Children’s birthday parties are often seen as the lifeblood of revenue growth for family entertainment centers. They bring in guests in masses, serve multiple people at once, and also act as a marketing tool to introduce new visitors, in the form of party guests, who will hopefully return and, even better - have a birthday party themselves at your venue.
Over the last several years, however, the landscape of FECs has blended with “eatertainment,” which still includes fun attractions and games and adds in the enhanced elements of more premium food & beverage offerings and attractions that are also appealing to adults.
If you want to extend your group business beyond children’s birthday parties, here is a list of 10 suggestions for group offerings that you may not have previously considered.
1. Adult birthday parties. You don’t stop having a birthday once you stop being a kid. For that reason, you shouldn’t stop having a party for it either. Adult birthday parties have gained popularity in recent years, as many FECs have shifted their demographic toward adults in their 20s and 30s, building an excellent case for celebrating at your venue.
2. Engagement parties. Couples planning a wedding and are eager to celebrate should consider your venue, especially if you have a robust food & beverage operation, a full bar or lounge, and the space to host. Tie your attractions into the mix, and the party is more memorable than a banquet room in a hotel or restaurant.
3. Bachelor/bachelorette parties. Group experiences have become increasingly popular for bachelor and bachelorette parties over the years. Whether the group is local or visiting from out of town, your venue can be the perfect spot for a night of food, drinks, and fun.
4. Gender reveals. Do you have lights or things that can change colors? You’re the perfect spot for a gender reveal. At SkyWheel, which operates in Myrtle Beach, SC, and Panama City Beach, FL, you can book a group event to watch the entire wheel turn pink or blue in a high-energy event and then ride the wheel.
5. Baby showers. With nearly the same infrastructure as a birthday party, a baby shower is perfect for gathering friends and family, eating great food, and opening gifts. Just be ready to serve mocktails!
6. Corporate events. On the business side, do not underestimate the potential success of holding corporate events throughout the year at your venue. Using the existing space as your birthday parties, corporate events can be substantially more profitable than children’s birthday parties with the added revenue driver of alcohol.
7. Team building. Are your attractions competitive, like karts, mini golf, axe throwing, or bowling? These are excellent opportunities for companies to hold team-building events at your center and influence friendly competition among coworkers.
8. Holiday parties. When thinking about holiday parties, try to extend the reach beyond a) businesses and b) Christmas or end-of-year parties. You can host holiday parties for any group or gathering, and the holiday can even be Valentine’s Day or Halloween.
9. Family reunions. Take the stress away from the family hosting their party and provide everything they need, from event space, food and beverage, and activities, which will allow the family to congregate with one another without worrying about cleaning up after.
10. “Finally back together” reunions. Who needs a reason to get together other than reconnecting with family or friends who you haven’t seen in a long time? Now is the perfect time to hold reunions for the sole purpose of reuniting, as people crave to be back together in real life.
As you think of these ideas, keep adding to this list with additional events that you can host for your guests, bringing in visitors in large numbers. Each group event is an opportunity to build new loyal guests and advocates out of first-time visitors through the guest experience you deliver.