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Particularly as the world moves on from an era unlike any we’ve ever seen, visitors to leisure, entertainment and themed entertainment experiences will have higher expectations for how they’re communicated with throughout their experience.
Delivering a memorable and impactful experience is now about more than simply offering a fun time. It’s on themed entertainment and theme park owners and operators around the globe to ensure their guests feel safe, informed and comfortable throughout their stay on your property.
With that in mind, here are five ways to ensure powerful communication is elevating your guest experience.
You may not view your attractions and overall experience itself as a form of communication, but it certainly is. Everything about what a visitor can experience with their sense while on your property is a way in which you communicate with them, and getting off on the right foot often begins with offering quality attractions and experiences that put guests at ease.
By keeping an eye on key success factors for leisure attractions, operators can maintain a sense of quality and excellence throughout the visitor journey
Consumers are more likely to appreciate attractions that reach a certain quality level. This quality focus can be acted upon with cutting edge immersive technology and high-quality service but can also be enhanced with small elements of kindness and hospitality. Personal communication with the client before and after the visit can activate a long-term relationship and is seen as an element of quality service.
Attractions around the world have learned from accidents that have occurred, and any incident can impact the reputation of the attractions industry on a global scale. That means it works to the whole industry’s advantage to continue to commit to safe operations and elevated security and to, when accidents do occur, to engage in thorough and honest crisis communication. In the end, that’s what visitors expect – to have a safe experience in a secure environment.
Further, by offering entertainment for a diverse group of guests, parks can scale up and cater to different audiences around the clock and throughout the year. When a group with a diverse age range visits an attraction, they expect there to be something for everyone. A diverse offering of attractions and emotions is key to success, and today’s technology can allow operators to adapt an attraction to the level of thrill and interaction an individual guest is seeking. Adapt your offering to an attractive mix and include a layer of personal choice for individual visitors.
This is an important way to communicate that your brand is there for a wide and diverse audience and helps you make your attraction a welcoming place for all.
Many parks have developed into strong entertainment brands and, if done well, your attraction can become a lighthouse for a community of visitors gathering around your brand both physically and digitally and sharing the values that you present in the story of your facility.
That’s an additional form of powerful communication. Ultimately, an attraction brand can become an intellectual property, and that powerful transition needs to be supported in every channel of communication you open with visitors.
Part of achieving that goal is catering to and exceeding visitors’ expectations for being involved in a personalized, interactive experience. Visitors want to interact with one another and be immersed into the story you are sharing with them. Technology and communication technologies now allow guests to compete, interact and enjoy together – and the way you train your team will impact how their own interactions with guests continue to elevate that shared experience.
Finally, accessibility has always been a key aspect in presenting the best, most inclusive attraction. Many creative location selections, for instance, are within reach of an international transportation hub, like an airport, in an open market border area, or close to a dense metropolitan area. Today, the word accessibility also includes a digital element. How accessible is your entertainment brand? Visitors want to be able to connect with you 24/7 and to enjoy that extended park experience prior to and after a visit.
All types of immersive attractions, have one thing in common – they exist to tell a story.
Evidence shows that a large majority of tourists seek real, “authentic” experiences. In reality, most will wind up with some form of “staged” authenticity – which means there’s a vacuum for experiences willing to be genuine.
Engage with your guests on a personal level, and ensure your staff knows to do the same. Be transparent and show them the things you’re doing to make their experience better. In this day and age, that could mean extensive, visible cleaning and safety procedures, but it also means lasting communication surrounding park safety, improvement of overall experience, impending upgrades, reduced wait times, special offers, and more.
The majority of consumers are looking for location-based entertainment operators to tell stories that are unique and have a real link to the story of the location of the attraction.
Authenticity does not necessarily require a search for the exotic, undiscovered and primitive. It’s important for the theme park industry to deliver on the two key areas in which consumers seek authenticity – self-fulfillment and escapism. Communicate about the experience in authentic ways while enabling quality through technology and immersion.
This can be done by offering high quality ride experiences, but also by engaging with your audiences prior to and after the visit as a part of the extended park experience via specific, created platforms that create a digital community, data generation via mobile applications, and interaction on social media.
Technology implementation for entertainment reasons is the aspect of innovation that is most visible in theme parks, and this area of your experience needs to include technologies that empower elevated communication.
Technology helps you tell a story visitors can become a part of and interact with, but it also opens doors to direct communication that creates that desired atmosphere of comfort and security.
Whether it concerns a show, ride or restaurant, technology can be embraced to lift an experience to a whole new level and provide a sense of novelty and next-level storytelling.
Subluminal story telling is also important as part of the guests journey through the park, surprise elements in the form of street entertainment, photo opportunities or sidewalk stops can be integrated to improve the overall quality experience of your guest and entertain them during time spent waiting, shopping and walking.
More practical elements, such as signage and information panels, are also critical. Digital signage and up-to-date information panels help you control crowds and stream information as you need to share it in specific locations within your facility. This capability is more important than ever, as visibility and insight into what policies your property will be enforcing can help guests feel more at ease.
Choosing the right technology solutions expert early in your process is critical to not only using the most innovative solutions available for your unique needs, but for staying on the cutting-edge of scalability and growth in the themed entertainment industry.
At Electrosonic, we use our proprietary Technology Master Planning™ methodology to help you decide exactly how to tackle elevating communication at your property, and we’ve got the experience and tools to ensure you enter this period of reopening and renewed growth with an experience guests will truly enjoy.
To learn more, contact us today.
Paul Kent, Electrosonic’s Regional Director MEA, is a respected industry leader. As a distinguished member of the Blooloop Top 50 Theme Park Influencers, board member of Experience UK and former president of the TEA European Board, Paul has made a great contribution to the development of the industry. With over 20 years in award-winning global themed entertainment projects, he’s a trusted writer on technology direction in the industry.