So this part two of a blogpost that would have been waaaayyyyyyy too long for one post. If you want to see the first five things I suggest, you should click over to 5 Things VR Arcade Owners Must Consider.
Since the list isn’t in any specific order you can stay here and read these five first:
6. How you will market your VR Arcade
It doesn’t really matter what your business is…you have GOT TO figure out how you will let the public know about it. Virtual Reality Arcades have it easy. Why? Because it’s sooooo visual. There are plenty of cool pix and great videos already on the web. As if that wasn’t enough you can always create new content every time a new customer comes in (be sure to get them to sign the video release form).
Setup a YouTube channel. Make sure you have a Facebook place/page setup. Instagram and Snapchat can both be great vehicles to gain exposure for your new attraction as well. Make sure you have an e-mail newsletter and SMS Marketing solution too. I could go on, but you should check out this post about Social Media Mastery for FECs for now.
7. VR Arcade Management Software
VR Arcade Management Software can be something as simple as a “Game Clock” and as complicated as the tracking of each play by game, by booth, by day and making sure the developers are paid for their work. That last part is important and will be the reason some VR Arcades get shut down…not paying their game licensing fees. A good software can also provide you with a leaderboard, a rewards program, an in goggle game selector and more. Actually, if you want to check out a good VR Arcade Management Software, you could just click that link. We’ve got you covered.
8. Are you going to operate your VR Arcade legally?
This is just between us. You don’t have to answer or comment, but you do need to think about this…seriously. IF you are running a VR Arcade and NOT paying for the minutes that your customers rack up you are doing one of two things:
1. You’re only offering your customers FREE experiences which is better than nothing, but certainly not giving them the best available.
2. You are cheating the system.
Video Games are a lot like movies. You can’t just go to best buy, pick up a blue ray disk and then start selling tickets to people to come watch. Go read point #7 again about how our software helps with licensing.
9. How do you get more referral business
The single best way to get more referrals is to ask for them. When do you ask? When people are at the height of excitement. AKA right after they finish their time having a blast in your place. But here’s the thing, it’s awkward to be like “can you refer 10 of your friends who might like to come play”. An easier approach is to encourage people to share their experience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or others. Simply have them write a post and tag themselves at your location and give them a pretzel, or a cookie, or 3 tokens or 2 minutes of VR or whatever you want. You will be amazed at how often people do this. Especially if you give them their “gift” on their next visit. See what we did there?
Oh yeah, and of course our software has a rewards program…see point 7.
10. What will you charge for your VhrR Arcade?
Man, isn’t this the $100 question on the list? Well, maybe not $100, but like $60…for an hour. I can’t tell you what to charge but hopefully I can give you some ideas. VR Junkies, our sister company and largest VR Arcade group in the U.S. charges $1.00 a minute and $45.00 an hour if they buy in bulk. I’ve heard of other groups charging $25.00 for an 8 minutes experience and I’ve seen places do $10 for 20 minutes. You’ve really got to know your demographics. It makes sense to set your price and give people 2 for 1 time for their first experience. That way you’ve set your value AND rewarded the early adopters. It’s always easy to lower your prices…raising them is another story.
By 1981 video games were most everywhere you wanted to be. Restaurants had them in their bars and lobbies. Bowling alleys had them in their own rooms. That hotel you stayed at better have had an arcade near the pool. Even movie theaters got into the act because families arrived before showtime so their kids could play. Soon individual arcades began to spring up everywhere.
Kids were bugging parents for quarters and tokens to play Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac Man. Blisters on thumbs was the new normal. It’s no doubt you’ve played at least one of these classics, and if you’re over 40, your first time may very well have been a life altering experience.
Well, that was then…
What’s NOW is definitely mind-bending. Imagine being transported to some of the greatest sites on our planet via Google Earth in VR. You can literally float over the Golden Gate Bridge or the Sphinx of Giza. If that’s not your thing, how about an underwater adventure where you come eyeball to eyeball with a ginormous blue whale? You can learn just how afraid of heights you and your friends are when you see who dares to walk out on Richie’s Plank. Or maybe you just want to shoot up a bunch of zombies...don’t forget to look behind you.
As of now, the equipment is too expensive for the average person to justify. This is why VR arcades are going to be HUGE beginning in 2017.
Why VR Arcades NOW?!
2016 was a banner year for the Virtual Reality industry. The year started off with plenty of fresh VR users who received the Samsung Gear VR (released November 27, 2015) as a must have gift for the holidays. But this was simply a coming attraction for the big releases to come.
The two heavyweights in the industry, the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive were each released within a week of March 30 and ready to do battle. Both of these head mounted displays provided for greater immersion than the Samsung model which is superior to Google Cardboard.
