"If you build it, they will come." That phrase convinced Kevin Costner to build a baseball diamond in Field of Dreams, but for many business owners, it isn't always that simple. Famous (and helpful) ghosts are hard to come by, so we recommend taking proactive measures in the meantime.
If you've built a new attraction or added a new adventure element to your attraction, but it isn't getting the traffic you'd hoped for yet, take time to assess your current efforts. With some work, a little creativity, and minor investments you can start bringing in the crowds. Check out the following tips to build awareness, increase attendance, and earn more from your new adventure element.
Let Them Know It's There
The first step to attracting visitors to your new element is letting them know it's there. It sounds simple, but many people forget this first piece of the puzzle. You've put a lot of time into developing the idea, building it, and making it great. Now let others know how great it is!
First, consider the opportunities to build awareness at your facility. Is the new adventure element visible to visitors as they enter? Or do you need to include signs or banners to announce your latest addition? If guests check-in at one central point, have signage or a monitor with a video playing to feature each element and show guests what they can look forward to.
Run advertisements in print and on social media to highlight your latest attraction. Returning visitors will be excited for something new to experience while new visitors will have one more thing to look forward to. If you have lots of different elements on offer, consider focusing your ads or posts on one element at a time. It will allow you to more clearly communicate the excitement of each element without confusing the message.
More than just letting them know that it's there, let your visitors or potential visitors get a sense of what your new activity is all about. For example, maybe you've added a free fall element or a new low ropes course challenge. The excitement of this new activity may not be as obvious as you think it is from the outside. Invest in quality photos and video to really show off what you have!
Package It Up
Do you currently offer a variety of packages for your visitors? If so, take another look at the setup of your package options. If not, then definitely consider developing various packages for different audiences, like families or thrill-seekers. Bundle together two or three of your attractions at a discount to encourage visitors to experience more elements but to also increase their awareness of possible activities.
If you only offer one package that includes all adventure elements, consider pulling out one or two activities as stand-alone options. For example, if you have an adventure tower with climbing and free fall activities, you probably offer the entire tower as a package. You could offer the climbing wall as one activity for a lower price compared to the entire tower to make it available to those who just want to climb. There are many ways to slice packages, so try different options until you find the packages and the prices that work best for your business.
Similar to offering package options, find ways to help your visitors experience more fun by offering add-ons at appropriate times. The first opportunity for an add-on would be online registrants. Once they select one adventure option, suggest that they add additional elements to their day. With your new packages laid out, you'll be able to offer package deals that save them money while adding more excitement to their visit.
Another add-on opportunity presents itself when visitors are registering or checking-in on site. Train your staff to politely offer upgrades with your package deals or additional adventure elements that visitors might want to add to their experience. A simple ask can't hurt and will likely increase the amount each visit brings in. Upselling doesn't have to be a shady tactic, and can help you and your customer in the end.
Give Strategic Discounts
Give customers a coupon for a discounted return visit for them, a friend, or a group of friends. That way you encourage word of mouth. Or you can give discounts to customers that look like they are on the verge of pulling the trigger but just haven't quite converted yet. In this day and age it is easy to track your website traffic to identify customers who almost made a purchase but didn't. Did they reach the checkout page but failed to submit? Offer them a discount to seal the deal!
If you have a creative streak, there are many unique opportunities to introduce your visitors to your latest adventure element. Give yourself some creative license to think outside the box and brainstorm ideas to draw in those crowds. Maybe you could host a party or a summer cookout to launch the opening of your new element. Hold a contest on social media for guests to share their experience on the new element for a chance to win something great. Invite the local news crew out for a fun segment that will be unique for them and coverage for you. Get creative!
Listening to customer feedback is essential to improving any business. Listening will help you keep track of what is working well for you and what could be improved upon. If you have a new attraction that isn't performing as you'd hoped, customer feedback may help you understand why. Ask what you visitors liked, didn't like, would change, and other questions specific to your activities.
And if you're going to ask for feedback, be prepared to take some action. Don't collect input if you aren't prepared to hear it and act on it.
They Will Come
Just building it isn't enough to ensure great success for a new adventure element or attraction. Let them know it's there, offer a variety of package options, upsell when appropriate, offer strategic discounts, think outside the box, and listen to feedback from your customers. Take these steps and you'll start to see your numbers increase!