Sharpen Your Competitive Edge

10 Tips to Hosting a Successful Laser Maze Challenge® Competition:

Competitions for players of the Laser Maze Challenge and other attractions are a creative way to build traction around your brand.  Not only do they help you market your center, they can also be a powerful way to increase your play count while engaging your community online.

We know from experience that successful competitions start with smart planning.  Wondering where to begin?  Start with these tips:

Pick a Good Date –

  • Give yourself plenty of leeway time to create awareness and get players in the door.  Make sure to consider the events you already have planned, so you do not overbook or overshadow.  We recommend advertising the event at least 1 month ahead of time to generate some proper buzz.

Determine the Competition Rules and Prizes –

  • Before printing any signs or posting notices online, determine how the competition will be run and what prizes you want to give away.  For instance, do you want to include co-op play and Beam Buster® as part of the competition?  How many finalists do you plan on having?
  • Consider having the top scorers over the course of a week or even month, automatically qualify as contestants.  This will help boost excitement around the event and increase your repeat plays.

Market Your Big Event –

  • Create signs that are exciting and visually appealing.  You can personalize the competition sign included in your Welcome Kit, or design your own.  Be sure to include the following information: competition start date, final showdown time and date, prizes and grand prizes, rules for entry, entry fee information, etc.  Post them throughout your center.
  • Post announcements online (for example, create an event page on your Facebook page and a pin for Pinterest), build a competition landing page with details and rules, and reach out to your local media outlets.  Send out an email to your mailing list and your subscribers with a “forward it to a friend” link.

Get your Staff Involved –

  • Encourage your attendants to notify players of the event and have them take down any participants’ information so you can send notifications leading up to the event.
  • Consider offering promos around the event. For instance, hand out free Laser Maze play tickets to guests the week before the event so they can have a chance to earn a spot in the competition.

Tie in Video Capture –

  • If you are using the video capture feature, post or have players post videos of their qualifying runs on your social media, and event pages. Update your video capture banner with the event details or create a new one.

Send a Save the Date Reminder –

  • Two weeks before the event, begin sending out email reminders and posting online notifications to your fans. Email qualifiers the event details and rules one week before the event.

Set the tone one week out –

  • Check that you have enough Beat This! stickers, fog fluid, and a back-up hazer available (just in case).
  • Change up your Laser Maze configuration to level the playing field and keep things fresh.  See your user’s manual for more on in-Maze configuration of your maze.
  • Determine pricing for the day of the competition and if you plan on using wristbands or similar for participants.
  • Have a staff meeting prior to the event to go over the event rules and operations.  Perform a maintenance check. Make sure everything is working properly and check if the carpet needs to be cleaned.

Get your ducks in a row the day of the competition –

  • Have your leaderboard ready – create a new event and upload an image or graphic in place of your logo to make it official.
  • Ask a member of your staff to take pictures, post live commentary, and videos of the event online and on your website.
  • Have another member of your staff emcee the event to keep the energy going and draw spectators.
  • Pass out swag to participants.

After the Competition –

  • Post pictures of the winners online with their prizes in hand, along with pictures of the contestants and the crowd.
  • Post videos of the winners’ runs through the maze.
  • Send a thank you email to all the participants. Use this opportunity to mention any upcoming events or promotions.

Make it a Tradition! –

  • If your competition was a rousing success, make it an annual event!  For the past 8 years, Funovation has hosted daily competitions at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo.  The daily competitions help draw a crowd to our booth and a new generation of fans.  We even have a handful of players who have attended and participated all 8 years!  On the last day of the trade show, we host the IAAPA Ambassadors Challenge (pictured above), which has now become a mainstay.

Good luck- but with good planning you should not need it!  If you do host a competition, please let us know.  We would love to see pictures and hear how it went.

Happy Mazing!

 

Original Posting Date: May 6, 2016