The timing was great because over the past 5-10 years the computer hardware industry had created processors that were fast enough to support this new reality that had been developing since the 1960’s.
Game developers around the globe have been dreaming of building game worlds in Virtual Reality and now they finally can. New games hit the market almost daily and you never know what will come next. The amount of new titles that have been added to the Steam VR library is quite impressive. The four items mentioned above are a small taste. There are well over 500 experiences created as of this writing.
Looking for Early Adopters
Those places that jumped on the arcade bandwagon by 1981 did well for themselves. We’re at the beginning of a gaming revolution that will make Pac Man Fever look like a common cold.
We told you earlier that we want to make the process of setting up your own virtual reality arcade business an easy one. Let’s start with some questions:
Does your venue pride itself on providing cutting edge experiences?
Can you attract customers between the ages of 12 and 50?
Are you looking to replace an under-performing attraction?
Do you have between 800-1000 sq ft available? (doesn’t have to be contiguous)
Would older siblings spend money if you had something for them to do?
Would you like to add six figures worth of revenue?
If you answered yes and are interested in reading what we do, click HERE. Otherwise send us a note and we will call you soon.
So many online networking sites and so little time to nurture them all. If you can’t spend the amount of time there, you’d better make sure your profile is doing it’s one job: Attracting your ideal customers. But how do we get flat text to do the heavy lifting?
Talk about “who you are”.
Many of these sites have an area for a “summary”. Most folks summarize their
current work experience and consider this done. Sure that’s a great way to check off the task, but does it really help? No. This is the area where you want to engage the person by showing them who you are. What are your values? Share your thoughts on Fun centers. Answer why did you get into the space. Tell us about your family. Make this interesting and personal. It doesn’t have to be long, but it would be great if it made us feel like we got to know you.
Tell us about “what you do”
This should be an easy one, right? Well, recognize that there are lots of people
who do what you do. How will you make your profile stand out? You need to make sure you are using KEYWORDS. Keywords are the words that people use when “searching” online. Specifically list the types of attractions your family entertainment center offers.
An important point to consider- we need to make sure that we are using the
keywords that our industry uses as well as the keywords our clients use. Don’t just type FEC or OOHEC. Not everyone knows what those are. Spell out Family Entertainment Center and Out of Home Entertainment Center too. You have to make sure you appear credible to industry insiders and findable by potential clients. 😉
William Butler Yeats said it best- “think like a wise man, but communicate in
the language of the people”.
Photos and Videos
We all know that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Well, how many pictures are there in a 1 minute video?? LOTS!!! Make sure you’re sharing imagery of people having fun.
You are going to want to have both. Depending on the site you may spend more time as one than the other, but you definitely want both. In fact, on both LinkedIn and Facebook you can’t have a company page/profile/place without having a personal one. Similar rules apply. And the more photos the better. One last thing, don’t be drunk tweeting from your company page thinking it’s your personal one…you’re not the President for crying out loud.
Add Contact Info
You wouldn’t dream of putting your business online without your address so make sure your phone # and e-mail address are there too. This is all about ease of use…making it easy for your prospects to use you!
Its good to have “past life regressions”
Well, maybe they don’t have to be full on regressions, but it is good for people
to get to know about your past life. Why? Because they may have been a part of it. I believe that “all business is relationship business”. We had
some really strong relationships with people we are no longer connected to.
Think about that. If you ran into your favorite “cube buddy” from your first
job, your favorite boss from 6 years ago, a college suite mate or whomever, you would likely be able to pick right up on good conversation. Guess what? Some of these folks may be in a position to host an event at you venue.
We have some amazingly strong ties in our past. It would be wise to make sure
those folks can find us and possibly help us in our future.
Hobbies and interests are interesting
Since “all business is relationship business” and relationships are built fastest
around commonality, shall I assume there is no need to write more?
Seriously, take the time to share your passions. You will probably be amazed at what comes from this simple act. It’s a great conversation starter, it can open doors that weren’t previously opened and you may just land your next gig because of it.
I highly endorse being endorsed
Having endorsements (third party recommendations) show up on your profile page is a great way to have others feel good about you. You have earned them, therefore you should feel great about asking for them. If there are people you would feel good about writing them for, do so. You never know, they may write one for you.
It’s also a really good idea to ask for video testimonials from guests. Whether they’ve thrown a HUGE party or were just there for a couple of hours. Try and get as many different types of people to speak about the different attractions as possible.
Your online profiles are where people go to find out about you in the NOW world.
Whether you are meeting a new client, vendor or potential employer, they are checking you out online. What impression will they get?