Editor's corner

Wow, another year has flown by. Here we are already in 2013.

The beginning of every year is the time to make predictions about the coming year. So here’s mine about the location-based entertainment industry – Things will continue to change. How’s that for a prediction with 100% accuracy? Of course, we all would like to know what those changes will be.

Over the past few years our company has been analyzing a lot of data about consumers’ visits and spending at entertainment and dining venues. We have identified and written about a number of long-term trends that are sure to continue into the New Year. These include shifts in the amount of and timing of leisure, social stratification of attendance and the bifurcation of entertainment experiences into the two extremes of premium and convenience, sort of the yin and the yang of entertainment. We are now analyzing some long-term data on the public’s participation at entertainment venues. I will be presenting some of our findings in my keynote speech at the DNA (Digital Out-of-Home Interactive Entertainment Network Association) conference in London, UK on January 21st. If you don’t attend, you’ll be able to read about our research findings in future Leisure eNewsletter articles and on my blog. I will also be presenting them at Foundations Entertainment University and a seminar at Amusement Expo, both back-to-back in Las Vegas March 18-22.

One thing is for sure; location-based entertainment (LBE) venues are being disrupted by many digital world, economic and consumer lifestyle and value changes. And although we often hear about a New Normal, the only normal will continue to be change. The older LBE models really don’t cut it anymore. Many continue to operate due to their shear inertia. But with the rapid rate of change, that inertia will eventually run out of steam. New LBE models are evolving, including one we have named social-tainment. It will be interesting to see what the New Year brings in that department.

In this issue we have some interesting articles about development of international entertainment projects, including our current entertainment project in Vietnam. We also have articles on the science of designing lines (queues), how bricks-‘n’-mortar entertainment is going premium and location-based entertainment spending by different income households. Don’t forget about this March’s Foundations Entertainment University best buy. Registration includes free admission to Amusement Expo and the International Pizza Expo. That’s a 3-fer, three for the price of one. And to top that off, we have a few scholarships to offer to Birthday University the end of this month in Orlando, FL.

Wishing you a healthy, prosperous and happy New Year.

Randy White