Success Stories

Connecting Clients from In-Person and Virtual Classes Isn’t as Hard As You Think

Lindsay Mcclelland | November 5, 2020

Evolution Power Yoga uses FitGrid’s Class App to connect its students and keep their close-knit community together

Generating community has been a core value at Evolution Power Yoga since they first opened in Lancaster, PA. 20 years ago. While Baptiste yoga might get clients through the door initially,  it’s the vibrant community and transformational style of teaching that keeps them connected. 

This year, Evolution has been focused on delivering powerful hybrid classes and finding ways to connect in-person students with their classmates on-screen. And they’ve been successful. Over the past six months, Evolution maintained an average of 70 percent client retention across all three of their studio locations in Pennsylvania. We talked with Evolution’s digital media manager, Raeya Swope, and regional manager, Ruby Lou Taylor, to find out how they’ve leveraged FitGrid’s tools to connect their close-knit community and re-engage former clients and teachers around the world.

FitGrid: Let’s go back to the beginning of the pandemic. What was your first virtual class like?
Evolution Power Yoga: Our community wanted to be reconnected so we opened our virtual doors immediately and held our first class before FitGrid LIVE launched. We had 170 people join us and had to use three laptops and Zoom accounts. From that moment we knew, people wanted a virtual solution. FitGrid simplified live-streaming for us after that first class and made it easy to keep our community together, we're so grateful for that.

FG: What has been one of the best things about offering virtual classes?
EPY: We get to see familiar faces in our classes again! Our studio has been around for 20 years so people come and go. Live-streaming has reintroduced our community to former clients and allowed us to bring on teachers in a virtual-only capacity. 

FG: What’s it like having virtual-only teachers?
EPY: It’s incredible. In Baptiste yoga, the sequence is always the same, but the way it’s delivered is different depending on who is teaching. And with live-streaming, we can bring in different perspectives from Baptiste teachers around the world. This has been especially valuable with our partnership with the Africa Yoga Project, a nonprofit that creates opportunities for youth in Africa through yoga. We have teachers live-stream from Africa, something we might not have tried if it weren’t for the pandemic. Another instructor, Inga, is from Iceland. She’s also a comedian so we highly recommend her class when you need a laugh! 

FG: When did you start offering hybrid classes?
EPY: We were able to reopen our physical studio doors on June 28, 2020, and started offering hybrid classes right away. Every in-studio class at our Lancaster location is also live-streamed. Our instructors are excellent at connecting the two communities in their teaching.

[Related: Check out our guide on how to reopen your boutique fitness studio.]

FG: How have your instructors and staff stayed connected with limited in-person interactions this year?
EPY: The FitGrid Class App has helped us with this. The conversations that once took place before or after class now happen through messages in the app. For example, our instructors chat with each other to get quick feedback from each other about their classes -- something that’s important in our ongoing teacher development. They’re also using it as an additional touchpoint with clients to share things like the song they played during savasana or the quote they read at the beginning of class. Our Karmi yogis, students who work at the studio in exchange for free classes, are using the FitGrid Class app to plan classes to take with each other. Overall, the app has helped us bridge the gap between our virtual and in-person community in an authentic way.  

FG: What are some ways your clients are using the FitGrid Class App?
EPY: The app has made it easy for our clients to see their friends in classes, sign up, then chat about their shared experience after class. If a client wants to take a class with a friend in the in-person class, but can’t make it to the studio, they can practice with them virtually and use the app to chat after class or plan their next sweat date. This has been great for building accountability buddies and maintaining studio friendships. Additionally, many of our clients are working from home and their schedules are different than they were a year ago. The app has helped with class discovery and made it easy for friends to recommend different instructors to each other. 

FG: Has the app increased class attendance at your studio?
EPY: We don’t have any hard data yet since it just launched, but we have heard stories about people who have booked classes, then their friends signed up after getting the push notification. That sense of FOMO is real!

FG: How does your studio plan on using the FitGrid Class app in the future?
EPY: There are so many possibilities! But what immediately comes to mind is using it for teacher trainings so the group can connect when they aren’t in session. Since our clients are already on the app, it’s easier to organize than having them download a different messaging app. We’ll probably also use it for our upcoming challenges as a way to get more people connecting.

A strong community is what your clients are craving and what your studio needs to thrive. Create authentic human-to-human connections and deepen client relationships with the FitGrid Class app. Try it free today

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lindsay McClelland manages social media and influencer marketing for FitGrid. As a self-proclaimed "people person" who loves group fitness classes for the social aspect, she was immediately drawn to FitGrid for its innovation in keeping fitness communities together during a crisis. Her passion for fitness and wellness brands stems from her personal interests as a yoga teacher, competitive marathon runner, and former collegiate swimmer.

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