3 Tips for Having the Best Party Packages This Holiday Season

Alex Keller
Oct 15, 2019 10:20 AM

Pumpkin spice, pinecones, presents, and...party packages? You've almost made it to the end of 2019, and will soon have to juggle your personal holiday season on top of managing your family entertainment center.

During this busy time of year, your customers are going to be searching for facilities that offer the best party packages for their needs, and, of course, the one that gives them the biggest bang for their buck.

The holiday season is a great time to revisit the party packages you currently offer. Think about what you can do to improve them and entice more potential customers to see the value in them and book a party with you.

Reason to Review

You might be wondering, "Why should take a look at my party packages now, of all times? They're fine."

The winter months are full of opportunities to increase your facility's revenue through hosting holiday events—from family gatherings and play dates during school break to corporate parties and charity events.

Here, at Party Center Software, one of our goals is to provide our customers with the insights they need to plan for the year ahead. we, To do this, we analyze data from the thousands of parties booked each year through our system and publish our findings in an annual report.

Data from our 2018 Online Booking Study shows the average revenue per event in 2018 was $327.21, a 4.6% growth over the previous year.


Our analysis also shows that October, November, and January—three important months during the holiday season, were among the highest for total number of party bookings in 2018.

Of course, an analysis of facilities in your local area and demographics may yield different results, however it's reason enough to take another look at the party packages you offer. Determine how you can improve them to offer the best customer experience for the greatest customer value.

Adding additional incentives, or changing existing ones to meet the particular needs of a holiday party, set your facility apart from the competition and increase your chance of being chosen as your guests' preferred venue location over other event centers in the area.

Focus on Guest Experience and Value

Do your party packages offer a special experience, or discounted group admission?

Far too often, we see family entertainment centers and event facilities who view their party packages as a way to simply secure a dozen or so more walk-ins. In order to do this, they might take $2 off admission per person, but still charge full price for everything else—food, beverages, game play, etc.

While this strategy works well for some facilities, it's important to note this is an approach that focuses on discounting and volume versus experience and value.

Focusing on creating party packages that provide your customers with a high-value guest experience over lowering costs slightly just to get a few more people in the door will drive more revenue long-term. Doing this will also reduce the strain of high-party volume and generate valuable, guest-driven marketing.

Here's an example of the two concepts in action:

  • Holiday Party Scenario #1: Each "Basic Party Package" costs $105. You've got six of these booked on a Saturday afternoon, and (for the sake of this example) each of these parties will have 10 attendees.

    You would earn $630 to create a memorable experience for 60 people in total. However, with this many parties and people, you'll likely need to hire multiple hosts. This situation has the potential to cause major confusion when trying to meet the needs and expectations of your many guests.

    Not only does this go against your commitment to ensuring a seamless and positive customer experience, the extra staffing will also significantly cut into your party profits.

  • Holiday Party Scenario #2: Each "Ultimate Party Package" costs $250. You have three of these booked on a Saturday afternoon, and again, for the sake of this example, they all have 10 attendees each for a total of 30 guests.

    You'll earn $750 to ensure an amazing guest experience for just 30 people. Since you have half the amount of parties, each party could be managed by a single host, allowing you to maintain a higher profit margin.

Which of the two scenarios do you think is more likely to create more positive reviews and return visits? If you answered Scenario #2, well done.

Parties should be a special experience, well beyond what a normal walk-in would receive.

Not to mention, your guest(s) of honor will be inviting other attendees that may have never seen your facility before, especially during the holidays.

You need to make your guests' first impression of your facility a great one.

Otherwise, any future business you could have received from those party guests, or from referrals they may have given, is slim-to-none.

To give your Family Entertainment Center or event facility the greatest chance of successful party package sales this holiday season, there are 3 important factors to consider:

3 Tips for Great Party Packages 

1. Build Valuable (and Profitable!)
   Party Packages

Many family entertainment centers and event facilities have adopted the "Good-Better-Best" model to tier their party package options.

The reason it's become so popular? Because it works.

With this model, you'll offer a lower-priced, basic offering, but still holds value and appeals to customers working with a fixed or lower budget. You'll also offer a second- and third-tier option, with each offering increasing in price, but more importantly, having more value.

When using the Good-Better-Best approach, it's important to name your products accordingly.

Which set of party package names sound more appealing?

Set A Set B
 Party A  Silver Party
 Party B  Gold Party
 Party C  Platinum Party

If you're looking to increase your revenue, especially during the holiday season, I hope your choice was "Set B".

Platinum is the best. Gold is more valuable than Silver. And Silver still sounds pretty nice.

  • Platinum Party Packages offer the highest incentives and make guests feel like royalty. Watch this option explode around tax-return season.

  • Having a Gold Party Package is key for your business. Your guests will comfortable that they're not spending too much, and are excited about the additional value they'll receive (that they wouldn't get with the cheapest option).

