As we enter 2021, this is sixth and final in the series of ‘Operator Guides’, for amusement and attraction venues, looks to update the best practices that have been imparted in the five previous guides. Addressing the road forward #AfterLockdown, and looking forward to the brand new market and opportunities that await, and how best to embrace them.
For articles 1-5, se below:
- Operators Guide: Priorities for Operators Post-Lockdown
- Operators Guide: How to Answer Difficult Questions
- Operators Guide: Unique Needs of the Game Room
- Operators Guide: Marketing and Promotion
- Operators Guide: Great Selling is About Helping Others
Concluding the series of guides to help Amusement and Attraction operators navigate the traumatic conditions of 2020, resulting from the impact of the Global Health crisis on their businesses. This last guide condenses all of the key lessons learned, and also gives a final observation towards reopening, and operating in the changed landscape.
1. Operation Priorities
The avalanche of new issues to consider in operating amusement and attractions descended on an industry and
its easy to be overwhelmed, but with planning and focus a routine can be established by the team:
- Operator: Establish a Process – Create a structure and ensure your team agrees and understands it
- Operator: Ensure Maintenance – With the focus on cleaning, it is easy for maintenance to be neglected
- Customer: Registration-Only – Ensure that your facility process is easy to followed and effective
- Customer: Informing the Guest – Ensure that staff and signage are clear on what you are working to achieve
2. Difficult questions
When interacting with guests and working with staff, we need to be prepared to answer difficult questions.
Understanding what they are, and the direct response to give, are half of the battle in getting your point across:
- Is it safe? “We have worked hard to create a safe and secure environment, come and see for yourself”
- Why are you Reopening? “We have followed local direction and are ready to support our community”
- Why should I come back to work? “We know it is difficult, but we need to rebuild and move forward”
- Why should I wear a mask? “You are helping your community; our staff, and you are helping yourself”
3. Amusement Support
We have learnt a lot about how to effectively combat COVID, but we, and our teams, need to stay constantly
vigilant, applying these valuable lessons, (remembering the mantra “Protect”, “Inspect”, “Clean”):
- Layout – Capacity limits and clean flow throw venues is essential, along with the removal of queue-lines
- Separation – Avoid guest clustering, and ensure correct spacing between machine operational needs
- Signage – Guests need to understand the venues policies, and how you are working to make them safe
- Guest Experience – Place yourself in your guest’s shoes and ensure you are offering the best entertainment
4. Marketing & Promotion
The migration towards a Social Media centric marketing approach has taken many operators out of their comfort
zone, but with appropriate thinking this direct channel to your clients has become essential:
- Keep in Contact – Communication with your guests is more important than ever, ensure they know that
- Offer a Unique Value Proposition – Ensure that you have correctly priced your product, reflecting its value
- Create Social Media Moments – Capturing moments and images that encapsulate your offering and spirit
- Ensure you promote what your offering – You need to “help guests recapture social entertainment again”
5. Sales Targets
With an audience that has been in lockdown, it is important to regain recognition of your entertainment
offering, and to encourage them to experience your unique environment; sales becoming more vital than ever:
- Understand – What are the best way’s to promote what you are offering
- Ensure – You understand the ideal customer, and what they want from what you are offering
- Comprehend – Great sales are about helping others, ensure your offering promotes your core values
- Achieve – Correctly price your offering, and ensure a value-added element
6. Final Observations
Having compiled the key issues addressed in the past ‘Operators Guides’ – we conclude with some personal
observations looking forward to the new landscape once we can all reopen:
- Stay Flexible – We need to be prepared to bend to changing conditions and be flexible to these changes
- Private Hire – Groups in the same “Bubble” are looking for safe and clean venues to gather together
- Enhance Your Message – Make sure that you promote what your venue offers and why it is unique
- Its ‘Physical’ Distancing – not ‘Socially’ – Offer a social environment, even if groups need to be managed
“It is not the end, but it is the beginning of the end” – and we need to be prepared to address the needs of an
audience tired of isolation, confinement and anxieties. We are here to entertain them, and grow with them.
The series of guides has been created with the support and advise of specialists in their respective fields, helping Kevin Williams (KWP) create a crib-sheet to be shared with operators and those in the industry. Helping navigate the road ahead, and supporting their thought process.
We hope that 2021 proves a year of growth and success for all in our sector.
Kevin Williams – a leading specialist in the immersive Out-of-Home entertainment industry, through his consultancy KWP Limited, specializing in interactive entertainment. Coming from a long career in the theme park, amusement and entertainment software industries, being an ex-Walt Disney Imagineer. Well known for his news service, The Stinger Report that has become a-must-read for those working or investing in the international market. Along with this, he is also a prolific writer with regular columns for the main trade publications in this market, along with presenting numerous conference sessions on the sector and its global impact. He is also the co-author of the only book on this aspect of the market, “The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier” – currently working on the next edition, schedule for publication soon.