What Makes a Party Next Level?

It is hard to believe that we have been doing parties for 15 years at GameTruck. Over that span of time we have seen many companies rise, and fall. Many claim to do what we do, but over time, discerning parents seek out gametruck.com for a party.

It is hard to believe that we have been doing parties for 15 years at GameTruck. Over that span of time we have seen many companies rise, and fall. Many claim to do what we do, but over time, discerning parents seek out gametruck.com for a party.


I believe this speaks as much to the experience economy as anything else. Renting video games is easy. Anyone can do it. Few can be successful at it, plus that’s not exactly the business we are in.

What people want from us is a memory they can cherish. They are looking to buy a celebration that will mark a special occasion they hope to never forget. It is not the video games in and of themselves that is interesting, it is how we manage the event that makes all the difference.

At GameTruck, we do three things exceptionally well, and in my experience those things make all the difference. First, we over communicate with the host. Second, our amazing game coaches maximize player engagement.

Finally, we finish strong, which leaves people with a compelling memory. I’m not just saying this because I’m a fan. I am looking at Net Promoter Score of 86.7 for 2020, one of the toughest years ever for our industry (or most event industries).


My mother told me this story. When she was the manager of the prestigious Bloomfield Hills Country Club in Michigan, she was elected to the president of the club managers association. You would think that a group of professional managers, responsible for planning amazing events for their members would be on top of their game when it came to communicating with annual association convention. “They always waited until the last minute,” she told me. “Every time. You would think professional managers would know better, how late registrations can throw the kitchen into chaos. But they didn’t. It’s human nature.”

Going to a well planned event is a blast. Managing a well planned event? Not so much. That’s why GameTruck invested in developing a state of the art system with advanced notification to make sure we over communicate with the party host. We also invested in an email invite platform, “Party Link” to help the host stay in touch with their guests. What’s more, Game Coaches go out of their way to communicate with the hosts. From the first person you talk to, through the coach, to the franchise owner, everyone understands throwing a party, even a kids party can be a stressful event. Our goal is to do everything we can to reduce that stress.

Having systems in place to manage the consistency, allows our staff to focus on the personal touch. When you rely on a single human to do all the work? Book events, send emails, make all the calls, drive the trailer, manage the event, clean the trailer, and run the business. Things can slip. It takes a team to execute. We don’t always get it perfect, but we always try to get it right. A great event starts with effective communication. As I like to say, “fear fills gaps in communication.” When the host and guests know what to expect, they can relax and focus on having a good time.

Max Engagement


One of the things that makes a GameTruck party work is the design of the environment, and the subtle work of the Game Coach. Both of these combine to create a thoroughly engaging environment for the players. Our goal is always to get everyone playing the entire time. With the rise of games like Fortnite however, we have seen a growing number of kids who engage by cheering on their friends as they compete. I have heard of parties where, “they rocked the trailer” when their team won the game.

What is really interesting about this, and something we’ve seen since the very beginning of GameTruck is that being in the same space, surrounded by games rocks. And I think after spending a few months on Zoom, we can all agree that there is something special about being there in person. This can be explained by the 7/38/55 rule. Only 7% is the words we use. 38% is the tone, and 55% is the body language. The other day my wife changed our dinner plans because while my words said, “I’ll eat there.” my tone and body language screamed, “no”.

Experts call this the lyrics, music, and dance of human communication. When more people are present the density of communication energy goes through the roof. Keeping the rhythms of communication in harmony is the job of the Game Coach.

The Game Coach makes all the difference by helping players negotiate what games to play so no one is left out. What’s more, they remove the learning curve. They help players get into games and focus on play. Coaches remove the sand from the gears when it comes to playing together. We call this Zero Friction Gaming. The faster players get into games, the more time they spend during the party playing games together, the higher the level of engagement. We have learned that players remember games they played with friends better than any game they played alone.

Finish Strong

There is a quirk of human memory that we do not remember everything that happens to us. For the sake of efficiency the human brain “collapses” or “folds” our experiences down to two points. We remember the moment of maximum intensity, and we remember how the experience ended. This is a crucial point. This means that half of how someone will remember their celebration depends upon how it ends. Now hold that thought.

When parents ask their kids to stop playing… what kind of experience do the parents and the kids have most of the time? It’s miserable right? Welcome to the single biggest piece of magic performed by our game coaches. They end the party not only with no crying, but many have personalized ways of making the end of a party memorable. Whether it is singing happy birthday, trying to “flip the truck” or getting the kids hyped up for the next part of the party, they not only end game time strong, they leave the kids energized. Many gamers remember their game coach for years aftward. I received an email from a mom just last week from one of the first GameTruck Parties held in Georgia. Her son still remembers that party.


One of the craziest parts of the video game industry is the relentless rate of change. As I write this the PlayStation 5 and XBox Series X has hit the streets. GameTruck started with PlayStation 2, GameCube, and the Xbox 360. How did we survive so long? By delivering great celebrations that kids never forgot. That did not happen by accident. Dedicated partners, and outstanding systems focused on communicating with the hosts made throwing a GameTruck party easier. The latest games, and tremendous staff helped not only boost player engagement, but our Game Coaches help end the parties on a high note – which means the memories of the event are as strong as possible. At the end of the day, parents want their kids to feel respected, valued, and to celebrated. That is what makes a GameTruck party next level. It’s not just a party, it is a celebration.