party favors and decorations on a table

5 Private Party Tips for Your Family Entertainment Center

Megan Hawkins
Jul 21, 2020 8:35 AM

Are you a family entertainment center owner or manager who lacks confidence in the success of your private parties?

Don't be!

Private parties are the perfect way to not only increase revenue at your Family Entertainment Center, they’ll lead to more private event bookings via referrals in the future, if the celebration is a success. From Sweet 16’s, Wedding Showers, Milestone Birthdays
as well as Team-Building and Corporate Events, the possibilities for successful private parties at your facility are endless.

To help you along the way, following are 5 private party tips to help you make your FEC the number one place for guests to book their next big celebration.

5 Private Party Tips for Your Family Entertainment Center

1. Plan for Success: Make Your Private Parties AFFORDABLE!

One of the best (and initial) things you can do to ensure the success of your private parties are to make them affordable!. Don't price yourself out of the market or make your potential guests feel uncomfortable when inquiring about booking with you.

Ideally, you’ll want to allow all of your party packages to have standard options that each come at a price point you are comfortable with . After that, what they choose to add on is up to them.

Make sure you always have a list of what’s advertised as included in each private party package handy, as well as the featured add-on options. As the event venue responsible for giving your customers the experience they expect, you never want to over promise, and then under deliver. Having the list handy allows both you and your staff to see items that need to be regularly ordered, stocked, and placed where they’re easy to get to.

Having a private party doesn’t have to be reserved for only guests with “deep pockets.” You have the ability to help your customers create lasting memories at multiple price points. For example, if you allow specific items to be brought such as desserts or party favors to help them save with add-on costs, let your guests know!

Additionally, you can offer free return passes to your facility as an added benefit to booking a private event. Full service, exclusive events don't have to break the bank. Your responsibility as an FEC owner/operator is to make the value or the party outweigh the cost!

2. Effectively Market Your Private Party

Marketing is the next step to successfully executing private parties. How best are you going to let potential guests know you offer private parties?

You need to meet your audience where they are.

And, where do people spend the most time “with” each other, besides in person? The internet!

To increase your chances of booking the most private parties possible, you need to give customers the ability to book parties online!

Many people’s technological devices are focused around social media outlets, so why not start there?

Communicate your ability to offer intimate smaller events or rocking parties on Facebook and Instagram. Share images of groups having drinks, laughing, and genuinely experiencing a great time at your facility. These photos can be of real guests or stage your staff to advertise the design options and space offered.

(*Note: add photo and video consent to your digital waivers to make this process seamless if you want to use images of guests in your marketing efforts!)

What about loyal walk-in guests who visit your facility often? Share promotional offerings on table tents and stands inside your FEC as well as in entryways to let people already in your doors know about additional special services you offer. You might want to even consider extending a loyalty discount to regular customers if they book a private party with you.

Have your dedicated sales team reach out to those who have booked parties with you in the past, letting them know any specials you may be offering and how committed you are to making their party experience the best you possibly can.

Regardless of the avenue of communication, get the word out! Letting your audience know your family entertainment center is the perfect venue for their upcoming private party is the key to a full calendar of party bookings.

3. Up-sell Private Parties via
Online Booking

How do you book parties now? Do you have a group of select staff members responsible for answering inbound inquiries about private events?

If so, train them how to professionally speak to your offerings and how your facility is dedicated to catering to their every need.
Let inquisitive guests know you offer a wide variety of pricing and services that will be able to fit their idea of the perfect private party, no matter how big or small.

The more knowledgeable your staff is about your private party packages, the greater ability they have to make sure it’s booked to its fullest potential.

One of the best ways to increase the guest satisfaction and revenue potential for private party bookings is by directing your guests to utilize your online booking tool.

After choosing an available date and time for their event, your customers have the ability to browse and select exclusive add-on options such as custom themes, party favors, bottle service, and food and beverage items that are reserved offerings for private party bookers.

It’s important to remember that encouraging guests to book their party online isn’t meant to eliminate the staff involvement in the process. Once a booking is made, connect with your customer and discuss each aspect of the party to make sure they’ve accurately selected their preferred choices, and bring up any additional ideas/add-ons for purchase they may not have considered.

Your job is to think of things the guest won't. What will they need during this private party? WiFi passwords? AV equipment for presentations? Specialty linens or a specific room set up?

Having a member of your FEC staff reviewing private party booking details with upcoming guests will not only increase their confidence of the event being a success, it will also increase confidence within your staff for how to up-sell with ease and host fabulous private parties your customers will rave about.

4. Seamlessly Execute the Perfect Private Party: Make Your Guests Feel Special!

After proper preparation, it’s time to execute! To pull-off a flawless event, make sure to check well in advance that all items purchased as part of the booking have been ordered and delivered. You can use the checklist in your facility management software to make this process seamless.

When guests arrive at your family entertainment center, have staff available to welcome them immediately and guide them to their private event space.

Attention to detail and offering small extras that they didn’t purchase or request goes a long way in exceeding guest expectations.

Consider putting down a red carpet or on the way to a photo backdrop wall where you offer to take your guests’ picture. Collaborate with your party goers to create a hashtag for their special event at your facility to encourage social sharing.
What better way to promote your private parties than to have guests share their unique experience on social media! (#partywithPCS)!

Go above and beyond the “norm” to make private parties at your FEC incredibly memorable events and you’ll end up with more positive reviews than you ever expected to come from a
single event.

5. Observe and Reflect: How Can You Improve Your Private Parties?

After the preparation and execution of each private party, it’s important to look back on how it went. Did you or a member of your staff notice anything that could be done better next time? Consider hosting short debrief meetings with your party hosts right after each event.

Make notes about things you forgot, what could have been improved, and what situations arose that you need to be better prepared for. Review them with your staff, and educate them on how to right the "wrongs"!

Looking for More Private Party Tips?

Check out our complimentary Event Planning Checklist Series!
In three separate guides, we share insights on what you can do before, after, and during parties at your family entertainment center that will help set you up for event success!

Free Download: The Event Planning Checklist - "The Before"


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