With large gatherings canceled and new lockdowns looming, the holiday season looks a little different this year. But this boutique wellness brand has a plan -- virtual fitness and spa parties.
Exhale Spa is a fitness and spa brand with 20 locations across the country. And since launching its virtual fitness studio in June, Exhale has continued to look for opportunities to make virtual experiences more meaningful for their clients. This is where the idea for virtual parties began. We spoke with Sydney Alexander, Digital Director, and Hannah Robbin, Head of Brand and Marketing, to learn more about these parties and how they’re gearing up for the holiday season.
FitGrid: First, tell us a little bit about Exhale Spa.
Exhale Spa: We’re a boutique fitness and spa brand affiliated with Hyatt and we believe in putting wellbeing first. We offer three different types of fitness classes, barre, cardio, and yoga, as well as fusion classes like Barre + Cardio and Barre + Recovery.
FG: What are your virtual classes like?
ES: We combined our brick and mortar locations to create one virtual studio featuring instructors across the country. We have a packed schedule featuring all of our signature classes as well as 30-minute classes that our clients like to take as doubles. Our virtual classes have made it possible to introduce our top instructors to new clients in different locations.
FG: How did you come up with the idea for virtual parties?
ES: People haven’t been able to celebrate special occasions the way they used to and we wanted to come up with a solution that allowed people to be together safely and healthily. We wanted to make our virtual classes more social while also catering to bigger groups that might struggle with a traditional Zoom happy hour. When it became clear that this was going to be the new normal, we knew we needed to give people options because putting celebrations off forever doesn’t work.
FG: What types of holiday parties have you had so far?
ES: We’ve had a mix of corporate gatherings and family get-togethers. Every year companies have holiday parties to celebrate accomplishments and thank employees, but that’s not happening this year. We offer a solution for companies to bond with their team in a fun and healthy way. Similarly, cocktails and light bites aren’t a safe option for gatherings of family and friends. Instead, get together from the comfort of your home for group fitness.
FG: How is a virtual party different from a virtual fitness class?
ES: It’s a customizable experience! When you book a virtual party, you can choose everything from the type of class to the instructor. We work with our clients to create themes and make the experience special. We also offer virtual spa parties so there’s an option to combine the two and do 30 minutes of each.
FG: How do the spa parties work?
ES: We bring the spa to you. Everyone at the party will receive a guided, virtual facial that includes personalized product curation based on their skincare needs. We mail everything to the guests before the party and our estheticians walk you through the process.
FG: How do you personalize the parties and make them feel special?
ES: When someone books a party on our website, a party planner will get in touch with them within 24 hours. During that consultation, we’ll get as many details as possible including theme, occasion, and attendees. We use that information to work with the instructor to personalize it and make it a lot of fun. If it’s an ugly Christmas sweater-themed class, the instructor will decorate their backdrop and dress up. They’ll create a custom playlist and encourage interaction during the party to make it a memorable experience.
FG: In addition to holiday parties, what types of parties are you hosting?
ES: It’s a pretty wide range of any celebration people are looking for a safe alternative. We’ve had birthday parties, bachelorette parties, corporate team building, and happy hours.
FG: What other initiatives have you launched for the holidays?
ES: We launched our Best of the Rest challenge at the beginning of November. The goal is simple, take as many virtual classes as possible before the end of the year. It’s been a great way to give our clients an extra push of motivation while promoting our virtual classes. We also launched our wellbeing boutique to make virtual holiday gifting easy. We have skincare products, apparel, as well as gift cards for virtual fitness or spa sessions.
Whether you’re looking to host virtual parties or start live-streaming, we can help you stay connected to your community virtually. Sign up for your free trial of FitGrid 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.
FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level