’re having it in the first place. Many CrossFit competitions these days focus on some charitable cause, which is great to know beforehand because that means setting the registration price a bit higher to bring in the most money possible for your chosen charity, and it also means catering your marketing efforts to those ends. If not for charity, though, are you hosting the competition as a means of building your gym community? Are you doing it to make money? Are you doing it so people with a real shot at Regionals can participate in an appropriately challenging event? Know what your event will be, first and foremost, and everything else should fall into place.
That, of course, brings attention to marketing, which many new gyms fail spectacularly at executing. Gym management software can send email blasts to current members, but good marketing goes beyond that. You’ll need to be proactive, giving people plenty of time to hear about the event and sign up, and you’ll need to be diverse in the way you advertise, including through social media. Get a head start, and get information to potential participants in several different ways.
However much equipment you have for your event, it might not be enough, so consider making a deal with another community gym where you arrange to borrow each other’s equipment for competitions. That, or perhaps a sponsor can help you find the materials you need for all your events. Either way, you need to plan far enough in advance to make sure you have everything you need.
Finally, there are entirely too many new gyms who host a competition without the right software. Not only can this communicate information to members and speed up registration, but they can make timing and record-keeping during the event itself so much easier. Contestants will want immediate results, and you, the gym owner, are going to want the record-keeping to come as quickly and easily as possible.
That’s how we can help, but the rest of the event is entirely up to you. Hopefully, these tips help you have a truly successful first CrossFit competition that leads to many more of them down the road!