How to prepare a club for a new season? What to do to attract customers? These and other questions usually bother each owner of a laser tag club. This article will tell you about our own practical experience that we gained after more than 13 years of work.
There is such a thing as “seasonality” in the laser tag business. It means that there are periods when the number of your customers drastically growoes up. Those periods are cycled and are directly related to the change of the climatic seasons. It is only natural that people prefer to play when the weather is nice, with no severe wind or abnormal heat. According to statistical data of our own laser tag centers players are most active from the beginning of spring until the end of autumn. We offer you 10 steps that you should make before the season starts.
1. Previous season analysis
Pay attention to analysis of previous seasons in order to define vectors of further progress and priorities. One of the tools you can use is SWOT analysis. It is a technique to evaluate different factors, affecting your laser tag club development. SWOT analysis splits those factors in 4 following groups:
Strengths: good location of your club, better service than your competitors provide, more interesting game fields, etc.
Weaknesses: low-efficiency of your promotion activities, unqualified staff;
Opportunities: special offers for regular customers, new services;
Threats: aggressive progress of competitors, no possibilities of further development.
You can carry out SWOT analysis by yourself or with your business partners and that can give you useful ideas and help see the situation objectively. A detailed SWOT analysis of your laser tag club can take up to a few days but it is required in order to make a realistic plan with clear terms and priorities as well as a list of necessary sources to implement those actions.
2. Grounds maintenance
Customers make up theirmind about your club from the first moments they spend there. We recommend that you prepare its territory to receive a large number of visitors when winter is over and spring has already brought some thaw. Melted snow reveals many interesting things hidden under it.
Clear grounds will definitely grant pleasant impressions to the visitors of your club because those who like spending their time outside do really appreciatecleanliness. Having created a good impression, you can turn new customers into regular ones.
For portable clubs we recommend to find and clean at least one spot to be used as a game field. If your customers do not know where they want to play you will always have a ready option that you are sure about.
You can hire a cleaning agency or ask your staff to help you in cleaning the club. The latter option is better because it can be used as a teambuilding activity. Time spent together at BBQ after the cleaning is over will increase the loyalty level of your workers.
3. Preparation of club infrastructure
Pay attention to the condition of your laser tag game fields. Is it interesting to play there? Are they balanced? Are there enough bunkers or too many of them? Their condition is a key factor that makes your customers come back to your club.
Your visitors will be the best source of feedback. You can simply ask them after a game or better create a special questionnaire for them on an official letterhead. This way you will be able to collect all the responses and analyze them afterwards to understand what in your laser tag club is the most important for them.
Players need a short break between games. Place some benches and tables in the rest zone. It might be useful to put few tents with BBQ equipment so your customers could have an option to have rest in your club and to not only play games.
Organize things in your storage place. Make sure everything you need is there so you could cut the time you need to prepare for the game. During days with very dense traffic of customers, players can use equipment with no breaks at all.
In case you have a portable club, you should check your transport and make sure it has undergone a regular technical maintenance.
Fields for games are usually located far away from the city and you will definitely not want a sudden problem on the road. If you use inflatable bunkers, make sure they are in a proper condition so you won’t need to inflate them constantly during the game.
4. Equipment checkout
LASERTAG.NET constantly updates its software, implementing new features to make the game more and more interesting. Update your Android application so you could use the extended control options of game kits and the additional equipment features, sets of game characters, headband vibration switch off, automatic ammo reload, etc.
Let your customers enjoy new game modes or create your own ones, using the scenario configurator. Players will come back to your club over and over again, and you will know how to surprise them.
Charge your game kits and test them. Make sure the batteries last for three days with no need to charge them. Check the laser tag gun, headband, Utility Box, and all other pieces of equipment. Our technical support team is always ready to help you set-up, upgrade software, or laser tag equipment.
5. Creating events schedule
In order to attract customers you should plan events that you can organize at your club a few months in advance. An events schedule can include tournaments, scenario games, caps, collective games, etc. There are always people who want to play but cannot find a company for a game. An advantage of a collective game is that you can always come by yourself or with a friend to play in a big team.
Laser tag tournaments attract not only regular customers but also new ones. So you can run those tournaments for everybody who wants to participate or to split them into junior and adult ones. Do not forget to organize a profile tournament, for example, IT companies, fitness clubs in your city, students and so on. It is also a nice way to advertise your club, using a word-of-mouth marketing technique.
Scenario games are big events, combining laser tag with quests. Adventure type games always stay in mind of the players for a long time but it is pretty difficult to organize them. You should make up a few interesting missions with the same topic, using game accessories and costumes. According to the statistical data from 2018 less than 15% of clubs run such events. If you really want to stand out among your competitors and attract new customers, you can try to work in this direction.
