The road to follow25 October 2018
/ by Aldo Avancini /
What the mission of an amusement park should be, and how this should reveal itself: Aldo Avancini gives us his opinion.
I confess that lately I pay more attention to advertising I hear on the radio or that I see when travelling by car. Messages such as “Our mission is to make you rich and happy,” or “We love to make you travel,” and so on. Leaving aside for one moment the use of the English term “mission” in Italian advertising, I would be more pleased to hear statements such as: “Our goal is to make money. To reach this goal (that is, to make money), we have chosen how to manage our park, and to make it profitable we have decided to manage it superbly.” After the initial shock, I would then clearly understand that no company can prosper without getting a return from its labour and capital! It could not start new initiatives, thus making the park poorer as it gets older.
So linking back to the above, a leisure-recreational business should present itself by saying: “We have chosen to sell fun, services and safety.”
Fun basically means attractions, of various types (from pure amusement to educational), which offer a ‘feeling’ that is not necessarily extreme; diversified according to the type of guests, the ‘feeling’ is the aspect that, when experiencing an attraction, offers a sensation that makes the guest enjoy the pleasure that derives directly from conscious use of the attraction.
Services means offering guests services that make them happy to be at the park. Here I refer to both the typical services (catering and merchandising), but also other useful ones (electronic payments and cash withdrawals, toilets with clothes hooks, something that is necessary even if only to hang your bag on, and so on), as well as others that you hope you will never need (for example, first aid and security).
Safety basically means conveying to guests the feeling that they are in an essentially protected environment (except for against themselves), where they can enjoy both fun and services. This means adopting easily recognisable safety devices and technological aids in the various parts of the park (duly highlighted before entering the park), and so on.
The final consideration is that not only must the park operate so as to optimise these 3 factors I mentioned, but must above all make the guests aware of the considerable effort that it makes operationally and economically to pursue this objective.
This feeling is very different from the concept of “attractions without queues, good and cheap catering, no parking problems, plenty of clean toilets”. Also because these aspects are easy to pick apart: guests in queues don’t spend money, if the food is not good, next time they’ll bring a sandwich, and if they get a broken mirror in the car park they won’t come back!
Hence the desired optimisation is essentially a necessity! So how do you convey to guests the attention paid by the park to these aspects? In my opinion, through direct and indirect contacts with the guests themselves, which includes several aspects: from staff dressed appropriately, neatly and consistently with the season, to the signs, which must be decorative but also complete and clear; from clear and correct dealings with guests who ask for information (even answering in their language, if they are foreigners), to precise information, written in several languages, giving exact details on times and distances.
Is all of this enough? Certainly not, but it is certainly a minimum requirement to ensure that guests leave with a good memory of the park and not just the cost of admission.
Taken from Games&Parks Industry October 2018, page 108
Ing. Aldo Avancini / Proposta Srl / email@example.com