As the third in the triune of hallmark holidays which also includes Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is easiest the most subdued and the least elaborate.
Catering to its audience, most themed events or promotions are linked to popular summer activities and shared family experiences. This year should be especially fitting as it almost aligns with the summer solstice, which means the most heat and the most sun for outdoor adventures. (It also means that technically the number of hours of daylight are in decline from here out, but don’t let that depress you; we still have plenty of summer left to come.)
Given that we’re discussing Father’s Day two days beforehand, it’s a tad late to start brainstorming ideas and putting promotions together from scratch, even for only a few last minute sales. What we can do, however, is attempt to fully explore the question of ‘What do Dads want?’ and make that an undercurrent of any family-oriented packages up for grabs over July and August.
In this sense, think of Father’s Day as a thought experiment where you are attempting to distill the essence of the holiday then apply it to the rest of summer – and not just in the form of promotions but also in terms of F&B additions, poolside additions, equipment rentals and even potential room upgrades. So, what does the old man imagine as the perfect Father’s Day?
As was alluded to above, this hallmark holiday would be one that maximizes both family fun and the enjoyment of summer. The first two archetypal thoughts pertain to sports and barbecue – all dads have a soft spot for one particular team game or, at the very least, some juicy, charred meat. Dwelling on these, do you have a summer BBQ menu as a part of the overall F&B program? Have you considered arranging for outdoor cooking classes? Moreover, are you hosting any sports-related events? What sports can be played onsite? How do you provide for league play or tournaments? Do you sell sportswear in the gift shop or rent equipment to accommodate spur-of-the-moment guests?
Next to mind, and most significant, is the all-encompassing term of ‘shared family experiences’. These can be adventures both urban (sightseeing tours, museum trips, shopping excursions or lounging poolside) and rural (camping trips, exploring the countryside, water sports or nights around an open fire). What’s key here is for you to make it an adventure for everyone involved but also with a prearranged itinerary – the family gets the rush of venturing into the unknown, without the stress of having to plan from scratch or jumble important details.
Of course, as I can personally attest to, if the mother is happy then the father generally is, too. The summer is about relaxation and what better way to enjoy just that than with your loved one. To this end, extending the undertones of this holiday for all of summer should prudently include couples-oriented activities, something to do with the spa, and perhaps a little romantic enabler sprinkled in here and there.
To conclude this scribbling, Father’s Day is also a good time to look back at Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and any other occasionally celebrated hallmark holiday (such as Children’s Day, Siblings Day and Parents’ Day). A reflection of sorts that should yield valuable insights for next year’s events. What are your performance measurements? How can they be used to forecast for next year? Do you any programs or aspects of a program that are in the trial run phase? If not, do you have any that you’ve considered but never had the time to implement?
Yes, as it’s the summer solstice, daylight hours will be decreasing minute by minute will each passing day. But that also means we are one day closer to next year’s holidays. Not to say that you should entrench yourself in planning right now, but you should definitely start writing down rough ideas so you do have a strong starting point when you commence activities of this sort sometime in the winter of 2016.
(Article by Larry Mogelonsky, originally published in HOTELSMag on Friday, June 19, 2015)