State of Play : State of Play - Issue 1
20 | STRATEGY FOR GROWTH | 20 I n a competitive marketplace, if a venue is outdated and tired there’s a good chance it isn’t reaching its revenue potential. Winners of the Australian Hotels Association (Vic) Awards for Excellence are frequently venues with a strong focus on investment in infrastructure. “There is a focus on enhancing the whole customer experience, as well as product choice,” says Paddy O’Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of the AHA (Vic). Experts agree, there are three ways to revive a venue to ensure its longevity. INVEST IN QUALITY INTERIOR DESIGN First impressions are lasting impressions. “I can’t overstate how important design is to attracting customers to venues,” says David Oliver, Commercial Manager at Tabcorp. Dated furniture and fixtures, an uninviting reception area or disjointed layout can turn customers off from entering or remaining in a venue. Dr Gareth Harvey, lecturer in Consumer Psychology at Bangor University in the UK, says there is decades of research into how design and atmosphere can change consumer behaviour. Customers will linger if they feel a positive association with the layout and design, and there is a direct link between the creation of the right atmosphere in gaming venues and player satisfaction. However, the converse is also true: if customers are uncomfortable, they are less likely to stay. “Claustrophobic factors such as low ceilings or narrow aisles can contribute to consumers feeling as if an environment suffocates them and, as result, consumers cut their visits short,” Harvey says. Renovations can be a costly exercise, but venue owners need to think in terms of investment; the question becomes where to spend the money, prioritising the changes that will provide the best ROI (return on investment). The right interior design strengthens both the brand and the image and people are more likely to spend more in a venue that exudes quality. At a minimum, keeping the paint and flooring fresh is essential to creating an inviting space. The judging criteria at the AHA Awards for Excellence includes design, ambiance, lighting and music. “In a hotel setting, a sophisticated hospitality offering is sought after by customers,” says AHA’s Paddy O’Sullivan. “This includes clean, comfortable and attractive facilities that encourage repeat visitation to the venue.” The most important thing is to create modern, inviting and relaxed zones for members, where they feel comfortable THREE WAYS TO GIVE YOUR VENUE A COMPETITIVE EDGE To give your venue a competitive edge, you need to look below the surface and provide a holistic customer experience.
State of Play - Issue 2 Vic