Last year we took a look at the technology of laser tag and discussed the advances that have allowed the equipment to be lighter and more durable, what advances allow the existence of laser skirmish gear, and many other technological advances that allow the systems of today to flourish. While individual laser tag companies do make small technological leaps fairly regularly, the technology of last year has yet to evolve into the technology of tomorrow. This, however, is not a bad thing for today’s or tomorrow’s operators.
Because laser tag is a technology-led industry, many operators who aren’t dominantly tech-minded often miss the bigger picture. It can be easy to get distracted on the other hundred things that need your attention and your guest experience can get unintentionally left on the back burner. Your laser tag system can do more than just play a team or solo game and you can control more of the experience you are looking to create. Let’s discuss the laser tag technology you could be using to make more money.
DMX Effects Controls –Put a Spin on Your Arena’s Presentation
In speaking with operators, lighting and the technology that controls it is a terrifying concept that most don’t want to mess with. Operators are missing out on what this technology brings to the table. If you want to change team area colors on the field instantly and during a game, really bring a different experience to your customers again and again, and ultimately blow the socks off your customers then you need DMX.
While some laser tag suppliers include a DMX link into the laser tag system, the fact is you don’t need it. You can always have scenarios programmed to run with your games. Imagine how amazing a real lightshow coupled with your game experience can be!
This technology can be a boon especially for the new operator: a great set of lights and effects allow you to use minimum paint in your arena to accomplish many of the same goals. The difference: lighting can be changed on the fly. Lights altering the mood and intensity of the experience offer you new ways to thrill your customers and bring in additional repeat play.
Games, Games, Games: Try Out Your Laser Tag System’s Full Game List
Now, this is not necessarily new technology, but it is technology that is vastly underutilized. Having operated for over a decade, I am well aware of how easy it is to create a team and solo game and just run with those 99 percent of the time. Have a lock-in? Oh, let’s create a few more games, but only the easy ones! We don’t want to confuse our staff.
It can be difficult as an owner/operator to experiment with game types and variables and find the time to do it. I suggest you give one staff person the chance to create some new games and let your staff play around with them. Search forums online for what players in other areas are excited about, speak to your supplier, and speak with your fellow operators. Chances are someone has something new to you that can help spur some excitement at your center.
Allowing your staff to play and experiment on days you might otherwise be closed or during staff game nights can help your employees get used to new games and scenarios to help better explain the rules to your guests. You could even have them practice concise briefings on the new game formats they’ve just played to keep your throughput where it needs to be for profitability.
Now you just have to put those game scenarios to work: corporate team building packages need team-based games. Start them off easy and alter variables and scenarios to force them to work together. That new team game that may be too complex for your walk-in crowd may shine in this atmosphere.
Have an all-you-can-play night that is suffering from declining sales? Do you rotate your games, throw in new ones, or otherwise attempt to spice up play? If not, here is another great place for those new games to shine. Just be sure to avoid elimination-style games when new players buy in to your sessions. (There’s no better way to ensure someone never comes back than to have them pay you $7-plus to be eliminated in two minutes.)
The above are just a couple of examples, put your mind to it and work that system, I am sure you will find other ways to drive in new sales or increase tired revenue streams!
Social Marketing and Newsletters
The internet is a powerful tool that you just cannot afford to ignore. These days it is not enough to have a website: if you are not connecting with e-mails, Facebook and other social media then your competition IS. Are you really going to ignore these crucial tools for your business?
Facebook doesn’t take very long to set up and just needs a steady stream of updates to stay relevant and grow your online presence. Pictures, interesting videos, industry news, testimonials and surveys go a long way to catching your customers’ attention and getting them involved. Keep their interest and your name on their minds: they will show up and bring friends! Even better, this kind of media is grassroots, they will spread the good word for you and invite others to “like” your page. For just a few minutes of effort a day you can really bolster your business!
Newsletters and e-mail blasts are another great tool that your customers can opt in to stay in touch with you. Like Facebook, your current list of recipients can forward the e-mail to a friend and grow your subscription base. Plan monthly specials, discuss what goes on in your community and offer exclusive coupons to your loyal customer base. You may not bring them into your center every month, but you certainly gain the possibility as well as keeping your brand first and foremost in “What to do this week?”
Technology New to the Laser Tag World
I didn’t say I would not share any new technology news in the laser tag world! But, I will be brief: many laser tag companies are hard at work making it easier to stay abreast of the health of your equipment, push data online in real time and even allow your customers to be involved on their smart phones. The reality of today’s tech-driven world is that those in laser tag development just have to find a relevant way to use new technologies. Once they do, rest assured that one day your players will be excited about the new technology you have to offer them! –