A new experience: the Luna Park app
by Keris Lahiff
For theme parks around the world, it might be all about faster, higher, more twists, more turns. But for Sydney’s Luna Park, with the introduction of their ‘My Experience’ app, it’s about smarter entertainment. In a world industry first, Luna Park has integrated interactive entertainment into the real-life experience of spending the day at the park.
“Luna Park is a brand that people inherently want to share. We tasked ourselves with making it easy for them to do so,” says Jeremy Nance, Luna Park’s marketing manager.
Visitors are equipped with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) wristband which they can activate each time they enter a ride. The wristband is tethered to a smartphone logged into Facebook, for easy and automatic upload of status updates and photos.
“We don’t want to know what happened. We want to know what’s happening. ‘My Experience’ is all about capturing content for guests and allowing them to share that content with their Facebook Friends easily and in real time,” says Nance.
An app of an idea
From the very beginning, key goals should be established, which will then direct the purpose of the app and how it will function. Nance details the goals Luna Park hoped to achieve.
“We wanted to increase our brand presence across the social media landscape. Facebook was the obvious channel to focus on in terms of its overwhelming market share, youthful demographic and ability to display rich content,” he says.
“We wanted to build our database with email addresses to enable us to communicate with guests in a cost efficient way. We knew that this would only happen if an exchange occurred, that is, a guest gives us their email address as part of the registration process, we give them an Extreme-O-Meter rating, free ride photos, etc.”
From concept to product
Building an app of value is undoubtedly a lengthy process, but Nance details the stages Luna Park entered from concept to product.
“After defining our fundamental objectives, we sat down with all key stakeholders who needed to be involved to make ‘My Experience’ happen. This required bringing in the skill-sets of new partners, as well as integrating the technologies of our existing partners.”
The different stages of production included:
- Concept development
- Future development.
“Concept development was by far the longest and most involved stage. It required months of round-table discussions regarding feasibility,” he says.
A word to the wise – allow the time for brainstorming and planning before expending any resources on building the app. It will save the stress of going down the wrong track, only to find out the hard way that the app isn’t functional or practical.
To the future
While this is an industry first, Nance says Luna Park is only taking the natural step that other companies have embraced in the search to fully cater to clientele.
“Brands are continually on the search for ways to form more customised and two-way relationships with their customers,” he says. “I predict variations of ‘My Experience’ being rolled out across a diverse range of services.”
And, while it’s an original idea, Nance says it’s entirely plausible that other theme parks around the world will begin to integrate similar offerings into their experience. However, the way forward isn’t to monitor others but to continue to innovate and keep at the edge of state-of-the-art technology.
“‘My Experience’ is the sum of its parts so we’ll enjoy a first-mover advantage for some time before it can be replicated elsewhere,” he says. “That said, our plan is to charge ahead with future development rather than worry too much about what’s going on behind us.”
Initially, Luna Park had built brand presence on social media outlets Facebook and Twitter with regular updates and activity of what was happening at the theme park. Now, with the launch of ‘My Experience’ last month, Luna Park has set their sights on achieving more in the social media space.
“We wanted something that would set us apart from the rest and provide a mass scale of user-generated content,” he says.
As for future developments, Nance is tight-lipped.
“There is a plan. I think that’s all I’ll say about that!”
With the success of ‘My Experience’ already apparent, such a cryptic clue to future developments translates to only one thing – ‘watch this space!’
Published on: Wednesday, August 10, 2011