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Park Photography

purchase digital images if they were on offer at parks. This is a trend we’re currently seeing unfold: last year alone Picsolve experienced 100% growth its digital offering. Combined ‘packages’ of both digital and print images can represent good value for guests and open up increased profit opportunities for parks. But the parks that fail to incorporate this within their offering will risk a decrease in profit as a result.

Do digital images deliver the same a) volume of sales and b) profit margins as traditional print photos? JB – Let me provide two examples from attraction parks in the Netherlands. At Toverland, the digital sales take place only in the low season and during slow hours. At Duinrell though, Image+ has installed digital photo systems only and the profit margins equal the traditional printed photos with higher volume sales. LM – No. The value perceived by guests is not equal to the value given to a printed photo or gift, which is much higher. The printed photo though has to be of good quality, and then the digital file can be offered as an added value. PS – No they do not. Still photos sold as a print and delivered with an attractive and matching overlaying folder remain the best selling photo item, and second best the rich choice of novelty products like mugs, mouse mats, iPhone photo covers. We have many so-called social media terminals used for sharing photos online but only few are used as a paid service.

Ride videos have been around for a few years now. What’s the most attractive product to park guests – physical DVDs, online/shareable video or short shareable clips? LM – Our experiences with DVD and USB keys teaches us that these two products sell equally. For now, from our experience, the public still wants a tangible product

Instant images

The Canadian company 3db Solution believes it’s found the perfect way to deliver photo souvenirs in an instant. Its Ride Photo System features cameras that are installed in strategic areas on amusement rides and creates a digital image every five seconds. The system uses digital GigE camera capture transferred via fibre optics to a dye-sublimation printer by DNP to ensure each photo is captured quickly in high resolution and delivered to a station at the end of the ride for purchase and print. The company also offers a shoot-to-print solution for instant photo souvenirs to be printed at rides and other attractions park-wide as well as from roaming photographers. DNP’s WPS-1 wireless print server links Wi-Fi enabled photo capture devices to any DNP dye-sub printer for instant printing, ensuring every print is ready and available for purchase before the ride is over or a customer can walk away. Guests with an Apple/Android mobile device can also capture, print and share their own photos.

PS – Socrates has been a leading provider of on-ride video systems since 2005 and so far the video has been sold on personalised DVDs. As of 2016. we will deliver the next level on-ride video system and the default delivery will change from DVD to cell phones, e-mail or download links. DVDs lacks the instant relive experienced enjoyed with photos. BS – We do still experience strong sales of physical DVDs, as families take a disc home to later watch on the TV with their children or older relatives, however to many guests short, shareable online clips are more attractive than their physical counterparts. With research claiming three minutes is the ideal amount of time to retain interest on a YouTube video and both Instagram and Vine videos capped to just 15 and 6 seconds respectively, ride video must also keep within this short and snappy timeframe to avoid losing attention and stay entertaining for the guest. PH – There will be an inevitable decline on DVD sales as soft-copy instant redemption becomes the norm for an ever- more online world. Whether or not this will lean towards shorter formats such Vine or Instagram clips, which are so popular now with Western and Middle Eastern audiences, or a more developed Facebook/Weibo/WeChat video post which the Asian markets prefer will be a matter of close analysis of social media development and technological capability of future devices. Data consumption on mobile devices is also a big issue to consider and one which varies drastically from country to country.

Where’s the real value with online/shareable images – in per-cap sales (secondary spend) or marketing potential for a park? PH – In both! These images make money whilst simultaneously marketing an attraction. It’s important also consider is that an online image has secondary sales potential – it can be turned into another product via our e- commerce portal at any time. One digitally redeemed park image can be shipped as an iPhone 6 photo case or as photographic home décor products long after a guest has left an attraction. This is true incremental revenue that doesn’t risk cannibalising existing photo sales SL – Online purchase of images for us is a non-starter as customers will just screen grab, plus once they have left the park the impulsive purchase of pictures has evaporated to some degree. BS – A park or attraction can ascertain the true marketing value of online park imagery using a cost benefit analysis and studying ROIs of all marketing activity. However while this differs across parks, our research demonstrates that for every image shared on social media, on average, over 200 people (friends/family/followers) will see a shared photo, generating increased brand awareness and exposure for the park/attraction. Furthermore, for every image shared on the Picsolve digital platform, an average of six people click through to visit the park or attractions ticket-booking page. This is essentially “free marketing”, especially in comparison to PPC (pay per click) in which parks may participate through their website. In addition, the images shared from the digital platform will boost attractions’ SEO (search engine optimisation) by organically increasing the amount of search results available.


Splash now,

cash later Since last season, guests at Caneva Aquarpark in Verona, Italy (just down the road from Gardaland), have been able to take advantage of a new versatile photo system from Fotosmile, offering a wide variety of souvenir products. On entry to the park, guests are

given paper bracelets printed with RFID codes. Cameras and sensors capture theme as they enjoy their favourite slides and attractions. By scanning their bracelets at the beginning of their ride, those images are then automatically linked to the bracelet of the customer. Although these images will be viewable as guests get off the attractions, they don’t have to worry about buying them – or finding money (an important consideration in a waterpark) – there and then. Photos are instead available via self-service terminals located in strategic areas such restaurants, next to the park exit and in the lockers areas – where of course it may be more convenient for guests to access funds to buy them.

The souvenir that is currently

proving among the most popular with visitors to Caneva Aquapark is the “Comix” photo folder you see above, telling the story of a guest’s day in an amusing and original way. See a presentation of the system, which Fotosmile is marketing as Digismile Self Water Park, at

MAY 2015

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