Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

The future of VR entertainment is female

According to ARena Space, a chain of scalable data-driven VR parks, larger indoor parks have higher retention rates and are more efficient than smaller ones. The company also found that men still comprise the majority of virtual entertainment consumers but most frequent guests were female. 
ARena Space analysed the behaviour of more than 150,000 visitors to the company’s 11 different locations in Eastern Europe from December 2018 – August 2019. “We’ve been collecting data across digital and offline channels using 10 different tools and processing it on our ArenaParkManager platform,” said Vasily Ryzhonkov, ARena Space founder and CEO. 
“The IT platform can easily integrate new experiences, content, and potential partners, allowing us to analyse any product, customer, operational, or financial information. This helps us make decisions on pricing policies and new products, as well as helping increase retention rates.” 
On average, guests return to ARena Space VR parks 3.8 times a year in comparison to the 2.8 times  retention rate at family entertainment centres according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Benchmark Report. 
Here are just some of ARena Space’s key findings:
1. Millennials play more 

VR parks attract adult consumers by providing experiences at the crossroads of the online and real. The majority of attendees are millennials (2640 years old) and Gen X (41-50 years old).  Most of them are coming to entertain not just themselves but also their children.

2. VR is still a male-dominated environment 
Around 58 to 87 percent of park visitors are men, depending on the location and size of the indoor VR park. Most women age 41 to 65 visit the parks with their children and grandchildren. According to Arena Space research, this category shows the highest retention rate: women in this age bracket return more than five times. Also, they are loyal: almost 15-35 percent of VR parks’ most frequent guests are female. 
3. Big parks are more efficient 

The average guest spends twice as long in a larger indoor park of 10,764 ft² (1,000 m²) – 26,900 ft² (2500 m²) than a smaller one of 1,615 ft² (150 m²) – 2,690 ft² (250 m²). Larger parks are more efficient: people spend more time in larger parks because they offer a greater variety of experiences. The average time a guest spends playing in a smaller park is 30 minutes, compared to an hour in a larger park. Retention rates in larger parks are also higher: 38% of guests return for a second visit. In comparison, depending on the location, only 15-30% of guests return to smaller parks. 

The number of guests increases at the weekend, reaching its peak on Sunday, traditionally a family-focused day. “Thanks to the data, we can segment customers and find out when they prefer to play,” said Vasily Ryzhonkov. 
“For example, children visit Monday through Friday and on Sunday mornings, while Saturdays are popular with adults. We can improve our loyalty system by catering it to what consumers are looking for.”
5. Most customers are new to VR experiences 
Almost 93 percent of guests who visit VR parks are there for the first time, according to ARena Space. “Now is the best time to introduce people to as many experiences as possible because consumers don’t know what they like yet,” added Vasily Ryzhonkov. 
“That is why our tickets include as many attractions as possible. Using a data-driven approach, we can find out more about our customers preferences and, in the future, create exclusive personalised offers.” 
The company currently offers more than 80 virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences and is planning to create new data-driven VR parks in more than 20 cities around the world by the end of 2020.   
According to Ryzhonkov, ARena Space park-as-a-platform model integrates the best practices of indoor amusement parks, movie theatres, and cybersport clubs.
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