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As an owner or operator of a family entertainment center, how do you ensure you provide guests with a great party?
Fun attractions? Delicious food? All inclusive party packages?
Those are all important aspects to creating a fun and memorable party for your customers, however, one of the most impactful factors is your party hosts!
As the boss, you need to recognize the importance of having at least one party host assigned to each private party held at your facility. Their interactions with the party guests and the customer service they provide can make or break a party experience.
To obtain those coveted, rave reviews on social media, get repeat party bookers, and additional booking in the future via referrals, you need your party host to make a lasting positive impression on your event guests and their families.
Let current staff members who hold a party host position know how valuable they are to your team, and other employees who don’t currently hold a spot can rise to the position through exhibiting hard work and a dedication to exemplary guest experience.
So what goes into facilitating a fabulously memorable party for your guests?
Following are four party host tips to take note of if you want to ensure a successful event at your family entertainment center.
One of the biggest aspects parents love about booking an all-inclusive party package (especially online) is that it means the facility will take care of all the “to-dos” for the party. Most party bookers would rather pay for a higher priced party package that includes food, goodies and various add-ons so their biggest responsibility is simply showing up.
As the facility owner, you should love that too! These types of events mean increased party revenue and it allows your team to have full responsibility for making their party experience one of a kind!
To knock out those “to do’s” as efficiently as possible, you need to keep organized! To make sure this happens effectively for every event, creating checklists for before the party, during the party, and after the party will help!
You’ll need to cater your checklists specifically to your facility and parties, but check out these resources we created below to help you get started:Event Planning Checklist Series
Mental checklists are good, but they can often be inefficient. A better approach to ensure everything is completed is physically writing down a bulleted list or creating a digital list to stay on top of items that need to be ordered or tasks that need to be completed.
Assigning a date and time by which each task should be completed on your party checklist will help keep you on track to deliver a successful party without any last-minute mistakes that should have been taken care of.
Before the party guests arrive at the facility, look over their party order to confirm everything is ready to go and note any changes that may have been made along the way, especially if it means their party invoice needs to be updated.
Another helpful tip for party hosts to stay organized is to wear a watch! It sounds simple, but time flies when guests are having fun and your party hosts are busy making sure customers have everything they need.
Keeping track of the time your party groups are spending at attractions, eating, opening gifts and more not only help to make sure the event doesn’t extend past the allotted time, recording this information will help you as the business owner to see if your party package time windows are realistic, or if they feel slightly rushed and need to be updated.
*Note: Mobile devices are great back-ups for keeping time, but the last thing you want to do is have a party goer mistake your party host for playing on their phone. Party bookers are paying for your full attention to be on them and their guest of honor, don’t give them a reason to believe otherwise. Make sure there are plenty of clocks around the facility, so they can be checked whenever needed.
Paying attention to detail is a crucial part of being a great party host.
When preparing for a party, a good party host will review all details of the party order. He or she should make note of any special requests or themes for the party.
For example, if a parent requests an Avengers balloon centerpiece, you may want to have the party host assigned to that party become familiar with Avengers characters if they’re not already. Not only will it help them pick out an awesome balloon for the guest of honor, it will also help them spark a conversation with the birthday child! Ask them who their favorite character is and tell them who you like the best. Those connections mean everything.
Another example would be recognizing any special notes that may have been communicated in an online party booking reservation. If there are a few guests with an allergy, have your party hosts use that information when you call to confirm their party numbers and details. Be sure to have your party hosts communicate your allergy policies/procedures and how your family entertainment center plans on respecting their special requests/needs.
Perhaps the most important time for party hosts to pay attention to detail is during the party.
People communicate not only through words but also through expressions. Explain to your party guests the importance of glancing around party rooms or attraction areas to examine the faces of your party guests. If they see someone not smiling, go over and ask the guest if they’re having fun or if they need anything. If they see a mom pacing around, have them ask if she needs assistance finding something or someone.
If a party seems a bit lacking in energy or the birthday child is taking a while to open gifts or eat their cake, kindly keep them on task by inventing a quick game that will help move the party along and increase enjoyment for the other guests.
When it comes to private events, party hosts are the face of your facility. The vibe they give off and how they conduct themselves during an introduction to the birthday child will set the tone for the entire party.
Party hosts should be sure to greet guests with a big smile and enthusiasm. Make sure they introduce themselves to the Guest of Honor and each of the party guests as they enter your party room or facility. Relay the importance of having the parents of the guest of honor know who their assigned party host is so they know who is responsible for taking care of them during their time in the facility.
With young party guests, shyness can sometimes be an issue. This is an opportunity to use your party hosts as a way to stand out from the competition!
Have party hosts kick-off the event with an icebreaker game to spark the fun and participation. Another option is for them to
start a dance party to encourage everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. Remind party guests to give children they see standing alone or not having a good time a little extra special attention. Have them go over and offer to go down the slide with them or bounce in the inflatable bounce house alongside them until their friends join in.
Any team member or party host can welcome a family, cut the cake, guide kids on the attractions and keep the party moving and on schedule. An A+ party host, however, does all the essential party hosting responsibilities, but also finds a way to go the extra mile. Little moments of great customer service go a long way.
Going the extra mile can mean or look differently to every party host. Maybe it’s serving a corner piece of cake to the guest of honor’s mom because the party host heard her tell her husband how much she loves the bakery’s icing. Perhaps going above and beyond for guests is loading up the guest of honor’s car with their presents for them. Or in some unfortunate scenarios, maybe an extraordinary party host decides to jump in and participate in the event as if they were a guest for those parties that have only a few attendees.
No matter how your party hosts go above and beyond for your guests, it’s important they find a way to make a lasting positive impact on the guest of honor and their guests.
Be silly. Be friendly. Be kind. Remember, your party guests have chosen to celebrate their special day at YOUR facility. It’s your opportunity (and responsibility if you want party bookings to continue) to make sure each party host you have creates a wonderful experience and memorable event. What an incredible perk of the job.
By training your party hosts to apply these four tips on a day-to-day basis, your family entertainment center will be well on its way to being known for hosting the best parties around.
For further resources to help you throw an incredible birthday party or event, be sure to download the three separate resources in our Event Planning Checklist Series.