Effective guest communication starts before guests even purchase tickets.
In 2021, as theme parks and venues reopened across the amusement and entertainment industry, owners and operators were tasked with reassuring guests they were entering a clean and safe environment. Even as we get closer to Q4, this challenge remains and will continue far into the foreseeable future.
A great way to stand out as an insurance provider is to give your clients a little extra help from time to time, even if it’s not directly related to the products you’re providing them. When they see that you understand their struggles outside the confines of risk mitigation, it goes a long way in showing them you understand their world and their struggles.
Thankfully for your amusement and entertainment clients, we’ve learned a lot about how to mitigate COVID-19 risks. The key for owners and operators is effectively communicating to guests that they understand the hazards and have taken all the precautions necessary to minimize risks for guests.
Effective guest communication starts before guests even purchase tickets, and it continues throughout their visit to venues and parks. Amusement parks, carnivals, concerts, and waterparks can all take advantage of these communication tips to mitigate risk and ensure that guests are comfortable.
Also read: 3 Considerations for Reopening Waterparks
Communicate before guests arrive
1. BUSINESS WEBSITE
A theme park or venue’s website is its first line of guest communication. The website’s purpose is to generate sales and communicate important information, such as COVID-19 updates. The homepage will get the most attention of any page on a website. Therefore, it’s common practice in 2021 for companies to have a large banner addressing COVID-19 on their homepage. Entertainment and amusement companies need to follow this trend and set guest expectations communicating what has been done, what is currently being done, and any new procedures to expect during their visit.
Most companies today rely on email marketing. Some guests may never visit a company’s website but do open marketing emails. If the email subject line is eye-catching and expresses urgency, the chances of a recipient clicking and opening the email increase substantially. Owners and operators should be actively communicating to guests already on their email list to keep them informed about what measures have been taken to ensure a safe environment.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA
Conditions are continually changing even at this point in the pandemic, so it’s important to have a fast and open line of communication to reach out to guests. Restrictions are lifted and tightened on a day-to-day basis. Businesses should have up-to-date social media accounts to keep guests informed around the clock as to what the latest status is.
4. CUSTOM APPS
Some amusement and entertainment businesses have invested in developing their own mobile applications. Businesses with apps can send alerts and push notifications directly to their guest’s devices. After a guest purchases a ticket, the venue can also send a notification asking the guest to read the latest guidelines and set expectations early.
5. TEXT MESSAGES
Guests that have opted into receiving text messages are easy to reach—texts are read more than any other form of digital communication. Businesses can send friendly text messages with a link to the latest guidelines. At the same time, while texts are convenient and useful, it’s important to use them sparingly. Sending too many too quickly can annoy customers and lose their attention.
Keep guest communication channels open
- Entrance signs: As guests arrive, it’s important to remind them about best practices and expectations continually. It’s also worthwhile for owners and operators to manage expectations by over-communicating during regular operations. The venue entrance should have well-designed and visually appealing signs with easy-to-understand graphics and messages in multiple languages. Although guests might not read every sign, their presence alone is reassuring.
- Information booths: After guests have entered the venue, excellent guest communication will need to continue. Signage should be posted throughout the venue in strategic places, especially in areas that receive large volumes of people. Information booths that can answer guest questions should also be placed throughout the facility.
- Sanitation booths: Sanitation booths with accompanying signage are another way to effectively communicate to guests the importance of following best practices. Sanitation booths should be equipped with hand sanitizers as well as other safety-oriented giveaways like branded masks. This is free marketing for your businesses and a gesture that shows safety is your priority.
Top considerations for operators to keep in mind for reopening:
- Encourage the use of masks and face coverings for guests and staff.
- Provide multiple designated areas for frequent hand washing and sanitizing.
- Manage the density of crowds by implementing physical distancing guidelines keeping individuals and groups six feet apart.
- Sanitize high touch surfaces frequently.
- Protect staff with barriers, protective coverings, and social distancing.
- Use clear signage to communicate with guests and employees on best practices for preventing the spread of germs.
- Have a plan in place for guests or employees that become sick or show symptoms while in the venue.
This summer has been a new experience for amusement and entertainment operators across the country. Many parks are now operating with revised safety practices will likely remain open. When you’re looking for the best coverage for your clients, choose a provider that has relevant experience and understands the amusement and entertainment business.
The McGowan Amusement & Entertainment Insurance Program can help you grow your business in this exciting market segment. McGowan is a master in the art of insuring amusement and entertainment risks. Our team brings more than 35 years of expertise in risk management in this space.