I wanted to find out about games and activities in trampoline parks to see what trends there are, what’s new and to find out what the future holds. Who better to speak to than Simon Heap from Rugged Interactive who specialise in motivational fitness technology. Rugged Interactive work with trampoline parks around the world so they certainly have their finger on the pulse when it comes to games and activities that engage customers in trampoline parks.
We asked Simon a number of questions and his responses were as follows:
Actually all our products are selling very well – there is a demand for innovative products that are compelling, keep customers engaged and help to decide to return. Our focus on interactivity, motivation and fun as well as their retro-fit compatibility means that both new and existing parks can get the most out of their exiting real estate.
There’s no doubt that activities that complement trampolines are growing – so that the whole visitor experience isn’t just bounce bounce bounce. Games that complement trampolines are those that involve bouncing (within safe bounds) and skill. So for instance there have been some companies doing quite well with snowboarding boards that you can practice skills on, but also games that involve moving around the park and moving through or along sensor rich areas so that the player can be timed/filmed or set targets to retrieve.
US parks have traditionally been less interested in innovation than Europe but that is beginning to change, other regions are growing very rapidly so are soaking up the latest intel from all sources.
Escape rooms are seen as a possible next big thing in the US but my instinct is they won’t be so popular in the UK. Escape rooms usually have a theme (e.g. espionage, 2nd world war, medieval, sci-fi, etc.) and consists of a group of people working together using clues and puzzles to escape before the allotted time.
It’s a case of research and watching what happens elsewhere. Customer experience is key – being able to ensure the visitors leave not having been on every activity multiple times ensure returns.
Competition and interaction – fun and games is a key element, and of course Rugged Interactive are the leaders in that field! But there are many ways to achieve the same thing from photos and videos to just great organisation. And of course Staff can make the difference. Both stills and moving videos can be used to show off a participant in a particular area of the park – for instance walk the wall, slam dunk or air bag. Making a face and making some shapes. These can then be shared amongst friends on social media…bringing people back to get a better photo.
Of course! – Disney is the master of a full customer experience from rides and shows through to sales opportunities. A great example from Disney is how they make the whole experience from queuing up, to participating in a ride or show, to exiting through merchandise (but not in a shop, more as part of the themed experience) and collecting your photos from the ride through their RFI ‘Magic bands’. It’s seamless, executed beautifully and just adds layers onto an already honed ride or show. Also the staff cannot do more for the visitors, their training is superb.
I predict that neither AR or VR will gain much popularity in trampoline parks, at least not in their current form. Better integration would help but there is a disconnect between the physicality of the parks as they are now and the VR / AR experience.
Projected reality, so moving balls, climbs and obstacles work very well as part of a game experience but so does lighting and especially sound. Old technology but if well used it’s very immersive.
We have just launched DodgeAttack – a retro fit game that brings dodge ball courts into the 21st century with electronic scoring, sound effects and lighting. We launched in December and have had huge interest and lots of orders – it’s proving very popular! We’re basically an innovation company so we are continually pushing the envelope and driving towards products that help customers enjoy their visits (and return visits) but also owners and operators to make their parks better.
I hope you found Simon’s responses interesting and trampoline parks have certainly evolved from being a destination where you mainly spend time jumping on a trampoline as pointed out. Parks need to ensure the customer has a great time so games and activities are a key part of this as well as ensuring that the customer experience is fluid from the moment they walk through the door. Customer feedback is therefore important. This can be gathered from reviews but parks can also be proactive by sending out surveys through social networks and email. Regular feedback from staff, as many parks already do internally, is also another avenue for getting interesting insights about the customer experience and what they do and don’t like.
For more industry insights on the trampoline park market please check out our main blog page as we regularly publish a range of market information, useful for anyone building or running a trampoline park.
My name is Peter Fuller and I head up Samurai’s Sports Division. At Samurai Trampoline Products we specialise in products for the trampoline park industry to include 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 and please contact me to find out how we can help your business grow.