As part of our series of interviews that we carried out earlier this year the next instalment looks at innovation in the trampoline park market. Innovation is important for any industry. It can help to create a buzz and drive customers through the door. It gets people talking about your business. Ultimately, it helps your business to grow. So what did the trampoline park owners and managers say when asked the following question:
Over the next 12-24 months what are the key areas of innovation that trampoline parks need to concentrate on to help their business grow and why?
There has to be diversification. The parks need to be more interactive and it needs to develop more. A straight ninja course doesn’t encompass enough people. It has to work for a 5 year old and a 16 year old and that is tough to do. So we’ve got to develop the right products at the right time. The biggest challenge for this industry is going to be the weather. There’s not a lot you can do when its warm and pleasant. People are going to be outside. The businesses have to prepare for that and be ready for that change. Finding niches in the market like we all did in the beginning when there wasn’t 175 parks, we have to find the next niche. People love trampolines but there has to be more to it.
Harvey Jenkinson, Co-Owner, Gravity Trampoline Parks
There are a few different aspects to this question. One is definitely looking for new and novel activities to put in parks to keep it interesting and fresh. You see everything from augmented reality games and climbing walls to all kinds of action adventure games. The other thing is improving the customer service/experience so incorporating elements of gamification and making the experience more unique and novel and drawing elements from theme parks. The third is the variety of different sessions that parks offer and there’s a wide range on offer at the moment. Its about getting those sessions right. Things like fitness classes and additional needs sessions. There are ways to improve. For me it’s the customer service aspect and the range of activities on offer and where its going to move over the next 24 months.
Louis Freeman, Business Development Manager, Jump 360
Moving forward trampoline parks need to evolve. They need re-invent what they’re doing to add new attractions to draw people back and to compete in what is now a highly competitive marketplace. As well as that it is imperative that you offer excellent customer service. No matter how good the park is, if you have a terrible experience with staff or if you spend half your time queueing, it will put you off going back. No matter how shiny, new or fabulous the technology is. Cleanliness is a very basic but very important detail. We find that parents in particular appreciate that. Toilets being cleaned regularly. The small details can really make a difference. People are worried about what innovation is going to hit the market next but getting the fundamentals right will also help people stand in good stead moving forward.
Michelle Ball & Matthew Ball, Managing Directors, Jump Nation
What is happening in the UK market is very interesting. When we first started it was flat trampolines and trampoline based activities. The market is moving. There will be innovation around the activities in the park, whether its climbing elements or warrior elements and many other elements that are going to be coming into the park. There will be movement in terms of technology and the way technology is used in the UK. We are very reliant on our phones and there will be development around increasing the user experience making it easier for the user when they are in the park, using technology they already have.
Peter Brown, Managing Director, Freedome Trampoline Parks
Trampoline parks have moved away from the traditional matching beds as they are putting in more activities. The next stream is technology and how we integrate technology to get a more interactive feel with the customer. There are a lot of things that parks can do from using virtual reality for sales techniques to different games you can use in the parks. There’s a lot of you can do with minimal spaces to have different features for customers. This moves into the secondary spend side as in using technology for that, so taking photos of customers for selling or to push via social media to help our marketing.
Lewis Thompson, National Operations and Business Manager, Better Extreme
As we continue to grow and evolve worldwide we are always seeing the addition of new elements coming into the parks. Originally some of the parks started out with just trampolines. Now we are seeing more factors come into play. The sky coaster and laser tag, the glow experiences. We saw here at the conference, interactive designs for virtual reality within the park. It’s really about staying relevant and always having something new to offer your patrons.
Bethany Evans, Executive Vice President of IATP
Over the next 12 to 24 months there will be a consolidation of suppliers to the market to a certain degree. Many of the parks will source more of their products through less suppliers as they will benefit from more competitive prices and working with suppliers, who understand their business model better. In terms of innovation I believe the parks will regenerate their brands and activities to drive more interest and sales. From a merchandising point of view there are new manufacturing processes coming out all the time that allow ever more intricate designs and decorations. In 2017 we saw a lot more demand for trampoline grip socks for holidays and special occasions like Easter, Xmas and Halloween. There was also more demand for core sock variations (e.g. more colours and different designs) for upselling purposes thus allowing parks to drive more revenue. I would expect this to continue into 2018.
My name is Peter Fuller and I head up Samurai’s Sports Division. At Samurai Trampoline Products we specialise in trampoline grip socks, party packs, custom clothing, key accessories and retail products. We are the #1 global supplier of branded merchandising products for trampoline parks. Please contact me if you have any questions or queries regarding how I can help your business grow.
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