Bulletin Boards Window on your Club, Part 1

Posted by Lloyd on December 05, 2011

It’s February, and as you walk by a bulletin board promoting your “latest” fitness programs (the background colors are red and green), you”re thinking, once again, “I”ve really got to update that bulletin board! That”s been up since Christmas.” Sound familiar? Or perhaps you are the person who finds yourself tearing down flyers from events that have already passed. Perhaps you are struggling to understand why your members say things like “Oh! If I had known about that, I would have signed up!” when you”ve had flyers, posters and brochures around your facility for weeks.

Effective communication is essential within any business, but especially when dealing with members in a fitness facility. If members don”t see your communications, they won”t participate, you won”t increase your retention and you will waste a lot of time and energy planning things few people attend.

Over the years, I”ve developed and observed some very simple and effective techniques for communicating with members within the walls of a fitness facility:

Human contact. The best way to communicate with your members is to have staff talk to them directly. Since this article is focused on wall communication, we”ll explore it as a form of making contact with members.

Timing. Information about events should appear in newsletters and be available in brochures about four weeks in advance of the program date. However, flyers, banners and signs promoting your programs should only be posted two weeks prior to your registration cut-off. Post it too far in advance and people will think “Oh, I”ve got plenty of time,” and then they forget, or, they think “I don”t know what I have planned yet,” and they never remember to check because it”s too far off. If your flyers and newsletter provide information in advance so they can reserve the date, your wall media should encourage on-site, immediate registration.

Appearance. Two of the biggest hurdles we face in creating effective bulletin boards and signage are lack of creativity and lack of time. Assuming you”ve found a willing volunteer (or paid staff person) to update your bulletin boards and signage, the following tips are designed to help the creative process and increase efficiency (reducing time and costs) to improve the appearance of your boards.

Getting started
Use gift wrap or wrapping paper as the background. Exposed cork is unprofessional and uninviting. Painted cork is a step up, but can show holes where years of staples and push pins have left their mark.

Gift wrap comes in rolls and sheets. Sheets have folds that can be ironed out. Rolls are easier; you tack the end at the top, up against the edges and drop the roll. Cut the edge with an Exacto knife and tuck loose ends into the frame and staple. Repeat as necessary with each sheet next to each other, until the entire board is backed (kind of like wallpapering).

Wrapping paper comes in designs and themes — anniversary, birthday, sports, holidays, colors, textures, patterns, etc. Papers come with shiny or matte finishes to vary the “feeling.” Shiny neon brights have a different energy than softer, pastel matte finishes. Play with the different looks and see what suits your atmosphere and decor. It should take about 20 minutes to do the background of a pretty large board and cost about $3 to $15 (depending upon the type of paper you use). You can update your boards monthly or quarterly with minimal fuss. Discount party supply stores are great for inexpensive wrapping paper. Note: If you use patterns, make sure that they are easy to overlap and that the patterns are repeated close together so you can use less paper.

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