Preparing for Lockdown 

So, we’re facing another lockdown; not something anyone wanted however this time we have the benefit of experience and having some groundwork already in place. We also need to consider that people are feeling more fatigue, anxiety and frustration with each new lockdown and ruling. 

We have an opportunity to be a crucial support to our members and community through this difficult time, as well as facing the urgency to ensure they return once we reopen 

Firstly, it is important to get the basics right.

1. Make key decisions quickly 
  • Will you automatically freeze memberships or ask for support? 
  • Will you take up/continue the furlough scheme? 
  • Can you create a lockdown taskforce, where are the key roles? 
2. Revisit your communications plan for members 
  • Advise on closure dates 
  • Communicate plans for payments, memberships and bookings 
  • Contact those with bookings, courses and recurring events 
  • Consider where email, social, app notifications and SMS are best utilised 
  • Advise on guidance and support available during lockdown and where to find it 
  • Let them know you are there for them throughout and give confidence you are coming back just as safe and stronger than ever. 
3. Create clear and regular communications for your team 
  • Practical information about closures, memberships and bookings so they feel informed 
  • Reassure regarding their roles, pay and support and any changes 
  • Advise what information and support they have and where to find it 
  • Consider regular contact, team online meetings, social events and include in messages about staying active 
  • Can you direct them to external support, counselling or advice? 

Next, while much of the lockdown may be similar and we can utilise assets and plans from summer, we also need to consider the differences.

This time of year is already more challenging with short days, cold weather and financial pressures meaning exercise can slip in peoples priorities.  

Adding a lockdown to this means significant impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of your members and your community. 

Outdoor exercise will be far less appealing than during the seemingly endless weeks of sunshine we had at the start of the year so people will need more options, content and opportunity to stay active at home. 

4. Take time to revisit learnings from the summer lockdown 
  • What was received well by members?
  • What feedback did you receive from members, your team and potential members?
  • What didn’t go well, what were the root causes, should you repeat or think differently, what can you do additionally/instead?
  • What is still in place that you can continue?
5. Use this chance to share positive messaging 
  • Impact of staying active on health and mental wellbeing 
  • Show compassion and that you are there for them 
  • Share simple options for staying active 
  • Consider guidance on eating well but on a budget 
  • Avoid focusing on weight management, refer to being strong, healthy and confident
6. Create a strong online offering
  • Decide on the platform best to deliver your experience 
  • Consider whether your offering will include on-demand and live options 
  • Plan where and how these sessions will be created and who is best to deliver 
7. Build community and engagement 
  • Create opportunities to connect members to the facility 
  • Offer challenges that keep members motivated to stay active, consider challenges that can be completed in teams or partners, even if virtually 
  • Utilise available technology – apps, trackers and virtual channels 
  • Consider how you can deliver social events and workshops that are fun, educational and engaging 
  • Is there an opportunity to work with local businesses/services to support the community with services or supplies? 
  • Report weekly on uptake and engagement to influence on-going delivery and plans 

By ensuring a timely, organised, and open response to lockdown, you can ensure that your customers regard you with confidence and positivity, increasing the chance of post-lockdown customer retention. What’s more, this is your chance to deliver the health and fitness guidance which is absolutely crucial to the health of your local community.

At TA6, we are completely dedicated to supporting the leisure industry throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. We have therefore created a free resource library for all operators to use, containing plans, templates, social media assets, and more, to help you through this challenging time.

You can browse our other Covid-19 resources, support tools, and services here.

Finally, if you would like to speak to us in order to discuss lockdown strategy, a comeback campaign, or any other kind of marketing or training assistance, you can contact us here.