Educator Resources

Parties: Turning celebrations into a solid sales strategy

When you are a children’s activity provider, there are so many opportunities to celebrate! Seasonal and holiday events, local school and community pop-ups, in-class experiences, and birthday parties are just a few of the creative ways to engage with families beyond your standard offerings.

Events and birthday parties can help add value to your existing customer base and work as a customer retention tool. These offerings also attract new customers and introduce them to your business in an exciting way! In this article, we will review ways that you can utilize parties and other events to find new audiences, increase your revenue, and provide value to your customers.

Events are more than just a way to celebrate

If you’re a new business, you want to be seen by as many potential customers as possible. By hosting an event (be it educational or just plain fun), you are giving families the chance to meet your business and develop a face-to-face relationship with you and your staff.

Events are great because can be used as a space-utilization strategy as well as a revenue booster. If you have blocks of time throughout the week where your space isn’t being used for your standard offerings, try scheduling a variety of pop-up activities. Use these events to appeal to a wider age range of families and generate new customer leads. Bonus: these new customers can bring in some additional revenue during slower registration periods. 

If you need inspiration, here are some favorite ideas from the Sawyer team:

  • Open activity hours (drop-in pricing and packs).
  • Storytime, sing-a-long events, and movie nights.
  • Parent open-houses, information sessions, and meetups.
  • Trial classes to test out new titles or offerings with a trial event before opening registration.
  • Summer camp previews.
  • Community appreciation parties alongside neighboring businesses and organizations.

Boost your business with birthday parties

Celebrating a child’s birthday is a momentous occasion for families. But, that also means celebrations are often marked with underlying stress and anxiety. The world of party planning has reached new heights with bloggers and Pinterest showcasing celebrations of epic proportions. Some families attend multiple parties each weekend during the busy season, so it can feel hard to stand out. What’s more, finding time to plan a party might be harder than ever, with everything else modern parents are juggling. With so many factors at play, the pressure to throw the “best” birthday party is at an all time high. 

The more you can do to take the planning work off of parents’ plates, the more the experience will feel like a piece of cake! Even the most Pinterest savvy parents look to children’s activity businesses for party planning expertise. You have the creativity, the educational know-how, the staff, and in most cases, the space needed to make a birthday dream come true. The best part is that, once you’ve planned one party, you can follow the same template over and over again. You just have to market what you can do to solve the party planning problems for parents. 

Planning the perfect party requires the tools to back you up. From automatic emails designed to seamlessly remind parents about planning their child’s birthday to software designed to help businesses merchandize party packages and track party requests, we’ve got you covered. Read more about activating birthday parties for your business using Sawyer!

The missing opportunity

Parties and events are much more than just an opportunity to generate revenue. The real value is in the sales and marketing potential at these celebratory events. Hidden within the confetti and balloons is a new customer acquisition strategy just waiting to be activated. Someone who has a great time in your space will be hungry for a reason to return! 

Many businesses miss the mark by not establishing a customer data collection and follow up marketing strategy. This step is essential to unlocking the full value and potential of events and birthday parties. Without this information, you lose the opportunity to add these new customers to your list of leads. Think of every new prospect as a potential sale. Even if that person doesn’t immediately convert at an event, there is the opportunity to add them to your database. They will become a lead, who you can now nurture through the sales process.

Here are some ways that you can get information from the guests at your parties and events:

  • Provide discounts, promotions, or other offers to families who attend the party.
  • Print out a sign-in sheet and ask families who attend the party to sign in with their name and email address.
  • Ask to collect guests' names and emails from the parent planning the party so you can provide necessary information before the event and let these families opt-in to your mailing list.
  • Take photos at the event and ask for families' contact information to send them the pictures after the party.

By understanding each type of audience that will be in attendance and the value of that customer list, you can start to determine the best marketing strategy and messaging for a follow up email, targeted offer, or invitation to visit you at a future event.

Treat each prospect as the start of an amazing relationship to come and get ready to roll out the red carpet. Check out our blog post with tips and tricks for inviting and delighting new customers

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