In most family entertainment centers (FECs), birthday parties are the primary source of revenue. Laser tag is one of the most popular and highest grossing attractions for FECs, so it makes sense that owners focus on driving birthday party traffic into laser tag. But as we move into 2017 and beyond, you should be aware that the laser tag target demographics are changing, and you can’t focus solely on kids.
There’s a new demographic of people who have money to spend and who value experience over all else; Millennials (AKA young adults). Yes, the people who most owners think are self interested and lazy employees (although this is a myth) are the customers who can maximize success for your business. Let’s first be clear about one thing: birthday parties are still the primary driver of revenue for laser tag at FECs. But Millennials represent a huge untapped secondary market.
Ironically, in-home entertainment and video games play a big part in this shift. Take a moment and imagine what a typical gamer looks like in your mind. What is their gender? Their age? Their priorities? If you’re like most people, you’re thinking of a teenage boy who spend hours playing at home on his consoles. But, as the statistics reveal, that’s wrong. You might be surprised to learn the average gamer is 35 years old, which is the leading edge of the Millennial generation. And females are playing more than ever, making up 42% of gamers.
So how does this translate to revenue for you? As you can see in the graph above, Millennials desire experiences that capture their imagination and stimulate their senses. Video games are fun, but they have raised the expectations for immersive environments. This generation wants something more, and they are willing to pay for it. This is where you come in. Your laser tag attraction can provide the amazing experiences they can’t get in a video game, and in return they will provide you a new source of revenue.
Birthday parties will still take up the majority of your weekend daytime hours, and the older crowd won’t want to play with a bunch of 14 year old kids. Therefore it’s important to target Millennials on late nights and week nights when you might be otherwise slow. These gamers are accustomed to online gaming environments where they receive power-ups, badges, and achievements. Week nights are perfect opportunities for you to flex the power of your laser tag equipment and bring these gaming elements to life. You can run specialty games and turn on power-up features that don’t make sense for birthday parties or weekend walk-in traffic.
By stepping outside the “birthday party box” and looking at new audiences, you can generate more revenue for your business. But this will only work if you’re actually providing an amazing experience. If your laser tag attraction looks like it was built 25 years ago (black plastic barriers and sloppy fluorescent paint splatters), your effort to target Millennials will be for naught. You have to create environments that rival and surpass what they see in their video games.
If you need help developing an immersive laser tag experience, we’re here for you! Take the first step and download the presentation below.
The Customer Experience Matters: Learn how to maximize the laser tag experience and increase revenue