    More often than not, your Gold Party Packages are going to be the most popular option at your facility. Explain the added value this option holds without sounding overly “salesy,” and watch people who would have purchased Silver upgrade to Gold.

  • A Silver Party Package is still a solid choice—don't skimp out on the value with this one. Having an affordable party package option that still includes exclusive add-ons and experiences shows your facility is welcoming to the greatest number of guests, who all have varying budget levels.

Brainstorm what party package labels suit your family entertainment center or event facility the best, but please, a word of advice when it comes to naming them: "Bronze" is better left on doorknobs.

Making the Most Out Of Your Party Packages

Renaming and adding amenities to your party packages will now allow you to charge more. If you've created your packages effectively, you'll still see business flow—or even better, increase—because your guests are comfortable and excited about their purchasing decision.

All customers want to feel like they're receive the most value for their dollar. So, during the holiday season when it's easy to get caught up in overspending, your guests are going to take advantage of the great deals you're offering.

Can you spot the difference below?

Kids' Holiday Party A Kids' Holiday Party B
 3 Pitchers of Soda  Unlimited Soda
 One Ice Cream Sandwich
 Per Guest
 Make Your Own Sundae!
 Discounted Admission
 + Skate Rental
 Admission + FREE Skate Rental

  • Soda: I know what you're thinking."Unlimited soda?! You're taking away a huge "silent" money maker!"

    Realistically, unless your parties are full of kids with superhuman stomachs, there's only so much soda a child can physically drink. You may wind up giving out another 2 pitchers total, which is far from a detriment to your overall total.

    Your goal is to book more parties around the $250 mark, so that's quite a bit of mark-up. Make your guests feel like there’s no limits to the fun they can experience.

  • Ice Cream: Before we go any further on this subject, let's
    be honest: your employees are eating your Ice Cream Sandwiches when no one is looking. Constantly.

    One-Gallon Neapolitan "Party Pails" at Kroger will run you about $9.00 after tax. From there, you're some syrup and sprinkles away from offering a more fun, more personalized, and more photograph-able option (which is great for promoting your business on social media!). And, it's at a more affordable cost to you.

    Remember: you're selling the experience, not the
    ice cream. 

  • Admission + Skate Rental: Think Fast: when you order a combo at McDonalds, what is the exact discount on the drink? ......Time's up.

    The point is, no one wants to have to do the math to figure out if they're getting a good deal. If two options are going to cost the same, but you can change the words to make it simpler for the guest...do it. Just like at McDonalds, bundling is everywhere.

2. Have an Effective Party Package
    Promotion Plan

Having an effective strategy for marketing your events is key for generating interest and increasing party bookings, especially during the holidays when many of your regular/local customers will be bringing in family and friends from out of town.

Put yourself in your customers' shoes. Where are you most likely to grab their attention? On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram? Are you setting up booths at local markets, tradeshows, and fairs to spread the word? Are you promoting upcoming events at the facility itself to encourage customers to come back again?

Make it a point to advertise your holiday events and party offerings consistently across multiple communication channels for the best chance of well-attended events.

3. Make Purchasing Your Party Packages
    Easy and Convenient

The most organized patrons will navigate to your website from their computer weeks or months in advance. Perhaps they're signed up for your email newsletter or they've liked you on social media, and you appear in their feed, reminding them they need to start planning for their event.

However, the majority of people turn to their mobile phones in the midst of their busy work day to start research on venues a mere week before their desired event date.

Here comes the big question: how easy do you make it for customers to book parties with you?

Do you utilize a reservation or contact us form on your website? Do you not have a form at all and you simply direct potential guest to give you a call at the facility?

"You've almost made it to the end of 2019, and will soon have
to juggle your own holiday season on top of your family entertainment center."
Remember this?

Make easier on your customers and your facility during this hectic time of year by offering what everyone wants and expects in this day and age—online party booking. We’re in the age of instant gratification, and if that gratification involves someone giving you money...why would we make this difficult?

Online booking software allows your guests to pick an available date and time to have their event at your facility. You're able to immediately collect their deposit, allowing you the comfort of knowing you've secured their patronage through a financial commitment.

In the time it takes to get in touch with a potential customer who submitted a form or left a voicemail when you were closed, they may have already found somewhere else to go and spend their money.

Of course you'll still want to call and confirm online bookings with your guests, but now the conversation will be different. The purchasing decision has already been made, so your focus can
now be about what will give your customer a successful guest experience, and not locking down a "sale".

Your Party Packages and the Holiday Season

Make great memories with your loved ones this holiday season, and help others create ones their own by making booking parties at your facility an easy and enjoyable process.

Take a look at your party packages. Review what you offer, how you offer it, and how hard it is for someone to secure their reservation.

Attend to these three areas, and you'll be well on your way to providing a better guest experience and driving more revenue
at your family entertainment center or event facility this
holiday season.

Complimentary Guide: Monthly Events Calendar - A Year-Round, Fun-At-A-Glance Resource for Event Opportunities at Your Facility

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