Russ Van Natta, VP of Sales at Creative Works, explains how to plan for the future with a 1-3-5 plan.

Hello everyone, welcome to another 360 Insight from your friends here at Creative Works where we give you actionable tips for your entertainment business.

Today I’m going to talk to you guys about the 1, 3 and 5-year plan for your laser tag facility and specifically the laser tag arena.

One of the things that can happen is, you know, when we get into the first year of business, when that honeymoon phase and everyone’s in love with your arena, what are you going to do for them when they come back in year 2, 3, 4, 5, what’s your succession or evolution plan to make sure that you are keeping a fresh experience as you potentially have more competition grow into your market but you’re also vying to pull those guests off the couch away from Netflix and into your facility.

We need to be giving our guests a reason to come in again and again and that one of the things that’s helpful with that beyond great guest experience and new arcade pieces and things like that is enhancing the overall laser tag experience over time.

Now, this is by no means something where you have to reinvest everything all over again into your laser tag and it’s not a repairs or a fix her up items, these are accents in small elements that we can start off with in year one, phasing up to adding additional mural content or larger props as we get into year five.

This isn’t something where we need to reinvent the wheel but we want to show our guest that we’re committed to providing them a great experience, a new experience every time that they come in over the course of several years.

So when we look at year one in the 1, 3, 5 year plan, that’s typically what I recommend to guests is that’s a great opportunity to look at, oh there is some entrance elements that we can do whether it’s a mural piece or some sort of archway that we can do out in front of the doorway, again a small thing that as soon as someone steps in, they’re going to be able to see that this is a cool new element.

It’s going to attract their eye, that’s a great piece that helps with up sells as you’re raising in your prices, it helps deliver a higher value from the where to go, you can also look at if you have a jungle theme or even if you have an urban theme, maybe you want to add some plant work and make it look like things have been kind of overrun and started to add.

So, a little vegetation throughout can go a long way in that first year as well, not an expensive route to go by any means.

In your 3, that when we’re going to really start looking at what are we doing as far as additional interactive elements and special effects because technology is always progressing that every 3 years or so, there are going to be significant strides just by nature of how we evolve as a culture.

And so we want to make sure that we’re incorporating things like, does it make sense for us to look at LED overhead lighting?

Do we want to incorporate special DMX effects into targets?

So when we have a fewer number of guests on a Tuesday evening that they have more interactive themed pieces that they can tag and that can tag them back as well.
And then when we look at your five, we’re going to start looking at maybe some larger elements, maybe we want to revamp some of the mural work, maybe we want to add in some brand new elements, a client of ours has a jungle theme where we recently went in and added brand new animals.

So we painted over some old animals and added in some new ones where we did a giraffe and a large element, elephant I’m sorry and gorillas and so these were a things that all of the sudden when you played in that arena several times over the course of several years but then you come in and you can see these brand new visual impacts that all of the sudden gets you that much more excited, you’ve already been coming back because it’s a great experience but it just amps up that intensity level.

Another good thing to consider potentially in around year 5 would be looking at, does it make sense for us to re-layout some of the arena maze panels and give different avenues of moving through the space and those sorts of things.

Now, we’ll always help you as you go through that process because we want to make sure we maintain balanced gameplay and we’re not sliding an advantage to one team or another but again the core element of this is to focus on what are we doing over the lifetime of an arena to make sure we’re consistently providing new and exciting things for guests that encourage them to come back again and again.

So it really becomes that snowball that starts to roll down the hill where a little can go a long way.

Hopefully, this’s been helpful to get some ideas turning in your head, if you have questions on how to plan for different evolutions into your laser tag space, please feel free to reach out to us, we’d be more than happy to help.

Be sure to tune in next time for more actionable tips from your 360 Insights and go get after it.