We’ve had a couple of families discover us recently. That’s the question they asked. They were kind of good-naturedly offended that they hadn’t heard of us sooner.
There are probably a lot of people in the community who have no idea we are here. Even those who have heard of us are little unclear as to what our center actually is. Is it a Chuck e Cheese? Is it a recreational Center? Is it a Playground? Nope. We’re unique, multi-faceted, and hard to explain in just a few words or with a simple website or mailer.
One of my favorite things to witness is when people come in for a visit and start to “get it”. Especially educators…you can see the wheels start to turn as they start thinking about all the ways we can partner to create amazing learning experiences for their kiddos. Their excitement and energy is positively infectious.
With that being said, word is definitely getting out. We already have people driving over forty-five minutes to visit us. We had one family even call ahead to make sure we had plenty of Mac & Cheese before they made the trip.
Introducing ourselves to the community has been (intentionally) an organic process. We’re just focussing on taking in feedback and working to make sure that every guest who visits us feels that we delivered on our promise of “best day ever”. If we do that well, our guests will tell their friends.
So yes, awareness of our presence is a little uneven. Up to this point, the only way people have heard about us is through word of mouth and social media. There is one other reason we are not spending money on traditional advertising to get the word out. We’d rather invest in our community.
Since opening the center we have:
- Sponsored a Willimantic little league team.
- Sponsored a 5K run to raise money for the Mansfield playground.
- Donated space and classes to several not for profits.
- Donated the Cafe and coffee every other Wednesday morning to business networking event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
- Handed out dozens of certificates for free goods and services to local schools hosting fund raising events.
- Hosted a free field trip full of play and programs for a group of kids participating in a program at Windham Heights.
- Met with the Windham before and after school team. (We’ll be offering them a free workshop the end of august to help them increase their impact with the students they teach)
- Visited Columbia, Willington and Mansfield to provide various enrichment programs for interested members of the communities.
There’s more, but I think you get the idea. And we’re just getting started 🙂