How The Best Leisure Brands Maintain Footfall Throughout The Year
At a time of economic uncertainty, leisure businesses need to get creative if they’re to pull in cautious customers. Maintaining footfall throughout the year is a challenge for even the most established brands in the leisure sector - and this is especially true for brands aiming to attract parents and their little ones.
The Mirror reported that in 2014, British parents were going to spend £1461.39 entertaining their children during the summer holidays alone - demonstrating just how important leisure revenue from families actually is.
Here’s how some of the world’s best-loved leisure brands are encouraging people to visit their attractions all year-round.
1. Odeon Kids
One way to encourage families through your door is to provide irresistible offers.
Odeon cinemas offer £2.50 children’s showing, which is an attractive price point for parents who want to take their children out but don’t want to spend a fortune on full price cinema tickets. Odeon have also scheduled the showings for early in the morning, which also ensures they see footfall despite the fact that early morning is usually a quiet time in cinemas.
2. Warwick Castle
As we’re sure you’re aware, the weather in the UK can be somewhat unpredictable - and that’s why the above deal from Warwick Castle is so effective.
The Warwick Castle Rainy Day guarantee invites people back for free if they experience more than one hour of rain at the attraction. This keeps footfall moving despite the weather, and although the second visit is free, it doesn’t stop people paying for extras such as food, beverages and gifts. Very clever indeed, Warwick Castle marketers...
They’re also offering a 30% discount if you book in advance too, which is sure to encourage people to pre book.
Legoland in Windsor know how to keep people visiting their park throughout the year, and now they’re offering a Kid’s Go Free package if you book a night in one of their hotels.
It’s a great incentive to make people stay on their properties as opposed to booking a budget hotel close by, despite the fact they do have these on their website, and it makes sure the parks and the hotel property are both busy throughout the year,
4. Hollywood Bowl
Competitions are a great way to encourage customers through your doors, which is why the ‘Pink Pin Fridays’ event works so well for Hollywood Bowl.
Every Friday between 7:30pm and 9:30pm, pink pins randomly appear on bowling lanes. If the bowler gets a strike then they win a prize for them and their friends to enjoy. It’s a fantastic idea for a competition that will encourage people through the doors on Friday evenings.
5. Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in the UK with over 1.6 million people visiting every year, and they continue to draw in customers by hosting seasonal events.
Just in time for Halloween, they’ve launched The Enchantment of Chester Zoo. As you can see, there’s a quirky back story all about an evil sorcerer who has cast a spell on the zoo to steal away the super powers of the nocturnal animals. Guests have to follow the Wise Old Owl to put an end to the madness.
It’s a fantastic way to fire up the imagination of the kids and increase football during the cooler months of the year.
6. Alton Towers
Just like Legoland are trying to encourage people to stay at their hotels, so too is Alton Towers. To keep their target customer moving through both their parks and hotel properties, there are a range of perks at this attraction for those who stay at the company’s hotels.
For example, visitors have access to a free 2nd day at the park, a 1 hour early pass into the park, free car parking and more.
All of these together could really sway parents to take their kids and keep up footfall throughout the year.
7. Chill Factore
Another incredibly popular UK attraction is Manchester’s Chill Factore. The indoor ski and snowboarding centre is currently encouraging people to sign up for lessons in October/November by signing up early instead. This will help Chill Factore encourage footfall and take pressure off of the company’s need to meet KPIs later in the month.
They’re also offering discounts across various lessons and activities if you book early, and this is sure to assist with keeping footfall consistent during the winter months.
8. Blackpool Pleasure Beach
When it comes to encouraging people to visit, it seems that Blackpool Pleasure beach are focusing their efforts on those too young to go to school with the likes of Paw Patrol, and also those in school during the half term break.
Their main offering at the moment is Vampire Pleasure Beach that’s taking place during the October half-term leading up to Halloween. They’re also offering late night riding and fireworks on a Friday evening coming up, again appealing to those who will be out of school during this time to increase footfall.
Both are great tactics to pull in those of school age during peak times, yet still keep the park busy with little ones during term times with attractions suited to this age group.
9. Flamingo Land
Located in Yorkshire, leisure attraction Flamingo Land are also targeting their footfall focus on the half-term in October.
They’re hosting a special Halloween event and are offering 2 for 1 admission. All you need to do is book online and use the code SPOOKY16 to unlock the offer. It really is that simple, and it’s this that will help Flamingo Land to predict visitor numbers during this period and also keep their footfalls flowing nicely.
10. Cadbury World
Another of the country’s most popular attractions comes at us in the form of Cadbury World. Located in Birmingham, the Cadbury brand offer the chance for customers to visit their factory for a tour - and it really is a treat.
To encourage people to visit, Cadbury World are offering 2 for 1 on Thursdays, and they’re also offering a chance to book online to save - as well as savings in the Cadbury Cafe.
It seems that deals are the latest treat at this leisure attraction - and it looks as though it will keep those visitors flocking throughout the year.
Pixel8’s Top 3 Tips for Maintaining Footfall all Year in the Leisure Sector
1. If you build it, they will come, provided they know about it!
Once you have your offer in place, don’t wait on a hope and a prayer that your customers will magically walk through the door. Embrace all your marketing channels to promote. Use social advertising, influencer marketing (reach out the family bloggers) and use radio/PR if your budget will stretch. You also can’t underestimate the power of strategically placed leaflets and posters.
2. Limber up! Evolve throughout the day and be ‘more chameleon-like’!
Leisure brands need to be more reactive to stay ahead of competitors. If it’s raining, can you create a ‘Rainy Day Offer’, is there a social trend that links with your business that’s really taking off - can you leverage a hashtag for example? It’s this kind of thinking that takes a destination marketer, from so-so, to so-amazing!
3. Know your worth!
Consumers are ever more sceptical these days and a quick price cut or offer doesn’t always have the desired effect - it can cheapen your brand and make you look a bit desperado. Be strategic with your offers - Chester Zoo, and Warwick Castle are great examples of this. Create a story that ties in seamlessly with your offer - this will win the hearts and investment of your customers.
Leisure Brand Marketing & Pixel8
How does your leisure brand maintain footfall through the year? Marketing is one of the key ways to get the word out about your brand and offers, and we just so happen to be experts in that precise area.
Like this blog? Why not take a look at our How To Recycle Online Content In The Leisure Sector Successfully?