When running your Christmas grotto, you’ll need to be prepared for things out with your control or any other extenuating circumstances that may arise. You can’t stop these from happening, but you can be prepared for them if they do!
Thanks to the great British weather, it’s hard to predict what the circumstances will be like on the day. If it’s snowing or icy, visitors will need to be able to park and access your event safely. So make sure you’ve stocked up on salt and spades or snow shovels. This may also have an effect on the public being able to reach your event on the day due to unsafe road conditions, so where possible, clear roads close to your event, or alert attendees about safer routes. Consider hiring a snowplough to keep on-site if snow is expected in order to keep your site and car park usable
Purposely allow a spare day or two in your agenda in case emergency rebookings have to be made. So if you have to cancel a whole day due to weather, for example, you can still host all those families that were booked for that day on a later date instead.
Keep your customers up to date with any of these issues on your social media feed, this will save them wondering if the event is still going ahead, and free up staff from dealing with numerous enquiries over the phone. If a customer cannot attend due to weather or sickness – what can you do for them? Consider giving them a ticket for another date, or collecting the gift in the Spring.
If it’s predicted to be raining or colder than usual, have a ready stock of umbrellas, ponchos, and blankets (and warm mulled wine for mums and dads)!
Staff are most likely to be ill during the winter season, and if there are extreme weather conditions, they may struggle to get to work (or they might just regret agreeing to the extra hours)! The chances are; if staff are struggling to get to the event, then customers are too, therefore less staff may be needed. But it’s always best to have a plan in place, either by having staff on standby to come in if needed, or hiring more staff than you think you’ll need, and sending them home if needs be.
It’s great that you have so many people wanting to attend your grotto with their children, but this may mean you then don’t have enough presents for them all. Sometimes it can be difficult to predict just how many presents to buy; that’s why Keycraft offers a last-minute delivery service right up until Christmas Eve - we can provide top-ups in just two working days, so there’s room for everyone on Santa’s list!
We recommend you are open to exchanging presents if a child/parent is not happy with the present they have received. It might be handy to keep a few toys unwrapped just in case this situation arises. Having kids and parents leave happy is key for making your next grotto a big success.
Another tip is to choose a reliable grotto presents supplier who you can count on to deliver additional presents very rapidly should you start to run low for a particular age group.
There’s no grotto without a Santa! If your Santa can’t make it due to weather, or calls in sick, make sure you have a backup on call, or a spare costume so one of your staff can step in if needs be.
It is important to have a plan of what you can offer to any family or parent who has a complaint to make after their experience. It is better to pacify an upset customer quickly and properly than to run the risk of a negative review.
If there are extreme weather conditions during your event, power cuts may occur. These can happen at any time, anywhere, and it is important to have a backup just in case. A backup generator might be handy to have on hand.
On a mechanical note, remember to check and maintain all equipment very carefully and plan what you will do if anything breaks down on the day.
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