Party Prep Expert, Nancy Dye of Party Direct, answers five key questions to help you elevate your experience.

As we’ve recently discussed in our recent birthday party blog, how seamless your party experience is can impact your guests’ impression of your facility significantly – for better or for worse.

Just like when you have broken games and attractions, or lackluster staff interactions, your facility’s party supplies, decorations, and paper products also say a lot about the care you take with your experience. That’s why we asked Nancy Dye, Marketing and Sales Coordinator of Party Direct, a few questions to help operators outfit their party experience for the right impact.

Read on for our interview:

Q1: What’s one mistake you think facilities make when it comes to planning the look of their parties?

Nancy: I think some facilities tend to focus more on the cost instead of the overall value and presentation of the look of their parties. When evaluating the look of your parties, consider nice place settings and factor in that cost to your overall party packages.

This would include plates, cups, napkins, and table covers. The decorations you provide will help enhance the presentation of your parties as well as increase their value!

Q2: We’ve heard some facilities get their supplies at Dollar Tree or Party City, what’s the difference between doing that vs. working with a supply company?

Nancy: When facilities purchase from Dollar Tree or Party City there is a misconception they are “saving money” because they don’t have to pay for shipping and they can go to the store and pick it up. While saving money on shipping may be true, facilities will be wasting their time, energy, and fuel driving around to pick up these items for parties.

By purchasing from a supply company like Party Direct, we can have everything shipped to your facility and managers can focus their time on something that delivers more impact. As a former manager myself, I turned to picking up items elsewhere when I ran out and it became a huge inconvenience and time waster. As a manager, your time is much more valuable than driving to party stores picking up products. Party Direct can save you time and money in the long run!

Also, many products from Dollar Tree are imported from China whereas Party Direct products are from the US. Our products are more durable and of higher quality. This means they hold up much better once food is placed on them. During a party, guests notice these small details, and if your supplies aren’t holding up, guests may question the value of the price they paid for your party.

Q3: Should we let parents bring their own decorations?

Nancy: I would only advise this if they have a scheduled party booked with you. If you do, then consider limiting what they can bring in for their parties to balloons or other themed decorations to go along with what you already provide. If you allow them to bring in other decorations, then it will take away from your party packages. I would strongly discourage you to allow any other decorations if they don’t have a scheduled party with you. This is a walking billboard in your facility and it will falsely advertise what you have put in place.

Operationally, allowing parents to decorate party rooms themselves means you will likely run into timing issues before or afterward, with decorations being finished late, and parties failing to start on time. Instead, it’s a good idea to offer a few popular themes for guests to choose from to customize their party without bumping into operational issues.

Q4: Should a facility charge extra for themes?

Nancy: In my opinion, yes charge extra for themes. Consider offering only a selection of themes for boys, girls, and/or gender-neutral. Keep the themed supplies simple and include plates, cups, napkins, and tablecloths.

Offering themes as an add-on option will bring more revenue as well as more flexibility to your parties.

Q5: Talk to us about goody bags. Are they all the same?

Nancy: Goody bags can make a great addition to your party packages, whether you include them in the package or use them as an add-on option. You can make a little extra at some of the parties if you use them as an add-on option and have them available for anyone who may forget them or didn’t have the time to put them together themselves.

Party Direct, for example, currently offers 16 different goody bag themes for all facility types and parties. We can customize the inserts for your facility with your logo as well as add trade-out specific toys to fit your needs and vision. They can be an easy way to differentiate your experience from your competitors as well.

Parties are an essential part of your overall guest experience, and as Nancy shared, can be key drivers of revenue as well! Learn more about Party Direct by visiting their website, or reach out to Nancy at

Leave a Comment