Hologate Arena is one of the most popular and successful virtual reality options on the market with more than 400,000 plays per month globally. While this attraction is very successful overall, some family entertainment centers (FEC) experience better Hologate revenue than others. In this blog, we’re going to explain why.
We reached out to two successful Hologate Arena operators, Eddie Hamann from Andretti Indoor Karting and Games, and Todd Maunsell from Cinergy Cinemas. Andretti has four locations in Florida, Georgia and Texas, while Cinergy currently operates five locations in Texas and Oklahoma.
Both Andretti and Cinergy have some of the highest performing Hologate Arenas in the world. Their strategies and tactics are geared towards educating guests and increasing awareness of Hologate in order to drive more sales and repeat players. Hamann and Maunsell were kind enough to share some best practices and insight into how to maximize revenue with Hologate.
The Appeal of Hologate
Hologate did not become one of the leading VR attractions by coincidence. From the first time that players lay eyes on the attraction, they are mesmerized by the sleek design and lights of the attraction. “We were really drawn to Hologate’s look and appeal, and the way it would fit onto the floor,” says Maunsell. Hamann adds, “I love the idea that it wasn’t enclosed, and that attracts people.”
In addition to the design, the small footprint of the attraction makes it an ideal fit, especially if operators do not have a lot of available floor space. In an arcade setting, Hologate Arena can be the centerpiece without taking up a lot of space. “The Hologate, for being in an arena that takes so little space, when you look at revenue per square foot, nothing can beat it,” says Hamann.
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Positioning the Hologate Attraction
Hologate Arena is a fascinating attraction that guests rave about once they’ve played it. It also sees very high repeat play numbers. “We have polled our customers and 95% of them said they would do it again,” says Hamann.
“We have polled our customers and 95% of them said they would do it again.”
The first step towards driving repeat plays is increasing customer awareness. Often, customers don’t know what Hologate Arena is when they walk in, or they don’t see the attraction right away. Andretti and Cinergy have squashed this hurdle by positioning their Hologate Arenas in highly visible places inside their entertainment venues. They make sure the attraction is a centerpiece and not hidden in the corner.
“We prominently put Hologate up front in our game room. We make sure it has a WOW factor when you walk in our front doors,” says Maunsell. Placing the attraction near the front or middle of your center ensures every guest sees the attraction when they walk in, and increases their likelihood of checking it out.
Hamann agrees with this idea. “We give the Hologate prime prime real estate. In fact, we make sure that the Hologate is in the best positions in our locations. So we build our entire arcade around the Hologate. That’s how important it is to us.”
“We make sure that the Hologate is in the best positions in our locations. So we build our entire arcade around the Hologate.”
A lot of Hologate Arena operators think that the attraction will sell itself and you don’t need anyone to staff it. It’s a common perception that the cost of paying an extra employee to staff the attraction outweighs the additional revenue gained. Hamann and Maunsell both agree this is not true. “You have to be willing to put labor into Hologate,” says Maunsell.
However, you can’t just stick an employee or two by the attraction and hope that they can generate some plays. The employees manning Hologate Arena must be knowledgeable, and friendly.
“I can tell you that about 15-20% of our sales are done on the Hologate by answering questions. So we have adequate employees, well trained, energetic, answering questions and inviting people,” explains Hamann. “If it’s an attraction and you dedicate your payroll, you made an investment into the attraction, then I guarantee you you’re going to generate enough money for those two employees or that one employee that’s there permanently and a lot of revenue and a lot of repeat business for you.”
Download This Presentation to Learn How Hologate Can Boost your Bottom Line
Fundamentally, FECs are social places. Guests go to socialize with family, friends and others in a fun and upbeat setting. Hologate is a fun and social attraction, even for those not actually playing. “A lot of adults play it, but when kids are playing it, the parents are having just as much fun watching their kids play it. It fits into that social gathering space very well,” says Maunsell.
When it comes to initiating games, Hamann uses a unique approach. Knowing that the attraction garners more interest from guests when people are playing it, Hamann sends his employees to go fire up a game to get people interested. “That entices others to come in and do it.” Hamann’s strategies have lead to Hologate Arenas producing “between [$300,000] and $400,000 a year” in average revenue at each of his four locations.
Maunsell uses his Hologate staff to get games going by educating people about the attraction, which usually leads to people trying it out. “We actually go out and actively seek people out. If it’s slow and there’s no line, our team members will go out and find people to play and make it attractive. I think one of the best things I can tell any operator is that Hologate allows you to create a show piece in your game room that competes.”
“I think one of the best things I can tell any operator is that Hologate allows you to create a show piece in your game room.”
Hamann also suggests packaging Hologate with other attractions in your facility. “One thing that we’ve done is we have packaged the Hologate with the laser tag and the ropes course. And that has generated a lot of sales for us.” Bundling Hologate sales with other attractions will help introduce VR to guests who have never played it before.
Typically with Hologate, all it takes is just a couple of people to get everyone else interested, and then you’ll likely have a line for the rest of the day or night.
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