Party Professor – August 2018

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Jumpstart Future Event Sales Now!

It’s Time to Plan to Ensure You Maximize Opportunities

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Beth Standlee

By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment

Zig Ziglar said, “Plan your work and then work that plan!” There are three big initiatives to consider right now to plan for big group business in the coming months: back to school, holiday events, banquets and post-prom/graduation/end-of-the-school-year parties (especially for fifth and eighth graders).

Back to School

When I think about back-to-school opportunities in July and August, these “must do” activities come to mind. First of all, school counselors are already at work so call on them. They won’t be quite as busy now as they will be in Septem­ber. Ask the counselor the following questions: How are fundraisers for different clubs and organizations coordinated? Who do I need to know in order to help provide a fund­raising solution? As an administrative group, what do you do with back to school workdays for teachers? (Your center could be the perfect solution for a team building event.) How soon does the band and football team begin practice? (Typically those groups start well before the beginning of the school year and with the right connection, you could potentially hold an event for these hard-working young people.)

These questions definitely help at the high school level and could be effective in the middle school grades as well. It’s also a good idea to find out how the PTA makes decisions about back-to-school events. Your facility could be a great “meet-the-teachers” location.

Finally, spirit nights and Friday night football initiatives may be a great was to keep that lackluster fall Friday full. You must get in front of the fall “fall” if you intend to have a different result from previous years. There is a natural shift from summer to fall, but all that means is you have to work harder during August and September to provide irresistible activities and events. The fall doesn’t have to be what it’s always been.

Holiday Events

I love the idea of Christmas in July or “Holi­day in the Fall.” Looking at this month, the 25th is on a Saturday and I’m not crazy about holding a “sneak peak” event like this on a Saturday. If we shift our sights to September, the 25th is a Tuesday, is a great day for an event like this.

Here’s what you do: Decorate an area in your center so that it’sfull of holiday spirit and then invite every customer that you would like to host a holiday event to this “Fall Holiday Party.” Ideally, you are inviting the “decision maker” so they can have a taste (literally) of the wonderful things you’ll provide for their company, church, or organization if they were to hold their holiday event at your center. Be sure to invite guests who’ve partied with you in the past.

While July is a great time to jumpstart your holiday bookings, don’t think you’ve missed the boat. September is definitely the time that everyone is more ready to make a commitment!

School Events

I know we’re just getting ready for school to start, but many decisions about end-of-school events happen in September. You want to be sure that you connect with every high school, middle school and elementary school –– both public and private –– in September.

Understanding fully how decisions are made when it comes to field trips, end-of-school parties, and fundraisers can make all the difference in your annual group sales. School events happen primarily during the day and during the week. Imagine the implications of you being completely connected to the people who have the power to make those types of decisions!

Utilize the local school district website to learn the names of the people to call on. If you have a difficult time with the school administration, then go through the clubs. You’ll find that either the school or district website will often give complete information about the people who handle each group, including email addresses.

This may seem like a slow time of year for groups and even birthday parties, but take advantage of the opportunity to double down on your outbound reach effort. If you typically respond to inbound calls, now is the time to take your sales ability to a new level.

At TrainerTainment, we’ve written a lot about what to say and who to say it to. Please feel free to look through our blog and use our website resources to further your goals and NEVER hesitate to call. Our coaches are always at the ready to help someone improve their outbound sales skills.


Beth is the CEO of TrainerTainment LLC, a training company devoted to the family entertainment and  hospitality industries. Beth and her team are focused on helping the companies they serve make more money through sales, guest service, leadership and social media marketing training. Training products and services are delivered in person, through books and DVDs, and virtually with e-learning courses, webinar development and 24/7 online access. Visit her company’s website at www.trainertainment.com.

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