Ride the wave blog

Ride the Wave: Top Trends for FECs Profits in 2023

2023 is here, and times are changing fast. It’s more important than ever for owners and managers of FECs (family entertainment centers) to stay up-to-date with industry trends, so you can prepare your business to maximize profits. Learning what trends will be popular in 2023 will help you optimize your resource allocation, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive more revenue through the door. We’ve compiled 5 key trends you should consider focusing on as we move through 2023; pay attention now and reap the rewards later!

Table of Contents

1. Increased Focus on Digital Marketing:

By leveraging digital platforms such as social media, FEC’s owners can reach a wider audience and connect with potential customers who may not have been aware of their services beforehand. Additionally, digital marketing may provide valuable insights into customer behavior, that could help to inform future decisions related to pricing, product offerings, and more. In fact, according to Hubspot’s report on 2022 trends, social media is the top channel for marketers, with 44% and 80% of brands using paid social media advertising and segmented campaigns respectively, leading to as much as a 760% increase in revenue compared to the previous years. 

Use social media to interact and engage with customers: Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are highly visual platforms, and these make them ideal for showcasing attractions and events.

Here are some ideas of how you can tap into this powerful tool and maximize its impact:

  • Create videos and reels: Videos are the most impactful form of content. Use videos to create virtual tours, share real-time experiences of games and rides, and give followers a behind-the-scenes look at the entertainment center – providing a unique and engaging perspective.
  • Keep in mind the age group of each platform: TikTok is particularly popular among younger generations, Instagram is for young adults, and Facebook is for adults and seniors. 
  • Partner with influencers: Use influencer marketing to promote your FEC and reach a wider audience. You can choose between micro-influencers for more conversions, macro influencers for engagement, and celebrities for more visibility and awareness. Use Linquia and Fluvip to find the right fit.
  • Use hashtags and challenges: This will help you join in on popular trends and increase your visibility. Use tools like brand24 and Semrush to help you find the right ones for your strategy.
  • Offer special deals and discounts to followers who tag your location: this will increase the traffic to your venue from your target group.
  • Generate buzz and anticipation: Social media is a perfect platform to promote your events, new releases, and games. To boost the impact of your posts, align themed events with current events or holidays.
  • Allocate a monthly budget to promote events and valuable content: You’ll reach a larger audience, target specific demographics, increase engagement, improve ROI, stand out from competitors, and increase website traffic by promoting your post. 
  • Use social media as a customer service channel: Allowing patrons to quickly and easily get assistance with any issues, social media is a great customer service tool. Remember to include FAQs on your website and analyze the most common problems to improve your service.
  • Collaboration with a blog or review site: Platforms like TripAdvisor can be very effective. The website’s popularity increases visibility in the local area, drives more traffic to your venue, and gets customer reviews. In addition, by creating content relevant to the user’s search query, your business can increase the chances of being selected by Google’s algorithm to be featured in a snippet. 

2. Choosing the right attractions

Being age-appropriate is the key to success in 2023, so you must ask yourself, ‘Does my FEC have an attraction that can be truly enjoyed by the whole family?’ 

 A high-energy VR zombie battle for that thrill-seeking teenager is great, but what about their younger sibling, who may not be quite ready for such an aggressive game?  What about Grandma and Grandpa, who might not be able to handle the suspense? 

The key to the success of family-friendly attractions is that they appeal to a broader audience, which includes seniors, adults, teens, and kids. This will result in increased foot traffic to your FEC. Not convinced yet?

Three great reasons for venues to offer PG-Rated attractions:

  1. By offering various attractions suitable for all ages, your FEC can provide an enjoyable experience for the whole family. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
  2. When families have a positive experience at an FEC, they are more likely to return in the future. This can result in increased repeat business for your venue.
  3. FECs with kid-safe attractions can serve as a gathering place for the community, providing a place for local families to come together and spend quality time with each other. In doing so, area residents will celebrate birthdays and special occasions at your location.

3. Birthday party packages

Choosing the right attraction can be difficult, but choosing wisely can bring the perfect attraction for your birthday party package. 

Start by offering a variety of age-appropriate attractions in your birthday party packages, this will allow you to ensure that all guests have a fun and enjoyable experience with increased customer satisfaction. Moreover, your venue can attract a wider range of customers and generate more revenue, by offering a family friendly package. 

Attractions that are popular with birthday party groups (the largest age group being 6-12 year olds) tend to have a longer lifespan and can generate more revenue. This can help enhance your reputation by offering high-quality birthday party packages with various fun and engaging attractions that can establish a reputation as a destination for celebrations. 

Boost Your FEC’s Revenue by tapping into the next generation of kids
Kids Birthday Party

4. Having a loyalty program

Make customer loyalty your ultimate goal! Create a rewards program to drive repeat business and encourage frequent visits to your venue. 

An array of discounts and exclusive rewards can be used to motivate those loyal customers who keep wanting to come back. Treat them to complimentary offers that they won’t find anywhere else. Different incentives should be offered to reward customers who take loyalty to the next level! Customized perks could elevate customer experience, ensuring total satisfaction for every visit. 

According to Statista Search Department, the “Market evaluations predict that the size of loyalty management ecosystem will surpass 24 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2029, growing at CAGR of 23.5 percent in this period.”

The benefits are plentiful; here are some of them:

  • Increased customer retention by offering rewards and incentives for repeat business, a loyalty program can help keep customers returning to your FEC.
  • Customers enrolled in a loyalty program may be more likely to make additional purchases or upgrades to earn rewards or reach a higher loyalty status.
  • Increase customer engagement by encouraging customers to participate in surveys, share feedback, or take other actions. 
  • By tracking customer behavior and preferences through a loyalty program, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer preferences and use that information to improve the overall customer experience.
  • A business can stand out from competitors and differentiate itself in the market.
  • A loyalty program can promote brand loyalty, leading to more sustainable and long-term business.

It’s important to note that a loyalty program should be well-designed, promote fairness, be valuable and relevant, and easy for customers to understand and use.

5. Tickets vs. Coin-Operated

When it comes to generating income for Family Entertainment Centers, there is a difficult choice between using tickets or coin-operated systems. 

But in 2023, Ticketing systems offer FECs the ultimate income power. Not only do tickrtd provide up-front admission fees, but they also allow amusement venues to capture further revenue through upsell tickets, concession purchases, game plays, and automated food services after guests enter the premises. Through this system, management teams can monitor spending habits and change ticket prices accordingly; with automated gatekeepers managing entry operations. Additionally, tickets guarantee smaller waiting lines as guests simply swipe their tickets to gain instant access to their favorite rides and attractions. These features combined make tickets a more comprehensive route rather than relying solely on coins for business operations.

Why Tickets win?

Convenience: Tickets can be purchased in advance and used at any time, eliminating the need for customers to carry coins or cash to use the machines.

Increased revenue: Tickets can be sold at a higher price than coins, with upsell options, which can increase revenue for your FEC.

Reduced maintenance costs: Coin-operated machines require regular maintenance and can be costly to repair. Tickets do not have these costs associated with them.

Better tracking: Tickets can be tracked and monitored, allowing your FEC to better understand customer usage patterns and adjust as needed.

Increased security: Tickets are less likely to be lost or stolen than coins and can reduce the risk of theft.

Keeping up with emerging trends is essential if you want your business to remain competitive in today’s market —and even more so if you want it to thrive! By understanding which trends are likely to boom in 2023, FEC owners like yourself should start taking steps to ensure that their businesses are well-positioned for maximum profitability. Investing early into new technology can help guarantee your success when these emerging trends reach peak popularity. Happy planning!

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