This article is a 3 part series called FEC’s Attraction Mix: 101. This is the first article of this series.

The next topics will be the following:

  • What is the perfect Family Entertainment Center attraction mix? In which we tackle what are the core attractions and secondary attractions and how can they benefit your FEC
  • How to position your attractions? How do your attractions compliment each other and how can you design for change and growth?

Whether you’re planning on opening a new Family Entertainment Center or you’re just looking to get the most out of your facility regarding the right mix of attractions, you have to keep in mind that they have to target the main demographics in Family Entertainment Centers you want to attract.

That’s why it is recommended that focusing on demographics is the main step. Knowing what the opportunities are in your local market is extremely important in attracting the desired customers/audience.

But how can you do that?

You want to know who you want to target. This means that you will have to look at the local demographics.

By knowing this, it will be easier for you to determine what type of attractions would work for them.

Let’s start by defining what a target group is. In simple words, they are your (potential) customers. In general terms, a target group can be described by demographic and behavioral characteristics, like age, gender, income, location, and education.

You might ask  why it is important to create a thorough segmentation if you already know who your clients are. Indeed, most FECs have a pretty broad target audience. From kids, teens, adults to seniors, they can all be targeted through the attractions you choose for your family entertainment center. But is it really like that?

When you sell something to everyone, you end up selling to nobody. People need to be targeted. That’s why you need to know what are their main interests, how do they like to spend their time, and most importantly, their money.

This is called “focused assortment,” and this is why you should be focusing on targeting a specific demographic, and also a particular socio-economic/lifestyle market. Just take a step back and look at the complete demographic picture and find the “blue ocean” of opportunity within a specific audience you desire for your Family Entertainment Center.

Types of target demographics in Family Entertainment Centers

Over the past few years, the segmentation of a specific target audience has become even more specific. People were wondering why this is happening, because after all don’t all teenagers want the same thing?!

Wrong. A 12-year-old teenager will be interested in a different attraction than a 19-year-old. 

Here’s how you can start the segmentation of your groups and analyze what type of things they’re most interested in, based on the demographics. As an operator, you need to tailor your attraction mix to fit your specific audience, while ensuring there is a feeling of novelty to keep the customers coming back.

Specialists advise you to focus on a primary demographic and then on a secondary demographic – having a demographic that’s too broad will most likely affect your attraction mix by making it too general.

Families

According to multiple sources, most FEC audiences are children (3-12) that come to the center with their families (most frequently with their moms).

Make sure that you determine how many households are within a 10 miles radius. Look out if there are schools nearby, as you would need to consider that families would have to drive their children to your facility, and depending on how long that would take, you can determine whether that’s feasible or not. Keep in mind that in the past few years the average distance traveled for entertainment is down so people won’t be that keen to go a long way just to come to an entertainment center.

Given this aspect, if you clearly identified that your target market would mostly be children, your facility has to have (aside from the mix of attractions) an involvement in the community (whether that is classes or other activities such as field trips).

When it comes to attractions, you have to keep in mind that you are not only targeting the children but also their parents. There are many attractions you can choose from but you should be pairing them with a café or dining area for the family.

Also providing private birthday party rooms can generate a significant percentage of revenue for your facility. Childcare and primary grade school field trips would also be an idea that could work for this demographic.

Teenagers (or Gen Z)

If this isn’t the most challenging demographic, specialists say…

They are the youngest, most ethnically diverse, and the largest generation in American history, comprising 27% of the United States of America’s population at the moment. Even though they are the generation that already spends most of their time online, they are now looking for more creative entertainment options.

In 2020, going to Family Entertainment Centers and enjoying quality time with friends is  still an activity Gen Z-ers prefer to do. However, they need to be constantly entertained with the novelty factor, as they love everything that’s new and cool.

Let’s see what their preferences are when it comes to FEC activities:

A study made in January 2020 showed that most Gen Z-ers (13-18 y.o) chose to spend a “typical night” for fun to go out with friends.

They love arcades, as it is a fun activity to do when hanging out with friends. However, they would also be keen to try out new, exciting things, such as Virtual Reality Games or an Augmented Reality Climbing Wall. But they wouldn’t say no to laser tag or go-karts.

Keep in mind that although they enjoy coming to Family Entertainment Centers, Gen Z-ers tend to get bored easily, especially if they don’t have anything exciting to do in your facility anymore (and they would choose something else that’s more fun)

Young Adults (Or Millenials)

There was always a lot of talk regarding Millennials. What do they like, how they like to spend their time, and whether a Family Entertainment Center can provide the needed fun times for this particular demographic.

Although most Family Entertainment Centers are mostly aimed at families (and Gen Z-ers), in the past couple of years, the average age of customers has increased. This means that people from the older demographic have started to come to FECs. However, consumer behavior is quite different. You need to cater to what they would like to do – birthday parties or corporate events, you name it. The attractions as well as the dining experience have to meet their expectations.

Millennials are the ones that will talk about your facility on social media, the ones with the highest chance of recommending your facility to another group if they had a good time.

You have to offer an exquisite brand experience

Millennials are willing to spend money on a great experience, and if they love your brand, you can be sure they will invest time, energy, and money inside your facility!

You have to mostly target this demographic on late nights or weekends with cool specials or package deals.

Millennials are looking for social experiences that live up to the price.

Talking attractions, you have to add new, high-quality, interesting-looking things, in order to make them curious and have them come with friends. Laser tag has proven to be an amazing activity that millennials love! Also, other attractions like Virtual Reality Arenas and bowling are a must for millennials!

The Millennial Mom

Most parents nowadays are millennials, but an interesting demographic is a millennial mom. There’s a huge difference between the Gen X mom, as statistically would only let their children “rule”, and the millennial mom, that wants to have a great experience (identified as “me time”) as well when coming to a facility. They focus a lot on finding the time to turn off the auto-pilot so they spend meaningful time with their family.

Adults (or Gen X)

This is the generation of Americans born between the mid-1960s and the early-1980s. Even though this generation is one of the smallest ones in North America, they make up a large portion of the purchasing power.

This demographic values stability and likes to do things that turn into a routine. They have been employed in the same place for over a decade, they go out to dinner every Saturday night in the same restaurant, visit their friends around the same time, etc. That’s why even coming to a Family Entertainment Center can definitely be a go-to for them.

As we’ve talked about the millennial mom, it is very important to note down that Gen X is tied with Gen Z-ers – as they most frequently come together.

They spend a lot of money inside a Family Entertainment Center.

However, FECs should satisfy Gen X’s needs as well. They wouldn’t be so keen to visit a place that doesn’t have any sort of facilities for them (the same case as in the millennial mom) – cafe bars, dining options, drinks, and even some attractions they can try out.

Overall, although this article tackles all demographics in Family Entertainment Centers, we should all remember one thing: that specific targeting is very important for every facility.

BEFORE YOU GO…

If you want to find out more, make sure to watch the full video below, as we interviewed Dutch Magrath, President of Amusement Products, as part of our new series called Wize Talks.

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