Party Professor – July 2018



Huddle Up With Your Key Players For a Winning Game Plan


Beth Standlee

By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment

It seems unbelievable that 50 percent of this year is complete. As you take a look at the parties and group events that have come to your facility this year, how are you doing so far for 2018? Are you on track to meet your annual goals? Who in your center is championing those goals?

The reality is you’ve still got time to get in the game and win big. If we take a look at the sports world and pay attention to halftime, there are a lot of things we can learn.

First of all, each team takes time to leave the field and regroup. They evaluate the first half and either celebrate their successes or analyze why they are behind. So step number one could be that you need to consider taking your general manager, sales manager, party coordinator and anyone else who leads the charge for groups and parties offsite for a day of planning to regroup for the back half of the year.

I haven’t played a team sport in a long time, but I’ve seen enough movies to know that the winning coach engages his or her team with words that typically inspire the team to do whatever it takes to win the game. They talk about strategy, they address what might not have worked in the first half of the game, and set their sights on a new plan of attack.

Halftime is also a reset time for the guests at a game. They take a break and grab one more soda or hot dog. (I usually go to the restroom!) There’s also entertainment. Maybe you can take a lesson from sports and have some type of mid-year extravaganza to attract new guests to your location. At the very least I encourage you to have a “holiday” event to remind every company party and/or church group that your facility is the best place to plan their seasonal party in November or December.

It’s so easy to sit on the sidelines and simply enjoy the game, especially when it feels like you are winning. I have a real concern that many FEC locations are performing at a high level and are so satisfied with their results that it could be easy to take their eye off the ball.

I encourage you to stop and acknowledge that it is halftime. Look at your scoreboard. How many birthday parties have you held this year? What’s possible? Did you hit it out of the park or could you have scored a few more runs? What does the back half of the year look like? Who’s championing birthday sales? Are you making outbound calls? Is the party experience everything the guest hopes it will be?

What does your group event forecast look like? For clarity sake, my definition of forecast is any future group that has a deposit. With that definition in mind, I encourage you to keep a running total of the actual forecasted group dollars. Keeping score is really the only way you can win.

How many group inquiries are you taking (inbound) or making (outbound)? What is your pipeline? (Pipeline is “proposed not closed.” You don’t have a deposit but there is a possibility that you can close the sale.)

In my mind, these are some of the questions you ask in the locker room during the halftime experience. These are the questions that get to the heart of whether you will win big at the end of the year or come up short.

For me, I always want to win. If the first half of the year didn’t go as you planned, draw a line in the sand and start over. Be intentional about what you want. Put a number of group events down as a goal. List the number of birthday parties it would take to create a winning season. And then go for it. Go all out. Set up celebration stations during your busy times so the guests that are in your center get first-hand information about having their next event at your facility. Make outbound calls to past birthday and group parties. Spend at least 25 percent of your time prospecting for new business.

These are just a few of the winning plays I know can spur you on to victory. Decide to win today! If you want some help, I know a couple of great coaches that would love to get in the game and support a winning team!


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


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