Holiday Marketing to Drive Business

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This time of year I can’t even tell what holiday I’m supposed to be decorating for! The moment you walk into a store nowadays you are confused about what holiday is approaching. Fall items are next to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations. I gotta tell ya; I’m at a loss on what I’m supposed to be buying.

While I can’t decide what holiday to decorate for yet, I know one thing for sure; everyone should have their marketing calendar ready for the rest of the year and have promotions to help drive business. We shouldn’t just create marketing promotions and events because it’s the holidays; we should be doing them to help drive our business.

We know everyone doesn’t have crazy big budgets for marketing and we want to give you some ideas that will help you win in the 4th quarter and drive business not just during the holidays, but for next year.

Create a special holiday video

Show the fun and personal side of the business. We are always looking for ways to connect with our community and this is a great way for people to see how fun and wonderful your center and team are. Who doesn’t want to host a holiday party, birthday party, or fun family night in a great facility with a great team? Share it on all your social media channels to show off your business and make a connection.

Offer free holiday cards

Kids have parties for every holiday. Imagine one kiddo taking a card with a free coupon from your center to every person in their class. How many people do you think you could reach for free? Yeah, that could be a lot of kids! It’s very inexpensive to get cards printed and could result in a big return. We use www.spinnprint.com where, for just $140, you can get 1,000 full-color postcards printed and that could result in thousands of dollars in revenue.

Sell gift cards

Gift cards are a guaranteed way to drive people back into your center. They are great to give as gifts, stocking stuffers, or donations to local organizations. The holidays are a good time to run a promotion for buying a gift card and getting a certificate for an item (with a redeem date of  January – February when your center may have a slow day). Be sure your sales department is offering bulk gift cards to schools, churches, and other companies that can be purchased as holiday gifts.

Show love to your fans

Social media has made it easy for us to show love and appreciation to our community. The holidays are a great time to have a contest on Facebook. Winners can get great prizes and be sure to give a bounce-back coupon for every person who participates. Not only will they be thrilled to have the chance to win free items, it will also help boost engagement on your social channels. When you show love to your fans, they will be more likely to come back and visit your fan pages and more likely to plan a visit to your center.

Launch an email campaign

If you haven’t started your email marketing list, now is the perfect time to collect emails as people come in your center. If you have been diligent all year collecting emails and haven’t sent any out, now is the time. From now till the end of the year, share your holiday calendar, information on holiday parties, special offers you are running in your center, your center’s holiday video, even a special letter from the president or general manager. Emails help you stay top of mind as people decide where to take their kiddos during all the school holidays.

These are just a few things you can do to help drive sales in your center. Last year we shared a long list of holiday marketing tips of various events you could host in your center during the holidays. There is still time to plan and execute events, so don’t be discouraged if you haven’t started already.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me anytime at rosie@trainertainment.net.

TrainerTainment Announces 2018 Conference Schedule

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Dallas, Texas – TrainerTainment is excited to announce their 2018 conference schedule for 2018. The conference dates are as follows:

April 12 & 13, 2018 – Train the Trainer Conference

August 22 & 23, 2018 – Advanced Sales Conference

October 11 & 12, 2018 – Business Coaching Conference

All three conferences were created to achieve TrainerTainment’s purpose, provide fun training that has serious results to grow people and businesses. TrainerTainment’s Train the Trainer conference will give people the tools they need to go back to their centers to train and grow their people. We will follow up with our Advanced Sales conference that will teach sales teams the foundations of sales and prepare them for the upcoming holiday season. The series will finish with the Business Coaching Conference, teaching owners and leaders how to get everything they want out of their business.

“My favorite thing about our conferences is getting to see the attendees working together and hearing that other people in the industry have similar struggles,” said Mary Southwick, Director of Training. “We allow people to share and issue process the problems they face and many times come up with an outside the box solution through our discussion. I believe the attendees often come away with a new feeling that we are all in it together and I’m not the only one with this struggle.”

Registration will be available November 1, 2017. Participants who sign up early will save $100 off registration. For more information on how to register visit www.trainertainment.net or contact Kim Wheeler at 210-204-3433 or kim@trainertainment.net.

