(The following article was originally published by Pat Barber at warmupandworkout.com. Although it looks like we might be at the tail end of the COVID-19 situation, brushing up on your Zoom skills could prove just as useful moving forward as it is now.)
Most gyms and affiliates around the world are working harder than they’ve ever worked, adapting to a changing world and completely pivoting their entire business model in the span of hours or days. Part of this transition is learning new platforms like Zoom (for virtual at-home workouts) while experimenting with different ways to keep community engagement high in a digital space.
In the past few weeks, people have shared some amazing ideas in our private Facebook group for members.
We’d like to share a few of those with you so you keep your community strong throughout this crisis.
Most affiliates are conducting online classes (at-home workouts) via Zoom, so here’s some stuff to know about the platform:
- Audio and Video Setup
- You can use the Virtual Background feature to make it look like you’re sitting on a beach, floating through space, chillin in the jungle, and so much more.
- Zoom Video Effects
- Zoom and Covid-19
- Host and Co-Hosts Controls (muting, recording, screen sharing, etc.)
- Frequently Asked Questions about Zoom Meetings
- Zoom Meetings Training
- How to Optimize Audio Settings (background noise, echo, etc.)
- Using Zoom on Mobile
- How Do I Change the Video Layout?
- Epic Zoom Fails
ZOOM → FACEBOOK LIVE
Some affiliates have integrated Zoom with Facebook so the Zoom calls are automatically published to Facebook Live. What they’re finding is that some people don’t want to show up for a Zoom call but when a video is pushed to Facebook Live and they can watch it on their phone, they see how much fun everyone is having, and they’re more likely to get involved. It lowers the barrier to entry. Here’s how to do it: Streaming a Zoom Meeting on Facebook Live
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND ZOOM
A lot of affiliates have said, “When I’ve reached out to some members, they just want to talk. They need to talk with somebody.” People need people. This is one of your superpowers right now — you offer community. Led by leaders who actually care about people. Don’t get so caught up in offering fitness that you forget that a lot of people just want to see the faces of their friends, share stories, and laugh with each other. Give attention to this question: How can I bring people together during a time of social distancing and shelter-in-place?
Several affiliates are hosting a weekly happy hour where they schedule a Zoom call or Facebook live, pour themself a drink, and chat. They’ve noticed that people talking over each other, and the screen jumping back and forth, hasn’t really been an issue, especially if they use Gallery View and teach people how to Mute/Unmute.
- The Different Video Layouts in Zoom
- Displaying Participants in Gallery View
- Mute All and Unmute All
- Maybe even a dress-up/costume party? Or just wear fun hats!?!
Some affiliates are hosting Trivia Nights in Zoom by using the Breakout Rooms feature, which allows you to split people into teams:
- Getting Started with Breakout Rooms
- How to Use Breakout Rooms
- This article gives specifics on how you could run Trivia via Zoom (how people can submit guesses, etc.) and it suggests a few other games you could play. The Scavenger Hunt one looks fun to us, especially for your members who have kids at home right now.
Use Icebreakers to get everyone smiling and talking. Make space for social interaction more than you normally would in class, as that’s what people really need right now. Here’s A List of 143 Icebreakers we wrote years ago. We also have a small collection of Would You Rather… Questions.
In talking with a lot of people in the past few days, it seems like some gym members haven’t been showing up for virtual classes because they’ve had the mindset of, “Hey, it’s a week off, just like a vacation.” Thing is: This is not a one or two-week situation. We have no idea how long this is going to last. So, we need to shift people from “meh, it’s just a week” to get them to understand that they need to build better, more sustainable habits into their lifestyle. Reach out to members who’ve been MIA and check on them. They might have some serious stuff going on in their life, they might not understand how you’re doing the at-home workouts (or be intimidated by the process), or they might need a little encouragement to get off the couch and get moving again (it doesn’t help that new movies & T.V. shows keep getting released on streaming services).
MANAGING A VIRTUAL TEAM
Simon Sinek has led a remote team for over 10 years. In the following video, a team leader explains a weekly ritual they use called the “Huddle” to connect, build trust and get to know each other as people. It’s 75 minutes each week, just to build relationships and show appreciation, not talk business or strategy.
And with that, we’ll just say: Take care of yourself, your loved ones, and your community. We’re all in this together.