Covid-19 has disrupted our normal lives and many businesses. If you operate a funfair ride, carnival ride, carousel ride, Ferris wheel, or other kids amusement park ride, perhaps you’ve also been seeing fewer visitors to your attraction. There is indeed little we can do on the pandemic front. We can’t change the safety rules, like social distancing or mandatory lockdowns. What we can do, however, is change the way we go about carousel marketing to attract local visitors.
Regardless of age, the carousel reminds attendees of the ones they’ve seen in their favorite old movies and period pieces. Unlike thrill rides that go in and out of style, carousels remain a center of attraction. Novice theme parks may be tempted to promote wild new rides and attractions, only to realize that the timeless carousel rides are still a favorite choice for many. Carousels are as much a symbol of good times now as they were a century ago.
But how can you sell carousel tickets in 2022? Sure, you know that carousels have timeless value, but how can you communicate that value to attract and retain attendees? Here are 6 effective tips on how to keep the magic of the funfair carousel alive in your community.
1. Keep Your Carousel Ride Covid-Safe
With an unseen virus-like Covid, it’s best to keep to a frequent cleaning and disinfecting schedule. Even if this means having staff on hand to wipe down seats and surfaces that have been touched after each ride, this can make a huge difference in giving visitors peace of mind.
You may also want to set up hand sanitizing stations around rides and have staff encourage patrons to use them before heading onto a ride. Masks should always be mandatory on all rides, so make sure you sell both adult and kids size masks onsite. You can even print fun design masks with your branding on them, which will boost sales even more – especially if the designs appeal to the kids!
Another great way of limiting exposure is to remove the need for cashiers and money exchange altogether. For example, Sparxo offers a COVID-safe and friendly special QR code purchase system where visitors can simply scan a QR code with their phone in order to make an onsite purchase. No human interaction is needed, eliminating any and no chance germy money can be exchanged between hands!
2. Rethink Visitor Sessions
Instead of simply reducing the total number of visitors per day to allow for social distancing, why not offer exclusive time slot packages where visitors can enjoy unlimited rides?
For example, Silver Beach Carousel in Michigan is open by advanced reservations only, and instead of selling “per ride” tokens, offers one-hour-long sessions for a flat rate per person. During this one-hour slot, visitors can ride the carousel horses as many times as they want can.
This not only allows Silver Beach Carousel to control the number of people coming in and out of their carousel facility, but it also allows them to control and manage the cleaning and disinfecting between time slots, ensuring the tip-top Covid-free condition of their rides. They can also easily control reservations by enabling patrons to reserve tickets online directly from their own website with Sparxo’s direct and brandless integration.
Visitors also feel like they’re getting more bang for their buck when their kids can ride over and over again because let’s face it, when is one ride ever enough for a kid!
3. Get The Schools Involved
Fun fair-style carousels make an amazing field trip destination for children of all ages, so you can reach out to the local schools to offer your location for such field trips or group visits. Little ones like such as preschoolers and kindergarteners will, without doubt, have the time of their lives on the colorful carousel animals (especially if there is cotton candy involved, or really, any type of candy).
For older children, you can even include a little presentation into the rich history of the carousel to offer the teachers a more educational experience for their classes. Did you know that the historic carousel actually evolved from a medieval warrior training game back in the 12th century? These wooden horses have traveled from Arabia and Turkey to Spain, Italy, France, and England… but it wasn’t until the carousel came to America in the late 19th century that the golden age of the carousel began. What started as a training game for 12th-century Turkish cavalry turned into a civilian thrill. This Carosella, Italian for little war, caught on with the public as early hand-cranked and animal-powered carousels began to appear. And that’s how the modern carousel as we know it was born!
If you research into the origins of your carousel ride and present it in a fun and exciting way, kids are going to love it even more – and you’ll also get the nod of approval from the teachers for inculcating a little history into the kids!
4. Become a Full-Service Event Destination
A lot of carousels host kids’ birthday parties, but it always pays to go the extra mile for your patrons. Instead of just being a venue, offer a complete carousel birthday party package – complete with cakes or cupcakes, menu items, party supplies, and invitation cards that are all in a gorgeous carousel theme.
Parents will love this because this saves them all that time and energy having to run around town getting different items from different suppliers.
A little tip: Try and customize the invitation cards, or add balloons spelling out the birthday kid’s name – these little details will score you brownie points with the parents and increase your popularity!
One huge plus of creating a beautiful carousel-theme party is that the chances of kids’ parents snapping shots of their kids and posting them on social media increases, thereby creating more awareness of your carousel as the ultimate party destination.
5. Transform Into An Experience Space
A carousel space is a wonderful atmosphere, not just for kids, but grownups alike. On sites such as Peerspace.com and Airbnb, you can offer carousel rental for private parties, corporate events (brainstorm better on a galloping horse!), pop-up events, or even a performance space.
Naturally, a grand carousel is a beautiful location for wedding and engagement photoshoots and video shoots, so take advantage of this and go one step beyond just being a venue for hire, and creating an experience. By working with a photographer of your own, you can create photography packages for couples as well as families. Think baby bump shoots, newborn shoots, family photo shoots, holiday family shoots, and so much more.
6. Celebrate With The Community
During the pandemic, everyone is finding themselves home more than ever, but what families want is a Covid-safe community event where they can take their kids to have some fun.
By creating family events with a small group around your carousel park ride, you give families a wonderful, memorable event to go to, while still being able to control Covid safety measures.
Think Board Game Night, Trivia Night, Valentine’s Day celebrations, 4th of July celebrations, Halloween events, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, National Grandparents Day (Yes, this exists! Here in the United States, it’s the first Sunday after Labor Day), Pizza Parties – even a fun pajama party for kids! You can also turn your carousel space into Santa’s Workshop for Christmas, what a magical atmosphere that will be!
When you begin to celebrate these occasions and events with your community, your community will start including your carousel as a part of their family celebrations. Make sure to post a flyer about your birthday and holiday specials at local coffee shops, schools, and community bulletin boards – think Starbucks, Pete’s, laundromats, YMCA’s, libraries, schools, and especially the mom and pop versions of cafes and gyms.
Think Out Of the Box Offers
Covid-19 hit the world suddenly and businesses have had to pivot and adapt in order to keep going. The good news is that people will never stop wanting a place where they can bring their family, where they can enjoy themselves, and create beautiful memories. You can be this place for them. You just have to think a little out of the box and come up with creative options that can work for this situation we’re all in.
We don’t know how long Covid-19 will still be lingering around, but one thing’s for sure, it can’t take away our hope, nor the magical voyage of a kids carousel ride!
Check Sparxo out for a free, no-obligation registration and event ticketing system for your carousel! You earn 100% of your ticket with no cost to you for using Sparxo, no hidden fees, and included customer service. Make sure to let Sparxo know you signed up to get a free consultation for optimization and set-up! [email protected]