Party Professor – December 2020


This Year’s Theme: All In –– We All WIN!


Beth Standlee 0319

Beth Standlee

By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment

The comment, “we are all in this together” has been popular during this crazy year. Some have said things like “we’re all in the same boat,” only to be countered with “nope, we are all in the turbulent sea, but we’re in different boats.” Interesting thoughts.

I hope the sea around your boat is calming and if not, you have an amazing crew who continues to help you through this stormy time. In a recent team meeting, someone made the comment, “we are all in” and then, someone else said, “that’s why we always win!” Excitedly I thought, that’s it! The theme for the new year: All In ––We all WIN!

The theme for 2020 was Swing for the Fences. I bought hats, created a fun powerpoint slide show to use at our state of the union address in January, and rallied the troops onto the field. And then March came. Needless to say, the pandemic didn’t just move the fence back a little, it relocated to another city!

It is a little comical to think about swinging for the fence when we can’t even get up to bat yet. 2020 has been a year of lessons. Creativity and innovation have been the order of the day. Restructuring of time, the team, packages, pricing, and more have been necessary. Here are five key lessons I’ve learned:

1. The team matters most. The work, friend and (most importantly) the family teams have made all the difference. In the face of all the uncertainty, certain friends, family, and team members have made this challenge bearable. A listening ear, a laugh and even shared tears have meant so much. In my mind, the support to and for one another has made the greatest difference. Everyone is living this crisis in their own way and we are all living it together in a strange way. Peer Talk, where industry professionals gather on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. CT, has proven to be a wonderful way to build and lean on each other. The generosity of those who attend this virtual discussion is an inspiration. As a team, we share what’s happening in the area, center, community, and even personally at times. Communication, connection, and support are vital to managing the damage of this time. We will thrive again.

2. Everything is magnified. The light is bright. No matter what’s been done in the past, today, each mistake, decision, cost control or spend seems BIGGER. Service and safety, cleanliness, sales, training and everything else you can think of have always been important. However, in today’s environment, yesterday’s “nice to haves” become extremely necessary. If the consumer visits your establishment, they must come away with a giant sense of “that was worth it!” Everything must be magnificently clean. This has always been true but in days gone by, shoddy service or marginal cleanliness may not have prohibited visit number two. Today, count on negative reviews if the basics are ignored.

3. Comfort has always built connection and today it’s more important than ever. First, your staff must feel safe and protected. They are making a decision to work with the public. It needs to be worth it. Customers need to feel like you really appreciate the fact that they chose you. These days, a decision to go anywhere is something most families think through before they head out of the house. How are you building comfort for the guest before they come to your facility, while they are there, and once they’re gone? Communi­ca­tion is key. Do your marketing efforts build comfort? Does your social media show other guests having fun in your facility? Are you welcoming a guest the minute they enter? Do you have a way to follow up or at least provide a thank you bounce-back on their way out?

4. Service and memorable experiences continue to trump anything else we can do. The focus on sanitization and cleaning support comfort. However, when an emotional reward built out of a great experience happens for a guest, you can count on them returning. While this is not new information, it is a needed upgrade on the kind of intentional GREAT service that is necessary now and I hope remains when life gets better.

5. When you’re all in, everyone can win! What more needs to be said? In difficult times, the strength and commitment of an all-in attitude is hard to beat!

As I submit this article, I am aware that I have no plan B. My commitment to TrainerTainment, the team, and the industry is resounding. The challenge continues to grow and change every day. The learning, innovation, and willingness to create something new is a demanding feat. And even with all the everchanging demands, I and the team are all in! With that spirit I know we can all win!



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 to 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



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