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Gateway Ticketing Systems explores out-of-the-box revenue ideas with Fiona the Hippo

Fiona the hippo cincinnati zoo

Gateway Ticketing Systems, a leading provider of admission control systems, hosted an unusual guest on its latest webinar as it explored creative ideas to generate revenue.

Gateway Ticketing Systems was pleased to welcome Cincinnati Zoo’s much-loved hippopotamus Fiona as a guest panellist on its most recent Webinar Wednesday: Creative & Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Generate Revenue Now and When You Reopen.

“We were in the middle of discussing creative ways to utilize your existing spaces to drive revenue,” says Randy Josselyn, cohost of the Webinar Wednesdays series. “Many attractions with large parking lots are holding drive-in movies. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is leasing unused space to the Brooklyn Library. Ideas like this. Then all of a sudden….”

Fiona makes a splash

Fiona, along with her mother Bibi and her keeper, joined in the webinar. During her 15 minute slot on the panel, Fiona munched on lettuce and enjoyed a swim as her keeper talked to attendees about the hippo’s diet and routine as well as answering questions.

Also present on this week’s panel of experts were Sylvia Matiko, co-founder of A Different View; Curtis Parks, Chief Operating Officer/Managing Partner at Icon Attractions; and Brandon Willey, Chief Executive Officer at Hownd.

Creative ideas

Together, the panellists explored several different and creative ways that attractions can generate revenue using the assets they have, with some examples of successful out-of-the-box ideas. Parks used the example of bundling a ride on the Capital Wheel with a meal at one of the restaurants on the National Harbor, while Matiko talked about London’s Secret Cinema partnering with Haagen-Dazs for a new at-home cinema experience.

Meanwhile, Willey explored the idea of FECs that sell Birthdays in a Box, therefore generating income from their unused party supplies during the closures. Another interesting example is Harkins Theatres in Arizona, where guests can turn up and buy their popular popcorn in the parking lot before heading home to watch a movie, bringing some of the movie magic with them.

“Fiona stole the show though,” says Peter Wolf, Director of Sales and Marketing at Gateway Ticketing Systems. “However, it wasn’t just a ploy to increase attendance on the webinar. Having Fiona as a panellist was just another example of an attraction creatively driving revenue.”

The Cincinnati Zoo is selling Cincinnati ZOOm calls where people can book Fiona or other popular zoo animals for a fifteen-minute virtual call, where the zoo’s inhabitants and keepers can add some fun to a meeting. Gateway Ticketing’s Galaxy ticketing and admission control software powers the web store behind the ZOOm call bookings. A recording of the webinar is available here.

The previous webinar was called What Are Your Consumers Saying – An Inside Look at Recent Industry Surveys. This looked at what guests are thinking ahead of attractions reopening.

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charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is blooloop's Editor. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

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