About TrainerTainment: TrainerTainment focuses on training and coaching to enhance leadership, business strategies, promotions, sales, group events, birthdays, and company party programs. Developing people, implementing business processes that get results, and teaching teams how to create a thriving sales culture through great service are our primary goals. TrainerTainment is located in Texas and has worked at facilities in the United States, Canada, and Australia and has spoken at events worldwide.

For more information on TrainerTainment, please visit: www.trainertainment.net

Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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Celebrate Success

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We have just finished Q3 and are sliding into home plate for Q4. A friend of mine recently said at her quarterly planning session that games are won in the 4th quarter. I loved that analogy. The game has certainly been going on all year but technically what we do in these next 13 weeks can make all the difference.

What’s possible?

What have you done this year? What’s possible for this final quarter of the year? Are you going to meet your goals? Are you still stuck having the same conversations and facing the same challenges you faced last year?

I personally think there are many different ways to look at every situation. It may be no surprise to you I typically do my best to spin stuff as positively as I can. We have had a good year. I don’t think we will hit all the goals we meant to hit but we did some great things we had not planned for.

Daily Gratitude

When I think about finishing strong, I’m forced to celebrate all the good things that have happened in order to not get mired in the mud of the points we didn’t score. Some people might call that counting your blessings. If celebrating success or counting your blessings is not a habit you have, I encourage you to start running through your success list on a daily basis. It takes about ten minutes to reflect and get grateful for the day’s wins. You can easily reflect on the stuff you didn’t get done. That’s easy and exhausting ;). Why not trade your “woe is me” list for “Yay… I did that!”

As I went through my daily gratitude list, I felt like it was important to share with you that we are celebrating yet another win over cancer at my house. My beautiful husband has beaten this vicious disease again. He is so amazing. JD refers to his recurrent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as cancer-lite. I don’t know that I agree with that assessment but I’m happy for him to think of it any way he wants.

He endured six rounds of chemotherapy again and this time he did it with very little disruption. Honestly, I think he made up his mind it wasn’t going to knock him down. He played tennis, bowled, and worked right through this episode. The little bit of hair he has stayed intact and we just celebrated every day.

Celebrate Success

There’s a ton of tough stuff in the world today. We can’t deny the difficult conversations we bump up against on a daily basis. However, for me and my house, we choose to celebrate the successes of each day. I hope you are encouraged to do the same. Dig deep if you have to. I know every day is not great. I understand sometimes you have to simply celebrate the success of waking up on time or having access to a good meal or fresh water. When you think about all the people who don’t have those things, maybe it will be easier to celebrate one another and the day.

I hope you have a great day today and take the time to acknowledge all the good that is there for you.

IAAPA Benchmark: Despite Diversity There IS Much to Be Learned from Fellow FECs

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IAAPA has just published our new IAAPA FEC Benchmark Report. The report is based on FY 2016 data and covers demographics, admissions, attractions information, guests, parking, and financial such as pricing. The results are broken out by FEC location, attendance, and type (indoor, outdoor, mixed). The report concentrates on metrics you can use when reviewing your own operations.

As expected, our results show a very diverse marketplace. We found that 42% were pay-as-you-go, 41% were pay-as-you-go with some attractions ticketed separate, and the rest (15%) were pay-one-price. When looking at type the two largest respondent types were indoor/outdoor FECs at 39% and 36% identified as all indoor FECs. 45% of respondents are from single FECs, but the average number of facilities owned is 4.5 showing many FECs are part of a large company.

All the complexity in the market can make it difficult to compare facilities. One of the metrics we found effective for comparison across all facilities was pricing. We asked for typical pricing for a series of activities at FECs. We found the average pricing for individual activities was between $5 and $8 with a bumper boat ride the lowest average at $5.81 and an hour of a ropes course being the highest at $7.64. The two most common activities were one game of miniature golf and a single laser tag game, which averaged $6.63 and $7.36, respectively.

We asked about which individual activities generated the most revenue based on a list of the top 28 activities found at FECs. Arcade games, laser tag, outdoor miniature golf, and go-karts generated the most revenue for the FECs surveyed. We also found that birthday parties remain the most lucrative special events.

