October 1st, 2019
8 Things a Visitor Attraction Can Do This October
With half term school holidays on the horizon and Christmas relatively few ‘sleeps’ away, what can a visitor attraction do to attract more families over the rest of the year.
Getting inside the mind of the tourist or visitor can help with this, if you download Catapult PR’s UK Visitor Attraction Survey booklet 2019, or our podcasts on this topic, but here are some other ideas, again free-of-charge, from the practical, to the more quirky.
1. Check out all of the school holiday periods around you and by that we mean neighbouring counties, or ones from which you get many visitors e.g. for Blackpool, the latter would mean Glasgow and other areas of Scotland. Put something on not just in your local school half term, but on at least one day in those that could attract families from elsewhere and then promote it via PR, in that area.
2. Stage a great photo that will help you promote whatever your half term or Christmas activity is. Make it interesting and a good person or people shot, if you can. Get the subject up close, unless you are doing something that really needs you to get a wider photo. If you are an animal attraction, create a great animal & human shot.
3. Make sure your storytelling is compelling, whether you are doing that through people, or through interpretation boards or signs. If you have the latter, but it’s not that interesting, why not have a go at hiring someone who could tour around and give verbal interpretation in an interesting way?
4. Maybe ring the changes and don’t do the witches and wizards thing that all other attractions will be doing. Why not change it up, take a leaf out of the theme for this year’s Countryfile calendar and do ‘Beauty and the Beast’, giving families the option of dressing up in Disney costumes or witches/wizards outfits, to get a discount on entry?
5. Remember that October presents your opportunity to sell your Christmas event, as well as your 2020 programme, so make sure you have your leaflets or flyers ready and maybe even offer visitors a discount voucher that they can bring back and validate against a future visit or event. They will appreciate the added-value.
6. If you can’t arrange anything special, you could still attract children by doing something simple and pocket-pleasing, such as arranging a Football Shirt Friday, which gives any child wearing a football shirt a special discount.
7. When it comes to Christmas, you may not have anything that particularly lends itself to the festive season, but if you’ve got animals, you could have a Stir Up Sunday event where children help make the equivalent of Christmas pud and, given the timing of this day, it’s a great way to pre-promote Christmas. You can always have a Reindeer Antlers special admission day and you could also have a Disney Princess Day. How about reading stories or poems related to what you do, which have a festive theme, or having a story writing contest? How about winter tree identification or creating your own garden-based Christmas decorations tree? Are you big on the outdoors? Why not decorate up old wellies? The opportunities are limitless with a bit of imagination.
8. And finally … let’s not forget Brexit. Want to know the big idea here? Just call Jane Hunt on 01253 446925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org