How to Utilize Rec Center Space During Non-Programmed Times
Did you know that there are 7,864 community parks and recreation centers in the United States? There’s a good chance that if you live in a bustling community in any city in America, you will have a community center or rec center space near you.
If you manage a recreational space or sports facility complex, you might be wondering how you can maximize its usage. This way you can remain profitable and not have to shut down prematurely due to lack of funding. Having access to a rec center space is necessary for the positive mental health of nearby residents.
In this article below, we cover some ways you can fully utilize a recreation space and increase your bookings during non-programmed times.
Offer The Space Up For Events Or Party Rentals
People are always looking for suitable spaces to hold many different kinds of events, like baby showers, birthday parties, book launches, and more. Jazz up your space with enticing décor and bright, bold colors and take good pictures.
Put these charming pictures everywhere, in school newspapers, trade magazines, and in popular restaurants. Soon everyone will know that your rec center space is open for events of all kinds. You can even do a promo where you offer the first 10 or 100 people who book the space some kind of discount.
If you have a pool in your rec center space, you could even offer the pool as an add-on to the party event, as long as they hire a lifeguard to go along with the rental.
Once your rec center space gets famous for being a great spot for events, you won’t have to advertise as much anymore. You will have lots of business coming through word-of-mouth alone.
You could also make event creation much easier for the people in question, by collaborating with event planners, party decor businesses, caterers, and more. If you include these businesses on your brochure or advertising poster, you can sell your space as a party rental even easier.
Think About Collaborating With Schools And Nearby Businesses
Nowadays, lucrative win-win collaborations are the name of the game. Why not speak to nearby businesses or schools and set up some kind of deal with them?
They could use your facilities once a month for their team-building event or other brainstorming meetup sessions. This could help them boost employee engagement and retention.
Schools are also always looking for fun places to take children on field trips. If you could market your space as suitable for that, then you will always have at least a few events a month booked by all the schools around.
Reach out to all the schools, universities, and businesses in your area, and have a detailed conversation with them about what they are seeking when it comes to event spaces. And try to emulate their needs as much as possible.
Have A DJ And Dance Night Once A Week
If you wish to have an event hosted and organized by your staff members, then why not have a DJ and dancing night once a week. Or you could have community residents come to play Bingo on the weekends.
The sky is the limit when it comes to organizing fun events for the residents in your community.
Outdoor Movie Night Anyone?
Do you have an outdoor space where you could organize ‘Movies Under the Stars’?
People love the idea of putting out their blankets, eating popcorn, holding hands with someone they love, and watching their favorite movies with many other strangers and friends from the community.
Don’t forget to offer concessions, like popcorn, candy, or other delicious fast foods. And have something to entertain the young ones, like little cardboard cars or an arcade stand. This way the parents can enjoy the movie, without worrying too much about their bored children.
It’s a great way to bring the whole community together, and it’s also a way for you to utilize your space at very little cost to you. At first, you could set it up so the event is by donation and people can pay what they wish to pay.
Once the event gets popular and starts becoming overcrowded, you could increase the price. Or you could start giving out a set number of tickets per event.
Adult Date Night
Maybe you have a lot of young professionals in your community who have new babies or are juggling their children and professional responsibilities and would like a little break.
Why not organize a date night for them, where they can take advantage of a child care service in your space, and relax with some hors d’oeuvre and maybe even some wine (if you can get a temporary alcohol license for your space)?
You could even have a catered dinner with a show by the local theatre group.
This way you can be there for the tired community residents and give back to them in the way they desire.
Support Local Artists And Creatives
If you have a lot of residents who are on the creative side, then you will want to support them in their endeavor to bring light, color, and joy to our world through art. You can do this in several ways:
- Organize a film festival where local independent filmmakers showcase their reels
- Have an art night where artists display their art and have people bid on it
- Hold classes by local artists and moviemakers, where they teach their craft in a longer workshop format
- Have a book reading, where writers come to read from their book, do book signings, and answer questions
- Hold craft classes where people can learn soap making, ceramics creation, or other unique crafting skills
- Have a wine and paint night, where adults can come to paint masterpieces while they drink wine
As you can see, there are so many different directions you can take your recreational space, once you start thinking outside the box. The idea here is to bring together two disparate communities of people in a mutually beneficial manner, who would otherwise not mingle at all.
Your space could become THE space where artists come to meet other artists and folks come to interact with up-and-coming artists.
Host Community Sports Watching Events
There are many different sports or other international events that people love watching together. If the Olympics is coming up, you might want to set up an Olympics-themed event, where people can come to watch their favorite sports with their friends and families.
Or you could even have Game of Thrones or Downton Abbey events (or whatever the latest hot TV show is), where people who love the show dress up as their favorite characters and interact with other fans. It could be a fun costumed way of getting to know your neighbors.
Always make sure you have a conversation with the legal department or with a lawyer to ensure you don’t step on any copyright toes. You don’t want to deal with expensive lawsuits just because you were trying to have a bit of fun with the community.
Food Truck Event
If you have a lot of foodies in the neighborhood, and let’s face it, Americans are always up for a food-themed event, why not host a food festival? You could invite all the local restaurants and/or food trucks to come in with their wares.
You could have free entry, but take a cut from the sales of each food vendor. Or you could have a ticket for entering the event and let the food vendors keep all the money from the sales.
Take Suggestions From Residents On Potential Usage Scenarios
The residents of your community probably already have many brilliant ideas for utilizing the recreational space. That’s why it’s a great idea for you to bring the community together and have a conversation about what they would like from their rec center space during non-programmed hours.
You could have everyone come up with suggestions. Then the community could vote on the suggestions so that you could find out the popularity of each suggestion. This way you will know which event to hold first.
If you do this, the community center will truly be, for the people and by the people.
Increase Recreational Space Bookings In Time
Be patient with your endeavors to fully utilize your recreational space. Once you start putting in the right efforts and using the tips above, you will notice a huge incline in your sales.
You will be bringing the community members together and creating camaraderie, and building friendships. This could have a huge ripple effect across the community and even into nearby cities.
If you are searching for sports facility management software, Daysmart Recreation Software can help you accomplish more with less staff. Request a demo today!