Archive for the ‘Birthday Parties’ Category

Where’s the Party At?

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Though not a nationally recognized holiday for most, a birthday lands somewhere ahead of Christmas and the candy-filled, colorful costume celebration of Halloween as a kid’s favorite day of the year. From toddlers to teens, a special event where all the attention is on them, calls for putting a spotlight front and center on an experience that’s truly second to none. For a Family Entertainment Center, a birthday grants a golden opportunity to get your customers back in the door as a group, sharing the experience of a grand extravaganza and later spreading the word all over. Before you blow out the candles on the cake, follow a few simple best business practices below with a goal of repeat revenue on route to becoming the best birthday party location around.

Collect Birthdays Anyway You Can

Whether at point-of-sale or through an online marketing software such as FetchRev, collecting birthdates by the bunch is the first step to reaching your customers when they’re ready to spend. For example, sending out an email requesting your customers’ date of birth in exchange for an incentivized gift serves as an equal trade that pays dividends down the road. Putting their information directly in your birthday database allows you, as the business owner to promote your various birthday packages and discount how you see fit to get the party (no pun intended) firmly in place for all the fun.

Put a Focus on What Makes You Fun

Have the biggest trampoline park West of the Mississippi? How about the fastest go-karts in the greater metropolitan area? Perhaps, people come from far and away to enjoy those Instagram-worthy insatiable ice cream sandwiches from your on-site cafe. Whatever the best parts of your business are, identify the money-makers and crowd pleasing perks and promote your birthday party packages around them for best results. Not only are you giving the familiar guests what they want, but you’re earning all new fans of your features as well.

Check-In for the Celebration 

Encouraging social media check-ins during, and online reviews after, their birthday experience is a winning way to spread the good word on a great time out at your center. Try promoting a fun hashtag that incorporates the name of your business on Instagram, or offer an exclusive day-of-party addition such as a complementary two-liter of soda for every 10 check-ins on Facebook from an individual party. For every positive review online, reach out to the reviewer and personally thank them for choosing your location for a birthday celebration. For each unfavorable review try to understand and rectify where expectations fell short in a respectful manner. As always, social media can be an invaluable learning tool for assessing your current birthday strategy and optimizing your special offers for best results.

FetchRev’s automated platform makes collecting birthdays and following up with revenue generating purchasable and claimable campaigns simple. Click Here to request a demo or give us a call at (877) 394-2410 today.

Vision for the Next Quarter and Beyond

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I just love ending the 1st quarter and going into the second quarter of the year, it helps you see your vision clearly. Last week our leadership team had our quarterly meeting. During this meeting we revisit the goals we set for the year, look at how we did with our first quarter goals to help set our goals for the second quarter, and see how the first quarter set the pace for the rest of the year.

Get a Vision of What is Possible

It is the time you get the vision of what is possible for the year. I remember as a young party manager, we had just finished our first quarter of birthday party sales, and I had a vision of what could be. It was really at that moment I realized, “Oh my gosh…we had a great quarter and I think we could do a million dollars in birthday party sales.” Yes! One million dollars! That’s when the vision began, and I knew it would have to be all hands on deck if we wanted to make the vision a reality and we did.

I shared that vision with Beth and our corporate team since we were in the sales coaching program. I knew sharing the vision was the first step and I also knew we couldn’t stop there. I had to share that vision with my birthday leadership team and then with every single person in our center, and that’s what we did.

Set Clear Goals

Our little birthday team was very young with just a couple of years of birthday experience among us, but we knew what we wanted. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, so we set very clear goals. Our first one was to figure out how much in revenue we would need to average each week for the rest of the year to hit a million dollars. Then we looked at average revenue for each party we had in quarter one to determine the number of parties we needed to have each week to get the million dollars. W kept a very meticulous spreadsheet to update where we were and what we needed to do.

I think the real game change occurred when we shared the vision with our entire center. We became very transparent about our goals and the numbers associated with them. Every Monday, we would update the big white board in our sales office. We broke down all of our goals for people to see. At any time someone could come in the office and see how many parties we had to date, how much more we needed that month, how much in party sales we had, how much more we needed to do, and so on.  They always knew the magic number left to hit a million dollars. It didn’t matter if you were a party booker, cashier, game room operator, cook, or dishwasher; you knew what our goal was.

Be Transparent to Get Buy-In

I know most owners or managers don’t want to share those numbers with their entire staff. We knew, for everyone to see the vision clearly and have 100% buy-in, we had to be transparent about the goals and where we were. Once it was clear, we had to relay “how” each team member was an integral part of this vision.

We had quarterly center wide meetings, and I remember doing a team building exercise to show how every person in our center affected someone else and how it impacted our birthday parties. It was a great illustration that something as simple as being five minutes late could play a major impact and could be part of what made a party great or not.

