September Blog

After 2 full months of MonsterHero Safari we are beginning to see some trends emerging in locations where it has been most successful.  Of course, making it free to play helps, but not everyone has that advantage.  So, what were the other factors?

Well, being an “early adopter” definitely helped.  It never ceases to amaze me, even in the digital age, how long it takes for a message to seep into the community.  All the top 20 started in the first half of July, so word-of mouth has certainly played a strong part.

The second factor seems to be around confidence, which to a degree is difficult to define.  Places like Bracknell are using the shopping centre.  Fragile consumer confidence is some signs of improving, but maybe shopping centres have an advantage because of the obvious signs of on the ground management?

Having said, most top performing destinations like Worcester and St Albans, Paisley and Inverurie are not based around shopping centres, so there must be something else.  People are staying more “local” and not travelling to the large city centres for a full days shopping.  Perhaps this is why the Government is considering appeals from the leisure industry to extend the Eat Out to Help Out campaign in major cities?

Going forward, a locations success will increasingly be defined by how much we can add value to people’s lives, what it contributes to society and how it stands up to support those in need. With the pandemic exposing Government shortfalls on a global scale, we all have a part to play.

Years ago, when I was CEO at Action for Market Towns, I learnt an interesting lesson from a survey of our membership, asking what they valued most about the services we offered.  The events we ran scored very highly.  I then realised that even people who hadn’t attended an AMT event in the past 12 months said it was “very important”.  In other words, they appreciated the “opportunity” even if they were able to take advantage at that time!

I think the same will apply to the Monster Hero Events.  We are giving people the opportunity, at a time to suit them and when they feel ready.

We are seeing footfall increasing and retail sales picking up.  But from my (frankly limited) time in city centres I think this is people “on a mission”.  They know what they want, and they go in to get it.

Crisis always leads to a reassessment. I am sure we will find that people will be less inclined to buy luxury items, with priorities shifting towards saving and budgeting, preparing for a potential recession.  Perhaps aspirations will move from wanting a designer handbag towards something more meaningful, such as health and wellbeing, travel, security and time spent with the family ones.

So, in response to that, the new family friendly events, MonsterHero Villains from October 1st followed by Christmas Spirits Safari are two new free-to-the-public Safaris in 2020.

They are designed to instill confidence.  There is “no contact” required – you don’t even have to go inside the store – it can be completed at a time to suit your family, spread over a few weeks if necessary and it’s the perfect way to keep the momentum going and build on the audience that we’ve created with MonsterHeroes – with seamless continuity from one event to the next through to the New Year.

So, everyone will now be able to play for free – no more paywall. However, working with technology partner Thyngs, we are able to include a voluntary donation button on the pages, which could be for a local cause, on request.

Please have a look over the Autumn/Winter Guide to see everything that these new Safaris can bring to your centre.  And, if this is for you, please complete this form, and there is an incentive of a 10% Early Bird discount.

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