For nearly a hundred million Americans, there’s nothing quite like watching the Big Game with the people that you care about most.
Watching the game in your community can make the event even more special.
That’s why if you run a bar or restaurant, hosting a watch party can be a great way to encourage people to hang out at your venue and watch the game.
However, to get the most out of your watch party, you’ll need to use the right strategy.
That’s why we’ve created this article. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to getting the most out of your bar or restaurant’s Big Game watch party.
Why focus on optimizing your Big Game watch party?
Delivering an enjoyable watch party to your patrons is likely to be good for your bottom line.
Data shows that bars and restaurants in some parts of the country saw a 97% increase in business on the day of the Big Game. So hosting a watch party for the Big Game could very well be one of your biggest days of the year.
But people can only watch the game at one venue. If you want to do as much as possible with this opportunity, you’ll have to make sure that they choose yours over the competition.
The best way to do that is by giving your guests the best Big Game watching party experience in the area. We’ll cover how to do that below.
Something to consider before creating your plan
The biggest thing to keep in mind while planning your watch party is your customers and their preferences. The ideal setup for your event will vary based on who your regulars are and what they like.
For example, the perfect Big Game party at a dive bar known for its cheap drinks will likely be very different from what an ideal watch party would look like at a place that caters to an audience that’s looking for a luxury experience.
If you’re not sure what your customers would want, the best strategy is to ask them directly. You can do that by informally chatting with them in your bar or restaurant or by sending out surveys to your social media followers or email lists.
Step 1: Create a comfortable watching environment
Perhaps the most important part of throwing the perfect watch party is making sure that your guests are as comfortable as possible throughout it. If they’re not, chances are they won’t stick around for the entire game.
So the question becomes, how do you make your patrons as comfortable as possible?
First, make sure that you have big TVs placed throughout your bar. You want to make sure that a guest will be able to see the game clearly no matter where they sit.
Additionally, make sure that you have the right seating layout for the event. If you expect to have large crowds of people coming in together, you may need to make some changes to your existing setup.
Step 2: Broadcast the game with digital signage
The technology that you use to broadcast the game to your audience can also have a big impact on how enjoyable the experience is for them.
If you want to make sure that your game day event goes off smoothly, consider using digital signage to broadcast it.
Digital signage software like UPshow lets you stream live sporting events like the Big Game to your patrons while also controlling the advertisements shown in-between play.
Whether you’re hosting a watch night for the Oscars or a watch party for the biggest sporting event of the year, digital signage gives you more control over your broadcast so that you can optimize the experience for your guests.
Step 3: Come up with a themed menu
Big game watch parties are practically holidays in the United States. So you want to make sure that you create that type of feeling for the guests in your bar or restaurant. Coming up with a themed menu is one of the most effective and fun ways to do that.
There are lots of creative directions that you can go with this to make your establishment stand out from others in the area.
For example, you could create dishes that are themed around the top players on each team. Or you could add special items to your menu that you don’t usually have in celebration of the event.
Doing this can not only help you pull in more customers for the event but may also increase your sales figures during it. Talk about a win-win!
Step 4: Offer special discounts
This is another good strategy for getting more people into your bar or restaurant to watch a special event. You can create a special discount that ties into the theme of the event to create a more festive atmosphere as well.
For example, if you’re hosting a Big Game watch party, you could offer discounts on drinks to people who wear one of their favorite team’s jerseys.
Or, if you’re hosting something like an Oscars’ watch party, you could offer a discount for people who dress up like they would if they were actually at the Oscars.
Doing this will help to get people in the mood for the event by creating a more festive atmosphere. That way, the watch party that you’re throwing feels more differentiated from a normal day at your establishment.
Step 5: Advertise your watch party online and in your bar or restaurant
Running a successful advertising campaign could be key to unlocking the full potential of your watch party. You need enough people to know about the event if you want to hit the goals that you have for it.
That’s why it’s often best to use a multi-pronged marketing strategy. You can run in-venue ads with digital signage software to make sure that you’re targeting your most loyal customers.
Then, consider also advertising the event on your social media pages and email lists. You may even want to run geographically-targeted PPC ads to get your event in front of a new audience.
Step 6: Be sure to schedule extra staff
Even if you plan the perfect event and market it effectively, it still could wind up missing the mark if it’s impossible to order foods and drinks during it.
The last thing that you want is for customers to feel like they need to go elsewhere if they want prompt service during the event. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you have all hands on deck for the big event.
Step 7: Consider letting customers order on their own
If you’re worried about not having enough staff on-hand for the big day, then consider setting up a system that will let your customers place their own orders.
That way, your team can focus on bringing out customers’ orders as quickly as possible instead of having to go back and forth constantly between the dining room and the kitchen to take and deliver them.
Digital signage is perfect for this. You can use it to set up interactive touchscreens that let customers place their own orders to help your staff operate more efficiently during the watch party.
Looking for that extra wow factor for your watch party?
Maybe you’ve hosted watch parties before, and want to try something a little different, or maybe you simply want to stand out from the crowd. Trying one of the following ideas could take your watch party from great to memorable.
Maybe your establishment isn’t large enough to host the Big Game watch party that you envision. That doesn’t mean you still can’t make this a big day for your business.
An alternative to hosting an in-venue party is to provide food and drinks for your customers’ at-home events with catering. Setting up special game-day catering services can be another excellent way for you to make the most of the big day, and to help your local community to celebrate.
Bring in cheerleaders
If you really want to get your customers into the mood, consider hiring a group of local cheerleaders to ramp up the crowd. Doing this could immediately get your customers into the Big-Game mindset!
You can even use cheerleaders before the event as a form of advertising. If people see cheerleaders in your establishment, they’re probably going to be curious about why they’re there. And that’s the perfect opportunity to make sure your customers know about your upcoming watch party.
Fire up the crowd
You can also instruct your staff to fire up the crowd during the Big Game to create a more festive atmosphere. This could include having staff members cheer during big plays or ring a bell after each touchdown.
You could even run special promotions that are tied to in-game events. For example, if one team scores, you could offer a discount on the themed dish or drink that represents that team for the next 10 minutes.
UPshow makes it easier to power your watch party with digital signage
Watch parties for events like the Big Game can seriously boost your restaurant or bar’s bottom line. And if you want to get as much out of these events as possible, investing in digital signage is a smart way to do it.
Digital signage gives you more control over how you advertise big events and display them to your audience. It’s a great way to set your establishment apart from others in the area.But why take our word for it? Let us show you instead. You can sign up for a free custom demo of UPshow today to see exactly how much you can benefit from digital signage.