IAAPA Benchmark: Despite Diversity There IS Much to Be Learned from Fellow FECs

 

IAAPA has just published our new IAAPA FEC Benchmark Report. The report is based on FY 2016 data and covers demographics, admissions, attractions information, guests, parking, and financial such as pricing. The results are broken out by FEC location, attendance, and type (indoor, outdoor, mixed). The report concentrates on metrics you can use when reviewing your own operations.

As expected, our results show a very diverse marketplace. We found that 42% were pay-as-you-go, 41% were pay-as-you-go with some attractions ticketed separate, and the rest (15%) were pay-one-price. When looking at type the two largest respondent types were indoor/outdoor FECs at 39% and 36% identified as all indoor FECs. 45% of respondents are from single FECs, but the average number of facilities owned is 4.5 showing many FECs are part of a large company.

All the complexity in the market can make it difficult to compare facilities. One of the metrics we found effective for comparison across all facilities was pricing. We asked for typical pricing for a series of activities at FECs. We found the average pricing for individual activities was between $5 and $8 with a bumper boat ride the lowest average at $5.81 and an hour of a ropes course being the highest at $7.64. The two most common activities were one game of miniature golf and a single laser tag game, which averaged $6.63 and $7.36, respectively.

We asked about which individual activities generated the most revenue based on a list of the top 28 activities found at FECs. Arcade games, laser tag, outdoor miniature golf, and go-karts generated the most revenue for the FECs surveyed. We also found that birthday parties remain the most lucrative special events.

Staffing is another common metric for all FECs despite any size, activities, or format differences. All FECs struggle with staffing and we found facilities are seeing only a 50% retention rate on an annual basis on average. The average age for all employees is 25.7 years with 65% of employees between 18 and 30 years old. The facilities with a smaller staff tend to have a higher ratio of full-time employees to part-time compared to facilities with a larger staff. Staffing is also a large investment for FECs with payroll being the largest expense for FECs averaging 33% of total expenses. FECs also reported 1% of expenses going towards training of staff on average

Guest demographics are very important to successful marketing and for planning market expansion. We asked FEC a few key questions about their guests. On average, the respondent’s guests come from 25.6 miles away with most coming from under 10 miles away. The average length of guest visit is 2.7 hours, the average guest age is 20 years, and guests visit 2.8 times a year.

There is much more detail about the metrics covered in this overview and about other metrics in the report. The report is available to IAAPA members as part of their membership and non-members can purchase it. More information is available at www.IAAPA.org/Research. Or email research@iaapa.org with any research questions.

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