Real People In The Frame

Real People In The FrameReal People In The Frame

Pride of place in a new £1.5 million investment at Plassey Holiday Park in Wrexham has gone to a ‘glampers paradise’ of super-luxury guest accommodation. But when the 250-acre park organised a photo-shoot of its development this autumn, there were no professional models to be seen delighting in the hot tub lodges. Instead, the two families pictured had been selected from among the scores of customers who responded to Plassey’s website appeal to become its shooting stars.

The idea, said park director John Brookshaw, was to put ‘real people’ in the frame – and to capture their genuine reactions to the pampering experience on offer. The families are shown exploring the glamping lodges and their long list of top-end features including a glass balcony and a bubbling hot-tub from which to enjoy distant views. “We’re delighted that so many people applied to become the models for our photoshoot, and our two families did a fantastic job in showcasing them with real enthusiasm!” said John.

Make ‘Em Laugh

Make Em Laugh - Title Pic

Make 'Em Laugh

Entertain to gain, advises Karen Cotton…

With more Britons choosing to holiday in the UK, according to research from Travelodge, the pressure is on park operators to attract and retain this new business. Guests expect great facilities and food, but they also are hoping for great entertainment. For many, it’s the nightlife and shows which add value to their break – making it truly memorable. Nowhere is this truer than at Bunn Leisure in Dorset, where four parks on one combined site cater to different tastes and budgets. Head of Entertainment Adrian Douthwaite explains: “Our clients expect a consistent, high quality and diverse range of entertainment.” He adds: “As technology has drastically advanced in recent years, so have expectations as to the ‘look and feel’ of the entertainment, especially when it comes to marketing and advertising.”

Make Em Laugh 3STAR CAST

In recent months, the Dorset holiday park has hosted names including Pop Idol alum Gareth Gates and X-Factor star Sam Bailey. Names like these deliver real value, as Adrian explains. “Big named artists and shows that create a ‘buzz’ have more impact than ever before, as the use of social media amplifies the desired value of the entertainment.” Careful planning is essential to ensure you hit the right note with all your guests. Stephen Pearce, Marketing Manager at Beverley Holidays says: “Entertainment really is the most subjective thing in the world, as trends and people’s expectations and perceptions of entertainment change… “Whilst not everyone will absolutely love everything we do, by having an exciting range on offer we aim to ensure that whilst somebody may not like something, there will, within the product, be something they do like.”

 

Make Em Laugh 2MULTI-APPEAL

The aim for the park on the English Riviera, is to keep its entertainment fresh and current… but there is a space for oldies-but-goodies, too. Stephen continues: “There will be nostalgic moments, games and concepts, however these must be delivered appropriately to an audience in 2018. A knobbly knees contest doesn’t go down as well now as it may have done in the ‘80s.” At Beverley Holidays, near Torquay, guests have a wide range of daytime activities to choose from. Its ‘Be-Active’ umbrella houses high-energy sessions that are popular with guests of all ages, with soft archery, Water Walkerz and body Zorbing. The Kids Be-Active programme allows younger guests to find their inner princess, pirate or superhero. “These sessions aim to capture the creativity and imagination of our younger guests,” says Stephen. “For our older guests, we offer something a little bit more laid back – whether it be a poolside quiz, coffee morning, line dance or darts tournament, we have it all covered.” Bunn Leisure also sources a wide range of entertainment spanning all areas and tastes. For Head of Entertainment Adrian, this can be tricky. He says: “The teenage and young adult market consistently proves difficult, whereas the children and 50+ age group are much easier to cater for as there is much more product to choose from when buying in.”

Make Em Laugh 4BEST VALUE

Working with an annual budget of approximately £1.5 million, Bunn Leisure’s in-house product offering is generated and produced internally – with little to no outsourcing of services. “This, in turn, helps to control quality and costs,” adds Adrian. “Routing and increased frequency of appearances for outsourced artists and shows can also help a little with regards to value – but isn’t paramount when devising the product offering.” At Beverley Holidays, the secret to getting the most from your budget is simple. Stephen reveals: “The best way to get value for money is to invest in the people who are most passionate about the performance. It is the individuals that are responsible for the delivery of the product, and of course the delivery of the product, on the whole, that creates that experience guests remember forever. “By far, alongside great show concepts and animated daytime activities, bottom line is the ‘coat-style’ entertainer and their approach to the role – as the ‘face of the holiday’ – builds relationships with guests, making them feel welcome and appreciated.”

