Now that we’re being greeted with hotter weather, and the summer holidays are on the horizon, the idea may have crossed your mind as an activity provider to run an outdoor special baby class.
Which we think is a brilliant idea! A change of environment, and venturing out into nature, is as nice for you as it is for your class attendees. But there’s plenty of things that you need to keep in mind ahead of time to make sure that everyone has fun.
Here’s our advice.
Do you need permission/a license to run your activity in an outdoor location?
The short answer is: yes, you do. As parks and public outdoor spaces are often maintained and run by your local council, you need to get in touch with them through a website, email address, or other.
Different areas have different rules, so some may be free, some you may need to pay, and some they may not allow you to run your activity, so be sure to find out the rules for your area.
What changes to equipment do you need to make if you’re moving your baby class outdoors?
Keeping in mind that your environment is going to provide a different atmosphere, and can be slightly more unpredictable, you may need to make some changes to your setup. Our rundown of things to check include:
- Check weather predictions ahead of time to figure out what you may need to prepare for, and pack umbrella’s just in case.
- Make sure that any equipment that you use is outdoor-friendly. You wouldn’t want to ruin anything that you use in your usual day-to-day runnings. Pick equipment that you don’t mind getting a little dirty.
- Bring baby-friendly hygiene products. It’s not a necessity to bring, but parents will really appreciate the gesture if you offer them baby wipes to help stay clean if they need them.
- Consider also offering bottles of water to families if you have picked a really warm day for your session.
This isn’t the limit of all that you should consider about your equipment, and depending on what kind of session you want to run can influence the checks you need to make.
How many families will you allow to attend, and how will you limit or increase ticket numbers?
Moving to an outdoor space means that you have more ground that you can cover. Leading to increasing the amount of tickets you offer for the class.
Make sure to figure out how much would be a good balance between ‘taking advantage of the additional space’ and being overwhelmed.
If you offer bookings through Happity, you have the ability to decide how many tickets are offered on your activities. This means that once you’re set up the initial admin, you don’t need to monitor how many tickets you’re giving out and can focus on marketinig the classes.
If you are going to share on social media, how are you going to get permissions?
If you’re running a special one-off outdoor class, that’s a great thing to share with your followers. Showing that you offer variety on special occasions will keep eyes on you. It’s a perfect way to demonstrate that there’s lots you can offer.
However, if you want to share images of the children and parents in attendance, you will need to be getting written permission from your class attendees. It’s important to find out exactly who does and doesn’t want their children to be in your marketing materials.
There are plenty of templates out there to work off from a quick google search, and it doesn’t need to be anything too lengthy. But it is necessary for the sake of your business.
What kind of sound system are you going to use?
If you typically run your activity in venues like church halls or clear indoor spaces, you’re going to find changes in volume once you go outdoors. The outdoors eats up sound a lot more than indoor spaces. It’s highly likely that you’re parents are going to struggle to hear you when you talking at your usual volume.
It’s worth doing a sound check ahead of time with a friend or family member. The issue may be resolved easily by simply talking louder.
But depending on the size of your group, and the proximity at which you’re sitting together, it may be worth considering a sound system.
Ask around for recommendations, and if you list on Happity you’re welcome to join our Activity Provider Facebook community to ask for recommendations there.
Where are the closest locations for facilities your attendees may need?
Bear in mind that the people who will be attending your classes will be parents of small children. It’s incredibly likely that they will need access to certain facilities close-by. When you’re at an indoor venue, you can be sure that a toilet is just down the hall. In a park, or any outdoor space, it could be quite the trek!
Venture out, and try to track down a location that’s not too far from a bathroom with baby-changing facilities, has pushchair access, parking, and possibly a café for somewhere to grab food or drink after your session.
Anything that you would normally look for in an indoor venue for your baby class, keep in mind when looking for outdoor locations too.
What do you do when people randomly stop to join in with the baby class?
This is a tricky one, as ultimately it can lead to a confrontation. Which doesn’t do the best for creating a safe and pleasant atmosphere for your customers.
If they’re wanting to watch, and you can tell that it is making some of your class attendees uncomfortable, then put a quick pause on your session to privately ask them to leave. If they’re trying to join in, then something similar would suffice. Tell them that it is a paid session, and politely show them where to go if they want to book a session themselves.
If at all possible, it’s a good idea to hire a member of staff (or invite along a family member or friend who would be happy to help) to do this part for you. That way you don’t need to be distracted from your session. But you’ll also be comforted knowing that someone is keeping a watchful eye out for anyone who may seem interested in your session.
What safety precautions do you need to take, and what additional risks are there for an outdoor baby class?
It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to running an outdoor baby class. Here’s a few tips, but it’s not limited to just these, so be sure to ask around and see what other providers recommend:
- Pick an area in the shade. This is good advice for any age group. But is especially crucial if you are running an activity for toddlers and babies. Too much exposure to sunlight and heat can be incredibly damaging for a young one.
- Ensure that the location you choose is far away enough from any vehicles driving past. Stay a safe distance from roads, cycle paths, etc. And check that you’re not sitting near a regular ‘hit zone’ by a football or cricket match.
- Make the time to run a risk assessment before your session. Just to be sure that you and your class attendees will feel safe in the environment.
- Remember the first aid kit! Assuming that you are trained, this is a necessity for any activity, indoor and out. .
How will you use the outdoors/public space to gain exposure for your baby class and your business?
Being in a public space for your outdoor baby class is a great way to raise brand awareness… Just by existing in the space! Once you’ve decided what area you’re going to be located, put up signs, posters, or anything that’s distinctive and branded. Not only does this serve as a purpose to help your customers find where you’re located, but it also increases brand awareness for people passing you by.
If you have any flyers or business cards, be sure to bring these along too. You never know who may show interest in your session. And if you have any merchandise that you sell to your customers, be sure to bring this along too. It’s a great upselling opportunity, and helps your brand to start walking around other spaces without you being in them.
Happity: Created with baby class providers in mind!
If you are looking for ease and a listing/booking service that’s catered specifically to you (busy parents and small business owners) then you are on the right blog page.
It’s free to list with Happity, and you can offer all sorts of ticket options through our site. Though we also offer cost-effective membership for when your baby class needs an extra boost in its marketing or if you would like access to our provider-catered booking system.
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