Party Professor – March 2016

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Being the Best in the New Year

Steps to Take Right Now to Make It Happen

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Beth Standlee

By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment

I believe that most people in this business mean to make a difference. While we aren’t saving the world from war or hunger, we are creating a space and a place for families, friends, companies and more to come together for a little fun.

When I think about how hard most of us work, I’m convinced that taking time to play is more important with each passing day. I am fortunate enough to participate on a daily basis with the folks who have dedicated their lives, usually all of their money, and time to provide fun for others. That’s you, by the way!

In recent weeks, I got to hang out with several of you who came together in Hawaii for the Mid-Winter BPAA Summit and in St. Augustine at the IAAPA FEC-Florida event in order to kick off the new year in a big way! The thing that always impresses me is the willingness everyone has to share with one another. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t happen in a lot of other industries.

Jonah Sandler, creator of Scene 75 in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, closed the FEC Florida event with a great presentation during which it was easy to see his passion and commitment to his family and the families in his communities. He’s a young man who has captured the hearts of his team and anyone who will listen to his story. Jonah has also accurately identified the risk-taking entrepreneurs in this industry as “crazy-ass fools!” Actually, I think it was a reference he made to himself, but I believe it’s an accurate assessment of most owners in this industry! And that’s probably what it takes in order to succeed.

I know that often times, I can only smile when I talk to a CEO group or speak at an “out-of-industry” setting and refer to our clients who have great names like, Shenaniganz, Go-N-Bananas, Shakers, Andy Alligator’s, and on and on. To some, it may not seem very sophisticated to own or manage an FEC, a skating rink, or a bowling center. However, I think it’s pretty darned important!

Most of the owners and managers I run into feel very passionate about what they do. That passion is the difference maker. That drive is the thing that makes it seem normal to work 10+ hours many days of the week, every weekend, and most holidays. That passion is the fuel for the opportunity you create for others. And that fuel must somehow combine opportunity with the responsibility of running a successful business.

I wanted to come up with a way to encourage you to do what you do in a bigger and better way this year. I have six key areas where I believe you can make the most impact.

1. Set a goal to book and hold more birthday parties than you’ve ever held.

2. Hold more company parties and team building events in 2016.

3. Invite every sports team in your community to celebrate their end of season party at your facility.

4. Reach out to every church group within a five to 10 mile radius and set up youth group events each week.

5. Hold one fundraiser every month.

6. Hire only the best. Quit settling for team members who have that “just a job” attitude. Make a commitment to decide what you stand for and hire people that are in alignment with your standards!

Listen, your businesses stimulates the economy in your community. What you do gives people a place to relax and refresh so they can feel better. Laughing is fun. Interacting with others is fun. Playing is fun. With all the “noise” in in the world we all have to deal with every day, you have this fun gathering place that gives us all a break! Make the most of it. Understand your responsibility. Live joyfully and make sure you are taking time to celebrate the fun you help create!


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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