As November starts our minds begin to turn to the festive season. Everywhere we go tinsel festooned shops are starting to play endless streams of Christmas songs that bury their way into our subconscious.
However some retailers have elevated their Christmas displays to attractions in their own right. British Garden Centre’s, owners of Brigg Garden Centre have done exactly that, with coach loads of visitors flocking to see their Christmas displays.
So it is hardly surprising that they have waved a bit of elf dust over the humble visit to Santa in his grotto.
Instead of queuing for hours to sit briefly on Santa’s knee and leaving with a cheap plastic toy, they wanted children to go on an adventure when they met Santa.
It all starts online at http://www.britishgardencentres.com/ where you can book in advance. Yes your allocated time slots mean no queues, but it means so much more to children. When you book you can tell Santa what your child would like for Christmas and print out a personalised ticket for each child.
The adventure begins when you arrive under the canopy of fairy lights with the Polar Bear Ice Band playing festive songs and the children clutching their named tickets. They are met by Santa’s Elves who greet the children by name and escort them to the Christmas Express train ride that takes them to see Santa.
When they finally meet him, the children are amazed as he knows all about them and what they would like for Christmas. I have to say watching their faces as Santa talks to them is wonderful.
When they have met Santa and had a picture taken with him the elves take them into Santa’s workshop to pick their toy.
The workshop is a sight to see, with toys everywhere. It is made even more exciting by the fact that the children get to pick their toy from the large selection. Here again British Garden Centres wanted quality not toys that would fall apart within the first 10 minutes.
Then it’s onto the bouncy castle and playground to complete their visit.
Whilst Santa has plenty of Elves to assist him in the grotto, British Garden Centres turned to Digital Spotlight to provide the booking system. It needed to be quick and easy to use with Calendar and E-Commerce functionality.
Users simply select how many children the booking is for and the system displays available times and dates. When a booking is made it includes the ability to include children’s names and what they would like for Christmas. The confirmation email includes individually named tickets for each child ready to be printed out.
The Administration end of the solution provides a full management suite. Each morning the Elves receive a list of all the children booked for that day. This ensures check in is fast and efficient for visitors.
It also provides over all control and administration of the booking system to the head elf, enabling him to generate a range of reports from bookings to financial results. This not only enables the garden centre to keep overall control of the Grotto and its operations, it also provides valuable operational data. For example the busiest times of day and days of the week, essential knowledge for staffing provision.
If you need a booking/reservation solution for your website contact us for a chat to see how we can make your website work for you.