Event marketing for children's activity businesses

Whether you are just starting your children’s activity business or you are looking to increase your presence in your community, running or sponsoring events can be very helpful to get your name out there. Meet your customers where they are and let them know who you are with event marketing!

At Sawyer, our goal is to help children’s activity businesses grow so they can share their passions with the next generation. In this article, we will outline the basics of event marketing and include helpful event marketing strategies and ideas for your children’s activity business so you can meet more families and increase your customer base.

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What is event marketing?

Event marketing, as the name suggests, refers to the use of events as a marketing tool. For children’s activity businesses, the events are usually community-based. School fairs, local street markets, pop ups, and similar community events are common. Children’s activity businesses can choose to become sponsors or vendors at these events or host one themselves!

The goal of event marketing is to find new customers and get your name out there. If a child’s school is doing a fair, then you can meet so many new families by becoming a vendor and showing them what your business is all about. Likewise, if the street where your business is located is doing a block party, open the door to your business for open play or drop-in hours and encourage families to try it out.

When you participate in event marketing, you get to showcase your business without being too salesy. Families are already open to learning about new businesses in their neighborhood, so they will be receptive to learning about what you offer. Plus, you get the opportunity to ask for their contact information, promote discounts or offers, and get them excited about trying out your business.

Photo of community events

Event marketing strategy for your children’s activity business

Participating in event marketing can be very fruitful for new and established children’s activity businesses alike. You get the opportunity to meet new families in your neighborhood and get on their radar. Use this event marketing strategy to prepare for your next event.

  1. Build excitement. After you sign up for an event, or plan the event yourself, the first step is to get people excited. Post about the event on your social media channels, post fliers at your business, and remind customers when they come for classes. As the event gets closer, send out an email blast to your customer list and invite them.
  2. Prepare for the event. If it’s a school or local fair, will you have a booth? Will you run a game? You need to prepare what you will be doing and how you can best showcase your business. If it’s a block party and you are doing an open door day, what will families who wander in be able to do? How can you best highlight your offerings to capture the attention of these potential new customers?
  3. Offer incentives. Can you offer discount codes, coupons, free trials, or other incentives to new customers who learn about your business at the event? This is a great way to encourage them to come back for an activity at a later date. 
  4. Get their contact information. This is one of the most important parts of participating in an event. You need to gather email addresses and/or phone numbers for these potential customers so you can get in touch with them again after the event. You can ask for their information in exchange for the incentive or you can just request they fill out the sign-in form so you can reach out to them later with more information.
  5. Reach out again. Once the event is done and you have gathered contact information for a plethora of new customers, you need to nurture those connections! Reach out to them and thank them for coming to visit your booth or business. Give them an overview of the types of activities you offer and remind them of the incentive or offer a new incentive to get them to come for a paid activity.
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Event marketing ideas

Now you have an idea of what event marketing is and how it can be beneficial to your children’s activity business. If you are getting ready to sign up for an event, try one of these event marketing ideas to wow potential customers and get them to come back for more!

If you are running a booth at a school or local fair:

  • Showcase your activities. Let families see what you do! If you run an art business, set up a quick and easy craft that children and families can do at your booth. If you run a STEM business, have a LEGO building contest. You get the idea. If a child is interested in your area of expertise, they will be excited to check out your booth.
  • Play a game. Children love games! While they play, parents and caregivers will have the opportunity to peruse the information about your business, sign the sign-in sheet with their contact information, and get excited about your incentive.
  • Do something collaborative. Unlike your classes, you might have a wide range of ages and abilities visiting your booth at the same time. Can you plan an activity that is collaborative and simple so that everyone can have a good time? Think about finger painting a large banner, sand art, the parachute game, and other similar activities.

If you are doing an open door event or drop-in hours:

  • Keep it simple. If you are letting families into your space on their own time, try to keep the activities as simple and open-ended as possible. Let them explore. Put out a variety of options for small activities they can try out like painting with watercolors, building with LEGO, coding something simple, testing out a musical instrument, etc. The idea is to get them excited to come back and learn more.
  • Plan a few small activities. If you know the event runs from 10am to 2pm, for example, you can plan a couple of small, group activities on the hour or half hour. Storytime, the parachute game, and group singalongs are good examples.
  • Make connections. The goal of opening your door and letting potential customers walk in is to let them see your space and make connections that will encourage them to return. Be warm and friendly and try to learn as many names as you can. Always gather contact information and make a plan to reach out as personally as possible so they know you were listening and are excited to become a part of their family’s life.

Event marketing is a great way to get potential customers excited about your business. It is also extremely useful in gathering contact information and building relationships with families in your community. 

If you are looking for guidance on managing and running your children’s education and activity business, the team at Sawyer is here to help.

With our suite of tools, like custom forms to record allergies and t-shirt sizes, flexible payment options like gift cards and installment plans, and seamless scheduling and registration on any device, Sawyer saves business owners 28 hours per month. If you are ready to spend less time on admin and more time doing more of what you love, see how Sawyer can help with a free trial or demo.

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