In the June issue of RePlay, I covered some key areas in which fine-tuning laser tag operations could result in better earnings, increased player loyalty and repeat visits. From enhancing the briefing room experience to selfie walls to using and maintaining atmospheric smoke or fog equipment, operational tweaks can –– and do –– make a significant difference in your bottom line. Another key area where laser tag operators are leaving money on the table is in the scoring, something I think is grossly underrated.
The industry standard today is to have one scoreboard mounted on the wall showing the game stats and another next to it showing a feed from the low-light cameras in the arena. From a deliverable point of view, this is easy. When you’re building out your arena, you tell the electrician he needs to mount two monitors, the laser tag manufacturer runs the cables, the camera guy installs the equipment and, bam, it’s done. One more item off the checklist. But, in going with this cookie cutter approach, we’re missing out on golden opportunities to market to the consumer within the scoring process.
For example, most laser tag manufacturers’ systems have the ability to run advertisements using the built-in scoring software. So, while the consumer is standing there looking at the score, they could also be seeing upcoming special events or deals. I don’t see this done in other laser tag centers and it’s a golden marketing opportunity that is ignored.
At my own Q-ZAR location in Toledo, Ohio, we bring it all together and have incorporated rotational banner ads along the lower portion of our scoreboard. Each is displayed for a certain period of time before it switches to the next image and so on. Panels promote everything from our “All You Can Play” deals to church nights, from fundraising to lock-ins. Even our concession stand gets a plug.