The pandemic has been a trying time for everyone but it has deprived kids of so many things that are part of being a kid. Even though restrictions are starting to ease in some areas, the lost memories will not be retrieved and new memories will take on a different look.
Kids are no longer begging to be able to be on the computer or iPad but rather begging to play with their friends and go to school.
Kids have a long list of 2020 disappointments that include:
- Not getting to play with their friends
- Not attending school in person
- Limited or no hugs and kisses from Grandma and Grandpa
- Interrupted sports
- Interrupted bowling fun
- No celebration
- Not attending friends’ birthday parties
- Attending the movies in person
Don’t let Halloween be added to this list of disappointments for children for 2020. If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it has taught us to think differently and try things we have never tried before. Review your current state and local guidelines to make sure your planning is compliant and every effort is being made to provide a safe alternative to traditional Halloween festivities. Above all, make sure your marketing is clear about what measures are being taken to host a safe, yet fun event.
So how can you spread a little fun to kids, in spite of the pandemic? At BES Xtras we like to think BIG and shoot for the moon so here are some suggestions:
Plan a Halloween Bash and get the entire community to join the fun. Reach out to other businesses in the community to participate and help sponsor the event.
Start by turning your parking lot into a fun contest and the starting point for a safe trick or treat environment for the community. Invite other businesses to participate. Sponsors can be required to pay a fee to participate and will be required to provide “loot” for “trunk or treaters” that should include both candy or other tokens and a coupon of some sort, along with a decorated vehicle or booth. In return, businesses that participate can be offered digital advertising at the center in the form of MMS, monitor and/or touchscreen advertising, depending on center capabilities. In center digital advertising offers great exposure for sponsors and is a win/win solution for both parties.
Families are encouraged to decorate their vehicles and provide treats to the “trunk or treaters”. Prizes will be awarded for most original/creative vehicle. Per child admission can be charged. A “trunk or treat” can be planned using every other parking space and directional stickers that serve as a reminder of the flow of traffic and to remain 6 feet apart.
Start the event in the parking lot and then set up trick or treat stations throughout the facility. Providing a safe, fun alternative to door-to-door trick or treating is a great way to expose the community to all that your center has to offer. Use floor stickers to direct the flow of traffic to adhere to physical distancing.
Other fun can include:
- Contests such as most creative facemask and/or costume.
- Interactive Games such as pin the horns on the monster or tail on the black cat. Consider blindfolds with center logo and 2020 Halloween Bash that can be kept by the participants as a souvenir. Another fun game is throw the rubber rats into the cauldron. Have various lines for different ages. Remember to sanitize the rats after each attempt.
- Offers to encourage food and beverage sales. This can include food specials, unique adult drinks or consider including a kiddie size drink and snack with admission.
The center should not only provide candy and small tokens but would also give out specially designed Halloween Passes to drive participants back to the center. Deliver the goodies and vouchers in a safe, unique and fun way by packaging them in a clear plastic bag and hanging them with clothespins from a clothesline hung at “kid level”. Kids can simply walk by and pick their treat. Or, how about creating decorated PVC “candy chutes”. This is a quick, easy and fun way to distribute goodies and adhere to physical distancing rules. Create a PVC chute with PVC large enough to hold the clear plastic bags of goodies. Yep…a little like a ball return for goodies. Mark the magic spot the kids need to stand on the parking lot to receive their treats with a fun sticker. Of course, you can also require gloves to be worn by those distributing the goodies.
Additional ideas for the month of October:
- Provide each league bowler with a book of Halloween vouchers (padded in books of 50) that they can give out to their trick or treaters instead of candy.
- These will be provided as a way of saying “thanks for being a league bowler”.
- Additional books can be sold.
- These vouchers are a great way to bring in new kids.
- Vouchers can be customized to include age restrictions, expiration date or other desired disclaimers. Remember, don’t let the negatives overshadow the positives with too many disclaimers and restrictions.
- Vouchers can be time based or game based.
- Be sure to set the vouchers up in your POS system so you can track how many are redeemed, as well as how many shoes are rented and additional bowling is purchased.
- A customizable voucher can be downloaded below.
- Set HalloPin as the default environment to get customers in the Halloween spirit.
- Set up the Virtual Red Pin (we like to call it the “bloody red pin” or the “Crimson Creeper”) and if customer strikes they get a visit to the cauldron filled with goodies.
- Have a Match The Monster Night or plan a contest for the entire month. We have even included some collateral to get you started below as well as a Program Overview to help be successful.
- Provide young guests with Monster Factory coloring sheets and crayons (crayons can even be branded with center logo by simply adding a clear sticker to the boxes). This can be part of a contest or simply recognition for younger guests when their “masterpiece” is publically displayed. (Dedicate a wall or partial wall inside the center or go digital and create a page on the center website to scan and give recognition.) Download the monster coloring pages below.
- How about Monster Madness Bingo? The more parts you match, the more you WIN!
Just because the pandemic has made havoc the new norm in our lives doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Be creative and continue providing magical memories to your customers. Nothing seems too far-fetched these days. Have a brainstorming session with the staff and see what fun ideas they can come up with. Having a Halloween Bash can be just as fun for the employees as the community so why not give it a try? Don’t let Halloween be added to the list of disappointments for 2020 but instead be added to the list of memorable moments that sets your center apart (he one that brought in the most new customers).
Complimentary material provided by QubicaAMF Virtual Marketing Manager Program. Additional material available to registered clients.
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