Reintroducing events to your venues

With restrictions beginning, or planned to be eased around a lot of the world, businesses in the family entertainment and leisure industries can finally begin to plan their reopening. 

One of the key things we know that our customers are looking to focus on is events, such as birthday parties and hen and stag parties (or bachelor and bachelorette parties to our customers across the pond!). 

With this in mind, we’ve spent some time thinking about the ways our venues can get the most out of the events feature of their booking and management system and we think the below are 5 of the most important things to focus on – what would you add to the list?

Make your booking process a piece of cake

This should work twofold, firstly the online booking process should be clear, easy to use and concise for your customers. 

Is it easy for users to navigate to the booking page of your site, on both desktop and mobile devices? Considering most of your customers will be booking via a mobile device, ensuring your website is optimised for mobile (responsive) is key. Once you’ve got them on to the booking section of your website, make the journey as easy and concise as possible, try to keep the user journey to 5 pages at most.

You should also use the booking process as a place to upsell additional items, like food or drink – we would recommend doing this after the user has chosen the date/time of their booking.

Secondly, whilst most customers prefer to book online you’ll still get a few who would prefer to book over the phone, so make sure you’re quick to answer the phone and employees look to upsell on inbound calls! 

Marketing for birthdays

For most family entertainment centres, birthdays will likely make up the majority of your events – so it makes sense you spend a lot of time marketing this aspect of your business. 

Firstly, make sure you capture dates of birth from customers (most FECs will do this as a part of the waiver process) – using this information, you’re able to set up automated marketing campaigns which you can schedule to send emails or text messages to your database in advance of their birthday, giving them reason to consider you as a birthday destination. 

You may also want to introduce deals and promotions for your birthday events, e.g. food and drink included at a certain price, then additional extras at 20% off and so forth – whatever would work best for your specific business! People always like the idea of getting a deal – it’s why 73% of people say they check their inbox for offers before making a purchase or a product or service. 

Manage waivers

Waivers are an integral part of family entertainment centres, covering you from a legal perspective. With BookNow Software, we also wanted to make sure these were as easy as possible for your guests to complete prior to arrival at your venue, so when they arrive there’s no long wait at your venue.

Waivers can be sent to your guests to complete prior to arrival, and any previous guests waivers will be pre-saved on your system, meaning they’re good to go at check in either way, and if someone has forgot to do a waiver (we know this seems to happens with at least one person per booking!), then they can quickly complete one at the check in of your venue. 

Ultimately, having an easy and clear waiver process keeps your customers happy, and most importantly you covered legally!

Prepaid cash tokens

We typically find this solution is most popular with venues that host a lot of children’s events, so in this sort of event the importance of pre-paid wristbands, RFID tags, stickers or QR codes cannot be overstated. 

This allows the parents of the guests to preload a credit amount onto whatever form of token you want, meaning children can get their own drinks and food inside the venue, eliminating the need for cash or the risk of a parent giving their child a credit card! 

Thinking outside of this standard use case, whilst teenagers and adults are more likely to have a card, or Apple/Google pay on their phones, for centres like a Trampoline Park where there’s a lot of jumping around we often find guests put this into a locker and still go ahead with the prepaid cash token route, meaning it isn’t just a solution limited to children who visit your centre.

Split the bill

When your customers are booking a group event, they may not wish to put the full costs on one persons card – after all its hassle for them to chase people and get them to make a bank transfer, or send cash via PayPal and so forth. 

What makes customers lives easier is the ability to split a payment, sending a link to the rest of the party so that each guest can pay their own split, rather than having one person pay it all up front and chase others for payment – this makes guest’s lives much easier, which is obviously a key factor in them deciding where they’ll spend their money!

We hope this gives you a few ideas on what you should be looking for from an events offering at your venues, to find out more about how BookNow Software can help you get the most out of your events, please get in touch using the form below.

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