 

Make Em Laugh 5PLAN AHEAD

While planning at Bunn Leisure begins 18 months in advance, at Beverley Holidays the team plans for the following year each September. By reviewing and evaluating the uptake and successes of the previous year, the team can make the informed decisions necessary to develop their product moving forward. Where visiting acts are involved, timing is everything according to Stephen from Beverley Holidays. He says: “To ensure we are able to book what we want and not just what is available, [our] process is on-going.” This is especially important when operators are looking to secure big-name attractions. Sometimes bookings are required as far as 18 months in advance.
With 20 years’ experience booking acts for holiday parks, Live Music Management has worked with numerous operators across the UK and suggests that bookings be made at least nine months in advance and promoted as part of the offer Managing Director Rick Baines explains: “It’s increasingly difficult to get people into club houses as home drinking has become the norm. But people will come out if there is consistently good entertainment on.” Budgets will differ depending on the size of the venue. If you’re working with smaller budgets, he sagely advises: “It’s better to have a high-quality act once per weekend, then two ‘pub-quality’ acts!” It’s important to widen your scope, too.Make Em Laugh 7
Rick suggests: “Look at who the national companies are booking with and consider them, as well as local agents. You might find better quality at similar prices.” One of the most popular trends he’s spotted is Bandeoke, which is also known as live band karaoke. He says: “It’s still massive. It allows all the family to join in and brings Instagram moments that will stay with the guests.” He adds: “Pop-up entertainment, not necessarily fixed to a stage area, also brings an immersive experience which will thrill guests and lead to social media sharing.”

Which Trip Advisor Reviews Would You Prefer This one?

“Park lovely… entertainment awful” - Natasha L

“Great views, awful entertainment” - Superdave10uk

“Nice grounds, perfect caravan, poor entertainment” - Gwen L.

Or

“Best entertainment, great stay!!!” - Pixie G.

“Entertainment team were amazing!” - Andreacleaton60

“Night life was very good can’t wait to book again for next year” – Janetholmes2724

“Brilliant [80’s] weekend. Everyone dressed up. Looking forward to the next one…” - Biff0r

Company Contacts

BEVERLEY HOLIDAYS www.beverley-holidays.co.uk

BUNN LEISURE www.bunnleisure.co.uk

LIVE MUSIC MANAGEMENT www.lmmuk.co.uk

 

Park Mascot Meets Her Match

Park Mascot 2Park Mascot Meets Her Match

When three-year-old Amber Kibbey fell in love with a hedgehog at Park Holiday’s Riviera Bay resort in Devon earlier this year, her mum Claire knew that it was the real thing. So when they made a return visit to the park this autumn, the family had a big surprise in store for Amber – a matching mini-version of the pretty pink outfit worn by her heroine! It was presented to the star-struck toddler just before she set off for the Brixham park’s daily children’s show where mascot Penny Prickles was due to be on stage. In front of a cheering crowd, Amber went under the spotlights to receive the admiration – and a big hug – from the hedgehog which had won her heart.

£10 Million Investment

10 Million Investment£10 Million Investment

UK holiday park operator Away Resorts is investing £10 million into creating and landscaping a new development of 108 new accommodation units in its woodland retreat of Sandy Balls Holiday Village in the New Forest, continuing the evolution of this famous UK holiday destination. The new accommodation will be a combination of cottage-style lodges and new treehouse-inspired accommodation, many of which will have car-charging points, and will be able to sleep up to eight guests. The development will have landscaping that is native to the New Forest and will also feature new additions such as mini kitchen gardens that could be used for educational purposes. It is estimated that half of the new development will be ready by Easter next year with the remaining holiday homes welcoming guests by Whitsun. The new investment comes hot on the heels of a £1 million investment into The Zen, which is exclusive accommodation to Sandy Balls. It is an innovative type of holiday home designed to be calm, relaxing and simply a perfect space to chill out with friends and family in the woodland retreat of Sandy Balls Away Resorts has also made significant investment in facilities at Sandy Balls, spending £400,000 earlier this year on rebranding and re-launching Aubrey’s Forest Kitchen, giving it a new look inspired by its forest sitting with restyled seating in the restaurant, a new bar area and a new outdoor dining space and a Starbucks coffee offer. The restaurant’s name pays homage to one of the original founders of Sandy Balls, Aubrey Westlake.

