I’m not one to enter competitions but here I was, taking photos with my brother at a Caravan and Camping show in 38 degrees heat and posting them to social media to put us in to win $1000 of camping gear. It reminded me of the Mother’s Day competition we used to run, where winners received a free entry to our fitness Challenge. It was a super effective competition not just because it helped the winning mums, but because it served to entice others to enter our Challenges, including plenty of people that weren’t mums. So, I thought I’d share what we did.
First up though, some ideas for Mother’s Day themed ‘events’.
Ideas for Group Fitness Classes
‘Mum’s the Word’
At a few random times during your class blow a whistle and yell out a word, like ‘kids’, ‘mother’, ‘superhero’, ‘mum’. Class participants then race to join up with others to spell out the word, using their bodies to form the letters on the ground. First to complete it wins.
‘Ages and Ages’
Participants get in groups of three, add up the ages of all their children and do that many repetitions of an exercise. Variations include adding on the ages of any mums in the group and if any group does not have a mum in it, then using the age of that person’s own mother.
For anyone taking traditional aerobic classes then it’s time to spell out ‘Mum’ with your side-stepping, v-steps and grapevine moves. Team up with your favourite mum themed music track, maybe Abba’s ‘Mumma Mia’, The Shirelles ‘Mama Said’ and ‘Dear Mama’ by 2Pac for the cooldown.
Ideas for Personal Trainers
Use exercises beginning with each letter like M for Mountain climbers, Maze runs, Mammoth jumps, U for Under and overs, Upright rows, Underhand pullups, etc. Have your client do the number of repetitions to match the age of their children or own mother.
Challenge clients to carry around their own birthweight for a whole week, everywhere, in the shower, to work, swimming, on walks, everywhere. Give prizes for sharing pics and for the ‘best’ baby weight used.
The Mum and I Challenge
Challenge entrants to complete an activity with their children or their mother. Maybe something like: – 5 personal training sessions, or 5 visits to your gym, to walk 200km, cycle 500km, swim 50 km or chop one tonne of wood. Give entrants between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to complete your Challenge.
New Mum’s Category – Health and Fitness Challenge
If you already have a Challenge starting soon, say an ‘8 Week Winter Fitness Challenge’ then add a ‘New Mum’s’ category to it, for anyone who has had a baby in the last 12 months? Make relevant tweaks for that group (advice, resources, exercises etc.,) and offer up a separate award for the mums.
Regardless of what Challenge, activity, or event you decide on, equally important is to run those pre-event competitions I mentioned at the start, in the lead up to your event, to get maximum sign ups. And to consider mum friendly prizes and what good causes or charities your event could support.
The essential pre-event competition
Once you’ve chosen your activity (a Mother’s Day themed class or PT sessions, Challenge, event etc.,) you can now run a pre-event competition, to promote it.
You could simply do a social media post and say ‘Pop your name down to be in to win a free entry’ but if you want a bigger reach and to make more of an impact, add some more depth.
For example, ask people to nominate the most deserving mum they know to win an entry into your ‘Mother’s Day Challenge’/ Classes / Personal Training Package etc. But then set it up so that….
- If someone has already paid for your event, they will get their money back if they win the competition.
- That both the nominator and the nominated person win an entry.
- Allow the nominating person to be able to transfer their entry if they win. So, for example, let’s say Anne nominates her mum and they win, allow Anne the opportunity to transfer her entry if she wants to. It may be that her mum’s best friend is keener than Anne and would be the perfect person to gift it to ensuring her mum follows through on this great opportunity.
This type of call out may get more engagement than the simpler example because …
- It’s drawing on the ‘Mother Theresa’ in us all, to be able to do something nice for someone else.
- By allowing refunds for those who had already entered and for nominators to transfer entries, a wider pool of people are likely to enter including people who may not be keen on utilizing the prize themselves
- All of this effort shows we care about the winning entrant having a successful experience on your Challenge and about catering for mums. It helps build a great brand.
Announce the winner of your pre-event competition early
Make the draw of the winner well before your event/Challenge ( a week or more if possible) because you then want to offer everyone that didn’t win a discounted entry to your event. It doesn’t have to be a huge discount, or be valid for very long but this rewards the behaviour of entering your competitions, and we definitely want more of that. Plus, a few of those people will likely take the offer up, since they have already shown an interest in the event, plus it gives you good reasons to make more announcements.
How to tell the world
Tell the world about your pre-event competition via social media but also at your physical premises, on your website, via emails, on locations at affiliated businesses, via letterbox drops, radio etc.
Include some enticing information and pictures in your promotion and which match the theme like:-
- Pictures of existing clients with their mums, or you with yours, or with you with your kids.
- Choose memorable dates, for example, have it start Mother’s Day and runs until Father’s Day.
- Add in unique content and goodies. Maybe that’s workshops and training specific to ‘mums’, free childcare, VIP parking, a branded training shirt and towel – washed and ready to use at each session or a post workout mum smoothie?
- Prizes could be a free entry to your Father’s Day Challenge, two hours of paid for house-cleaning or ironing, a voucher for a home delivery dinner service, a pamper pack with the local beautician or a shirt saying you are the ‘fittest mum eva’.
- Include the prize value whether its $10, $100, $1000 or priceless, and …
- Include on it if your event supports a great cause. My vote here, if you are keen on this idea, is to ask your clients or members if they know of a deserving local mum/cause/group that this event could support via a percentage of entry fees or everyone chipping in some time, effort, gifts etc.
As a side note, consider allowing people to make their nominations via a few different mediums– like under your social media post but also via email or in a text to you, just so we don’t lose those who don’t do social media.
Why run Mother’s Day Challenges and events at all? Don’t we have enough to do already?
- Apart from just being a way to help more mums, and more people with mums, and more people who know mums (so everyone), to stay more motivated, we do it because some people love an extra Challenge and Mother’s Day offers a good excuse to throw a few around.
- Themed events provide an opportunity to tell the world that you exist, what you do and reveal a little bit of who you are in a way that stands out from the noise of all that ho hum, price focused marketing.
- And themed Challenge get people talking about you. It’s the ultimate form of WOM, because it’s CIWOM, or Client-Initiated Word Of Mouth – meaning people start talking about you without being asked questions like what gym do you go to or trainer do you use.
So back to that photo of me and my bro. None of my friends were going to ask me about the Caravan and Camping show but there I was telling them all about it with a photo and stories.
The reason I was doing that was partly because the actual taking of the photos added some fun to the day out and because those deck chairs were so ridiculously big, but mostly because I wanted my brother’s family to win that prize.
Weaving in the chance for people to do something nice or helpful for someone else, which ideally is also a little fun, can push people into action and end up benefiting everyone. All stuff to keep in mind when thinking of using marketing like ‘Join the gym for 50% off if you join with your mother’ like yeah. Nah. Fill it out more and add in a Challenge or an event.
Okay so if you’re still stuck with what to do get in touch, or jump in on my Challenge course starting end of May. And yes, we won the prize which was $1000 of totally cool camping kit from @wildtrak thanks to Perth @caravanandcampingshow. YAY.