Four Summertime Events to Retain Members

summertime events

Summer is beautiful in Seattle, Washington, meaning it’s a tough time of year for CrossFit Advantage. That’s why summer events are a must.

“What we found is always having some events for people to be engaged in keeps them involved in the gym,” said Cody Looney, the owner of the Box.

The summertime events didn’t start as engagement opportunities. Looney said they began as simply neat events for the gym to host for its members. But the events have been pretty effective so far and more focus has been given to how they can be used to retain members. He outlined several events Advantage puts on to keep its membership engaged:

Five for Five Challenge

  • When: After the Open.
  • What: Come to five classes a week for five weeks.
  • Why: To build routine and habits for members before summer is in full swing, as well as transition from the task/performance-based outlook of the Open and focus on member’s individual goals.
  • Prize: This year, Looney partnered with the local Lululemon store. For anyone who came for five classes a week for five weeks, they were awarded a shopping day at Lululemon where they got 25% off anything in the store. But the true reward is more than a shopping day. “The real prize is getting where you want to go,” said Looney.

Hero Challenge

  • When: Kicks off with Murph and runs for the summer.
  • What: Ten different Hero workouts are held throughout the summer. The Hero WOD is announced every Sunday, and members have until the end of the next Sunday to complete it, post a tribute on social media thanking the hero, and use the hashtag #herowodchallenge. It’s also Saturday’s workout, so the members have ample opportunity to do it.
  • Why: Pay tribute to those who have served, give members internal pride and allow them to show off what they do on social media, and help retain members throughout the summer.
  • Prize: At the end, Advantage throws a party and award ceremony. During it, those who completed all 10 WODs – typically 60 to 70 members – are thrown into a raffle to win a free year of membership. It’s a $2,000 value, and if it keeps five members coming during the summer, Looney said it pays for itself.

Defend the Den

  • When: End of summer.
  • What: An in-house competition. Members pair up, either co-ed or same sex, and compete in RX and scaled divisions. It’s the same weekend as the wrap-up for the Hero Challenge.
  • Why: To wrap up summer before transitioning into fall programming.

Lady’s Power Hour

  • When: Once a month, all year long.
  • What: On a Thursday, the last class of the day, there is a women-only workout.
  • Why: It helps women overcome the intimidation factor and acts as a beginner workout for the ladies.

Lastly, Looney gave five tips on how to make events like the above successful:

  1. The more thought you put into it beforehand, the better.
  2. But no matter how much though you put into it, it still won’t be perfect. So, take notes and figure out how to tweak it next time.
  3. Make it fun. “You have a lifetime to improve the details of people’s technique, but those things only matter if you get them in the gym. Finding ways to keep them involved and keep it fun are pretty valuable,” said Looney.
  4. Have a good events team of hardworking, creative people that make things happen.
  5. Overcommunicate about the events to your community. “If you communicate what you thought was enough, it’s probably only a third of what you need,” said Looney.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at