Staffing is another common metric for all FECs despite any size, activities, or format differences. All FECs struggle with staffing and we found facilities are seeing only a 50% retention rate on an annual basis on average. The average age for all employees is 25.7 years with 65% of employees between 18 and 30 years old. The facilities with a smaller staff tend to have a higher ratio of full-time employees to part-time compared to facilities with a larger staff. Staffing is also a large investment for FECs with payroll being the largest expense for FECs averaging 33% of total expenses. FECs also reported 1% of expenses going towards training of staff on average

Guest demographics are very important to successful marketing and for planning market expansion. We asked FEC a few key questions about their guests. On average, the respondent’s guests come from 25.6 miles away with most coming from under 10 miles away. The average length of guest visit is 2.7 hours, the average guest age is 20 years, and guests visit 2.8 times a year.

There is much more detail about the metrics covered in this overview and about other metrics in the report. The report is available to IAAPA members as part of their membership and non-members can purchase it. More information is available at www.IAAPA.org/Research. Or email research@iaapa.org with any research questions.

A Heart as Big as Texas

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I love Texas!

Really what I mean by that is I love my hometown of Houston. I was born and raised here and tell people all the time I live in the greatest city in the world! If you have turned on a TV in the past week, you have seen the devastation that hit the Gulf Coast. Yes, not just Houston but the 52+ counties affected by Hurricane Harvey.

During the past week, we have seen people from all over our state and, quite frankly, our country, come together. They’ve helped with rescue, demo of homes, and clean up. They are working shelters, bringing in donations of food, water, clothing, and other much-needed supplies. It truly has been amazing. I wanted to spotlight some of the work that’s been done and then give you ideas on how to give back to your community, particularly with the holiday season coming up.

Bowling Center Opens Doors to Hurricane Refugees

Our dear friends at Max Bowl in Port Arthur, Texas opened their doors and became a shelter for those seeking refuge from flood waters. Not only did they open their doors, the café was feeding everyone, too. This story literally brought tears to my eyes. Opening their doors was an overwhelming example of how the bowling and FEC community gave back to their community.

Local Trampoline Park Donates Proceeds to JJ Watt Hurricane Relief Fund

Another amazing example is Urban Air in Spring, Texas, just a few miles from my house. For two days they donated all proceeds to JJ Watt’s Foundation for Hurricane Harvey Relief. It was a great way to get the kids out and let parents have time for clean up as the neighborhoods around the corner were severely flooded.

School Supply Drive to Support Gulf Coast Schools

Here at TrainerTainment, education is a huge priority for us. We are educators in every sense of the word, so we started a school supply drive. In Houston ISD, 52 schools were severely damaged and another 27 had damage that could be repaired within a few months. Port Aransas Texas schools have been so damaged, they do not plan on opening for the rest of the year and are diverting students to other districts. These students are our team members. They are our party hosts, cashiers, ride operators, and game room attendants. Our goal is to provide school supplies so we can get kiddos back in school and have some sense of normalcy.

Ideas to Give Back to Your Community

As I’m writing this, I’m thinking of all of our friends and clients in Florida who are getting ready for Hurricane Irma. People there will have the same needs. Here are some ideas of how you can help with either recovery effort.

  1. School Supply/Food/Toy Drive – These types of drives are easy to set up and don’t require a lot of work. Advertise you are collecting food, school supplies, or even toys for an organization. Have a special offer such as a free attraction or maybe even a BOGO for donating an item.
  2. Plan a fundraising night. It’s fun and easy. Encourage people to come in your center and then give a portion of the day’s sales back to the organization.
  3. Create a special package – You can run this for a night or an entire month. Create a special package that includes food, drinks, and fun and give a portion of each package sold to the organization of your choice.
  4. Match Grant – Allow local organizations to host a fundraiser and match it! Set the amount you are willing to match up to giving them the opportunity to double their fundraising efforts.
  5. #GivingTuesday – Show your support for a local organization. Have your team members bring in donations. Use social media to let your fans know you support the specific organization, that you are collecting for them, and encourage them to participate.
  6. Go Big! Host a bowling tournament or big event at your center.

I hope this will give you ideas on how you can help. If you would like more info on how to execute one of these ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Just shoot an email to rosie@trainertainment.net.