How to Make Your Club the “Third Place”

Jimmy Girot

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September 26, 2019

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category

minute read

PUblished

September 26, 2019

Supportive networks and friend groups at your club are essential to building a tight-knit community. Beyond their home and work, your members are hopefully spending a lot of time at your club. The reason for this importance comes from sociologist Ray Oldenburg who coined the phrase “third place”to describe a public setting that serves as a regular and informal gathering place.

Allowing your club to serve as a third place will increase retention and member satisfaction while boosting spending on programs, products and services. All that sounds great, right? Since there are a few easy things you can do to make your club the third place, we’ll dive a little deeper into the topic now.

Understanding the Third Place Concept

Oldenburg identified our homes and workplaces as our first and second places. While both are important, Oldenburg said that we need a separate place to relax, meet and socialize with others.

Characteristics of Third Places include:

  • Neutral place where people are free to come and go as they please
  • Conversation is the main activity
  • They are accommodating spaces
  • People become “regulars”
  • The mood is upbeat and playful
  • They are a home away from home

Making Your Club a Third Place

As we mentioned, making your club a third place has many benefits.When members relax and socialize in your café, you’ll sell more food and beverages. When they hang out in your tennis club lounge, you’ll sell more tennis equipment and book more court time. And in general, when members rely on your club as their third place, they will be there more often which will improve retention. Try the following tips for making your club the third place:

Host Events and Provide Programming

You can entice members to linger more often by hosting casual events. Poolside or café happy hours, nutrition and fitness workshops and holiday events are all easy ways to make your club a great place to hang out. You can even open some of these events up to club guests which will bring in additional leads and increase membership sales.

Provide Enough Comfortable Space

Ensure there are warm and inviting gathering spaces available. Ideally, you want your gathering areas to feel like a home away from home, so consider leaving complimentary coffee, healthy snacks and reading materials out for members too. You can even add subtle finishing touches like fresh flowers or soft music.

Let Members Reserve Space for Private Events

If you have multiple common spaces, you can allow members to reserve one for small receptions, meetings and parties. Doing so helps members feel even more ownership over the space.

Third places are about community and belonging, both of which are critical for your club’s success. Save time and spend more time nurturing your community, schedule a Member Management Software demo today.

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Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

  • Just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection
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Into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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