2 Major Factors Today’s Customer Consider Before Visiting Your FEC

Thinking Out Loud – Episode 22

This is the twenty second episode in a series called Thinking Out Loud. In these videos, Armando Lanuti, the President of Creative Works, shares some of his thoughts on business, leadership, growth, operations, and anything else on his mind. Below is a transcript of some of the points he discusses in the video.

Hey everybody, it’s Armando at Creative Works. Wanted to come at you with a new video, as everybody is dealing with the post-COVID trends and what that’s going to mean for the guest experience and the location-based entertainment industry.

I think it really boils down to two major factors that are just going to be deeply affecting our guests that are looking to come to our venues. The first is simple. It is just confidence in psychology over risk. Both personally and socially due to, do they feel like they’re going to get infected. If they come out, where do they land on that spectrum? Are they the people that are already willing to go out to a restaurant or willing to travel or are they your guests that they haven’t left the home yet?

They’ve been mostly quarantined throughout this time with e-learning and those other things that are prevalent in all of our lives right now, how do we as then a business make the consumer comfortable. That is the key term. If somebody is trying to choose whether to come to your venue at all or not, or worse yet, they’re going to go out for that first time. They’re going to choose between your venue and another venue. How do you set yourself apart in making that guest comfortable in coming to your venue? How are you putting that information out? If you just simply are cleaning in your facility, that’s great and that’s the first step, but how does somebody who’s not been to your facility know that?

Are you putting that out on your social media? Are you getting that out on your website about the things that you’re doing to make it safe, to make it comfortable? Are you adjusting your approach with limited availability or private party events? Somebody who maybe is not willing to come during the public open hours, but they’re willing to rent out your venue or a portion of your venue at even a premium because they want that comfort level. Are you offering things like that? How do you get them to do that? The reason it’s so important is also, you don’t want your competition to set them up for failure either.

Because if you don’t show them that you’re comfortable and they just flip a coin and choose you or your competition, you lose the coin toss, they go there and they bond. They’re not being safe, they’re not being cleaned. They’re not giving that level of comfort and safe. How much longer do you believe it’s going to be until that customer is willing to come out of the house again and try another entertainment venue. You’ve got to win that mindset before they’ve ever even gotten off the couch. You’ve got to show them why they should come to your venue ahead of time. The second thing though, that we also all have to be aware of is going to be budget.

Right now there’s a lot of people that are out of jobs, or maybe they maintain their job, but they’re uncertain about their future. They are being conscious about where they spend their discretionary income, or maybe they’ve had to even take a pay cut, even though they got to keep their job.

Unfortunately, at this point, the government assistance has started to thin out across the country and there’s not as much help to buoy that counter of losing that income that they were accustomed to. How do we deal with that? How do you create additional value? I’m not asking you to cut your prices.

I think that that is the wrong way to go about it. If you just drop your prices, you’re going to actually create a self-fulfilling prophecy of your own demise, because you’re not going to be making the profits that you need to make when you’re already dealing potentially with reduced capacity.

What I recommend that you do is knowing that people are going to be choosing on budget and comfort, how do you make a compelling argument for the value your facility provides? How is it that they should come to you instead of going somewhere else? Why should I play laser tag? Why should I go bowling? Why? That’s the key? Why, what is your company’s why? How do you determine that? How do you realize it’s not the attraction that you’re selling? It’s the experience, it’s the memory that you make.

Again, what is that compelling reason that you can offer so that somebody’s willing to spend their potentially limited discretionary funds and they’re willing to get out of their comfort zone a little bit, that you’ve given them that reason. Make sure that as you’re trying to navigate these times that you’re managing both the risk and the comfort, as well as the budget question to provide that compelling reason to come to your venue.

Hopefully you’re doing that. If you need some help, give us a call. We’d love to work with you and help you determine what that why is or check out our next upcoming Amusement 360 event.

We’re going to be talking with operators just like you about how they’re navigating these times, and we’d love to be able to help. Look forward to talking to you soon, have a great day.

For more business and leadership tips, follow Armando Lanuti on Facebook and LinkedIn.