By far, Saturday is the busiest day of the week for a laser tag center. Parties are booked, walk-in and group traffic come in and your center and equipment had better be in top working order to maximize the entire day.
Laser tag equipment and arena design are two of three key factors in operating a successful Fun Center Laser Tag business.
1. Laser Tag Equipment
As you have seen, there are many laser tag equipment manufacturers, seemingly offering pretty much the same product, service and for the most part, the same pricing.
Depending on the amount of bells and whistles, the number of vests and peripheral support equipment (bases, chargers, stations, interactives, score-boards, etc), and the additional game software modules, most comparable systems are pretty equal in price.
However, be sure to look for two very important components for any busy, successful laser tag business…
Resilience. Your guests are going to use your equipment to the max and in some cases without regard or respect for your investment. Make sure you find laser packs, vests and gun hardware that will take a beating. Kids will drop the guns repeatedly, they will bang into each other in the maze, they will fall down with your vests on. The wire attachment from the vest to the gun is very important, after weeks, months of constant use, weakly attached cables or end pieces will fray and cause a drop in the signal. Your guests will be complaining about the bad targeting or shots not firing and you will be refunding games.
Battery Life. Most packs these days have overcome the poor battery issues of yester-year… but not all. Nothing is worse than having 5 out of 20 vests sitting on a recharger at 4pm on a Saturday, when you have 20 players waiting for a game.
2. Laser Tag Arena Design
Having all the great bells and whistles on your laser tag technology without a large enough arena, or maze area that offers well planned hiding points and targeting areas will not fully exploit the dollars you put into the technology.
The game is played in the arena, and the arena needs to reflect this with an appropriate amount of time and effort to create an experience worthy of all that fancy tech you just bought.
This is not to say that every laser tag experience needs 6,000 square feet of arena maze to be successful. If you are simply looking to add a small 10 gun system within 3,000 sqft for a party center with kids 12 and under only – then your design parameters are going to change.
Make Hay When the Sun Shines
No matter what the manufacturers say, comes the weekend and customers are lining up to play your game, do not get bogged down in featuring how cool all your game technology is. On any day, the laser tag business is about through-put…. in the heat of a busy Saturday, don’t get bogged down trying to explain how a sophisticated team game works, or spending too much time trying to explain how the bombs and bases work or other feature technology. Trust me, they will not get it, and that experience will leave your customers feeling they missed something.
In most cases, the weekend or party player will not know the difference between a solo game where little Joey teamed up with Bobby to tag all of his other friends, or the extra 12 minute briefing you gave to try and teach them how to play as a team. In the sugar-filled euphoria that is a 8 year olds birthday party – they will not get it.
However, if you have specific role-based games, team missions and custom scenarios, be sure all of your guests know this and reflect that with an eye towards offering these games during the slower mid-week days.
Get them in and get them out. But, make sure you and your team do a good follow-up, post game job to let them all know that you do have an excellent assortment of custom games on other days.
3. Social Marketing
Satisfied customers who will spread word of mouth are the most powerful assets you have. Obviously you and your staff have strived to provide the best experience you can for your guests, now is the time to ensure everyone leaves happy.
Customers’ experiences will drive more word of mouth sales than any other ad ever could. And this works equally as well on the experience being good or bad. Before your guests leave, make sure you have built-in a company “touch” in there somewhere where you can speak with the mom of the party, and ask her to tell her friends.
We will have more articles on marketing and follow-up in future posts. Thanks for reading…