July 11, 2023

How to Use the Senses to Make More Cents

The Power of Lighting: Creating an Inviting Atmosphere

Lighting is often overlooked when building or designing an entertainment center, but it can significantly impact revenue. Numerous studies have shown that correct lighting can boost retail sales and play an essential role in the hospitality industry.

The Impact of Lighting on the Hospitality Industry

A 2015 Megaman survey revealed that lighting encourages guests to stay longer and frequently visit restaurants, hotels, and bars. The survey indicated that 74% of respondents stayed longer than planned due to relaxed and welcoming lighting, while 72% left venues earlier because of inadequate or overly bright lighting.

Types of Lighting to Consider

To create a well-rounded lighting design, consider incorporating different types of lighting throughout your facility:

  • Ambient Lighting: Natural light or strategically placed fixtures are the primary light source.
  • Task Lighting: Add additional lighting in areas where needed, such as cash registers, restaurant tables, or kitchen areas.
  • Accent Lighting: Use accent lighting to create focal points and add drama, highlighting columns, artwork, or backlit bar areas.

It’s important to vary the lighting levels in different areas of your facility. Entry/reception areas should be slightly brighter and more welcoming, while other areas may have different lighting requirements. Automated controls can help adjust the lighting throughout the day to cater to different customer demographics.

The Importance of Expert Guidance

Given the significant impact of lighting on customer experiences, hiring a lighting expert, consultant, interior designer, or architect with expertise in proper lighting design is highly recommended. If you have an existing business, consider hiring an expert to evaluate your lighting setup. Making even inexpensive changes can increase your revenue.

The Influence of Sound: Enhancing the Customer Experience

Sound is another crucial element that can significantly impact customer experiences in an entertainment center. Considerations such as volume levels, ambient noise, and music choice all play a role in influencing customer behavior and buying decisions.

Creating the Right Sound Environment

Avoid overwhelming customers with loud attract mode sounds from games. Pay attention to ambient noise levels in your building, especially if it is large and open. Incorporating a drop ceiling or decorative elements can help reduce sound levels. Additionally, carefully consider the music played throughout the day, adjusting the type and volume to cater to your target demographic.

Sound and Buying Decisions

Studies have shown that sound can influence purchasing behavior. For example, retailers and restaurants often play loud music to attract younger customers, as they can withstand it longer. On the other hand, sensory overload caused by loud volume weakens self-control, leading to more impulsive purchases. However, it’s crucial to balance sound choices to attract the desired audience without alienating others.

Utilizing Scent and Color: Subconscious Influencers

Beyond lighting and sound, scents and colors can impact customer experiences and buying decisions.

Aroma Marketing: The Power of Smell

Companies like Disney and many retailers utilize scents to influence buying decisions. Pumping in the smell of popcorn in movie theaters or seasonal scents in gift shops during holidays are examples of scent marketing. Aroma marketing experts specialize in selecting scents that can positively influence customer behavior.

Color Psychology: Setting the Right Tone

Color choices in your entertainment center can evoke specific emotions and attract different age groups. Bright primary colors may appeal primarily to younger children, while subdued colors may have a broader age appeal. For example, comparing Chuck E Cheese to Dave and Busters reveals how color choices can attract different audiences, even with similar offerings.

The Impact of Sensory Experience on Your Bottom Line

Sights, sounds, smells, and colors all create an environment that affects our subconscious feelings and behaviors. Neglecting the sensory elements in your entertainment center can have a detrimental impact on your bottom line. Investing time and resources in getting the senses right is essential, just as you would with your game and attraction mix.

Learn from the mistakes of others and consider consulting experts in lighting, sound, aroma marketing, and design to help create an environment that maximizes your revenue potential. Remember that the sensory experience is as crucial as your games and attractions.

Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about new releases, product promotions, updates, and more.  

Amber Lambert

Amber Lambert is the Regional Sales Representative for Betson Enterprises. She began her career in the amusement industry 12 years ago when she started her own family entertainment center she built from the ground up. She also managed a corporate-owned family entertainment center, held a sales role with an industry supplier, and is active in industry associations.