You cannon thrive without great member connection.
Those words from Justin Sturgeon, the owner of Bridge View CrossFit in Jeffersonville, Indiana, couldn’t be truer. In a CrossFit gym, members make up your gym and community — thus, the connection they have with you, your staff and other members matters.
But connecting takes work. “Community is just as important as fitness to us, so we strive to do our best to have multiple get togethers outside the gym so people from different class times get a chance to hang out with each other,” said Sturgeon. “We do just about anything from hiking trips and brunch after Saturday classes to movie nights at a member’s house. You name it, we have probably done it, or we will in the future.”
However, the above has to start somewhere. At Bridge View, it begins from the time someone joins the gym. Sturgeon said it’s key that any new members coming in feel both welcomed and loved by the community and Coaches before making a commitment to join. As such, new members go through a free intro class and can attend a few classes before signing up.
Beyond connecting members through events, Sturgeon said it also comes down to the staff’s interaction with members. “We make sure as Coaches we say hi to every person that comes through our door by name, and if we have a new face, we make sure everyone in the class has introduced themselves before we start,” he said.
However, keeping that connection and “family-type feel” can be challenging as your Box grows. Sturgeon said the best way to overcome this is to have more member outings. In fact, in 2019 Bridge View created a social committee made up of its most social members. He said it’s been the best way to keep the community growing.
All in all, Sturgeon encouraged other owners to not only try new things and find out what members want, but to also reach out to other local Boxes, finding out what they do. “Yes, we are in the same business, but the beauty of the CrossFit community is they want to see everyone win,” he shared. “That gym down the street just might give you the advice you need.”
Whatever you do, remember that it all comes back to your members and keeping them connected.