The pace of technological innovation was already accelerating, but the past year has kicked that growth into overdrive.
So, in light of that progress, which integrated solutions have risen to the top of the priority list for theme park operators and other leisure businesses? How can you invest in those technologies now to actually save money in 2021 and beyond?
First, let’s take a look at what changes the acceleration in technological innovation has engineered among theme park visitors and other leisure business guests.
Elevated Expectations for Theme Parks and Leisure Operations
Technology is evolving at a rate never seen before, and it touches every corner of our daily lives. From the smartphones in our hands to hands-free workspaces, remote collaboration, Internet of Things-connected smart homes and businesses, and more, we’ve become accustomed to a heightened level of technological integration.
That means those same expectations are now carrying over to the world of theme parks and leisure businesses.
Theme parks and other attractions will have to account for what most now consider basic needs, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, but they’ll also have to cater to a general expectation for a more well-rounded digital and holistic experience.
Guests now expect to engage in digital ticketing and reservations, virtual queueing solutions, cashless systems, touch-free interactivity, and more. Digital and physical experiences are merging, creating opportunities for improved customer satisfaction through the kinds of digitally integrated experiences that are expected not just from the moment they step onto your property, but from the moment they even consider it in the first place.
Theme Park Technology Solutions to Deliver on those Heightened Expectations
Investing in technologies that cater to that digitally integrated journey and engage visitors throughout their experience can convert capital dollars into tremendous return on investment, and that ROI may come back sooner than you expect.
“For theme park and leisure operators, it’s key to drive an increased profit margin on per capita visits, especially during times when there are fewer visitors,” said industry expert Jeroen Verrezen. “The expectation is that there will be lower amounts of visitors during the next year, but there might be a higher willingness to spend, because some people saved money. The pandemic has also accelerated certain usages of technology that are now here to stay.”
Here are seven examples of technology solutions that drive ROI and elevate your theme park or leisure business to match what your guests are looking for:
- Immersive Experiences: Immersing guests in new worlds away from their daily lives and problems remains at the core of what attractions are about. This core element remains an important way to let people feel that they are experiencing something unique and exciting, which results in positive word-of-mouth and generates return visits.
- Cashless Systems: These systems empower theme park operators to enable park guests to comfortably make purchases at their attraction. While they enjoy their time in the park, they can easily buy food and beverage items and souvenirs. Greater ROI follows, as there are consumers who won’t purchase goods in essentially any other way any longer. Cashless is the way of the world, and themed entertainment needs to take advantage.
- Reservation Systems: Reservation systems enable guests to start spending some time before their actual, physical visit to an attraction, meaning operators can increase per capita spending. By offering certain exclusive dining options or other additional paid experiences online, guests can pay for these well before their, making them feel well-prepared and catered to and empowering operators to drive additional revenue streams.
- Queue Management Systems: People who wait in line generally don't spend. Thus, by making the visitor journey as enjoyable as possible, you can create happier guests with a higher willingness to spend during their time at your park. Avoiding long queue lines lets people enjoy time together in your shops, restaurants, and more, and empowering them to enjoy attractions at a reserved time gives them a feeling of control over their experience and makes them more likely to visit the park again in the future.
- Mobile Applications: Operators should provide strong Wi-Fi networks and robust mobile apps that empower visitors, while waiting, to get information on where to go next depending on crowds, make reservations, book tickets for shows, reserve spots at restaurants and generally plan their day. This efficiency can make guests more willing to spend, with the added bonus of strong Wi-Fi making guests more likely to share pictures and promote your attraction over social media.
- Extended Theme Park Experience: Extending your experience to the moments before and after guests’ actual visits can allow your attractions to be seen as true entertainment brands. Technology also now empowers solutions to enter in the home of the guest, meaning your brand can and should be accessible whenever the guest wants to interact with it. By being accessible 24/7, theme park operators can develop a stronger relationship with their fans and build a true community of loyal visitors. Through these digital channels, you can stay in touch and offer them promotions to come back to events and special occasions throughout the year, driving more revenue.
- High-Capacity Security Screening: With increased security and safety needs, new occasions to wait have been created before the guest even enters the park. Make sure to avoid bottlenecks at the entrance of your attraction to eliminate frustration with your guest. A fluent security, health screening and bag check process shows you are a responsible operator, and doing this efficiently will pay off.
As an operator, you need to remain ambitious in implementing new technologies, such as dark rides, projection solutions, gamification, special effects, impressive LED displays, high-quality on-board audio, and stunning video, so people look forward to experiencing your world-class attractions that are generating so much buzz. These solutions enable you and your team to become better storytellers and engage your audience with awe-inspiring content in new and improved ways, which can have indirect impacts on spending through return visits, greater satisfaction, and more.
Technology as a Driver of Greater Theme Park Insights and Longevity
Innovation has always been at the heart of attracting guests to theme parks and other leisure businesses. Take Universal and Disney properties, for example – they’ve consistently led the field because of a willingness to live on the bleeding edge and an attitude that focuses on being unafraid of being first to market.
By implementing innovative technology solutions, you’ll not only drive greater ROI and guest satisfaction – you’ll also learn a lot about your guests and be able to put that knowledge to use in engineering even more growth.
This is an opportunity for you to gain data about your visitors, enable them to share their experiences through social media, and stay in touch more effectively while finding new ways to interact with your audiences prior to and after their visit as part of an extended theme-park experience
Computer vision, extended reality, artificial intelligence and more are right around the corner, and Electrosonic’s mission continues to center on acting as a true partner in helping theme park operators advance their business with the right mix of solutions that empower you to thrive, even in times of change and disruption.
To learn more, contact us today.