KCC Entertainment Design, a leading creator of themed environments, is reflecting on 20 years in the attractions industry.
KCC Entertainment Design is proud to announce that it is celebrating a milestone anniversary, having been in the business of designing and building unique entertainment destinations for 20 years. The company’s CEO, Yannick Maes, who founded the company, reflects on the successes of the past two decades.
The company began in Belgium, in the year 2000, with the aim of designing high-quality Karting Entertainment Centres. At the time, karting was popular in Belgium and was also gaining popularity in Asia and the US, meaning that the company was able to expand into those markets as well, as Maes explains:
“Our first contract was for a karting entertainment centre in Hong Kong followed by several locations in the USA. Quickly the ‘karting entertainment centres’ business got extended with other entertainment offerings.”
A global business
Following this, the company designed and built its first karting location in the Middle East, in Jeddah. This project, IN10SO, took place in the large Serfari Mega Mall.
“Then, the owner of the mall invited us to design and build an indoor entertainment park in a different part of the mall. We took this opportunity, strengthened our team and designed and built, in record time, our first family entertainment centre with the name ‘Moon Toon’.”
“We were rookies in the business, but the park was immensely successful and had an ROI in approx. 9 months. And both IN10SO and Moon Toon are still successfully open today!”
The company’s roots in the world of karting centres is reflected in the name: Karting Concept Company, says Maes: We kept KCC as our brand name and this is now worldwide associated with distinctive entertainment projects.”
Early years of retailtainment
When the company first began, the indoor entertainment and FEC sectors were still developing. The concept of retailtainment was beginning to gain traction, with developers in the MENA region starting to integrate entertainment into malls, offering a new type of entertainment and engaging a wider audience.
“KCC was one of the pioneers at integrating fully themed high-level entertainment parks in retail environments or as standalone destinations,” says Maes. “It was an exciting time with a lot of opportunities but also pitfalls (we learned several things the hard way).”
“Through hands-on learning and visionary approach, we gained knowledge of the mechanisms and factors which turn an entertainment centre into a success story. With that knowledge on indoor entertainment (and its organic integration with retail) we have gathered over all the years, we are now one of the most specialized companies for indoor entertainment centres and indoor theme parks.”
Some of the company’s successes over the last 20 years include:
- Karting Mall, Hong Kong
- TBC Indoor Racing, Dallas, UK
- Moon Toon FEC, Jeddah, KSA
- Happylon FEC chain, CIS
- Go Planet, Riga, Latvia
- Tekzone, Avenues Mall, Kuwait
- Angry Birds World, Doha, Qatar
- Wanda Nanjing Theme Park, Nanjing, China
- Smurfs Theme Park, Shanghai, China
- Chocolate Kingdom Theme Park, Guangzhou, China
When talking about what sets KCC apart from other companies, Maes says that experience is a key factor: “In 20 years of design and realization, our passionate team of professionals amassed knowledge of dos and don’ts in entertainment.”
KCC creates turnkey projects, working with clients from the design stage all the way to the grand opening. The team works to create and deliver projects within budget and on time, ensuring that they have a wow factor but are also profitable.
In addition, Maes says that adaptability is another important quality: “Our clients are in different markets requiring different approaches each time. We understand what the client wants, what the market wants and that time to market can be an important factor. This means adapting.
“Years of experience and continuous fine-tuning our organizational structure has also enabled us to address changes during the project in a better and faster way without compromising on the result.”
Looking to the future
The entertainment market is embracing new trends, such as AR and VR. Speaking of new technologies, Maes says:
“We embrace these new technologies and our designers love to integrate them into our design. However, we believe in a specific approach. We do not replace everything with new technology. One of the strengths lies in fusing new technologies with existing and strong attractions, concepts and experiences.
“Another advantage of these new technologies is their capacity to bring experiences, concepts and attractions together in one big unique experience. Creating a completely new level of entertainment on top of the individual attractions.”
“For us, merging new trends into existing proven concepts and analysing how every square metre of the park can benefit from these new trends is key to success.”
“While everyone’s world is becoming more and more digitalized and we spend a great amount of time online, we clearly see that people still love creating real memories and continuously look for new places to gather, socialize and have fun.
“I look forward to seeing KCC address this continuous search for unique social entertainment locations and to see KCC remain a driver and pioneer in the development of these new entertainment locations.”
KCC Entertainment Design also recently announced the opening of the world’s biggest Smurfs Indoor Theme Park, near Shanghai.