Yes, let’s talk about this! Arriving 15-30 minutes before your profile begins says to your riders you are committed, reliable and prepared: committed to delivering an awesome experience, reliable enough that if they get out of bed early or sit in traffic to get to your class, that you’ll be waiting and prepared to make it worth their time, money and effort. They can’t ask for more than that.
Here are three tips for optimizing pre-class time to set the stage for an awesome experience:
Tip #1: Use the pre-profile start time to create “It’s On!” energy.
Everything you do, and how you do it, sets the tone for the class. If you’re tired, fake awake. If you’re distracted, get focused. And if you’re not prepared, look like you are!
When you walk into your room its show time. I rode at a club a few months back where the instructor strolled into the room two minutes before class, tossed her stuff on the floor, fiddled with her iPhone (presumably to find a playlist), wrestled with the microphone, and seven minutes later got on the bike and launched into her ride. Not surprisingly, it was a mess. I made excuses for her in my head: maybe she was a last minute sub, maybe she didn’t feel well, maybe something out of her control made her late. But in the end, it just wasn’t okay. When any of those scenarios happen to us, we owe it to the riders to share it, apologize for being late and do everything we can to make the ride a great experience.
Tip #2: Acknowledge every rider as they enter the room.
But be careful not to get so caught up in your own prep routines that you’re in your own world as riders are filing in. One of the most powerful things we can do to create a strong following is to acknowledge each rider as they enter class. A simple hello means: it matters that you showed up today. One rider shared that coming to cycling class and being acknowledged was often the only time in her busy day that she felt appreciated. Wow.
Tip #3: Be aware of the “playground factor”. No cliques.
Yes, we want to (and should) engage with our core riders before class, but be sure to make time for your newer and more introverted riders, and most importantly, any first time riders. They are the pipeline to every bike filled, every class!
Bottom line: There is profile start time (time shown on the schedule) and there is class start time – 15-30 minutes before profile time. Make the most of it – and stay awesome!