The family entertainment center industry continues to develop and progress, and innovative parks are shifting the way they do business to keep up with the ongoing evolution. The best way you can keep up is to follow the trends and plan ahead. We did the leg work for you so you can prepare for what’s to come in 2019.
You’ll see more self service kiosks.
Continuing with the trend of efficiency, self-service is only going to become more commonplace. Making a splash in the last year, self-service puts customers in control, being able to register, sign forms and make purchases on their own from a device rather than having to wait in line and work with front desk staff. Customers want instant gratification, and the ability to do everything on their own gets them to activities faster. This also means customer information is stored automatically in a venue’s system, and easy to recall when customers return. Knowing they can get to the fun right away will increase satisfaction levels as well as the likelihood they will come back again and again.
The move from multiple technologies to one.
Most businesses today are operating with multiple technologies that are not cost effective and don’t work well together. Working with numerous contracts means a company is bound to different systems for different periods of time, potentially resulting in overpaying by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Additionally, employees will need to be trained on every separate program which takes time; not to mention the time being taken away from other important tasks. A disjointed system means a disjointed customer experience. With information stored in various places, the customer process is likely not as seamless as they hope it to be, especially for loyal and frequent visitors who expect their information to be easily pulled up when they arrive. With all this in mind, entertainment and activity centers are going to start the move toward one integrated system that houses all their needs. From collecting and storing customer and purchase information, to scheduling and marketing services, having everything in the same place means facility managers and staff only need to learn one program and have all the data they need nicely organized to make processes far more efficient.
Cashless cards will be everywhere.
Cashless cards have also already started popping up at certain parks that offer many games and activities, and this will only continue into 2019. This system allows customers to load money onto a card, which can then be swiped and charged at individual activities. This is a great option for parents who want to let their kids loose but don’t want them to handle (and potentially lose) cash. The cards can be preloaded via a machine, with the option to add more money if the balance gets low. Similar to the self-service kiosks, with this system customers can make purchases and book activities without having to wait in line.
Membership and recurring billing options to increase loyalty.
The most loyal activity center customers will appreciate this one. Rather than having to pay every time they come to a location, frequent visitors will have the ability to pay for a monthly membership with recurring billing, similar to a gym. This means shorter wait times for them, discounted packages, increased loyalty and a higher customer retention rate for owners. Financially, owners can now start to build a predictable recurring revenue model which provides greater financial stability. Recurring revenue can allow owners to confidently reinvest their profits in additional locations, new activities and amusement products.
More arcade games for added value.
Adding video games to a karting facility, trampoline park, or other entertainment center is an easy way to provide more options to customers without taking up too much real estate. Arcade games also are a great activity for customers to do while they wait for their turn to race or jump. Customers will be far happier with less downtime waiting.We have already seen several venues increase their number of games, which can be leased or purchased from vendors. If leased, the profits are shared with the vendor; if purchased, the upfront cost is obviously higher, but the profit goes solely to the park. Many can make up the cost -- and then some -- within the first year.
Here’s to a prosperous 2019! Happy new year from all of us at Clubspeed!