September 03, 2019 4 min read
The term ‘Lifestyle Brand’ gets thrown around a lot these days. We’re not generally big on jumping on the bandwagon*, but for us, our whole concept is based around lifestyle - a healthy, active, connected one - so we kinda can’t help but embrace it. We built Gym+Coffee with the goal of encouraging a community of people to Make Life Richer. A huge pillar for us, therefore, is our event offerings - this is one of the ways we’re able to facilitate a healthier, more active lifestyle for our community members.
Taking firm hold of the motto “Don’t be afraid to be bad at something new”, we decided to launch into hosting events at the same time as we figured out how to establish and run a young Irish business. In our very first year, we ran 10 free G+C events that we dubbed our ‘Summer Stretch Series’ and since then we’ve continued this tradition every year.
Summer Stretch allowed us to collaborate with incredible instructors, local coffee providers and communities, enabling us to grow our community further in a very organic way. Since then we’ve upped the ante with in-store classes, outdoor spin sessions, continued birthday celebrations atop Sugarloaf Mountain, and even held a couple of events just for dogs :)
Some might say it was biting off more than we could chew. But looking back, it was exactly the right decision.
Some might say it was biting off more than we could chew. But looking back, it was exactly the right decision. This way, everyone who came into contact with Gym+Coffee ‘the brand’, knew that we were about building a community of awesome people through fun things to do, as much as we were about offering some awesome gear for people to do those fun things in.
Summer Stretch really took on a life of its own and we knew we needed to build on this incredible momentum. One part of our event evolution took shape with our Adventure Weekends. This was a nerve-wracking decision for us as it was our first venture into overnight events and the first time we’d ever charged people to attend. But we needn’t have worried: we sold out our first Adventure, and then our second and the feedback we’ve received has been awesome.
Since we began this journey, we’ve had the great fortune of expanding our reach by partnering with some well-established as well as emerging events + organisers. In 2019 alone we were partners to Wellfest, were involved in the Quest Adventure Race series, Thrive Festival, FitFix and WellWex to name just a handful and this year we’ve begun to dip our toes into another new style of event. We recently partnered with Google as part of their Health & Culture week, offering a Summer Stretch-style event for one of their teams.
This year we’ve begun to dip our toes into another new style of event.
Expanding and stretching ourselves through new events has been challenging but we’re learning a lot. We know we want to spread our Make Life Richer message, we know we want to keep growing our community. As we continue to partner with new people in new ways though, we need to find a way to do it that is true to our ethos, while also incorporating new partners’ philosophies too.
We’re excited to see where we can take these new partnerships, but our own G+C-run events are still the biggest pillar in our programme. This year we ran our third annual Summer Stretch Series which saw more than 2000 attendees at 9 classes in two counties! Based on feedback from our community and our own learnings over the last few years, we evolved things a bit this year and added a final celebratory event that we dubbed ‘Make Life Richer Day’. Changing things up and implementing feedback from our community is a massive piece of the puzzle for us and MLR Day was in response to people wanting bigger, longer and more ‘festival-style’ events from us.
There’s an authenticity that comes with that and we know we’re working with people and organisations who are as passionate as we are about taking steps to Make Life Richer.
So what happens as we grow? One of the things we love about the way we plan our events is the local vibe we are able to incorporate and this is something that we’d like to do a lot more of. Collaborating with local instructors + entrepreneurs and being able to support and champion small, local business is something we love to do. There’s an authenticity that comes with that and we know we’re working with people and organisations who are as passionate as we are about taking steps to Make Life Richer.
The business of our events is super simple. It’s about the people, the places and the craic you can have while you’re doing things that are good for you: mind, body + soul. Come join us next time?
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