Easter is on the horizon! Lambs are leaping, chicks are hatching and it's only five weeks until Easter and the start of the busy tourism season.
We know you've probably just relaxed from February Half Term, but the countdown to Easter has begun. In our minds, Easter is the kick-start to the busy tourism season. The majority of your seasonal staff are already starting to appear on the rota and you're busy making plans and marketing your Easter activities.
You'll likely be thinking about what's left on your to-do list to get ready for Easter. Well, we're here to remind you and give you our top tips.
Use Your Data - Your number one tool to help you plan for any period will be your previous year's visitor numbers. Hopefully, you'll be tracking all customers whether they bought online or at the gate and you can display this in a nice shiny report. Being able to report on and compare previous years is going to give you a starting point when planning for this year.
Tweak during weekends - Use the run-up to Easter to allow you to track what works and what doesn't. You might find that if you get a busy weekend it will help guide you for the main holidays. Keep an eye on your departments and how they are performing under increasing visitor numbers.
Keep an eye on the forecast - Yep, the golden rule. Keep refreshing that weather app and plan accordingly. Make sure you've got a 'busy day plan' in case it's looking to be an exceptional day. Have extra activities, staff, retail and food & drink items up your sleeve to add them in at a moment's notice.
Expect the unexpected - Plan for things to go wrong! Okay, we don't like sounding pessimistic but it's always worthwhile planning for the unexpected. Each day assign a few staff members as 'on call'; this way if the forecast turns in your favour or someone calls in sick you're prepared.
Host fun activities - Try to change your activities yearly if you can, but make sure they follow the same theme are your attraction. If you can, offer activities that will suit all ages, but also make some specific to certain age brackets. Check out last year's data, so you can know your audience and what your visitors look like.
Include everything in the ticket price - This is a tricky one! It can be tempting to add lots of upsells onto the ticketing journey. However, for the cash-strapped consumer, this can often be offputting. We recommend including everything in your ticket price (even if you have to put your tickets up!) to make visitors feel like they are getting more for their money.
Review the holidays - Easter is a two-week holiday for schools in the UK, so it's worth checking where your visitors come from geographically. You can then compare to see if those areas are on holiday at the same time. If they aren't then you can expect the busy Easter period to actually last for three to four weeks!
Optimise your booking system - Review your online ticketing site to make sure that all your marketing, website changes and build-up lead to conversion through your booking system. Make sure firstly that your system displays all your tickets correctly and all the dates and times. Keep it simple, you might want to have an Easter category on your site to direct all visitors for Easter straight into a booking calendar. Whatever you do, put yourself into the mind of the customer and review your booking journey sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, you want to make sure that you are prepared for the Easter holidays. By following our top tips, planning your staff and optimising your booking journey, we hope your attraction will run like a well-oiled machine. Want to discuss more? Get in touch.