A Laser Focus on Fun
Creating the Best Parties at Laser Tag Centers

February 5, 2016 No Comments

Laser Tag parties are great fun for birthday celebrations. But in a crowded field of available laser tag venues, what are the elements that create the best parties? Venue managers and owners tag stellar customer service and great packages as key to being the best.

At Speedy’s Fast Track in Houston, Texas, Vice President of Operations Josh Berrick combines a generous party package with welcoming service to make his laser tag parties a top choice for guests. “Our basic party package is two full hours of unlimited laser tag, mini-golf and go-carts for 20 children. It’s a great deal. We’ve recently added unlimited arcade game play as well. The only extra would be redemption games,” Berrick reported. He also strives to make the birthday child feel special. “Being friendly, kind and welcoming – that’s the key to making the child feel great. We don’t offer food service here, but we provide, at no charge, small extras in case the birthday child’s parents forget any details. We have candles, cake cutters and other utensils all available. That kind of service helps make the party run smoothly, which of course makes it easier to focus attention on the birthday child.”

Group of adorable kids looking at camera at birthday party

In Beaverton, Ore., Lee Phipps, manager of Super Play, described what makes his laser tag a top birthday party choice. “One thing we’re very proud of is having a 3,200-square-foot laser tag arena. It’s truly state of the art. We opened just seven months ago, and it’s an extremely cool track,” he reported. Along with offering a top-of-the-line gaming facility, Phipps also focuses on a reasonable price point for a laser birthday package that includes food. “For $149, we offer a birthday package for 10 kids, with two games for each child. The price also includes a party table with party favors, decorations and goodie bags, and a large pizza with unlimited soda. In addition,” he pointed out, “every party has a dedicated party host to make things easier on the parents.” Also, as the “only place in town with laser tag, an arcade and a bowling alley, we can provide the kind of package no one else can offer locally,” Phipps attested.

To make sure the birthday child feels special, Phipps always provides a $5 card for the arcade room. “It’s an additional present from me. We also announce the birthday child’s name over the loud speaker system. They enjoy hearing their names when we announce their game is starting. We’re also careful to set up a very nice table for the party goers, with adult tables around the main children’s table.” Phipps said his team works hard to “keep everyone happy and reduce stress. We watch out for the details, and our dedicated party host makes sure that things run smoothly.”

Evelyn Miles, event coordinator for Uptown Alley in Surprise, Ariz., agreed with Phipps that having a state of the art venue is key to making a laser tag arena a top choice for consumers. “We’re a two-story facility with plenty of room to play. And when you book a package through us, you have a time to play that’s scheduled and set.” To make the birthday child the center of attention, Miles offers a “16-inch monster cookie that says Happy Birthday and the child’s name. We provide a game card to the birthday child for the arcade as well, and we make sure that the child and his or her parents are greeted and recognized.”

At Lazerblast Arcade in San Diego, Calif., Attractions Operator Amber Albridge, speaking for manager Sean Burke, agreed with Miles and Phipps that having a modern and up-to-date arena goes a long way toward making laser tag parties at her facility the best possible customer choice. “We have a three-story arena with three playing levels which makes having a birthday here special in and of itself. And what makes party packages even more special is that the laser tag is unlimited.” For the birthday child, Albridge provides $5 game arcade cards as well.

In Tukwila, Wash., Kellie Studer, manager for Virtual Sports, said her facility is dedicated to laser tag in its entirety, making it a unique draw for customers planning a birthday party.

“We give our players a vest and a head band. We’re almost like a live version of Call of Duty rather than your typical laser tag arena, which really makes us stand out. Our course is 12,000-square-feet. Additionally, we offer an excellent party package for customers,” she noted. “The basic party for up to 10 children is $250, and includes a party table, party host and the game; our premium package for $290 adds two large pizzas and bottled water.” Studer is always looking for new ways to appeal to party-giving customers. “We’re looking to add themed-party packages to the mix. We’re very connected with the gaming world, we work with the Gaems Experience, and have a whole center of linked mobile games. Our birthday parties will be themed from those games and incorporate gaming packages like Halo and C.O.D., or a karate package with elements of Mortal Kombat, and for younger players, themed packages like Minecraft, she said. “This means more variety and more appeal for our parties.” Studer’s top tip to make the birthday child feel special? “We make sure to wish the child a happy birthday, and get them to the games tables before the other guests. We also give them a special T-shirt.”

