Checkfront had an incredible time last week attending the 27th annual Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) conference, in Savannah, Georgia. We had the opportunity to connect with some new and returning folks, escape our Canadian snow to enjoy the amazing southern weather, and learn from leading zipline, canopy, and aerial adventure course operators on what their focus will be on going forward in 2017.
Here are 4 major takeaways we learned from attending ACCT 2017
1. The importance of defining your marketing efforts
A common theme throughout the entire ACCT conference in both our conversations at the booth and from the speakers was on developing a defined and healthy marketing strategy. Two major points were on justifying a marketing budget, and integrating Google Analytics (and Google Adwords).
Speaker Thomas Kratsch recommends zipline and aerial adventure parks spend 5-10% of their revenue on marketing and that adventure parks in the start-up phase should be spending 10-15% of their revenue on marketing.
By integrating Google Analytics into your booking system, you are able to track and understand who your customers are, where they are coming from, and their behaviours. This information gives insights and justification into which markets and demographics your marketing dollars should be spent on.
2. The importance of creating an exceptional and effortless experience
Another common topic was delivering an exceptional and effortless experience to your customers right from booking. Having an intuitive booking system on your website that effortlessly moves your visitors through the booking process quickly starts your customer’s journey off with a positive impression.
Of course it doesn’t stop there. Being in the zipline and aerial adventure tour industry means your business model is based around providing a memorable and unique experience. Having a speedy check-in so customers are on their way to their adventure in minutes is paramount to delivering an exceptional experience that customers will want to talk about for months after.
Therefore, having all your customers’ documentation and payment processing information ready on arrival, so their enthusiastic, adrenaline-junky tour guides can get them into their safety gear in minutes, really adds to the experience.
3. The importance of establishing safety policies
Which leads us into safety policy. No one wants anyone to be injured out on the tour and establishing written safety policies helps ensure your staff and tour guides know all the safety protocol necessary for your customers to have a safe and exhilarating experience.
And because customers want to be on their way flying through the tops of trees, using digital waivers is a lifesaver to zipline and aerial tour companies. 2017 looks like the year everyone is trying to go paperless and have all those necessary documents signed digitally, at the time of booking. That way, when customers show up at check-in, they are whisked away to their adventure after a quick confirmation is pulled up in the system.
4. The importance of upselling to your customers for the complete experience
Another major topic we heard the folks at ACCT talking about was on the importance of upselling. Offering upsells means your company has a bigger share of your customer’s wallet. It also means that your customers are able to get the most complete experience possible. For example, while booking their zipline tour, they have the option of adding on lunch, bottle water, swag and souvenirs, and/or a photo package.
This year’s ACCT conference was a smashing success (like always), and we are gearing up for our 5th adventure next year at the 28th annual Association for Challenge Course Technology Conference wherever it may be. We hope to see you there!