re:Member-ing the Value — Four Keys to Building Value-Level Memberships

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re:Member-ing the Value Four Keys to Building Value-Level Memberships “Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller Membership is a billion-dollar business. In the United States alone millions of people sign up for or renew at least one form of membership each year. It might be for a local zoo, museum, or aquarium; perhaps it is an annual pass for a theme park; or maybe it is as simple as a membership to Costco…regardless of which specific option (or options) we choose, membership is truly valued by many of us. But in the public sector (non-profits) I have noticed a disproportionate emphasis placed on […]

Ask a Stupid Question

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Ask a Stupid Question How asking the wrong question leads to mediocre sales. “If I had asked them what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Henry Ford The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Yet at ticket counters all over the world…from zoos and aquariums to museums and theme parks and every type of attraction in between our Ticket Teams continue to say five little words that can actually hinder our sales. What are these words? They are “How may I help you?” At any ticket counter where there is complexity to the admission offerings – packages, upgrades, […]

Staffing Blues — Four Ways to Get Your People to Work

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“Our basic nature is to act, and not to be acted upon.”  -Stephen R. Covey I never liked being short-staffed. In college, when I worked in a café, a call-ins meant that I would be working double-duty. It meant stress for me, long lines for our customers, and waste of product. As a line level staff member, I had no way of improving the call-in problem, but I also knew that when I was in management, I would handle staffing problems in a more effective manner. Fast forward five years and I am a supervisor In the Attractions Department at the LuXor Hotel in Las Vegas. When I was put […]

Engaging the Little Ones – Tips for keeping the Attention of Younger Guests

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“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin Family matters…and when you are a parent with younger children it is essential to keep them engaged. When we first moved to Orlando, we decided to go to Tampa to watch the San Diego Padres play the Tampa Bay Rays. Our older children were both in school, but we took our 4-year-old daughter with us and she was bored to tears. As much as we tried to make the game fun for her, the environment was just not able to keep her engaged. The next day when she woke up the […]

Giving Back to Your Guests

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Increase Attendance and Loyalty in the Off-Season “You don’t earn loyalty in a day. You earn loyalty day-by-day.” Jeffrey Gitomer The holiday season is over and it is still a long time before we will see the large crowds of Spring Break and the Summer Season. When planning our Special Events much of our attention is focused on our busiest seasons for obvious reasons; increased attendance and revenue make it easy to justify extra staffing and shows. We frequently look at our “Shoulder” or Off-Season as the time to scale back our offerings. It seems to make sense; after all, we have fewer guests, but what if instead of cutting […]

Buy In — How to Influence Performance and Drive Success

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Action comes about if and only if we find a discrepancy between what we are experiencing and what we want to experience. – Phillip J. Runkel, Professor of Psychology and Education, University of Oregon What’s in it for me? In today’s society that is the question many people (including our employees) ask themselves when they are asked to do something…especially if it is something new or different from what they are used to. Whenever we teach the tenants of Operation: Pineapple’s Five Star Sales program we work to determine the most effective way to achieve “buy-in” with the team; that is the key to success. This could mean creating a […]

Efficient Operations

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How to affect change and leave denial behind “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin The Nile River Tour was a 15-minute boat ride that transported guests along the interior perimeter of the LuXor Hotel showing them recreations of some of the most famous Egyptian tombs and paintings while sharing a brief lesson in Egyptian History. I was part of the opening team and we experienced immense popularity as soon as the hotel opened. Each morning the line would start to build right at opening – 9 am – and by midafternoon we usually had an hour plus […]

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! Happy New Year! Welcome back! It is hard to believe that the holiday season is over. As the holiday rush settles back into our regular day-to-day business, we start to make our plans for the new year: new marketing, new promotions, maybe new exhibits or attractions – all planned with the aim of bringing in new guests or enticing current guests to return more frequently. Focusing on our guests is definitely important, but don’t focus so much on your guests that you forget the most important feature of your venue: your Team Members! As the craziness of the holidays settles back into the routine of regular business […]

Achieve New Heights

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Best Practices for Emergency Preparedness “Be Prepared!” – Boy Scouts Motto It was a clear day in March and the Team Members had just finished a round of the capsule answering guest questions and pointing out landmarks. It was business as usual on this run of the SkyTower and there were a wide variety of guests ranging from 3 – 73, one of whom was VERY pregnant. The capsule started its decent and then…BANG!!! With a loud noise and a jolt, the two-level observation capsule slammed to a stop 240 feet in the air. Everyone screamed except for the two Team Members on board who, after their initial surprise, gathered […]

Family Togetherness

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How cell phones can bring families together when they visit Last month, after enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with my family, we decided to spend the evening at one of our local theme parks. As we walked through the park I was amazed to see how many people had their cell phones out and were so absorbed in their own little cyber-world that they were not enjoying the park (or time with their family and friends). I couldn’t help but wonder why people would spend money on admission to the park, and then not even look up from their phones…and then, as we were waiting for a show, I realized that my […]