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Choosing an Activity: What Parents Care About

22 June 2017

We asked Hoop parents what mattered to them when choosing a family event or activity.

The aim of our survey is to help give family organisers a clearer picture of the things that matter when parents are choosing an activity for their child, and offer some ideas on how to attract more families to your next activity.

The Results: What Matters To Families Most

  • Parents want easy access to up-to-date information about activities.
  • Difficult or complicated booking systems will prevent parents from booking an activity.
  • Parents look for local activities that fit their schedule and budget
  • Positive word of mouth from other parents via testimonials and reviews influence parents most when choosing a provider.
  • Above all else parents want their kids to have fun.
  • Cleanliness of the venue is something parents value most when considering the space that the activity takes place.
  • Mornings are the most convenient time for families to take their kids to an activity during the week or at the weekend.

Choosing an Activity

What matters most when choosing an activity?

We asked parents what mattered most to them when choosing an activity for their children, and found that the biggest factor was distance (71.7%) followed by cost (62.8%) and and whether it fits with their schedule (56.6%).

How much their child is likely to be interested in the activity ranked below convenience factors such as proximity, cost and time of the activity.

What do parents look for when comparing an activity?

Parents resoundingly want to hear what other families have got to say! Over 80% said they look at testimonials & reviews to help them make the decision.

The other top factors were photos of the activity (42.1%), and qualifications & awards of the teacher/leader (40%). Good news for new activities — only just over a quarter of parents cared about how long an activity has been running for.

Parents value positive word of mouth from other parents when assessing activity providers.

What do you look for most in the venue for an activity?

Thinking about venues, parents rate hygiene. Clean venues came out on top, with 70% of parents saying it’s a top consideration. Parents want the environment to be pleasant valuing ‘nice spaces’ (56.6%). Surprisingly, more practical considerations such as baby change and secure buggy parking fared worse with 27.5% and 14.5% respectively.

What makes a great activity?

What do parents value most when picking an activity for their child?

Parents want their kids to have fun! Citing this as a top concern, compared to just 28.3% for educational activities. Alongside this, parents also prize activities that help expand their child’s imagination (44.1%), build their confidence (27.9%), unleash their creativity (33.8%) & get them physically active (33.1%)

Whatever the activity, parents are looking for elements that offer a way for their kids to have fun too.

What do parents value for themselves when picking an activity for their child?

Parents like going to an activity because it’s a chance to get out of the house themselves (58.3%) and meet new parents (28.3%). But reassuringly, the best bit for almost all the parents we spoke to (91%) was that their child enjoyed the activity.

Parents consider the sociable aspects of an activity for themselves, but above all else making sure their kids enjoy it is why they’ll pick an activity.

Planning & Booking

The best time of day for your child to do an activity?

Mornings were the clear winner, between 9am and midday with afternoons being half as popular. Unsurprisingly, lunchtimes (0.7%) and early evenings (1.4%) proved to be highly unpopular.

To fit most parents schedules, running your activities in the morning will prove to be most popular.

What could put you off once you’ve decided to book an activity?

When it comes down to booking something, the biggest turn off for parents is a lack of information about the activity, with about 80% of parents telling us this would put them off booking. The other big no-nos were unclear pricing and complicated booking systems with over two thirds of parents rejecting difficult ways to book online.

Make sure you provide plenty of up-to-date information about your activities within your Hoop listing. 80% of parents are likely to not book an activity if there’s insufficient information online. Parents also resoundingly value convenient ways to book activities online. Speak to our team to learn more about how we make your activities bookable within the Hoop app for parents in just two taps.

Research notes Results are based upon the response of 145 parents questioned in June 2017.

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