Looking for holiday planning tips? You've come to the right place!
While we know our readers are ahead of the game and got all of their holiday planning done around the end of summer/early fall, everyone can use some extra tips, tricks, and advice!
To make sure your facility is ready to spread holiday cheer, here are 6 ways you can prepare to provide guests with an incredible experience this year.
Holiday Planning: 6 Ways to Prepare for Festivities at Your FEC
Let's jump in!
1. Conduct a Facility Maintenance Check
When was the last time you checked if the heating works in your facility? What about the pipes?
Chances are, "not recently."
To make sure your family entertainment center doesn't run into any unexpected issues this holiday season, run a thorough maintenance check!
Ensure all your equipment and attractions are running smoothly and will not only be able to withstand the cold winter months, but also provide hours of safe enjoyment for every guest coming through your doors.
2. Decorate for the Holidays With Your Customers in Mind
Think about where you're located. What holidays does your local community celebrate? Are you located in a diverse community? Decorate for each holiday throughout your facility to make each and every customer feel appreciated!
To make things fun, host an "After Hours" holiday decorating party for your employees. Play music and order pizza and drinks. This is a great way to get things done, while also showing your staff you appreciate all the extra hours they're putting in to help you during this busy season.
Your customers will walk in the next day to a Winter Wonderland you've created with your incredible staff!
3. Book Your Entertainment in Advance
The holidays are a busy time for everyone, especially for those in the entertainment industry.
If you plan on having a "Meet and Greet with Santa" event at your facility, you need to make sure you book Santa early!
He's a busy guy, after all.
A quick Google search should yield results of reputable "Santas" in the area with instructions on how you can book them for events.
Depending on your location, there may not be an abundance of options to choose from. So be sure to book entertainment as soon as possible! Whether it's a band for a holiday party, Santa and his elves, or a crew capable of decorating the harder-to-reach areas of your facility (such as to hoist decor on the roof or ceiling), you need to make sure you've secured their work well in advance.
If possible, book them this year for the following holiday. You'll both be happy you already have dates secured and one less event to worry about.
4. Check Your Inventory and Stock Up on Supplies
The festive fall and winter months mean more—of everything. More parties mean more people, and more people mean more supplies.
Take a look at all the parties you have on the books for the holiday season. This includes anything in January! With all of the extra events you'll be hosting, you're likely to forget to order what you need to get through the first couple weeks of the new year before it's too late.
Make a list of everything you'll need for each event and document it using your resource management software. If possible, place one large order for everything you need, plus a little extra in case of emergencies. It'll be easier to track and organize what you've purchased with one large order, rather than ordering your supplies in multiple small shipments.
5. Adequately Hire and Train Your Staff
Your current staff is likely more than capable of managing the holiday rush at your facility, especially if they've been part of your team for multiple seasons.
The real question is, however, do you have enough staff?
Consider hosting a job fair at your facility to hire extra short-term staff. You'll be well-equipped to provide your guests—especially those paying a premium for private events—with a more enjoyable and memorable experience. Plus, the new employees you hire will be glad to have some extra money in their pockets during the season of giving.
Since you'll have new employees on board, it's a great time to host a training course on how to operate different areas of your FEC. Not only will you be able to effectively train the new people you have on board, but it's also a perfect time to give your veteran staff a refresher course!
You'll be able to address any current issues and set expectations with everyone present, as well as motivate them to work hard and enjoy the exciting time ahead.
6. Start Planning for the New Year
The holiday season will no doubt bring more customers and increased revenue to your family entertainment center. Wouldn't you like to continue that momentum into the new year?
As mentioned before, try to book next year's holiday entertainment as soon as possible, even if it's right after they've fulfilled their commitment to you this year.
Additionally, if you've heeded our advice in regard to inventory, you're already on track to being well-prepared for your New Year's events around the corner.
While you may not have as many events at your facility throughout the rest of the year as you will during the holidays, it's important to keep a log of all important information.
Keeping a history of how many supply items you needed, the number of staff you employed, as well as the increased revenue you received, are all important things to keep track of. This way, preparing for future events will take less time and thought operationally, so you can focus on what's most important: your guests.
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