That’s what I hope for you as we close out the first quarter of 2017. Reflect back on what you have done, see what you can do, and share that vision with every single person in your center. Once every person sees the vision and feels part of it…..that’s when the magic happens.

A Chance to Give Back

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Last week we shared a bunch of ideas for holiday marketing. One of the things on my mind this week is that we have a great opportunity to give back to our community.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to give back to my community. I raised funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for 15 years. This year, my dad was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer, so I have been raising money for chemo bags to give out to patients going through chemo. Recently, I started volunteering and helping with the fundraising and social media of a school here in Jakarta that is providing education to asylum seekers and refugees.

It was when I was the party and front of house manager at iT’Z that I realized we, as a huge organization, had the power to make a big change in others and in our community. So, we started “iT’Z For a Good Cause” and worked with various organizations in order to give back. One year we donated over $11,000 to Texas Children’s Hospital.

The Incredible Birthday Party Project

One of the organizations in our industry that has done an amazing job is The Incredible Birthday Party Project. The Incredible Birthday Party Project was started by Incredible Mo’s and gives birthday parties to families in need. We know that kids only have one fifth birthday and to be able to make that an amazing and memorable experience is huge.

The reality is that there are children who never get to celebrate their birthday with a party. Watch this amazing video about Jessica, who was able to have her first birthday party at the age of 18 because of The Incredible Birthday Party Project. It’s amazing how the company has spread the word and invited other centers to join in on the project.

The holidays are one of the biggest donation times of the year. Organizations plan huge holiday donation drives and the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is #GivingTuesday, the biggest giving day of the year.

Be apart of something!

People always want to be a part of something. Being able to give back to organizations is a great way to be part of a community. How awesome would it be for your center to partner with an organization in your community? You don’t have to start an entire campaign, but you can be involved. Here are some ideas of how you can partner and encourage others to give back.

  • Plan a fundraising night – It’s fun and easy! Plan a night and encourage people to come in your center and give a portion of the day’s sales back to the organization.
  • Create a special package – You can run this for a night or run it for an entire month. Create a special package that includes food, drinks, and fun and give a portion of each package sold to the organization
  • Match Grant – The organization will do a lot of fundraising. Why not match it? Set the amount you will match and if they fundraise that on their own, you will match that amount.
  • #GivingTuesday – Show your support for a local organization. Have your team members bring in donations for the organization, let guests know you are collecting donations, and use social media to let your fans know you are supporting the organization and collecting donations. Encourage them to donate to them, too
  • Go Big! Host a bowling tournament or big event at your center.

There are so many things you can do to be part of your community. I hope this will inspire you to do something this holiday season or even throughout the year. If you do, we would love to hear about it and see your pictures, too!

Surprise

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I’m bubbling over with service stories in my head since my vacation cruise in the middle of May. Leslie, my oldest daughter, and I traveled to St. Thomas, Tortola, and the Bahamas on Norwegian Cruise Line. The weather was perfect, the company was terrific, and the ship was spectacular. Can you tell I had a great time?

My birthday was on the 17th of May which was the 3rd day of the cruise. We set sail Saturday evening and docked on Tuesday after being at sea for two full days. Leslie had arranged a wonderful excursion for us. We took a champagne catamaran cruise and snorkeled at a beautiful reef in St. John. Although we used lots of sunscreen, we were overly kissed by the sun sailing back to the ship but had a great time.

THEN the big surprise happened. When we returned to our cabin that afternoon, we walked into a room wonderfully decorated with happy birthday decorations, a cupcake, a big cake, and handwritten notes from the housekeeping and hospitality departments. I was so surprised! There were streamers taped to the ceiling, helium balloons floating above the bed, a towel animal with a balloon in one hand and a cupcake in the other, and a happy birthday banner strung across the balcony door. I was wowed! I’m giddy thinking about it now.

It made me wonder what we could do for every birthday child who has an event at our family entertainment facilities! You know it wasn’t so much “what” they did… it was the surprise of it being done. I’m pretty excited about the possibilities. I’ve been racking my brain for two weeks wondering what we could do that would surprise and delight a child, their folks, and the kids at the party. Can you imagine the traction you could get for your birthday program? I totally believe that other children would have to have their party so that the “surprise” could happen for them as well.

I want to put this out there to you and hear what you think we could do to create that “giddy” moment for every birthday in your building. Leave a comment below or go to our Facebook page and share your idea. Together, I bet we could come up with some amazing ideas that would really make a memorable difference for the parties held at your center.

Hope you have a great week and, if you are a bowling based center, I can’t wait to see you at Bowl Expo.  Remember to claim your ticket to the Fab 5 party! It promises to be the hottest event in Vegas and I’d love to have you there… maybe there will even be a surprise or two for all of our attendees! Click here to register for your ticket. We only have a limited amount, so you’ll want to sign up soon.