Nationwide, providing great customer service, offering solid combination party packages and operating a state-of-the-art facility are all strong components of making laser tag parties the best.

What training tips work best for birthday party employees working directly with party-goers? Managers, coordinators and owners of laser tag facilities offered their take on top training techniques.At Speedy’s Fast Track in Houston, Texas, Vice President of Operations Josh Berrick said his best tip is to train employees to pitch in wherever they’re needed. “All of my employees do everything. There are no specialized jobs. Above all else, we train our staff to be nice and courteous to customers, to clean up, pick up and greet. The idea is for everyone to pitch in and create a truly great atmosphere for the customers.”In Beaverton, Ore., Lee Phipps, manager of Super Play, emphasized the importance of creating a fun amusement-park-like environment for customers as a key part of his staff training. “We want the party experience to be fun, for our staff to pay attention to the details of the child’s needs, and to schedule and map out the entire party for the parents. We don’t want the child to ever have to ask for more soda, for example. If soda is running out, it should be automatically refilled. We want the kids happy, and we want the parents to have a good, relaxing experience that they can let us take care of entirely, or they can participate in as much as they want.”Evelyn Miles, event coordinator for Uptown Alley in Surprise, Ariz., said her top training tip is to make sure that her staff believes the expression “it starts with me.” “That’s imperative, that the staff listens to guest needs and concerns, is assertive about providing good service, and shows they care by being attentive and responsive,” she said.At Lazerblast Arcade in San Diego, Calif., Attractions Operator Amber Albridge said the two most important aspects of training are “explaining customer service standards, and explaining the game as well as possible so that staff members can help the party-goers to enjoy their games to the fullest.”In Tukwila, Wash., Kellie Studer, manager for Virtual Sports, cited “attentiveness training” as her top training tip. “Employees should be trained to make sure the party as a whole, and particularly the mom or dad giving the party, and the birthday child, are all attended to. From that base, they can make the party a fun and exciting environment for everyone.”


 

Taking Party Staff from Pretty Good to Great

What training tips work best for birthday party employees working directly with party-goers? Managers, coordinators and owners of laser tag facilities offered their take on top training techniques.

At Speedy’s Fast Track in Houston, Texas, Vice President of Operations Josh Berrick said his best tip is to train employees to pitch in wherever they’re needed. “All of my employees do everything. There are no specialized jobs. Above all else, we train our staff to be nice and courteous to customers, to clean up, pick up and greet. The idea is for everyone to pitch in and create a truly great atmosphere for the customers.”

In Beaverton, Ore., Lee Phipps, manager of Super Play, emphasized the importance of creating a fun amusement-park-like environment for customers as a key part of his staff training. “We want the party experience to be fun, for our staff to pay attention to the details of the child’s needs, and to schedule and map out the entire party for the parents. We don’t want the child to ever have to ask for more soda, for example. If soda is running out, it should be automatically refilled. We want the kids happy, and we want the parents to have a good, relaxing experience that they can let us take care of entirely, or they can participate in as much as they want.”

Evelyn Miles, event coordinator for Uptown Alley in Surprise, Ariz., said her top training tip is to make sure that her staff believes the expression “it starts with me.” “That’s imperative, that the staff listens to guest needs and concerns, is assertive about providing good service, and shows they care by being attentive and responsive,” she said.

At Lazerblast Arcade in San Diego, Calif., Attractions Operator Amber Albridge said the two most important aspects of training are “explaining customer service standards, and explaining the game as well as possible so that staff members can help the party-goers to enjoy their games to the fullest.”

In Tukwila, Wash., Kellie Studer, manager for Virtual Sports, cited “attentiveness training” as her top training tip. “Employees should be trained to make sure the party as a whole, and particularly the mom or dad giving the party, and the birthday child, are all attended to. From that base, they can make the party a fun and exciting environment for everyone.”

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