Expectations are high when visiting theme parks. So much so that guests demand an immersive experience when making the investment to take the family on a truly magical vacation.
The expectations are definitely evolving. “Guests are there to experience something better than they can get at home. And not a one-person kind of headset experience. It is a group experience…the assault on the sense in far more detail and motion,” says Electrosonic UK Senior Consultant Paul Kent.
Simply put, today’s theme park is an escape, allowing people to leverage media consumption as a means of entering into an alternate reality.
Electrosonic UK Senior Consultant Paul Kent and US Vice President Chris Conte recently joined Daniel Litwin on the Marketscale ProAV Podcast to discuss how to create the immersive experiences guests expect when visiting a theme park.
Because of familiarity with the movies and tv shows theme parks are leveraging today, guests come armed with a backstory. “The immersion into a land you know where you are expecting yourself to be. Your backstory is there, your brain fills that in and then you take in all the subtle queues. It is all part of the experience,” says Kent.
As a result, there are serious expectations around recreating the plot in a physical space. When it’s in the theme park, you cannot rely on post production pivotal to these movies. The overall experience you need to be real. The production needs to be flawless.
Of course, such immersive experiences do not happen by chance. And, success extends well beyond simply deploying the latest and greatest technologies into a space. Success centers on constantly trying to do something different to create the next wow.
“It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to be clever and creative. It is a delicate balance you play around how much money you spend on technology and how you use it,” says Conte.
A true wow requires immersion that surrounds and actively involves the guest, not just something they are watching on a screen. You need to be able to tell the story in an interactive way while effectively hiding the technology that makes it possible. After all, the best technology is technology the guest never sees.
“The key for technology is all about integration and hiding that technology,” says Conte. “It is not like you walk through the world and notice big projections or speakers blasting audio. It is so well integrated. That is the key to make it an integrated subtext…so that it does not distract from the story. It actually enhances and delivers the story in almost subliminal ways.”
Listen in to learn about:
What has the consumer come to expect, and how are these expectations influencing park development? (2:47)
How Is the quest for an immersive experience impacting entertainment and media consumption as a whole? (4:40)
How do you create a wow moment? (7:30)
How are some of these environments becoming more interactive? (9:57)
How does technology elevate these experiences? (13:30)
What is the role of storytelling, and how does AV bring the story to life? (16:37)
How do theme parks balance the investment between technology and the physical space? (19:00)
For the AV professional entering into one of these projects, how do you ensure success? (24:00)