I’ll admit, I am late to the party with this unbelievably ingenious company who specializes in bringing the…party…to your home city. I’m writing this on the morning of Stamford’s first Slide the City event, a subsidiary of Sack Lunch Products who deploy not only the 1000ft water slide party, but also the Dirty Dash and Lantern Fest. They’ve picked up steam with media lately and for good reason. If you’ve read this blog at all, you’ll know I am a huge fan of companies that make everybody involved a winner. I mentioned Campus Job as one such example, and SLP is just another. The biggest reason is their ingenious franchising model for their various events. To understand why this is so intelligent, and to potentially provide a lens to examine real-world intelligence for students, let’s dig a little deeper into how the process works.
SLP’s staff is actually tiny. They basically have a small sales team, a web developer, a materials manager, and a media person. For a company whose trade is to host enormous in-person events, this is unheard of. They achieve the goal by leveraging each host city’s local resources to deploy the events. The company scouts each location, choosing cities with enough local Parks and Recreation infrastructure to recruit volunteers and sponsors for the event. When it locates a city, it makes the pitch and allows the city to purchase a one-day franchising deal from the company. They provide materials, branding, and media support, as well as the actual slide, and the town does the rest. It allows them to keep their overhead costs incredibly low for an in-person event. It’s quite amazing.
The way the company makes money is through a standard franchising agreement, which basically include a one-time fee and royalties on revenue gained through the event. With such a low overheard cost of operation, this company needs very little from each event to be hugely profitable. The events themselves charge riders between $15 and $45 for anywhere between a single slide or unlimited slides.
Everyone’s a Winner
Why is this such a great deal? It makes everyone a winner. The company wins because they make money doing something that makes people smile. The cities win because they also make money doing something that makes people smile, since they get to keep a portion of the revenue they earn through the event. Finally, the consumers win because they get to have an unforgettable experience for exceptionally cheap, and they also generally get to have fun at the larger series of events that cities tend to organize around Slide the City, like live music, farmers markets, and such.
I’ll be off to our city’s first event in just a few hours, but I have learned quite a lot already from examining their great model. I hope you did too!