Just like recreational sports programming, birthday parties and team parties are a great programming option for your sports facility. They generate new business by increasing awareness of your business in the community and are a reliable source of revenue.
The birthday parties we host at DNA Sports Center generate more referrals than almost any other service. The kids at each party have so much fun that they beg their parents to have their own birthday parties at the same place, and many parents book their own child’s upcoming birthday party before they leave. Indoor sports facilities also have an advantage over outdoor party locations that could be rained out in the summer months and are too cold in the winter, making birthday parties a viable revenue stream for you all year long.
Parties offer higher revenue margins than rental revenue, and you can increase that margin even more by selling drinks, food – pizza is the best option – and decorations in convenient packages. Plus, birthday parties can fill typically slow periods such as evenings on the weekends.
What to Keep In Mind
Sit down with your staff and think through the birthday packages and pricing you’d like to offer, keeping the following in mind:
- The cost of the party should always include a gift for the birthday girl or boy. Facility apparel is a great choice for a gift and will also help your marketing efforts.
- Give your customers plenty of fun programming options, or “themes,” for the parties that highlight your sports facilities’ strengths. At DNA Sports Center, we offer dodgeball, flag football, wiffle ball, kickball and obstacle courses. Dodgeball is by far the most popular option, but obstacle courses are also gaining popularity.
- A party coordinator should always be included in the price of the party; this individual helps set the party up, makes sure things run smoothly, and serves as the referee for any games and activities. (With no referee, fights will certainly break out during competitive activities!)
- Consider incentivizing customers to book parties during convenient times for you by offering discounts.
- Try to partner with a local pizzeria or caterer to provide food and/or drinks for all birthday parties in exchange for advertising at your facility.
Reminders – What To Not Forget
Make sure that your staff members understand that they should try to “close” additional party reservations at the end of each party, and consider giving them a commission on each new booking.
Also, make sure you have a page on your web site specifically dedicated to birthday parties – this will help your facility’s web site show up in search engines when potential customers search for birthday parties online.
Give me a call at (513) 791-4940 if you’d like to consult on this issue or other sports facility programming ideas.