The first step to making money from birthday parties at your sports facility is to fix your party packages and pricing. Once you’ve done that, you can still continue to optimize for profit in 3 ways: making more money per party, spending less money per party, and selling more party packages, overall.
1. Make more money per party
Regardless of which package your customers choose – from basic and affordable to deluxe and all-inclusive – they should still be able to easily add on services at any time before the party, if possible.
Some examples of add-ons/upsells:
- Extra food and drinks (often needed for unexpected additional guests
- Additional instructors / party planners
- Extra space or features (for example, the use of batting cages or other games
See if you can think of any other creative, optional add-ons to your party packages.
Another way to make more money per party is to charge more for busier times or days of the week. This also protects your business, because it encourages customers to schedule parties during time slots that would otherwise be empty.
2. Reduce cost per party
Reducing the cost of your parties usually comes down to simplifying your packages to include fewer features.
For example, inflatable “bouncy houses” are popular at birthday parties, but they’re also a pain to set up, take down, maintain, and store. Plus, they require significant insurance policies. When I look at DNA’s local competitors for birthday party business, almost all of them are touting something unique like lazer tag or trampolines … but that kind of equipment is expensive, and that expense gets passed on to customers and might not make sense for your business model.
If you’re struggling to make your birthday parties really profitable, consider cutting some of these types of features. Besides the maintenance costs, but you’ll save on staff setup and clean up time.
Also, remember to protect your most profitable programming. Depending on your party package structure and your other scheduling needs, your camps, classes or even rentals may be more profitable than parties.
If that’s the case, you should consider:
- limiting parties to the least profitable time slots or locations within your facility, or
- limiting how far in advance people can schedule parties, which can give other, more profitable programs a better chance of getting scheduled instead. (For example, you could potentially limit party scheduling to a few months ahead of time, but put no advanced scheduling restrictions on more profitable programs.)
When allowing advanced scheduling, don’t forget to require a deposit or some sort of upfront payment to eliminate the threat of no-shows and late cancellations.
3. Sell more parties
The third option to make more money from birthday parties is simple: Book more of them!
I’ve already written a lot about sports facility marketing, but here are a few basics to book new birthday parties:
- create a page on your web site that is dedicated to birthday parties to help with search engine visibility
- make sure that web page includes a simple form, like the one on my site
- remind your clients about your birthday party packages in your email campaigns. Ideally, you’ll have a record of your clients birthdays so you can email parents in advance according to their birthday months.
Finally, don’t forget to use your birthday parties to cross-promote your other services. Parties are a great way to get new potential clients into the facility to see what you’re all about. It’s up to you to encourage those guests to come back on their own – either for their own birthday party, or for camps, lessons or other training. You can distribute special guest passes or invitations to the guests to encourage them to return.
If you have any other suggestions for increasing birthday party revenue, please leave a comment below.