Getting started with your socially distanced classes
As the lockdown starts to ease you may be wondering how your classes are going to look with social distancing.
In this blog we give you some ideas to help you restart your courses in the new normal.
Restarting your classes
We’ve been in lockdown in the UK since the 23rd March and now that the shops have opened again, life is slowly starting to return to some semblance of normality. You might have embraced the online classes system and streamed your fitness courses live in manner of PE with Joe, or perhaps you went down the zoom route and transferred your regular classes to the digital space with great success. On the other hand, you might not have made the transition to online classes but been keeping in touch with your clients by phone and text and are itching to get back to live classes because you’ve not run a course for months. Either way, when you start your live courses again, things are going to be very different to how they were 4 months ago.
It can feel daunting to start planning how to run your live courses again with all the social distancing rules that are still in place, questions about safety, masks, how should you interact in the new normal. We’ve put together some ideas for you to help you dip your toe back in the water of live classes gradually without feeling that you’ve got to assemble an army of sanitizer wipes and infection control.
With the summer (almost) here, why not try running your classes outside? Sports like tennis and football have always had training in the open air, but if you’re running fitness classes and have traditionally been inside, why not make the change to the great outdoors? If you can find a local field or grassy area you can spread your attendees out and be safe in the knowledge that germs dissipate in the open air in a way that they don’t inside. Plus, a sunny day will lift your mood, and that of your participants, so not only will you all get some endorphins from your exercise, you’ll stock up on important vitamin D too.
Of course, large classes are desirable from a balancing the income/ expenditure perspective but try getting started again with fewer attendees so that you can maintain social distancing easily. If you’ve tried going to the supermarket recently, you’ll know that trying to keep 1-2m apart in a space only 3m wide is really hard, so go for a small class in a reasonably sized hall and then everyone can move around freely without worrying too much that they’re entering each other’s space.
Offer one to one
People are getting really sick of being in lockdown and unable to do their usual activities, so chances are they’ll jump at an opportunity to arrange something different. I know a Taekwondo coach who can be booked by a family or individual to come and do training in their garden or suitable space for a personal session. This is a great way to encourage your attendees who might be feeling worried about getting going again having not done much exercise for the past few months and might be worried about joining a class again.
You might be worried that because you’re going to have to run your classes differently your attendees might not enjoy them or want to come along. But don’t panic. So many people are just desperate for a chance to get out of the house or return to some semblance of their normal life they’ll be keen to join your classes and pick up where they left off before lockdown. And rather than your changes putting them off, they’ll be encouraged that you’re taking their safety seriously and trying to give them the best experience which will build up that trust factor which is so important in the coach/ client relationship.
Practical aspects to think about
Maintain socially distanced class sizes
It might be that you’re worried more people will turn up to your class than you have space to for if you’re going to be able to ensure everyone is socially distanced. If so, make sure you let your clients know that they have to pre-book for the course in advance.
More online payments
We’re all being encouraged to use contactless payments where possible to avoid touching cash. Asking your clients to pay online and prior to your class not only saves you problem of touching money, but also the hassle of going to the bank with your cash and ensures that you get your payment before the course is run, so no need to chase up outstanding payments.
Ditch the sign in form
Do you have your participants sign themselves in to give you a record of who’s been in class at each session? By taking attendance yourself you can check who has been in class and avoid any awkwardness that might occur when you ask people to use the same pens.
Make sure you’ve got up to date contact details
Starting classes again after a break is the perfect time to ask your clients for their personal and contact details again. That way you’ll have their numbers to get in touch with them if you have to cancel a class for any reason or find out that a participant has developed virus symptoms and you need to inform clients who were at the same session.
Attend can help
Not only is Attend a great tool to help you run your classes more efficiently and keep on top of your admin and finances, but it also has some great features to help with setting up socially distanced classes:
- Set the maximum number of participants and only the right number will be able to register for your courses, so you know your classes will be socially distanced and safe.
- Link your Attend account with Stripe and you’ll be able to take advance payment for your all courses online. (Transaction charges apply).
- Download the Attend app to your phone and take the register at each session with the click of a button in seconds, confident that your attendance and finance records can be downloaded later when you need them.
- Contact the whole class via text through the Attend app on your mobile.
For clubs and coaches working with less than 120 people per month, Attend is priced at less than the cost of a cup of coffee per week, but for people who register in the next month we’re offering a year’s free trial, so you can see how the app will help you with your socially-distanced classes and also when you move into more normal times.
Attend is a great tool to help you get your classes started up again successfully – contact us for a demo – we’d love to see how we could help your business thrive in the new normal.