1. Understand your visitors’ expectations post-Covid
The vast majority of returning visitors have new expectations regarding cleanliness, safety, and social distancing requirements.
These visitors are receptive to changes and adaptations your park has made, provided those changes help solve their concerns around staying healthy while having fun.
For example, if you have introduced solutions to reduce queues to purchase tickets, order food, or go on rides, you have solved social distancing (by avoiding crowds), and introduced a more seamless and pleasurable experience for your customers.
However, while expectations around health and safety are common amongst nearly all visitors, there is often variance between expectations around convenience and efficiency.
A family with young children will expect a different level of convenience than will an annual pass holder in their mid-20’s.
2. Know what the friction points are going to be
Once you know what the various visitor expectations are, you can map these against the types of visitor journeys you have across your park to find the friction points.
These could be lines around particular quick-service food stalls, busy times at a certain merchandise store, or crowding around the ticket gates as people fumble for paper tickets.
Understanding the friction points means you can effectively create the right solutions and implement the right technology now to alleviate these.
3. Figure out what technology you need
There is certainly no point in installing new technology for the sake of it!
Once you have the data on your visitor expectations and any friction points you may have, you can then understand the technology solutions you require, now and in years to come.
- Mobile apps for visitors to order and purchase food, and have it delivered to their location in the park, will not only save time for visitors, but remove the hassle of long lines at restaurant and food stalls.
- VIP areas and cabanas linked to the mobile app can ensure visitors have a safe ‘space’ to enjoy their food and drinks, or base themselves while virtually queueing for their next ride.
- Virtual queuing is something that has been around for a while but will become crucial post-Covid as parks look to ensure crowds are reduced.
- Timed ticketing can ensure that while capacity is reduced to ensure spacing, you can flip your gate multiple times throughout the day.
4. Ensure continued loyalty of visitors
Your visitors are your brand ambassadors.
Once someone has visited your park you want them to share the experience across social media and through word-of-mouth.
By ensuring you are meeting their expectations and delivering the very best experience, your brand ambassadors will do the work for you.
But there are also other ways of ensuring loyalty.
As mentioned, many parks will need to consider the use of VIP areas or cabanas so visitors can have a safe space to use, these could be offered as a single purchase, or could be included as part of the VIP package or annual membership pass.
These additional benefits and value-add will be what makes a difference to visitors post-Covid.
5. Deploy technology designed to last
Whatever technology you decide will help you remove friction points, ensure it is not a one-hit wonder.
Investing in the right technology now means your park will remain competitive for years to come.
The goal is to introduce technology that genuinely improves guest engagement, and helps your attraction generate more revenue.
These days, the vast majority of your customer base thrives on a personalized experience, one where they feel your brand recognizes who they are, whether they are a VIP, and what they like to buy.
The technologies that will endure are platforms that help you aggregate customer spending data across all of your guest touch points, and which use artificial intelligence to generate predictive and prescriptive offers, incentives, and rewards for your visitors.
The right type of targeted incentives will encourage greater brand engagement, which in turn dramatically increases the frequency of your repeat visitors.