What does a successful day look like in your venue?
We’re sure it’s a game room packed full of happy guests. Our top 10 game room layout tips are designed to help maximize your success in your FEC and arcade without breaking the bank!
While you may be using some of these tips already, you’re sure to find at least a few gems here.
#1 – Your Entrance
Your entrance sets your guests’ expectations as soon as they step inside, or, depending on your location, walk past your venue. If you’re in a thoroughfare this tip is even more important, because your entrance acts as an advertisement for every potential customer walking past.
Make the entrance of your arcade space large and inviting. Position new and exciting pieces near the entry that encourage customers to step inside for a closer look. Make sure there is plenty of visibility into the rest of the game room and your other attractions.
Games featuring energetic music and lighting effects tend to make good entry pieces because the frenetic activity they bring begs for attention and creates entertainment for onlookers.
#2 – Prize Redemption Counter or Store
A well-planned prize redemption space is the heart of your operation. For many locations it serves as your main point of sale and is typically the last stop for most guests and families visiting your facility. It’s your closing opportunity to impress with an exciting selection of prizes and great customer service, increasing the chances they’ll share their visit on social media and come back soon.
Give your prizes good visibility. Glass counter cabinets with LED lighting are the go-to display unit for most redemption areas, but make sure you’re also utilizing the wall spaces to showcase additional prizes. Install high shelves along the walls to display your big-ticket prizes and make sure you install a few power outlets to display electrical prizes. By creating an attractive product showcase, you will draw guests’ attention to all your valuable prizes and reinforce their desire to play and increase their overall spend.
Redemption tends to be the most productive part of the game room mix, we see a lot of venues having success with an attractive redemption games area in the centre part of their game room and, right next to the prize display.
Considering redemption games are attractive to many younger guests and families, we also recommend that you place some of your kiddie rides within the area. This gives moms and dads something to enjoy with their youngest children and a reason to stretch their visit just a little bit longer.
#3 – Use an open, free flow floor plan
Place tall games against walls around the perimeter so you can avoid blocking the line of sight across the game room. Games such as alley bowlers, basketballs, and large sports games should be grouped in an attractive line up. Watch the mix of smaller games with the larger ball games such as an alley bowler, Customers don’t feel too comfortable with a 1lb ball whizzing by their head.
Avoid lining up games in extended back-to-back rows, as long lines of games tend to obstruct visibility and weaken security. Instead, create smaller islands of games with similar heights. This creates a more stimulating environment for guests than having games lined up in rows.
Prize Box is great for that hard to define space, it creates visibility and looks great in multiples
Games that require players to time their actions should have sufficient space around them ensuring guests feel comfortable and confident when playing. Provide enough space so they can move around the sides of skill and crane games such as Prize Box or Balloon Buster. Spectators often end up watching the action from the side of the game, which can also entice them to have a go at the next available opportunity.
Let people wander through from as many directions as possible. Avoid unnecessary walls, half-walls, and doors. If there is a column, disguise it by surrounding with a selection of taller games.
#4 – Create Themed Areas
There are multiple ways that you can combine games to create different thematic play areas.
Try theming areas of your venue such as a kiddie corner, master drivers section, a challenge wall with sports games, and so on.
#5 – Use Your Square Footage Wisely
If you try to pack too much into your facility, it can hurt your overall revenue. If players don’t have enough room to comfortably move around and play games without feeling constricted, they will spend less time in your venue.
Decide in advance how your space will be used and wisely select the right mix of games. Be sure to have some new and exciting offerings mixed in with the older games. Keep in mind that most games need anywhere from 3-6 feet of additional space around them to allow other customers to walk through even with people playing on both sides of the walkway. Space out the games to make sure no one is bumping into each other while playing.
If you’re not already doing it, we recommend creating digital layout of your floor plan.
Moving games around on the computer screen is a lot simpler than moving them in real life! LAI Games provides DWG (Digital Floor Plan files) for all our games for this very purpose. DWG files are accessible from within your dashboard when you create your free LAI Games website account.
Here are 3 easy-to-use online design tools that you can use to create your own Floor Plans for free:
- RoomSketcher – Check their YouTube channel to watch some really easy to follow tutorials to start designing your game room floor plan.
- Home Styler
#6 – Boost Your Kiosk’s Potential
Locate your self-service kiosks close to your entrance and include overhead signage so guests can locate them from afar. In larger venues it’s recommended to have another cluster located close to the main counter areas, so their convenience is obvious and helps with the overflow during the busier periods.
“Images of high end prizes can increase dollar value added to cards.”
Be Media, a global audio-visual design-build firm that has been providing solutions to entertainment venues all across the world for almost 20 years, recommends maximizing guest touchpoints by adding digital signage at your debit card system kiosks. Images of high end prizes can increase dollar value added to cards. By displaying video clips of corporate events, team builders and birthday parties, guests will be reminded that your entertainment center expands beyond building family memories.
#7 – Put some thought into the Ambience
When you are concentrating on the most important points to ensure your location is popular and well-received, ambience is one that is often overlooked, but needs to be addressed for success.
Create an exciting atmosphere that makes customers want to remain inside and keep playing.
If an FEC, arcade or game room is dark, run-down, too hot/cold and the machines are out of order, it’s guaranteed visitors won’t stay for long.
Lighting is key for your environment. Try to use indirect bounced lighting to minimize glare so customers stay longer. If you do have overhead lights, make sure to diffuse them.
Bridgette Stone from Be Media also suggests adding gobo lights with designs to keep the guest’s eye on the prize(s), using catchy words such as “WINNERS” or a customized logo. Gobo lights create dramatic effects on walls, walkways and more.
#8 – Mix Things Up Every So Often
Change the layout of your game room periodically, for best results we recommend every three months. Relocating games helps to create awareness and get a repeat customer to notice a game they might have missed on a previous visit. The change in appearance often gives the impression that you’ve added new games to your venue, without actually investing money!
#9 – Trash Talk
Game rooms can be pretty exciting places at times and sometimes the little ones (or big ones) can forget their most basic manners and drop some trash on the floor. Make it easy for them by making your trash bins visible and in the aisles. The general rule is, you should always be able to see a trash can anywhere you’re standing in your venue. The easiest way to do this is by spreading them out at a reasonable distance directly in the walkways of your game room and common areas of your venue.
#10 – Think Outside the Box
Invite some family or friends to mystery shop your venue to get some honest feedback about areas that could be improved. They might also identify an exceptional experience or staff member that you can recognise for their efforts.
Visit other entertainment venues in your area and see how your competitors are doing things. It’s always good to look at things from a different perspective, make sure you’re in the “guest” mindset and not “I’m an FEC manager”. There is a good chance you will walk away with a few new ideas to implement in your facility… or get confirmation that some of what you’re doing is absolutely right!
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