A good day for such an event is a free one but not on a holiday or a day of some public event. Inform people about your game on your website and/or on social networks one month in advance.
6. Marketing promotion
Advertising drives sales. Nobody disagrees because each company fights for their potential customers. The best way to start is internet advertising. You should definitely create your own website and fill it up with all necessary information: list of services, contact information, location.
The next step is to create high quality text content that will both involve readers and motivate them to order a game, as well as have a good impact on the indexation of your web site in search engines.
You should also create an account for your club in social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and others. Cover all of them because their audience does not always intercross when you need the highest engagement level!
Publish news of the club, create competitions and giveaways, post photos of the games, surveys, special offers, and discounts, – this is the correct strategy to interest both regular and potential customers. There is no need to create unique content for each social network because it takes too much time and it is not always worth it.
Having created the portrait of your target audience you can move to paid advertising in social networks & Google AdWords. Start with a small budget to find the best cost-effective approach. If you are not very confident that you can do it by yourself, then ask for professional help in the field of internet marketing and SMM.
Offline advertising activities include promotional games and outdoor advertising. Follow the schedule of public events in your city to organize a successful promo event. Family fests and city picnics are a good choice for you. You will not need to look for people – that will be done by event organizers.
Outdoor advertising on billboards or in other expensive places is not always worth it. Using some chalk to write “laser tag games” with a phone number of your club in high traffic areas can become a much more efficient alternative.
Having chosen us as your supplier of laser tag equipment you will get our full support and comprehensive assistance. We will provide you will all the necessary marketing materials to open and develop your laser tag business, as well as help you to design a laser tag arena of any difficulty. We will help you write a business plan, provide you with both audio courses about how to run a laser tag business and educational materials about how to properly run games.
7. Cooperation with partners
You can increase the profit of your laser tag club through cooperation with partners. Discuss this cooperation with event agencies. Almost all of them are interested in expanding their list of services. Event agencies usually take up to 10% from the general purchase amount. They are looking for the customers by themselves so you will only need to run games.
Companies, working in the field of entertainment, are also a good option to become your partners. Take a look at carting clubs, rope courses, quest rooms, etc. Having them as partners, you can also exchange your marketing materials: banners, posters, business cards, flyers. It is a very easy but still very efficient way to promote your club for a long time, and the most important is that it costs you absolutely nothing.
Another way to promote your club is to participate in different events, taking place in your city, as a sponsor. Provide event organizers with gift vouchers they will give to their visitors as a reward. This way you will get advertising support as well as your laser tag club being mentioned as a sponsor.
8. Work with regular customers
It is not a secret that those are regular customers who become the most loyal clients. They regularly order games in your club as well as recommend it to their friends. You should try to stay in touch with those customers, encouraging them to order a game again. You can do it by phone, email, social networks or even personally. Create a special offer for them – a small discount or a bonus for the next game can be a good excuse to get in touch!
An invitation to celebrate a birthday in a laser tag club is a very nice newsworthy event. Contact your customer one week before their birthday to catch them before they have clear plans for that day. Give players presents with your club logos after the game (pens, cups, T-shirts). All these things will turn out to be a nice surprise for them that will bring you double payback when they order a game again.
9. Working with schools
Both children and adults visit laser tag clubs but junior ones prevail. Having combined both statistical data received from our clients and the one from our own laser tag centers, we have seen that 70% of all laser tag players are children.
One of the most successful ways to attract junior laser tag players is to organize school laser tag tournaments. Many students that took part in one of those competitions can easily become your regular customers. Laser tag tournament can take place in a school gym or in your laser tag club. Prepare a good proposal for players and discuss it with school principal: game duration, cost of participation, number of players, and other terms.
Give certificates of participation or diplomas to all the participants as a bonus to motivate them to share their impressions and come back to you.
10. Meeting your staff
Proper cooperation between all members of your team is a necessary thing if you want your laser tag club work efficiently. Having planned a new feature to be implemented in your club, you should make sure that your staff completely understands all of its essence. Make a general meeting for all your workers to explain all the details. The most successful promotional event can fail if you do not properly explain it to your workers.
Make sure that each administrator perfectly knows all the services of the club as well as rules of behavior. Instructors should know all features of game equipment, available scenarios, pricelist, special offers and discounts. The way customers spend time in your club directly affects their decision to come back again.
Make regular meetings. It will allow you to control all the working process as well as to increase the engagement level of your workers into the life of a laser tag club.
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