Pilates in the park isn’t a new idea – plenty of fitness trainers move large classes outdoors when warm weather to increase class volume and participation, and add an element of freedom to the routine.
Since June 18th is National Picnic Day, why not plan a larger event in the park that you can invite all of your clients and their families and friends to participate in? Adding some food to a big gathering of people is a great way to encourage more people to show up, and you can plan on doing some networking in the crowd to start a new class.
Do your Research
Check with the city planner’s office as well as the parks and recreation department to find out which park, what area, and when a good time is for your event. Summer means lots of reservations for areas with picnic facilities as reunions and birthday parties move outdoors, so advance planning is key.
There might be a fee for using the space, but some departments will allow you to work off the fee by doing cleanup – this can be another chance for you and your studio to shine. You can even consider adopting a portion of your local park.
Accessibility and Amenities
When scouting a venue for your event, look for the following:
- Enough space for everyone to have elbow room
- A level ground surface to minimize risk of sprains or falls
- Clear parking instructions
- Bathroom facilities
- A table or bench that can be used for sign-in
- Lights for early or late classes
- Picnic benches (optional – blanket picnics can be even more fun!)
While it may be tempting to cater, it’s most likely best to encourage families to bring their own food. Liability for food provided at an event puts you at additional risk. If people want to potluck that’s up to them – just don’t set yourself up in a situation where you are serving the food.
Routines for Park Use
The ground definitely won’t be like gym flooring, so go with easy, fun routines and save the showy stuff for more controlled conditions. Find some routines that will appeal to seniors and children, so the whole family can participate.
A successful event can lead to a weekly or monthly class – with the option for an annual picnic and Pilates in the park event that will bring your studio good press and extra clients during summer months. Just don’t forget to make sure your pilates insurance is portable so you can hold these kinds of classes outside your studio wall!