By Maitane Zarate on 9/30/19 4:15 PM
From the 16th to the 18th of September more than 15.900 people from all around the world came together in Paris for one of the biggest events of the global attractions and leisure industry in Europe, Middle East and Africa. High numbers of attendance do not surprise us though, since the IAAPA Expo is a unique opportunity to make valuable business connections with like-minded professionals, and most importantly, to discover and experience what’s next in the industry, and what the future will look like.
For us at Convious it is essential to never lose sight of the ever-changing market dynamics. So if you were not able to attend and you would like to have a quick glimpse of the future trends, here are this year’s main highlights, so you and your business can also be ready for what’s coming:
What does the future look like?
- This year’s exhibition floor made clear that Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications are coming strong and taking a big part of the industry’s spotlight. We were very happy to meet our friends from Zero Latency there, who let us explore a whole new VR world in their booth. These technologies are being used more and more often in the industry for gamification purposes, building user’s interest and excitement through a series of interactions. This increases engagement, which ultimately drives revenue as well.
In fact, engagement is the game everyone is playing, and the technology you decide to have on your side in order to achieve it will be your set of cards, so make sure you have a competitive one.
- People are more likely to engage with stories: Attractions are being more often presented as a whole concept, with a theme and backstory at their core. By using themed storytelling, attractions can offer guests a more immersive or intense experience.
- The added value of mobile technologies: Mobile technologies are still being developed into different applications for the attractions industry, in order to meet the increasing demands of customers. From booking tickets to finding parking spots, or choosing rides with lower waiting times, mobile applications are here to help visitors have the best experience possible. Moreover, mobile technologies can also be integrated in order to add new elements to the attractions (info. about a specific attraction, themed stories etc.) and enhance the guest experience.
- Back to the old days: Bell-bottomed pants from the 70’s, vinyls, vintage cameras… everything retro comes back. And it’s not any different when it comes to attractions. Remember those old pinball and bowling machines? Well, they’re back, but with a technological twist. Old-fashioned gaming arcades are becoming more and more popular, and not only for the youth. In Japan these arcades are already a true hang-out for the elderly and have been adapted to their needs by incorporating waiting benches or cooking oil and sweet potatoes to the prize list!
- Segmentation and visitor spread at the core of efficiency: Many businesses within the attractions industry are making a great effort to become as scalable as possible on a limited surface or with limited resources. Being able to process smaller target groups more efficiently, as well as spreading their demand becomes key regarding this matter. And this is where Artificial Intelligence powered systems jump in. You can read more about how AI and Machine Learning powered systems can be used to control your demand and visitor spread here.
- Lastly, we found Liftopia’s talk on Wednesday to be uniquely insightful and couldn’t agree more with the fact that in just a few years from now most of the attractions and leisure businesses will be run almost entirely online, so the success of your e-commerce will directly determine the one in your business.
Did you know that after your product’s quality, pricing is the primary variable that drives conversion for e-commerce ticketing?
Following retail, the leisure industry is nudging towards Machine Learning technologies such as AI to gain a competitive advantage in their pricing strategies. No wonder this is also becoming a progressively growing trend in the market.
Our main take-away from IAAPA Expo 2019:
The increased demand for new, fresh, customized and individual experiences that the industry is undergoing necessarily asks for innovative technologies such as AI, Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality, which will also be the key drivers for operational efficiency and guest satisfaction.
In the end, isn’t that what this industry is all about?
Your guests, your visitors, and the experience you can offer them.
The best part about working for this industry is that it's fun. It's about creating nice experiences. And after all, that's exactly what we do online as well. The least you can do is offer your visitors an online experience that's as smooth and enjoyable as the one in the park. - Bernard Kochen, Convious Sales VP.
So if there is one thing that you should keep in mind after reading this list of trends is that all of them have one clear common point: the visitor’s experience at its core.
That’s where the future of the attractions and leisure industry really begins.