Frea and Natalia went along to the 13th TiLEzone in London last week for a day of attraction industry presentations and networking.
Speakers provided valuable insight into their current projects and views on the attractions sector. Of particular interest was Richard Parry from the Department for International Trade (DIT) who talked about recent meetings with Saudi Arabian officials on improving the process of trade between the UK and Saudi. With several major live projects in the KSA, this would be most welcome.
Sam Smit of the Eden International team gave a compelling overview of their current worldwide expansion projects, and ever-enthusiastic futurist James Wallman (who was also a key speaker last year) reinforced the shift of the consumer towards an ‘experience economy’. He sees evidence of this not just in attendance figures from attractions but also in economic indicators such as the recent Barclaycard report which highlighted that buying experiences has officially overtaken buying ‘stuff’.
Alex Souter, MD and joint founder of The Panic Room (who are expanding their concepts and rooms at a rapid rate, including a new 2,000sq ft ‘Dino Park’ experience), gave an insight into the mind of a creative thinker by letting us know he wakes at 2am excited by a new escape room idea, shares it with his creative team via their WhatsApp group only to receive replies telling him to go back to sleep!
In LDP’s view, TiLEzone 2018 reinforced our opinion that the attractions sector is buzzing with new ideas, largely due to the shift towards the experience economy. There is a plethora of new developments at both planning stage and already underway across the UK and Europe, not to mention the UAE and the US. Demand for trends we’ve identified such as escape rooms, flying theatres, VR & AR is definitely being met! It’s a really exciting time for the attractions industry, in part due to leaps in the quality of new technology, and we’re happy to see that attraction owners, design teams and developers are listening to and understanding that the consumer not only wants more of these types of experiences, but that they are demanding ever-higher quality from them.