Keeping guests engaged and happy is hard work, but it’s also the key to repeat custom and good feedback. Sometimes poor experiences are a result of sheer bad luck like rainy days, staff absence or broken equipment. Sometimes it’s simply through lack of innovation or preparation, like putting on tired concepts or allowing standard service routines to go without scrutiny for extended periods of time.
Here at The Business Creative we consider ourselves experts in both preparation and innovation and with decades of experience in the leisure and hospitality industries, we thought we’d have a brainstorm about some ways to keep your guests happy and engaged that you may not have considered before.
1 – Get social already!
Like it or not, social media is here to stay and it’s taking up more and more of our lives each year. There were over 3.5B social media users in 2019 (that’s half the planet) and those users spent 1/7th of their waking hours on the various platforms. People clearly like social media and it’s also great for your brand awareness, so consider making it a part of your experience. In particular, social media is great for logging experiences, whether live or through video and photo. You’re creating amazing memories, so consider encouraging your guests to make sure they have a reminder when they get home (and also rub it in all their friends faces!).
- Competitions via a hashtag. Ask for your guests to post photos in certain locations, or wearing a certain outfit, or maybe doing a particular dance and get them to use your competition hashtag. Maybe you’re picking a weekly winner, or maybe everyone that posts gets a reward.
- Think about the photogenicity of your venue or activities, nurturing or setting up an environment conducive to the classic ‘selfie’. You can even verbally or physically sign-post that this is a potential ‘Insta-moment’ for your guests.
- Are there any of your activities that would be great for inviting your guests to ‘go live’ on Facebook or Insta? Why not offer them a water-proof pouch so they can take their phone on water slides or a scuba diving session? Combine this with your hashtag competition, rewarding the best underwater photo of the week.
2 – Have some ‘wows’ up your sleeve!
Bad weather, accidents and cancellations happen, and you need to make sure you have something prepared to offer your guests as an alternative. Use this as an opportunity to exceed their expectations by giving them something well thought out, fun and engaging. Imagine being told that your beach volleyball session has just been cancelled, so instead you’re going on an escape-room style adventure around the hotel… pretty cool huh?! See Eco-Quest below!
- Eco-Quest is a timed adventure challenge that takes the best bits of a treasure hunt and an escape room giving the players an immersive experience in any space. It can be permanently installed or it can ‘pop-up’ when needed. Experience tests and conundrums, cool props like a padlocked suitcase and an iPad-guide, and it’s also going to deliver some fun eco-education to it’s players.
3 – Get techy with it!
Any kind of tech that you bring to your venue to make things easier, cooler or just more fun will go down great with your guests. It shows a willingness to invest in their experience and can even help make things run more smoothly for you.
- Apps for food and drink service are a sure-fire winner, especially in the post-C19 era, giving people the option and ability to order either on their phone, or on an iPad that you provide is a wise move.
- Give people things to engage with while they’re in their room or having some chill-time – a colouring in app for kids or trivia game provided by your business would be great, and the guests can enjoy battling up the scoreboard throughout their stay.
- Invest in entertainment tech for kids such as Live Doodle which is an interactive art activity that uses bespoke technology to bring children’s character creations to life right before their eyes!
4 – Get cool with the kids!
Pop-culture and social media trends exist because people like them. It’s that simple! They’re often transient and flakey, but they’re great for latching on to and often not that hard to do. In particular, TikTok and Instagram trends often go viral because everyone can get involved. Think of ways you can jump on these trends and bring them into the real world for your guests.
- Have a TikTok intro session, showing people how to set up a profile and get filming. For existing users maybe they’d enjoy a masterclass, exploring some of the special effects, filters and editing options.
- Have a TikTok dance session, or maybe even replace your club-dance (if you have one) with a TikTok phenomenon.
- Keep an eye open for game-play trends. We know that Escape rooms have been trending for several years now (again, check out Eco-Quest), but what about zoom quizzes, or the latest phone app that people are playing with their friends (four words, draw this etc.) – can you bring these games to your entertainment schedule?
Note – these next two tips may be more relevant to the hospitality industry than for leisure attractions, but read on, it might still inspire you!
5 – Everyone remembers their first time!
If you can give a guest their first ever experience of something then you’re certain to make memories, whether they love it or not. Simply putting the thought and effort in will earn you brownie points, so consider your guest demographic and try to think about the kind of things that they would have never tried before but might enjoy.
- Run a cooking session to make something a bit exotic like sushi, guacamole or curry paste from scratch
- Teach something really different, like close-up magic or maybe some key words and phrases in sign language
- Give them a new skill like running an iPhone photography class so they can take better photos for their social media
6 – Refresh the classics, grandad!
All too often we see age-old formulas rolled out to the audiences of our industry, but does the year 1 success live on in years 2, 3 or 4? Do they really have the same impact? We believe we can do better for our guests, especially our repeat customers? The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch here. Classic formats can still be winners, but we’re talking about raising the stakes to wow your guests, so think about different ways to deliver games, quizzes and shows that deliver a more unique experience.
- Everyone loves a classic gameshow format, but give an A+ experience by delivering a whacky version, like The One Show, where the entire audience is split into teams, rather than bringing just a few guests up onto stage.
- Consider other styles of food preparation and cooking. Once a week you could put on a themed BBQ outdoors, celebrate American or Bahamic food – wowing your guests while feeding them is a great way to improve their overall experience.
- Try out our Table Top Detectives product, where we take the classic murder mystery & escape room concepts and turn it on it’s head – a guided crime-solving adventure without the audience having to leave their seats!
Hopefully these ideas will have got your creative juices flowing – improving guest engagement and experiences should be as fun for you as it is for them – at The Business Creative it’s literally our world, so if you’d like to discuss ideas with us further, or talk to us about using Eco-Quest, The One Show, Live Doodle or Table Top Detectives, or one of our many other entertainment formats in your business then please don’t hesitate to get in contact, we’d love to hear from you.