Why Attended VR Attractions Bring in More Value

If you’ve ever analyzed what type of solutions exist for your entertainment venue, you know that there are a lot of things to consider. Having the right square footage, throughput, operations, and ROI all perfectly aligned with your business model are the key to a successful purchase. The truth is that there is no universal rule for attractions that “work” and attractions that are less likely to succeed. A lot of factors influence the way every solution will fit your venue – from demographics, the size of the venue, to the footage and the workforce available.

Attended VR
Attended VR

Needless to say, before looking at what attraction may fit your venue, you need to have all those elements sorted out.


Attended or Unattended VR Solution?

With Virtual Reality, there’s been a lot of talk regarding its operability. The average Family Entertainment Center dedicates a quarter of its overhead expenses to staff and more and more business owners are looking for attractions that don’t require an attendee just because of that. Most of the time, choosing an attraction that requires an operator may cause higher costs, and sometimes a lower throughput due to the lack of employee involvement, and so on.

And it’s not completely false. After all, an attraction that is completely unattended is much easier to manage, right? You give your guests full control over their experience by having them set up with the technology, in this case, the Virtual Reality headset (and controllers, if needed), and the experience just starts.

This sounds awesome, and it is. However, it doesn’t apply to all unattended VR attractions, but only to those well-crafted and intuitive solutions.


We’ve looked into this subject from a manufacturer’s perspective, and the truth is that there is no rose without a thorn. That’s why in this article, we’ll talk about both the ups and downs as well as the benefits of having an attended VR Attraction.

We’ve been in the industry for a long time now and have seen a lot of different approaches when it comes to Virtual Reality Solutions for FECs. Some operators are extremely happy with a non-attended VR because it fits perfectly with their space and throughput, while others use a Virtual Reality Arena that requires an operator and it works wonders for them.


Virtual Reality is Not for Everybody

Virtual Reality is a great technology that fits perfectly in a family entertainment center because it targets a wide demographic. But that’s not all. From the moment a VR Attraction is added to the venue, the journey begins. To make sure guests will have a great experience, leave a great review, come back and bring more friends you’ll have to use the VR Arena to your advantage. This, however, will require an operator.


Why an Attended VR Attraction Works

From the moment you invested in a Virtual Reality Attraction, you need to start promoting it. Of course, people will come by to check how it is, because it’s trendy, it’s new, and has that wow factor. 

This type of investment requires a lot of attention and planning because you will have to promote it and create a great experience for your guests by explaining how the technology works, how the VR games work, and so on.

When it comes to an attended Virtual Reality Arena, both the facility owner and the guests benefit from this. Simply put, as a facility operator you get more engagement and interaction with the guests, while your customers experience a seamless end-to-end customer journey.

As stated before, the main benefit of having an attended VR Attraction is that it enhances how the facility and arena are perceived. You can impress your guests and create an authentic connection with them, by strengthening the interactivity and the way the experience unfolds.

However, there are some key steps that need to be followed in order to make the most out of the Virtual Reality Arena that places the attendant as the main character:

Attract Guests to Play VR

It’s so important to have a fun and engaging operator. A good VR arena will come with a great attract mode, that catches the eyes of your guests but they sometimes need an extra push from the operator.

Create an Onboarding Experience

Human interaction is very important when dealing with an attraction. People want to have someone that greets them and walks them through the experience. It’s just the same as going to a restaurant and nobody takes you to your table or serves you. By making conversation with the guests, the onboarding experience becomes much easier for them.

With VR, the experience can be personalized. Guests can come in groups and play against each other in a whole different world. For example, the operator can take each guest’s name, making the whole game feel more authentic and engaging!

Explain the Process and Games

Although Virtual Reality is not for tech-savvies anymore, there are still a lot of elements that have to be explained to the customers. From the moment they gear up with the VR headset, the entire journey begins. It’s all about understanding the experiences and how it works, through using the controller and having fun. With an unattended VR, you can risk people being too shy to even try to play a game because there isn’t anyone walking them through the mechanics of the experience.

Make Them Feel Safe

Our industry has been hit hard with people not feeling that safe anymore. The operator’s role is to make sure everyone sees the cleaning and disinfecting operation between each game. More so, by having a skilled and optimistic operator there, guests can feel reassured that the experience won’t lead to any injuries.

Offboarding Experience

Although most people will believe that the experience stops when the VR game ends, that’s not the case when the attraction is operated. This is the key moment for the operator to ask the guests how they felt and collect as much feedback as possible. Moreover, they can ask how the game went, who won, and try to up-sell another game in the same genre (or different) for them to try!


Operators Can Engage With Each Guest

Human interaction is a must in 2021. With the pandemic causing the rise of screen use and indoor entertainment options, guests will expect to be a lot more engaged in the experiences they’re using. That’s your key advantage. An attended VR Attraction is a great way to create an experience that not only entertains the customers but takes them on a journey. Guests need to feel a familiarity with the location, which is impacted by the way they interact with the operators.

Another important aspect of operating a VR Arena is to hire attendants that are passionate and will want to help people have fun and the operator plays a very crucial role. They are the interface your guests have with your brand and that’s why if they show no interest, it can impact your business negatively.

This can be easily achieved by training operators periodically and inspiring them to understand their role and the value they bring to the facility: which is to create a great guest experience in the center. By retraining and engaging your staff you can achieve maximum results with the attraction. You’ll have to think of ways you can motivate them by analyzing their performance and reward them in ways that fit your business model.

All in all, a Virtual Reality Arena has great potential in an entertainment venue if it’s operated accordingly. If the attendant is having fun, your guests will be satisfied and return back for more.

Let’s recap the 3 most important benefits of an attended VR Attraction:

It creates a deeper connection with the guests by guiding them throughout the VR experience, making it easier to collect feedback from them right after the game.

The VR attraction becomes more intuitive and more welcoming for the guests as they are helped by someone to enjoy the experience to the fullest.

The chances of having more players increase substantially because the operator can engage with guests and invite them to play.

Discover Arkadia 6 Player VR Arena!

Learn more about the benefits of an attended VR Solution.

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