Rejuvenate Your Business and Give it Something to Market

September 15, 2010 No Comments

Competition for the leisure dollar is at its highest level these days and this scenario does not look like it will ever go away.  The public is always looking for something new and exciting and the amusement entertainment industry should always be on their radar screen.  You do not have to go to the lengths that the bar and nightclub industry does by closing and re-opening under a new name.  All you have to do is make your facility look new and improved and word of mouth will benefit you in the short and long term.

The present generation has grown up with full color blasts from all directions and expects all of the flash, bells and whistles and instant gratification.  In addition, today everyone wants a bargain, a deal or a discount.  It is now a part of our culture.  Baby boomers have seen the transition from black and white television to color; the emergence of satellite channels and VCRs to pay per view and TiVo; and the change from rabbit ear antennas to cable and now digital receivers.  Today we are buying 72-inch Plasma LCD, and 3D TVs that are accessorized with Blu-ray, HDTV, Internet and surround sound.  How do you compete with these in-home entertainment centers that now act as movie theaters, gaming systems and worldwide communication centers?  You need to start thinking about things like colors, carpeting, lighting, background music and special effects in your own centers.  Creative Works is now selling specially designed carpeting that does not fade in a black light environment and has a backing that will keep liquid spills from saturating through.  Maybe now is the time to replace the old, faded carpeting?

The first step to longevity is to write down your goals.  If you plan on staying in this business you should have a long-range plan of how you are going to reinvest in your business’ future.  Break down the goals into six months, 12 months and two years. What new revenue generating areas are right in front of your face but you have not paid much attention to them, such as games and food.  What revenue models are out there?

Examples are that one-third of the total gross revenue can be food and beverage, one-third can be games and one-third FEC attractions.  If you are a bowling-anchored FEC, there are also several models you can fit into, such as one-third bowling, one-third food and beverage and one-third games and FEC attractions. The model that will work for you is dependent on the size of your facility, your target market and average per capita spending.  Food is such an important component because we do not want our customers to eat before they visit our facility or leave early because they get hungry.  Our facilities create activity and people get hungry and thirsty.

The basic concept is to make an improvement and provide your facility with something new to market. One example that I [Frank] am familiar with is right-sizing and opening up your game space and getting rid of the older games that do not contribute to the game gross and in fact “drag down” the public’s opinion of your facility.  When even one new or different game comes in, the kids tell each other and excitement is generated.

If you have not considered the advantages of social media networking, now is the time to grab that market.  Facebook costs nothing but your time right now and you can build an extensive targeted network of potential repeat customers.  With Facebook, you can let your “Friends” know about your upcoming events, specials, new games and products, anything that would encourage someone to visit your facility.  New technology even allows you to send instant text messages to any number of individuals at one time.  What a great way to get people in the door on an otherwise slow night—send a “BO/GO” text message to entice customers to choose your facility that night over another, or offer something free with their dinner if you have a food venue or even an attraction. This is the marketing that our kids recognize and respond to.

What is the competition up to?  Here are a few examples:

Retail: Theming merchandise around a special event.  Disney has done this for years by naming a shop with special merchandise after a special ride.  Amusement parks and waterparks are following suit.

Museums: Bringing in an exhibit and building events, parties, merchandise and food around it and selling memberships and donor support.  Traveling exhibits are being created to get the word out—something in which our industry dabbles.

Zoos: Adding new permanent exhibits and building around a theme. For example, Cost of Wisconsin does theming work in this area.

Just about every youth-related business does heavy marketing at the beginning of September when schools start.

Don’t miss this time of year when our industry traditionally slows down.  Don’t let the word “modernization” scare you because you may think it comes only with a big price tag.  “It just ain’t so” is the best quote we could hammer home.  So, once again, what are your business goals and are you ready to get serious to attain them? –

(For more information, circle 258 on card.)

Back

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Sponsors

Midway Concepts (Circus Tops)

Premier designers of stainless steel food service equipment.

