There is nothing more important than pre-planning for visitor attractions, especially when it comes to holiday events such as Christmas and the New Year.
Not only will you need to prepare your staff and visitor management system for the rush, but you’ll also want to make your attraction an appealing destination despite all the competition. In this sense, value for money is a vital consideration, ensuring that you provide the best experience possible for the cost of entry.
Looking for some different ways to achieve exactly that? This blog is for you – read on to see some of our favourite suggestions!
1. Create a Truly Magical Atmosphere
Regardless of your attraction’s industry, you should be creating an atmosphere to match the occasion. Fake snow in outdoor areas, decorations and lights lining your hallways, and Christmas-themed displays are just some of the most effective ways to build a relevant atmosphere.
Consider having an intricately detailed Christmas tree as your centrepiece while playing Christmas music in appropriate places around your attraction during the season.
For example, one of our largest clients, Blenheim Palace, is implementing a new theme for the interior of the palace this winter! They’re even setting up a brand new Christmas trail with twinkling lights, heart-shaped archways, and much more.
2. Provide Your Guests With Photo Opportunities
Using the atmosphere you’ve created and the decorations you’ve put up, consider providing several locations for photo opportunities around your attraction.
These could be the traditional 2D cutouts with face holes for a laugh, or specifically set up “photo areas” that will not only improve the visitor experience, but also prompt your guests to post those pictures on social media for some free advertising!
Don’t forget to have a sign telling your guests to tag your attraction in the post, too!
Our client Leonardslee Gardens is an expert at this with their “Leonardslee Illuminated” celebration, providing guests with a special Christmas-themed experience with several picturesque locations throughout the grounds!
3. Seasonal Treats or Gift Shop Items
There’s something special about running limited-time items in your café or gift shop. The lure of a seasonal hot chocolate and warm cookies while it’s freezing outside is unmistakable, and offering special Christmas themed sweets or products in your gift shop can help you to maximise your revenue from secondary points of sale.
This can help stimulate a rise in returning customers as they want to try the items you won’t be offering year-round! Plus, combine this with an EPoS system that automatically collects sales and visitor data, and you can start to see sales trends to help better inform festive decisions the following year!
4. Host Santa Meet and Greets
Especially useful if your attraction targets younger audiences, nothing can beat a classic meet and greet with the man himself, Santa Claus. Though he has a busy schedule, providing a space for your guests to meet Santa will boost family visits and could result in the children wanting to visit again.
Plus, by offering time slots that guests can book ahead of time using your online ticketing systems, you can increase the steady flow of guests around your attraction and at the meetings, helping you with capacity management and the placement of your staff and resources.
Many of our farm park clients offer Santa’s Grottos as part of their festive events, including Odds Farm Park, which is implementing a Christmas Spectacular Experience, allowing guests to walk through the North Pole!
5. Host Workshops and Activities For Children
One of the best ways to attract families is to offer fun and interesting workshops that they can all participate in. This could include creating and decorating baubles or other Christmas tree decorations, baking festive cookies, or any other activity related to the theme and industry of your specific attraction.
These kinds of events can attract both new and returning visitors, especially if you offer a variety of workshops on a daily rotation or scheduled throughout the day. This approach could spark curiosity and excitement in your visitors, whilst providing ease and convenience to try all that’s on offer!
This year, our client Floors Castle will be hosting a range of special workshops for visitors, including Christmas wreath making and winter portrait sessions!
6. Consider Live Performances
Nativity plays, live music shows, and much more throughout the festive period could help improve the visitor experience and make for an excellent addition to any attraction. They could help bring in a new audience to your attraction or enrich the experience of visitors.
You could consider charging a small fee to watch these performances and provide them to your members for free, to really help improve the value for money your guests will be getting at your attraction.
Also, advertising your schedule ahead of time on social media and more will also help get the good word of your attraction out across several platforms, expanding your brand reach significantly.
7. Follow us on Social Media for More Helpful Tips and Tricks!
Our advice doesn’t stop there – if you’d like a consistent flow of helpful tips to give your attraction the edge over your competition, consider following us on social media!