THE FUTURE FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
As the blinds fell and reality, complete with Spring lockdown, set in, there was still some optimism for the near future post-Covid. But as reality got a little harsher, it became clear that the scientists were not running a magician’s show where abracadabra transformed some everyday item into a lifesaving vaccine. Even the prime minister was not immune, and fatalities began to escalate across the country. It gradually became abundantly apparent: the secret to maintaining a profitable spot in the industry would be managing a future with Covid.
As July turned into August, once again the gates were opened, and British holidaymakers have begun to return. But UK attractions have way to go to meet pre-Covid numbers. On top of that customer safety is ever more essential with a new style of hospitality.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES FOR GUESTS
Hygiene is now paramount. It’s not just a wash station near the lamb feeding area. It’s hand sanitiser by every theme park ride, and masks all round. Creative, fun masks that advertise your venue, and can be washed and reused are a good option for some low cost marketing. Venues are using pre-booking only to contain the risk of uncontrollable crowds, who might be at risk from ignoring social distancing guidelines. Theatres are likely to see benches replaced by individual distanced plastic seats, which can be washed and dried by overhead jets when each session is over. Cinemas may even indulge in modern family ‘capsules’. Taking inspiration from the London Eye and Yorvik, they could even slowly rotate so that the viewers all get opportunity to get a good view. Maybe a little fantastical. But even just screens that roll up at ceiling height and can be let down to create zones for small groups or families may be necessary to protect visitors indoors.
The team at MEDAEO is ahead of the curve as usual, with the introduction of ZoneRanger. The wearable visitor device sets off a slight buzzing and audible alert when the visitor gets too close to another user’s device. Sounds great in theory, but what about the group of 6, you are thinking? We have thought of that too. They can be paired in groups to prevent setting other family members’ off and they can even be adapted to trigger distances based on social distancing rules. With the ever-changing government regulations, it is a 360-degree winner.
TRACK & TRACE
Are passports going to be more than just for border crossing? As touchless technology and track and trace meet, there is likely to be a greater demand for ways to record customer profiles and contact information. In addition, major touch points will become sensor automated, retinal scanning and other forms of AI are going to fast-forward to the front line, both reducing virus hotspots for spreading and giving more accurate information to venue management about the profile of their guests.
Sending guests our 3D glasses so they can view online where venue reopening is not an option harnesses a greater number of opportunities. Virtual tour operators have seen a substantial percentage increase in attraction visits, whether people are self-isolating, in lockdown, or just adapting to our increasingly high-tech world. For cheaper tickets, no trouble with parking or traffic jams, and for disabled visitors who could maybe not have easily accessed the attraction previously, they get to visit from the comfort of their favourite chair with just internet connection as transport to an environment that holds a personal fascination to them.
Customer-led is the new way forward. Leigh-Ann Stradeski of Eureka! Mersey’s £6.44m project at the former Spaceport site in Liverpool, said When it opens, Eureka! Mersey will be the most visitor-led attraction in the UK.”
The exhibition complex which is still expected to be built next year, believes that cutting edge technology incorporating the extra demands of Covid-19 regulations and focuses on children and young people’s dreams and input to give them opportunities for science and engineering led careers for the future, turns the table on traditional exhibition design, which focused more on owner designed creation.
So, whether it is a new hall at a current venue, or an update of an existing space, getting inspiration from clients at conceptual stage could be a make or break for its future success.
INNOVATIVE WAYS TO INCREASE SALES
Last month, the BBC reported on a recovery plan Edinburgh University (in collaboration with Edinburgh Tourism Action Group) had formulated. Its aim was to identify target groups: likely visitors to Scotland based on budget and interests. Those likely to be lured by the scent of highland heathers, the romance of the swishing kilt, and the stirring anthems of bagpipes were identified using data from internet search engines, consumer confidence indexes, web traffic and other data such as past trends to determine who to target in marketing campaigns.
Drive in shows, especially live bands performing on outdoor stages, are rippling through Europe with enthusiastic response rates.
Freebies, especially collectibles, are likely to become iconic with the best attractions. Collecting a set of badges to demonstrate how many of an attraction groups’ venues a visitor has attended, and receiving discounts accordingly, is likely to prompt return visits.
At MEDAEO, technology has come into play again. Our n.hance range offers the feasibility to utilise Near Field Communication technology. Long after traditional venues are forgotten,
bringing kids’ characters to life, exploring virtual worlds, directing users to a landing page, app or online shop, you will harness that feel good feeling that will not only resound with them on an emotional connection but bring them back and spread the word.
Did we just say spread the word? Yes, in this day of the increasing influence of social media, high-tech clicks, and your name is instantly branded round the world synonymised with excellent experience vibes.
Yes, visitor experience vibes have never been so important. Put by a valued client in his own words this week:
‘In these challenging times reintroducing the Wooden Medal and the Scratch Cards during the last few weeks of the holidays lifted the tone at Scarborough Sea Life attraction’
Graeme Farrah (Guest Experience Manager – SEA LIFE Scarborough)
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Alternatively, give us a call on 01733 396088
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