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Create HUGE DEMAND for Your Mobile Amusement Business
The Secret to Increased Business
I often look at the Mobile Amusement Business in a similar light as a night club road band going from gig to gig. There are a number of similarities; both need to be booked in advance for routing purposes, both need to prove they can attract and hold customers and give those same people a reason to come back to the club for more; increasing attendance. The band also needs to cover expenses and payroll.
The more successful club bands use their data base of followers to communicate where & when the band will be performing. They will create an image and brand, offer merchandise, CDs and other promotional materials for purchase on their web sites, social media sites and even email newsletters. What does all this activity accomplish for a club band?
- It creates a following that will come out wherever they are appearing BECAUSE they feel “special” and appreciated.
- It creates an image and brand that attract fans.
- It allows the band to use their data base as an added value sales point to a Club that may have an opening for their band. If the band can show that hiring them will bring in an extra so many people to that club, it becomes an extra justification to book this group.
- It creates an impression, in the club owner’s mind, that they are dealing with a professional organization.
- It eventually can become a force that “launches” a group into a situation that it has more offers for bookings than it can possibly handle.
- It obviously keeps the band working AND allows them to command more money for each performance than they were able to get before. As the demand goes up so does the ability to make more revenue.
Carnivals need to take a strong look at the similarities and ask themselves what we can do to make ourselves MORE valuable to the Fairs, Events and Festivals that we are part of each year. Instead of being a victim to poor event advertising and marketing efforts and poor attendance that follows, Carnivals might have to understand the power of branding, imaging and building a strong name recognition for your Carnival. You have to start thinking of your Carnival/Mobile Amusement Business as an Entertainment entity and start developing your own Corporate Brand Identity and Image.
That branding, imaging and building process is built on two fronts.
1. The relationship with the Fairs that hire you.
2. The customers that come out and enjoy your rides, games and concessions.
The Carnivals I have been associated with do a pretty good job of servicing their clients. I think it could be improved with monthly email alerts about new equipment purchased, new ideas and successful promotions that other events have created, route schedule changes, information about your employees that include who’s new and background information on them with a picture, any promotions within your organization. How about soliciting ideas, happy birthdays and anniversaries? All of us like doing business with people that are perceived as truly caring about us as individuals AND our event.
Item number two is the one that could seriously impact each event where you perform. My suggestion is to build a data base of “Carnival” fans that you can provide annual schedules, ticket specials (working details out with the event), email newsletters, participating in Social Networking sites. Create “Fans” of your Carnival or mobile amusement business and watch the grosses and margins increase.
When the Mobile Amusement Business becomes better at implementing these two items it will show a proportional increase in length of contracts and increases in margins because ultimately you are truly servicing your account AND now have added data base marketing support that reaches out to your Carnival’s fan base to add to the attendance of each event.
Here are some more suggestions for creating good will, good PR, adding value to your ticket prices, holding people longer on the midway and encouraging return visits.
- Create a couple of walk around Characters that you can brand as your “public” persona. Disney has been very successful with this!!
- Create a return discount ride ticket as your midway customers leave the midway area (work this out with the event).
- Create a Ferris Wheel, Top Spin, Swings, Carousal, Bumper Cars or other ride Day (Sponsored by?) Free or deeply discounted because of sponsor support. You can make it a limited time or all day on the one ride. Figure average revenue from ride and sell sponsorship for that or more).
- Offer media free rides opening day. Have a media “Open House”. Invite the media support people and their families, give them something to eat in a hospitality suite and let them ride on your midway. You can use variations of this idea but if you do this what do you think all the radio, TV, Cable, Print and Billboard company employees will be talking about the next day? Ergo “Viral Marketing.” If your event does not now do this they can help you with monies as a co-sponsor and personnel.
- Have people register for a major give away (Car, TV, Boat) donated by a Sponsor tied into a cause related issue or non-profit. The idea here is building data base for your Mobile Amusement business that you will turn into more traffic, higher grosses better margins and higher leverage when renegotiating contracts and request for proposals.
- Develop a TV and Radio Commercial featuring a Carnival Spokesperson along with your walk around character. The commercial could be generic showing your walk around character on the midway and rides, games, concessions and testimonials of families and kids about how much fun, how clean and nice it is at your Carnival. The last 8-10 seconds will have your spokesperson and walk around character inviting everyone to the Event and your Midway with dates and times and your web address. This would run in addition to the Event’s advertising and marketing efforts.
There are a many more good ideas for promoting, marketing and advertising your Mobile Amusement Business but the main concept has to be your (Personal & Business) relationship that is what ultimately earns you the most respect and money.
You can NOT make yourself successful BUT you can be successful as long as you understand that it takes others pushing you upward toward greatness. That is what creates success.
Now is the time to create the image and branding of the best “club band” in your geographic area of operation. Now is the time to step up and make a lot of noise to your midway ride, game and concession customers about who you are and what you offer that makes you better and different from others. Now is the time to step up and let your Fair clients know why they should hire your company other than increasing your dollar contributions and/or percentages in an unending downward spiral of net dollars and decreasing margins. A strong business “partnership” relationship can be a real deterrent to having another company hijack your “spot” when your contract expires.
The club doors are open and its customers are entering. Make the attendance reflect the extra work you have done to help drive new and returning attendance. It will make you invaluable to all your event clients.