Returning from lockdown - 5 things to consider for attractions and entertainment venues

The past 10 months have been hell for the entertainment and attractions industry, there’s no getting around it. However, as covered brilliantly by our CEO Luke here, we’re cautiously optimistic that entertainment and attraction venues, like trampoline parks, climbing centres, indoor play centres and so forth will soon be allowed to reopen.

With that said, we certainly think things may be slightly different to pre COVID-19 – at least in the immediate future, as we wait for immunity levels grow as the vaccine has the impact we expect it to. Here are 5 ways we think your venue will need to adjust as you reopen, and how your booking software can help with it.

No. 1 Capacity Management

We know from the last time venues were allowed to reopen that there will be an initial need to control capacity at a certain level, with guests allowed in the venue for a set time period, so it’s worth considering if your current booking and management system is able to offer that.

It’s important that the customer experience is flawless here, as customers may not be spending the amount of time they’d ideally like in your venue, you’ve got to make every minute they’re in there count!

No. 2 Customer Interaction Management

Even with the venues back open and the vaccine rollout, customers will still expect staff to abide, and ensure social distance measures are enforced where possible. We would encourage you to ensure all bookings must be made online or via a self service kiosk at your venue to maintain social distancing between staff and customers.

If you have a cafe or restaurant, we would recommend that this is a table service offering only to save customers unnecessarily queuing – even better, look to use QR Code technology so your customers can place their orders from their mobile devices at the table.

No. 3 Group Bookings

Once you’re ready to begin offering group bookings for things like birthday parties, you may need to consider adjusting the layout of your party room map to comply with local social distancing rules.

You may also need to adjust the number of guests you permit in party bookings to keep on top of social distancing compliance.

Of course we’d recommend having hand sanitiser throughout your venue anyway, but even more so in party areas where some closer contact than desired may be inevitable.

No. 4 Monitor Reporting

As you reopen you’ll want to keep a close eye on your reporting to see how your customers are reacting to the reopening of the entertainment and attraction industries.

Some key metrics you may want to keep an eye on from your booking system as you reopen are:

• Are customers visiting in the same consistency?
• Has the average number of people per booking dropped off at all?
• What are your peak times?
• What’s the average spend per customer on food and beverages?

All of these things can contribute to a successful and profitable reopening, which is more integral than ever after the impact COVID has had on indoor play venues, trampoline parks and so on.

No. 5 Marketing

Your first action when it comes to marketing is pretty obvious – let all of your customers know you’re back open! To encourage repeat business, we’d also suggest introducing a membership based offering or a loyalty program – we’ve previously covered how revisitation is key to the survival of a trampoline park or indoor play venue, so keeping repeat guests coming in is of upmost importance.

If you’ve made any changes to your venue whilst you’ve been closed that will improve the customer experience then make sure you shout about this in your marketing messages.

Once your customers have left your venue now is a great time to hit them with an automated email or text message offering them a reason to come back in the form of discounted entry within a month. Another thing to consider doing is sending out a marketing message to anyone with birthday parties in the next 3 months advertising your group bookings.

Finally, you could look to add an offering that you can charge at a higher cost but provides your customer with entry, a food and beverage combo within that window – bringing in more guaranteed customer spending for your venue, easily set up and managed by your booking system. 

We hope you’ve found this list useful in preparing for your reopening, and if you’re interested in finding out how BookNow Software are supporting new and existing customers in their reopening, just send us a message on the form below and one of our team will be in touch.

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"Returning from Lockdown"
e-book

With the UK Hospitality & Entertainment industry set to reopen in the next few months, we’ve put together a FREE e-book with tips on how to prepare & market your business for reopening – download it below now: