In just a year, the Birmingham-based travel business has become the biggest website for family days out in the UK, helping 17 million mums and dads find great adventures and attractions for their kids
The last 12 months have been nothing short of mind-blowing for Birmingham-based family travel business Day Out With The Kids. Following the launch of a new website and rebranding in January 2017, dayoutwiththekids.co.uk has become the biggest website for family days out in the UK, attracting 26 million visitors and helping 17 million families find adventures last year.
Listing more than 6,000 attractions, from farm parks and museums to the UK’s most famous day out destinations, Day Out With The Kids is the home of hidden gems, ideas and inspiration, as well as its own lifestyle blog. It also boasts the most engaged social community in its sector, having grown its social media audience by more than 63 per cent in the last 12 months.
During the same period, the business has also formed partnerships with leading attractions and family brands, including Go Ape, West Midlands Safari Park and Smyths Toy Superstores.
And since the relaunch, the brand has tripled its team of staff, with 13 people now working across its digital marketing, brand, sales and content teams. In the next quarter, the team is expected to grow further with four roles currently being recruited, including developers and a marketing partnerships co-ordinator. An internship programme launched last year is also going from strength to strength.
CREATING SUPER BRAND
It’s all a far cry from how Day Out With The Kids started when it was set up as a listings site by a dad who was frustrated at how difficult and time-consuming it was to find places to take the children. Two years ago, the site was acquired by Kings Norton-based Attraction World Group, one of the world’s leading theme park and attraction ticket specialists which deals with many top travel brands. Attraction World saw the potential to make Day Out With The Kids a ‘super brand’. A year of intensive work followed, hiring a new team and perfecting the website and social media offerings.
While Attraction World and Day Out With The Kids are run as two completely separate businesses, they share the same CEO, Paul Stobbs, and 2018 will also see the company move to new office in Kings Norton alongside its sister company, plus a new product launch designed to give members access to exciting benefits with selected partners.
“The past 12 months have given us a really solid foundation for growth and we’re really excited that over 17 million families have put their trust in us to find great days out this year,” said Paul. “We’re looking forward to building on everything we’ve achieved, and with the ambitious strategy we have in place for the next 12 months, 2018 is set to be another year of growth for Day Out With The Kids.”
PARENTS AND PRESSURE
According to head of brand Catherine Warrilow the key driver behind Day Out With The Kids is growing the business’s social community by highly engaging with its audience. “There’s lots of pressure on parents today,” she said. “Trends change really quickly, so what’s important to mums or dads at the school gates can be very different from month to month. Last year trampolining was all the craze with kids, this year it’s crazy golf.
“We have lots of parents in the business, as well as non-parents, and we are able to pick up really quickly what people are talking about across our social channels. We also attend lots of events which feed information into this too.”
Catherine is adamant that Birmingham is the perfect place to run the business. “We are very fortunate to be based here,” she said. “Birmingham is really up and coming as a technology hub for business. There are lots of good people looking to start their careers and we have built an impressive team here very quickly.”
GOAL TO DIVERSIFY
Moving forward, Day Out With The Kids is looking to continue developing close relationships with attractions and family brands across the UK and eventually aims to expand from a listings site to a wider-ranging platform for parents and brands, diversifying to cover other areas of leisure destinations such as restaurants, cinemas and more.
So, exactly what does a family day out look like in 2018? Day Out With The Kids predicts that multi-use sites, which feature activities like bowling, laser tag and more will rise in popularity this year, alongside inflatable parks and role play centres. Trampoline parks, which sprung up across the country in 2017, will also continue to be popular, as parents seek active days out for the whole family.