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Tips & Best Practices for Family Entertainment Centers

FEC Marketing Made Easy Vol. 7 – Back to School Edition

marketing made easy

This month we are focusing on back to school. Last week we talked about four school events you should be booking now. You can read it here.

This week we want to talk about marketing ideas for schools. That can get a little tricky. Some districts require you get approval or become an approved vendor before you can work with them. If you create great programs that benefit and inspire students, you are more likely to get in.

Here are eight ideas for marketing to schools and creating long partnerships.

  1. Reading Club

We have mentioned having a reading club for a long time and if you don’t have one in place, start now! Reading clubs are great to host during summer and working with local school librarians is a great place to get the information in the student’s hands before they leave for summer break. If you want to know how to start a reading club, we have a step-by-step manual to help you get started now, market to schools throughout the school year, and have the program built and ready when summer rolls around.


Reading is always a big push in schools and bookmarks are a fun and inexpensive way to reach out to students. Create a fun bookmark with your mascot and logo and have a free or BOGO offer for students to detach. It’s fun and easy, and you will stay top of mind as they read all year long.

  1. Games for Grades and Attendance

Create fun certificates or coupons you can give to schools for straight A’s, A’s and B’s, and perfect attendance. Make the offers different for each level and drop them off at the front office. Schools are always looking for student incentives!

  1. Donation for Auction

Talk with PTO/PTA presidents. During the school year, the PTO/PTA hosts various events to raise money for the schools. Offer a donation item for them to raffle off. A family four pack or even a birthday party will help the school and bring potential new guests at your door.

  1. Teacher Weekday Discounts

Our teachers work hard all week long and sometimes they don’t want to cook when they get home. Offer discounted meals and bundles for teachers and members of the school district for a day. It’s a great way to drive weekday business to your center.

  1. Back to School Social Media giveaway

One of my favorite parts of back to school is first-day pictures. Host a contest on social media for the most creative back to school picture. Make sure they use a special hashtag, like #tttbacktoschool, so it’s easy for you to search.

  1. Advertise

Advertising with a school is a great partnership and opens loads of doors for other activities. Start research now for how to advertise in the student’s folders for the next school year. Reach out to high school organizations and sports teams to see how to advertise in their programs. Trust me; they are still looking for sponsors.

  1. Free Swag

Everyone loves free swag! From pencils, notebooks, t-shirts, and water bottles, they are all great items teachers can use to incentivize their kiddos. You can purchase them for your redemption area and front desk and tack on a few extra to give to schools. It’s just another great way to get your center to be top of mind and build a relationship.

We hope these ideas help you get into schools and book more events. We would love to hear what’s working for your center! Be sure to comment below or shoot us an email at

Holidays and Events to Start Planning For

  • October 4th – National Taco Day – Everyone is obsessed with tacos! Have a special menu item or work with local food trucks to host a special event in your parking lot.
  • October 31st – Halloween is just around the corner. Plan something fun for your guests.
  • November – Host, a canned food drive, to benefit your local food bank. Offer a special, a free game, or even a fun treat like a lanyard for their game card when they bring in canned food.
  • November 26th – Cyber Monday – Create special offers guests can purchase only online for Cyber Monday. Create special packages they can use before the holiday break or special BOGO offers they can redeem at any time.

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