Party Professor on Birthday Party Programs – Part 4 – March 2023



The Fourth & Final Installment of the 4 Ps of a Great Birthday Party Program

Beth Standlee 0319

Beth Standlee

By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment

Editor’s note: If you missed the other parts of this series, they are on this website under Columnists/Beth Standlee’s Party Professor.

Welcome to part 4 and our final “P” for implementing a great birthday party program!

As a recap, in the three previous installments of this series, we talked about:

PACKAGE – First, we developed the best birthday packages with high perceived value and priced those parties for profit.

PROCESS – Second, we implemented a selling system that teaches how to close 60 to 70% of the calls that come in and hopefully, we have implemented an online booking system as well.

PEOPLE ­– Third, we focused on party hosts and the value they bring to the overall experience of the party, the parents, the birthday child and every guest in attendance.

Now let’s talk about the PARTY! In this final “P” of this series, I’ll share ten low- to no-cost ideas that can help you stand apart from your competition and create experiences that are remembered for a lifetime.

1. Welcome the parent and birthday king or queen at the front door with a smile and an “airline-style” happy birthday sign that all the party guests can autograph. I fly all the time and still look for someone waiting for me with a “Welcome Beth!” sign as I exit the airport. Usually, there is no welcoming committee but the few times there has been, I’ve been pretty excited! A good welcome makes you feel like a VIP, whether you are 6 or 60! And an added benefit is that high-maintenance moms are calmer when they understand from the get-go that all is in order.

2. Utilize a “party flow” card so mom or dad knows you have everything under control. Going through the details of the event up front helps manage expectations. As a business, you don’t want to be surprised at the end of the event that a guest is miffed because they thought they bought one thing but received something different. The guest doesn’t need to be surprised either. Going through the details can remind Mom or Dad the specific ways the party and the day will be made very special. (For a free sample party flow card, email [email protected].)

3. Give the birthday honoree a sticker, flashing button, sash or something else to physically indicate they are a birthday VIP. Train your staff to stop and acknowledge all birthday kings and queens! VIP Parent stickers can be beneficial as well.

4. Play and interact. Every kiddo loves to play with big kids. Your hosts and hostesses are the cool kids. Birthday guests and the birthday child will eat up attention from and interact with the cool kids! A simple game that works for all ages is “keep the balloon in the air.” Play this game in the party room or, even better, the center.

5. Hold a parade. There is always a time during a party when you transition from activity to party time or the other way around. It may sound goofy but a parade-like march to the party room with an enthusiastic call-and-response chant focused on the birthday VIP is great fun. It turns a mundane function into a great time!

6. Use fast-light candles on the cake. This trick always produces lots of oohs and aahs from the kids, the parents and the party host! These candles can be purchased from Amazon (here’s one such product:

7. Make up your own birthday song. There are many creative members on your team who would love to help be a part of something new and exciting.

8. If you have a mascot, have them travel from party to party so parents can take pictures of the mascot and the birthday honoree. A lot of people remember to set up that photo, but it’s also great to get the whole party crowd in a photo with the mascot, too! Remind parents to tag the center if they post on their social pages, and likewise, ask if you can capture their pictures to add to your birthday wall, book, social sites, etc.

9. If presents are opened at the party, have the host keep a gift list. Add that list to the bag where you gathered the gifts and hand this directly to the guest of honor’s parent. Finally, take the presents to the car for them. The action of helping with the presents has the added benefit of providing a transition as you move the event from the party room to the center at large. After all, the hope is that room needs to be turned and prepped for the next party.

10. Have the host write a personal thank you note to the child on a branded card and mail it on Monday. If you have the chance, print a picture of the host and the birthday child together as a fun keepsake to remind the child and the family of your center all year long!

I hope the 4 “Ps” have provided some impactful ways to spruce up your party program. I’d love to hear what ideas and strategies you plan to implement right away.

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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