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 VR 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.
Do you have or are you thinking about opening a VR Arcade?
It’s a good choice. And now is a WAYYYY better time to get into it than three years from now. I appreciate that you’re thinking about being on the front line. We want you to succeed. And being that we are sister company to the largest and oldest VR Arcade group in the United States, we think we know a little bit about what we’re discussing.
This post became kinda long kinda quickly so now it’s part one of two posts.
With that in mind, here are 10 Things you need to consider with your VR Arcade.
1. Location Location Location
Let’s face it, your VR Arcade is totally bound by the real estate that surrounds it. If you’re place is in a dark, dingy alley are people really going to show up…or less likely drop off their kids? Of course not.
The key to your success is going to be foot traffic. You need to be somewhere people are already going. A popular shopping mall is a great place. But it can be super expensive to lease space. A nice strip mall near a big grocery store might be ideal. Alternatively maybe you can rent some square footage from a place that already offers entertainment…think movie theaters, bowling alleys, laser tag facilities, jump zones or other.
2. Hours of Operation
This doesn’t seem that important until you look at play rates and realize you’re paying someone to stand there all morning. This means that you have more employees than customers in your space at certain times during the day. You certainly have to work with the hours of your surroundings a bit. We’ve seen time and time again that play picks up when people aren’t in school. This isn’t to say only teenagers play, but there is some corollary.
3. How to hire the right folks
As the Director of Business Development here, I have interesting insights into the Virtual Reality Arcade space. And I wanted a piece of it too. But I don’t have time to be an owner operator so I would have to hire a manager. I thought I found the perfect guy…a teacher who LOVES VR. He has a vive. He’s good with people. He’s patient. In speaking with my guys, that’s not the profile. You want someone who is highly efficient. Capable of answering questions politely, but won’t take more time than necessary. In short, you want a sales guy whose compensation is tied to the bottom line.
For hourly workers you want people who are reliable, people friendly and who are looking for 20 hours a week, max. Hire a few and figure out which ones work best for you.
4. Which games to let people choose
As of this writing there are over 500 unique Virtual Reality experiences for the HTC Vive. Can you imagine sifting through each one to see what you’d want to play? Now imagine doing that knowing you’re being charged for every minute.
You’re best bet it to partner with a company that helps make game selection a super easy choice for you/your clients based on the statistics they’ve collected. Hmmmmm I wonder what company might do such a thing. Oh, that’s right…We do!
5. How many booths are right for you?
We talk to people all the time who want to start with either 10 booths or 1 booth. Let me tell you, both are probably ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re in a busy area with lots of foot traffic, you can likely keep 10 filled for a good chunk of a Saturday. But what about Monday-Thursday??
If you’ve got the space, capital and foot traffic, buying 10 is certainly better than buying 1. 1 is bad because what happens when someone books the hour and someone else wants to play? They will never be back.
So this post is the primer to give you something think about and it became a bit long. I will be addressing five more things you MUST think about on this blog next. Here are those five:
6. How you will market
7. Arcade management software
8. Are you going to operate legally
9. How do you get more referral business
10. What will you charge?
Let me know what thoughts, questions or ideas you have. Thanks!
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?