Action Lighting Co.

Lighting supplies.

Richie's Italian Ice

Italian Ice Kiosks and Carts

Thomco Insurance (Fun Pro)

Fun Pro is an insurance program especially designed for party planners and party rental businesses.

Sureshot Redemption

One-stop source for prize redemption counters at entertainment centers.

Safari Ltd.

Leading manufacturer of innovative educational toys.

Penny Press

Penny souvenir machine, great for parks, FECs, bowling and skating centers, museums and tourist attractions.

Laser Star

Laser shooting galleries, laser tag, dark ride target systems, overhead target ranges.

Comstock - Castle Stove

Commercial cooking equipment.

Adventure Golf

Miniature golf courses, consultants, architecture and design.

Store on Wheels

Importer and distributor of quality toys, lighting and novelties. Cater to the amusement, retail and entertainment industries.

Rides-4-U, INC.

New and used rides, kiddie, family, major and thrill.

Wells Fargo

Commercial insurance for inflatables and event planners.

Mahoning Valley Mfg.

A complete line of Imperial strollers, wagons and safari utility vehicles.

Gerber Manufacturing, Ltd.

Outdoor furniture, benches, picnic tables and grills.

Gold Medal Products Co.

Concession equipment, foods and beverages, popcorn, pretzels and snack foods.

S&S Worldwide

Large Park amusement rides.

Max Flight

Manufactures interactive virtual reality motion-platform game systems including networkable flight and roller coaster simulators.

Bulbtronics

A premier source for lamps, LEDs, batteries and lighting-related and electrical products.

Fast Corp Vending

Frozen food vending machines

R&R Creative Amusement Design

Designers of unique themed parks, attractions and environments for the entertainment business.

Precision Dynamics (PDC)

Wristbands with no hidden costs, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Wristband System.

Lil Orbits Inc.

Food equipment, donut machines and vendor carts.

Adventure Glass

Unique paddleboats.

Subway

Fresh food and sandwich options.

Harris Miniature Golf Course

Design and construction of miniature golf courses and water rides.

Center Edge Software

Facility Management Software Solutions

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.

Embed

Provides innovative IT products and services with a primary focus on card-based solutions and database applications for the leisure and retail industries.

Cost of Wisconson

Creators of simulated environments, duplicate structures, sculpted figures, exhibits, water features, mini-golf and more.

Sacoa

Designed and manufactures PlayCard, the rechargeable debit card system.

Challenger Industries

Sports surfaces, carpets and mini-golf surfaces.

Sippers By Design

Design and manufacture of specialty custom-shaped drink containers.

Brunswick Bowling

Entertainment bowling center developer and manufacturer of bowling equipment and entertainment products.

Zebec Water Sports

Large variety of waterpark needs

Muncie Novelty Co., Inc.

Admissions, financial equipment, printing and tickets.

Ride Development Corp.

Electric floor, gas and battery-powered bumper cars.

Poly Products

Tables, benches and related products. Green products for a green world.

Beckman Insurance Agency

Amusement attractions insurance.

American Changer

Bill and coin dispensers and counters, ticket machines and more.

Gould Manufacturing, Ltd.

Concession trailers and Antique, Jeep and Grand Prix auto rides.

Namco

Namco America is a premier manufacturer of coin-op arcade attractions, ranging from the hottest titles like Crazy Typhoon and Jumpin’ Jackpot to classic game-room experiences such as the Pac-Man 25th Anniversary upright that features Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. Specialized pieces such as Wonka Sweetland and Flamin Finger are favorites too! For arcade gaming fun, Namco America is your answer.

Kay Park Recreations Corp.

Picnic tables, grills, park benches, planters, trash containers and more.

Funovation

Laser maze challenge

Money Tree - ATM

ATM machines.

Family Fun Corp.

Waterpark walls for rivers, bumper boat and splash down pools.

Tube Pro

Waterpark tubes.

Spectrum
LMap Powered by Silvercrest
Extreme Engineering
Funovation