We listed 7 trends that affect the location-based entertainment industry, family entertainment centers, and activity parks in 2023. In a nutshell, stay on top by offering more gamified and immersive experiences, and group events. Encourage your visitors to share more content online, tap into social media marketing, and take advantage of automation and data from digital attractions to keep your operational costs down.
#1 Everyone is a gamer looking for immersive experiences
Video games have become a part of our daily lives. Video gaming is booming after Covid, and gamers come of all ages ranging from young school children to adults. Most active gamers are the Gen Y, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha generations most of whom have lived their whole lives in a world of digitalization.
This trend means that multiple gaming-loving generations are looking for new gamified entertainment experiences outside the home to play games together socially.
#2 Beat the home entertainment, gain a competitive advantage
Today’s visitors have high expectations of entertainment outside what they already can access at home, so parks and LBE providers need to make the extra step. Upgrading your location to match evolving customer expectations enables you to gain a competitive advantage in the market.
Virtual, augmented reality and mixed-reality attractions are gaining traction today because they offer immersive and interactive experiences. Digitally savvy generations are gravitating toward digital attractions and immersive media. Quality of the games at LBE location need to match or surpass the quality of the consumed games at homes. To boost your growth, and gain new and previous visitors, you need to wow your visitors with experiences that leave them eager to see what’s coming next.
#3 Generate new revenue streams with group gaming events
Esports are also booming fast and the global virtual audiences of eSports are expected to hit 1,4 billion by 2025. Esports combines the excitement and competition of traditional sporting events but is experienced as a social online community.
LBE providers actively seeking esports events have the opportunity to tap into this growing global fanbase to generate new group event revenue streams.
Traditional eSports played while sitting down might not be fit to the offering of active LBE locations and their visitors (especially parents). Valo Motion created the first-ever Active eSports League for mixed-reality gaming called ValoLeague which connects the community of eSports enthusiasts that love sports and gaming. ValoLeague helps operators generate more revenue with mini-events, birthday parties, and global professional competition seasons with prizes. Players actively sharing competition videos online also create a great social media marketing boost for these locations.
#4 User-generated content is the key to increasing your visibility
Social media continues to grow in the everyday life of people of all ages. Gamers too are more connected than ever, sharing videos and game content online. Tapping into this power of visitors’ social communities is sometimes an under-recognized asset for location operators.
All visitors love to share their experiences, photos, and videos on their social media platforms, and this helps promote locations across the world. These user-generated social media posts encourage others to visit the attractions too.
The attractions industry should drive more growth with user-generated content. This can be helped by providing LBE operators digital attractions with ready-made photo-booth functionalities to encourage park visitors to effortless social media sharing. All Valo Motion’s game platforms are equipped with an easy-to-use selfie video-sharing functionality. Players can create shareable selfie videos and the videos are branded with operator logos to give more boost to brand’s visibility in social media.
#5 Optimize operations with automation and data
Operating a location comes with high maintenance costs, staffing shortages, and labor costs. This can create many challenges for operators in driving growth. Introducing new digital attractions, such as Valo Motion’s products, that require no staff and are fully automated helps reduce operational costs.
Operators who also put a heavier focus on the usage of visitor and product data can also better optimize their profitability. For instance, Valo Motion provides data on the product usage that helps operators better to ongoingly understand product usage, increase ticket prices, optimize attractions' electricity usage, and more.
#6 Stores and malls leverage LBE to provide immersive experiences
Retail evolution is changing how the shopping journey is experienced. Mall developers continue to innovate to tackle the effects of the rise of e-commerce and the decline of the post-Covid in-store traffic to offer today’s connected shoppers more real-life experiences and social spaces in shopping malls and stores.
Malls are starting to change into engaging shopping destinations and fulfillment centers where customers can do more than just shop. Visitors can have memorable and thrilling experiences in restaurants, sporting locations, gaming zones, and amusement areas where they can have fun with their friends and family.
#7 Demand for experiences is driving growth in LBE
According to IMF forecast February 2023, due to "surprisingly resilient" demand in the United States and Europe the current year can be a positive turning point in economic growth. The world economy is forecasted to grow by 2.9 % this year and 3.1 % 2024. The global Location-Based Entertainment market size is expected to reach a value of US$ 30.29 billion by 2028. The drivers for industry growth are the demand for immersive video, video games, and other immersive entertainment such as MR, AR and VR Technologies.
According to the 2022 Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer Lifestyles survey, 76 % of consumers globally agree that real-life experiences are important to them, and visitors will spend an incremental USD115 billion on experiences and attractions by 2027. Consumer demand for new real-life experiences has been building up during the Covid years.
Also, Valo Motion’s own customer data supports this trend. According to our data, there has been a massive spike in the usage of digital attractions since the spring of 2021. Many machines are up 30% in use from pre-pandemic times. Furthermore, park operators in the US reported that they are now making 15–20% more money than they did before the pandemic.
Want to know more about mixed-reality attractions? Get in touch, we are happy to help you.