‘Something for everyone’. An age-old expression, yet at the same time the basic principle of an emerging phenomenon: the Family Entertainment Centre. Fun playing with the entire family. A place where both toddlers and teenagers can entertain themselves all day. And where you can also go with colleagues without anyone ever getting bored.
Play, eat and party
The Family Entertainment Centre (FEC) is a familiar concept on the American market. Basically, every FEC is a cluster of activities. Consider the combination of a bowling alley with a trampoline park, escape room and a children’s play corner. These attractions are often built around a food concept. ‘Play, eat and party’, as they say in the States.
Family Entertainment Centre: comprehensive concept
All attractions form a comprehensive concept that is accessible to as many different target groups as possible. They offer diversity, surprise and can be experienced in a single day. Every concept has its own angle. Often a culturally defined angle. For example, in the United States you often see gambling games and Arcade Games. In the Netherlands, FECs are often created from existing stand-alone attractions.
A good example of a Dutch Family Entertainment Centre is The Maxx in Veenendaal. Here you will find a go-kart track, laser tag, escape rooms, glow-in-the-dark mini golf and a trampoline park, among other things. The opportunities seized by The Maxx to seduce visitors to a repeat visit are also of interest. Consider sharing scores on Facebook or Instagram, but also free tickets with a high score.
When discussing Family Entertainment Centres, I sometimes think of my father. Of the time that there would be a sketch of a new air cushion on our kitchen table. He knew that that idea would last him a year. A guaranteed success. For a long time a new air cushion could still surprise people of all ages, at any location in the Netherlands. This was thirty years ago.
Greater supply, higher expectations
Times have changed. The supply is greater, the expectations are higher. It is rather complicated to develop a concept with lasting success. After all, there is no such thing as the formula. You can add a theme to your FEC: create a rain forest or space theme with matching attractions. But you can also opt for an industrial look and feel, as we have done in Muscat, Oman. The possibilities are endless. That is why we have started an Innovation team at Sidijk. This is where we combine our expertise in sports and leisure. And we are looking for partners to collaborate with. This to ensure having all ingredients available to develop contemporary, distinctive and surprising concepts. A modern version of ‘something for everyone’.