Depending on what type of destination you run, we bet you’ve been known to either do the rain dance, or the sun worship ceremony and kept your fingers crossed for the weather to play in your favour. Whatever your tactic, you know weather is a major factor in your success.
Or is it?
There is no denying that here on our small island we are obsessed with what the sky is doing to the point that it is internationally known fact it’s our main topic of conversation.
However because of our adverse and unpredictable weather patterns Britons are actually more weather hardy than you think.
We have worked with attractions and leisure destinations that will just throw in the towel the moment the heatwave hits exclaiming ‘nothing can be done now to save our summer footfall budget’. But they are wrong. So much can be done.
Are we claiming Storm Dennis won’t make people think twice about coming to your theme park? No, of course not. People will take weather as a consideration, but it is not the only consideration and you can influence them in your favour.
Top 5 tactics for pulling in the punters no matter what the weather.
Whenever we work with destinations we always assess how well integrated they are in their local business community, because the untapped power of partnerships is HUGE. Ideally you want to forge friendships with destinations who are the opposite, weather wise, to you.
Here are some contra-deal partnerships we have set up:
- Indoor play centre and a football club
- Outdoor adventure park and a leisure centre
- Theme park and a shopping centre
2.A loyal membership base
There is no accounting for friendship, and a bank of loyal fans is real benefit during difficult times. It gives you an exclusive group of customers you can send incentives out to without publicly dropping your prices and devaluing your brand.
3. Flash sales and ticket price drops
We don’t recommend overly discounting, and we are quite against offers on top of offers, but on really bad weather days when no-one is coming anyway and you have overheads to cover there is nothing wrong with a quick, well packaged, sale. Here are some that we have seen work well.
– £5 on a Snow Day. One of our local zoos did an offer for £5 entrance on snowy days. Lets face it, no-one thinks of the zoo in the snow but this offer saw a great attendance spike on what would’ve been a wash out weekend.
– Half Price Sunny Day. If the met office is saying that the sunshine will be over 22 degree’s, this indoor attraction gives you half price entry. The date must be listed on their sunny day webpage to be valid.
– Free membership (with your ticket entrance). During last summer (2019) when it was forecast to be a complete wash out, one large attraction in the Midlands offered their membership free with ticket entrance so you could return all summer. This was a huge saving for families of over £100. Knowing that they only had a once yearly visit from most families anyway, and hoping to gain on those secondary spends, this secured more feet through the gates all summer.
Utilise all of the indoor or outdoor space you have and when the wrong weather hits run an event that suits the season. Here are some great companies that can help attract visitors, whatever the weather:
- Science shows with Mad Science
- Lego displays with Bright Bricks
- Mascot hire with Rainbow Productions
- Outdoor Cinema with Skylight
‘Build it and they will come’ (except for when they don’t).
This age-old saying is actually a really lazy way to approach destination marketing.
If you run a destination, an attraction, a shopping centre or perhaps even a school, we can guarantee you’ve heard this phrase and we bet you that you’ve experienced one or more of these issues:
- Low footfall in bad weather
- Low attendance in a heatwave
- Fluctuating revenue across the year
- Massive highs where maintaining good service was an issue
- Big lows where revenue and staff morale were issues
- Unpredictable attendance – really not knowing who will come and when
- Badly activated offers, driving down price to drive up attendance or as we like to say ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’
We understand footfall, the seasonality of it, the motivators, the risks, the mistakes, the strategies and tactics to motivate your market into action.
Want to find out more? Get in touch by clicking here or calling 07521058706