Summer is flying by and school is just around the corner.  Now is the perfect opportunity to take your youth filled open play business and channel it in other directions to keep the revenue coming in all year long.

Plan a 2 hour event (obviously during your slowest time) that will be a free or relatively inexpensive for school-aged children.  Make sure to plan the party towards the end of summer but BEFORE Youth Leagues begin.  This is a great opportunity to generate new Fall Youth League Bowlers and promote birthday parties, so make sure to have plenty of marketing material available.

The event should be staffed by Party Hostesses and Youth League Coordinator who should work to establish a rapport with the attendees.  Utilize Monster Factory and Bowlin’ Hood mixed with 7 Pin No Tap to create a fun format for prizes.

Encourage participants to log in to Facebook GameConnect to take advantage of a Monster Factory/GameConnect contest.  The bowler with the most likes on their Monster character will win a Pizza party or center gift card.  This is a great way to spread the fun generated by Monster Factory.  If your center doesn’t have Facebook GameConnect…that’s okay too.  Provide bowlers with the Monster Factory souvenir take home…have them take a picture with their Smartphone and post it on their wall.  Participant will have 2 days to generate as many Facebook likes as they can before taking a screen shot and posting their photo on the center’s Facebook page.  This is a great way to encourage FREE publicity and have some scary FUN!

Reach out to local businesses to gather items that could be used for swag bags.  These businesses should include restaurants that offer a Kids Eat Free night, school supply providers, tutoring providers, even places like Abercrombie, Old Navy, Sephora or other retail establishments that could benefit from providing a sample or discount to their store.

You might even consider partnering with one of the department stores that offer a wide range of clothing sizes (from small children to teenagers) and allow a short fashion show of the latest styles and give out discount coupons to shop their store.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of lead time to market the party and be successful.  My recommendation is to start the marketing campaign 3 – 4 weeks in advance with a general tease and high level overview and start a concentrated marketing campaign at the 2 -3 week point to include website, monitor ads, email blast, Facebook campaign and in house flyers.  We want to help you get the ball rolling so click here for your MMS/Monitor Ad to start creating the excitement.  Don’t forget to utilize your youth database (Kids Bowl Free or in center summer youth program) to market the Back To School Party.

Meet with the centers food and beverage providers and encourage their involvement by asking for partial donation of products.  It never hurts to ask…the worst they can do is say NO!

The day of the event, make sure that all staff members realize the importance of being enthusiastic and helpful…encourage them to have FUN themselves and to put their best foot forward!  If the employee is having fun…the customer will too!  Be aware of the center image and make certain to include festive decorations to liven up the party.

Get staff involved to come up with Event ideas…you might be surprised.

WE WANNA HEAR FROM YOU!  Are you making plans for a Back To School Bash?  Do you have any ideas or suggestions to make this a better promotion?

BES Xtras is designed to be an interactive forum to share ideas…not just ones we have…but ones you have as well.  Please LEAVE COMMENTS…RATE THIS…LIKE THIS…we want to hear from you.  And don’t forget to follow BES Xtras (section below Website Showcases in right column) to receive an email when new content is posted.  Come on…don’t be shy…share what’s on your mind…together we will succeed!!

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