Celebrating holidays is nothing new. However, the start of this year’s fall season is seeming to enthrall consumers far more than in previous years, most likely due to the pandemic.
According Shane O’Neill, a contributor to the New York Times, “This fall season feels, somehow, even more seasonal than in years past. Google searches for ‘season’ are at a high, with users recasting events large and small as seasons unto themselves.”
This includes celebrating the start of “spooky” season, “pumpkin spice” season and more.
O’Neill contributes this increased festivity to the pandemic and months of quarantine, isolation and sadness. With this in mind, he writes, “perhaps it’s not surprising that seasonal devotion has seeped into the lexicon.”
As a result, this year may be a great year for your facility to go all-out for Halloween and the holidays that follow. Take advantage of consumers’ pent-up need to celebrate and rejoice in yearly traditions.
For evidence, look no further than this year’s Halloween sales predictions, with the National Retail Federation predicting spending on Halloween-related items “to reach an all-time high of $10.14 billion, up from $8.05 billion in 2020.”
Ideas to Take Advantage of the Holidays
Keeping these projections and insights in mind, here are ideas for how your rec center can take advantage of Halloween:
- Turn part of your facility into a “haunted house” and open it up to the community.
- Host a trick-or-treat party. Have different departments with your rec center or even across campus pass out candy to members.
- Encourage staff to dress up for Halloween. And if you’re the leader, be sure to take part.
- Feature pumpkin-spice flavored specials at your café.
And here are some ideas on how your rec center can take advantage of the holidays to come:
- Host a Thanksgiving dinner for staff, or coordinate small group gatherings to celebrate.
- Have a holiday cookie bake off.
- Throw a New Year’s bash once students return and use it as a goal-setting opportunity.
Many of these ideas won’t necessarily generate revenue but will serve as community builders after 18 months of uncertainty.
“Consumer spending aside, embracing seasons offers a chance to inject levity into casual conversations and social media discourse,” wrote O’Neill. “It’s an easy way for people to bond over their shared enthusiasms.”