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Unless the time blocks in your online party booking software are overflowing, family entertainment centers should always be looking for more ways to increase their bookings to increase revenue.
One of the most efficient ways to do this is to host public events at your facility. Hosting open events at your FEC events gives you the ability to get more guests through your doors to have a unique and fun experience.
When guests see how you host and execute an event open to a large number of people, it helps them trust you with their birthday parties and future celebrations. Customers will be confident you'll be able to create the same (or an even better experience) for their private party. Everyone will be eager to book a party with you and your team!
Looking for ideas? The sky is the limit when it comes to themes and creative spins you can have on your events, but here are five event ideas facility owners should consider hosting to market your facility to the community and increase party bookings.
An open house at your facility is an opportunity to tell the local community what you’re all about. Invite the public into your space to see your attractions and learn about the party packages. You can offer free play during the event and walk guests through your private party spaces. Many people are visual, so being able to see where you host your parties significantly helps guests envision having one at your facility and makes them excited to book!
The open house shouldn’t be tailored for party bookings alone, however. You can use this event to market and promote any future events you’re planning at the facility, too!
For example, hosting an open house in the Spring is great time to talk about the summer! Kids will be out of school and families will be looking for fun things to do together. If your facility runs day camps, classes, or offers extra party package options during the summer months, this is the time to talk about those with your guests.
Communicate what they can expect from you and your team over the summer and demonstrate the type of fun their children will be having while at your facility.
A wonderful way to say “thank you” to your most frequent and loyal guests is to host and invite them to a private customer loyalty party.
This event is all about providing these customers with an amazing guest experience. It’s highly important to go the extra mile for folks that come in often to support your business. They are a key part of your facility achieving success!
Demonstrating how much your guests mean to your business and how grateful you are to have them as a customer means a lot and is something these guests will remember. Consider offering a special discount for anyone who books a private party with you during this event and potentially include a few extra goodies that you typically wouldn’t offer in the party package they chose.
Do you want to bring new guests and party bookers in the door? (Pssst—Your answer should be YES!)
Have a public Community Day event at your FEC!
This is your chance to show off your attractions and demonstrate the experience they will receive by booking a party at your facility. This could be a first impression of your business for many attendees, so make it a good one!
Providing drinks and snacks will give your guests an idea of the food options available for choosing or adding on to your party packages. Play music, do giveaways—get creative and make this event a true party!
At the end of your event, consider giving each guest a goodie bag that includes a coupon for future play or a discount for booking a party with you. It’s a great way to say “thank you” for coming by, but also an efficient way to encourage them to visit again at the same time.
Not every event has to physically be at your facility or last only a few hours. Social Media contests are becoming increasingly popular and are a great way to draw attention to your family entertainment center! Create a contest unique to you and offer a winning prize as an incentive for people to participate!
For example, if your facility allows guests to create an item (such as an art studio) you can post a picture of an object and ask your followers to draw/paint/color the object you posted. Have them post a picture to social media and tag you in it using a hashtag of your choosing, meant specifically for the event.
You and your team can vote on the winner, or you could open the voting up to the public! This is a great way to get the community involved and more engagement with your page.
Another example could be if you’re mini golf facility, take a clear container and fill it with the colored golf balls or mini pencils and post a picture to your Facebook and Instagram page. Ask your followers to guess how many are in the container.
The prizes for these contests can be anything you would like, but giving them an hour of free play or a discounted birthday party are two great ways to get them in your facility in the future and increases the chances of you booking more parties.
Sponsoring a community event is a fantastic way to boost party bookings that many facility owners and operators sometimes forget about.
Doing this demonstrates your dedication to the people around you. Showing an interest in what your guests do outside your facility walls speaks a lot about the type of facility owner and person you are. If one of your loyal customers has a 5K coming up, help sponsor the race!
Support your guests and they are increasingly more willing and eager to support you in return.
Hosting public FEC Events or being a sponsor for events in your community are efficient and effective ways to boost party bookings. These events allow your guests to get a taste of the type of experience you’ll provide for their special celebrations.
Put on your thinking caps and have fun with creating and hosting these events! Before you know it, you’ll see a dramatic boost in party bookings and plenty of smiling faces in your facility.
If you're looking for more FEC event ideas you can host throughout the year, download your free copy of our Monthly Events Calendar. In it, we share ideas for event opportunities by month, as well as ideas for additional promotions and up-sells.