Corporate events are full of details . . . locations, meeting rooms, meals, flights, rental cars, activities . . . the list goes on. If you've been tasked with creating an off-site experience, you're up to your eyeballs in details, and the last thing you need is to think about kids!
But then someone asks about childcare.
It would be easy to sweep this one under the rug as too much trouble, but could making your event family friendly actually increase attendance? We find that in our destination city of San Diego, that's exactly the case. What family wouldn't love to bring the kids along and make a mini-vacation of their business trip?
Making your event welcoming to the whole family is actually easier than you might think, and here are five easy steps for planning an event including kids:
1. Advertise to your attendees. Let them know that kids are welcome and that childcare will be available. Most event planners assume that the attendee will either ask a family or friend to babysit, or that their spouse will stay at home. Delight your attendees by considering the rest of their family and helping them to explore and learn new things while building memories with their loved ones.
2. Gather details about the children. A few simple additions to your registration form will provide the information needed to provide the best kind of care for the kids at the event. Since childcare ratios are important, preregistration is very important for children's events. At Playtime Pros (Sitterwise's event division), we request the following:
First and Last Name
Special Needs / Special Diet
3. Choose a children's event service. If you are considering San Diego as a possible location for your conference, then we are the solution to help ensure that no one gets left home. Playtime Pros has worked with a wide and diverse group of hotel and conference venues all over San Diego, and we can make sure your event goes off without a hitch. From room diagrams to load-in to security for the kids, we have you covered. Our childcare event programs include active play games, engaging crafts, take home memories, STEM activities, music, and a wide variety of toys and games for individual and small group play. So much more than babysitting, today's event services will build an event-within-the-event, just for the kids.
4. Ensure ample space for the children at your venue. Though Playtime Pros and other kids event services take care of almost everything when it comes to managing childcare, you will need to make sure that appropriate space is available for the kids. Often, this means two mid-size meeting rooms to divide the younger children from the older kids to ensure age-appropriate care for everyone. The success of a children's event depends heavily on the warm, welcoming environment of the children's rooms, so stress to the hotel how important it is to provide rooms with plenty of space to run around and light to create a fun atmosphere.
5. Nail down the details. Finally, you'll also discuss with the children's event service to determine provisions for meals, movie time, excursions, and nap times for the youngest children. Connect the kids' event coordinator with your hotel contact, and the two of them will be able to ensure all these details go smoothly. In general, the kids' event service will request a TV/DVD player, some pillows and blankets, and tables and chairs to suit the expected attendance.
If you are offering a multi-day program at your San Diego event, Playtime Pros can add our BrainChild kids' success program and/or take your group to SeaWorld or Legoland.
That's it! Though adding children to a convention, conference, corporate event, military ball, or wedding may sound daunting, it's not as difficult as it seems, and choosing an experienced children's program provider will make all the difference.
We have over 20 years experience planning kids events, and we've created a planning guide to help you gather the details needed for your event involving children. Click below to download:
Have you planned an event including kids? How did it go? Do you have anything to add to this discussion?