Premium Options

Premium OptionsPremium Options

Featuring premium double glazed doors and windows, these mobile homes are constructed in 70 mm thick interlocking wall logs and include comfort grade insulated roof and floor. All partition walls, interior doors, exterior doors and windows and canopies as shown are included in the price. The roof covering is fibre-glass reinforced felt shingles but other options are available. It’s possible to build it on blocks, pillars or any type of foundation. However concrete slab is recommended. This cabin can be ordered in different log thickness. And we can manufacture other sizes on request.

Oak Timber Frames
Tel. 01327 226512
www.fairview-lodges.com

Pumptrack Action

Pumptrack ActionPumptrack Action

The UK Ramp Company is a family run business supplying modular pumptracks throughout the UK for sale and hire. Modular Pumptracks are fully inclusive and are designed to accommodate micro scooters, bikes and skate boards. They come in a variety of colours and can be designed to suit any space. They are easy to assemble and can be simply moved location within a park. Case studies in Australia have shown that following the installation of a modular pumptrack in a Holiday Park footfall, return bookings and social media presence increase.

The UK Ramp Company
Tel. 01923 678432
www.theukrampco.com

Bright Lights

Bright LightsBright Lights

Light Sauce is the leading importer and distributor of Light Up, Flashing LED and Glow Novelties in the UK. Trade suppliers for over 15 years to family attractions, holiday parks, theatres, local government, schools and charities. Light Sauce specialises in the volume supply of light up toys to order but with large UK based stocks and a wide choice of products we can deliver next day throughout the UK (2-3 days european delivery). We offer retail ready products, bespoke packaging and branding and point of sale. Request a hard copy of our catalogue today.

Light Sauce
Tel. 0845 470 6060
www.light-sauce.co.uk

New And Bold Play

New And Bold PlayNew And Bold Play

Looking for unique playground equipment that stands out from the generic items we see everywhere? Then our new World of Play range is for you. Explore our new designs boasting an architectural look and outstanding resilience. Explore the geometric shapes of our PlayCubes structures, designed to inspire children and adults alike, or the architectural lines of PlayForm 7, a unique climbing frame offering great adventurous play opportunities, as well as inviting hammocks to chill with friends. Visit our website to discover the full range or call us on the number below.

HAGS
Tel. 0845 260 1655
http://www.hags.co.uk/ en-gb/play/world-of-playcollection

Natural Playground

Natural PlaygroundsNatural Playground

KOMPAN’s Natural Robinia Playgrounds offer a full range of natural multi-play structures, playhouses, swings, springers and more. Wooden playground equipment creates a natural play environment and invites children to interact with the natural materials and structures. Toddlers, preschool, school age children as well as teenagers and outdoor fitness enthusiasts of all generations can use our nature playgrounds. Designs are inspired by the organic shapes of nature itself and all the uniqueness of the winding Robinia wood. By taking a holistic approach to create the play area, we stimulate children’s interest in nature and introduce an understanding of nature into their lives. For more information on the KOMPAN Robinia range please contact the team.

KOMPAN
Tel. 01908 201002
www.kompan.co.uk

Driving Schools

Driving SchoolsDriving Schools

World of Rides, the leading U.K. manufacturers and distributors of children’s amusement rides for nearly five decades, have launched their brand-new range of ‘Parent & Child’ 24v battery operated OUTLANDER Driving School cars to UK holiday resort operators to better promote children’s road-safety education and awareness through play… as well as providing a colourful, popular, and very profitable new attraction for all their visitors to enjoy! Battery cars can be easily run by the park owners themselves, or by their appointed third- party operators! Pollution-free, all the cars can either be run on free-play, coin-operated or supervisor-operated by remote control.

World of Rides
Tel. 0191 4920999
www.worldofrides.com