A great way to reach families is through daycare or school field trips. Field trips offer a unique opportunity to introduce bowling to children in a fun environment and generates enthusiasm that will have Mom and Dad wanting to go bowling to see what it’s all about.
Wouldn’t it be nice to take the traditionally slow times and have them booked weeks in advance? Wouldn’t you like to have a waiting list within an hour of opening for business during the summer? Wouldn’t you love to have as many kids and families as you have during Spring Break all year long? Field Trips can help you make that dream a reality.
Field trips programs work best for all involved when structured around time bowling and are most often priced per child. It’s always a good idea to have options available that include a snack and a drink or a meal and a drink to help boost food and beverage sales AND to expose the kiddos to the great food available so they can go home and share with Mom and Dad, and even have a healthy option available to satisfy that health conscious parent. Keep your offerings simple, yet have something to fit everyone’s needs and budget.
Infuse BES X into your field tip program and create an offering that will set you apart from your competitors. For example, create a theme field trip program and make it routine to change the theme twice a year. Create a monster theme, utilizing Monster Factory and create a field trip where it’s okay to be a little monster. The kids will be so excited to show their parents the monster they created which will most likely be granted a prime spot on the refrigerator art gallery. Or how about an underwater adventure? Utilize Oceano and offer a fish stick basket for lunch or Goldfish snacks and “ocean water” (blue raspberry Kool-Aide) for a snack. Don’t think field trips are just for little kids though. Let those older kids shake, rattle and roll with YouToons and watch as they laugh so hard they don’t even notice how many pins they knock down. Don’t forget to provide a group photo at the end so the group coordinator can post at the school or make copies and send home with the kids.
TIPS FOR FIELD TRIP PROGRAM SUCCESS
- Keep it simple. Offer 1 or 1 ½ hours of bowling and have snack and/or meal options available.
- Drive business where you need it most. Some centers offer a slightly lower price for morning sessions versus afternoon sessions in the summer time since mornings are typically slower open play times.
- Make sure to give each child a print out of their scores or crazy monster/characters.
- Provide a bounce back coupon for each guest. Make sure to promote it in all marketing material as an added value. Remember, kids can be very persuasive and they can’t drive themselves to the center, you will likely get at least 2 shoe rentals and 1 additional bowling revenue for parent.
- Create a fun atmosphere.
- Play “safe” or “mom approved” music.
- Utilize Lucky Train during field trips to generate additional excitement.
- Select appropriate staff to work during field trips. The staff should have fun too…if they aren’t having fun, how can you expect the customers to have fun? If an employee is bored, disinterested or disgruntled, it shows in their actions, body language and tone of voice. If they’re enthusiastic and excited, the customers will be too.
- Promote your field trips to childcare facilities, public and private schools, mother’s day out programs, homeschool programs, scouting organizations, summer camps, YMCA’s, karate studios, gymnastic studios and other organizations catering to children. Data on these types of groups can often be obtained from simple sources such as an internet search, going online to schools in the area or marketing lists can be purchased by Standard Industry Code (SIC).
- Don’t forget that often times, field trips are planned for outdoors and in inclement weather, organizers are frantically looking for alternatives at the last minute. In your field trip marketing plan, be sure to include a Rainy Day promotion so organizers will never have to worry about a rainy day again. Click here for Rain Check email.
By hosting fun, memorable events for kids, they will become your biggest promoters and best form of advertisement. They will convince their parents to take them bowling more often.
Real success means giving ALL your guests a reason to return. Provide them with a unique, personalized experience that will have them sharing their excitement with family and friends and wanting to return again soon. Provide great service, a fun atmosphere, a clean, well maintained facility, a smile and a heartfelt thank you and the customer will remember that their expectations were fulfilled or better yet, exceeded! That amazing experience will have guests staying longer and stopping in more often and the positive word of mouth advertising will have others doing the same thing. So, don’t forget to give your all your guests a reason to return!
Are you ready to turn empty lanes into cash in your register? Then start promoting field trips and watch as more bookings come in and more families discover your center.
Not sure where to start? QubicaAMF’s Virtual Marketing Manager program offers a full line of field trip programs and a variety of other promotions and programs complete with customized deliverables just for your center. For more information contact VMM@QubicaAMF.com and ask about your free center mini assessment.
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