Being a martial arts student isn’t always easy. Many students juggle school, work, and family, to find the time to train in their chosen martial art. It can be hard for some students to stay motivated through the entirety of their training but there are many things you can do to keep your students engaged, even when their motivation is temporarily low.
Hosting regular student appreciation events, for example, is an excellent idea for keeping student retention high. In addition to keeping your existing students interested, these events can also be used as a strong source for new students. Here’s how to set up your events so that they maximize retention and martial arts leads, along with some of our top picks for student events.
Use Events to Boost Retention and Leads
Hosting students at your martial arts school for a night of fun can be very rewarding, especially because it may help them relax in your dojo’s setting. If a student is frustrated at the lack of progress in their martial arts journey, they may start to dread coming to classes, particularly if the class will focus on an area of weakness. For these students, reframing the dojo as a setting that they can have fun in can help relieve these feelings. Creating closer bonds with other students can also motivate them to keep coming to class when they’re stressed. Finally, there’s a higher chance for former students to rejoin your school, if they keep attending your events.
These events can also be a great source of prospective students. Getting potential students to step foot into your martial arts studio can be very challenging. Encouraging your students to invite their friends to your events, however, can be an excellent introduction for them. Even if they don’t end up joining your school, they may be more likely to recommend your school to others, if they enjoy their time at one of your events. Pairing this with referral incentives can mean that you won’t have to sell people at your events. Be gracious to your guests—regardless of their interest in joining your school—and enjoy your time. You’ll create an inviting environment for your community to notice.
Hosting your students for a movie night at the dojo can be an inexpensive way to have a great time with your students, as long as someone in the dojo has a projector you can use. With that said, public libraries and schools will often loan out projectors, in the event that you do not have one.
It doesn’t always have to be a movie, either. Live sporting events can also be great, if there is a team, athlete, or fighter many people in your student base want to see. This can be a good entry into event partnerships as well, as you could easily incorporate other local businesses into the event, from restaurants and sporting goods stores to larger companies.
Food always brings people together but it can be outside of many schools’ budgets to feed that many guests. For those with a modest budget, pick a theme, make it a potluck, and plan entertainment. Potlucks can be a fun and engaging event, as your students plan what they should bring. We suggest getting people’s competitive sides out, by having a voting contest for various tongue-in-cheek categories in addition to, for example, the best all-around dish. If you want to double down, consider having your demo team take part, in order to showcase the talent your school is cultivating.
Trips are a great way to keep your students engaged. Some martial arts tournaments are hosted out of state or your school may want to go on a camping trip. Whatever the scenario, allowing your students to bring a guest can be a smart way to introduce potential leads to your team. These trips tend to strengthen social bonds, helping create a family environment that also keeps retention rates high.
Local martial arts tournaments can also attract many of your students’ friends and family. Be sociable and kind, extending a casual invitation to visit your school. Being a popular place for students and non-students in your community can help generate long-term business, while positioning your business as a civic leader.
Does your school go unused for extended periods of time, outside of class time and events? Here’s how to create more revenue by renting out your school for events in your community.
What was one of the most memorable events you’ve had at your martial arts school? Let us know on our Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.