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How to make sure members show up for pre-booked visits

When visitor attractions reopened after lockdown, the new social distancing guidelines called for major changes to the way they operate. One of the new systems that many attractions put in place was pre-bookable timed entry.

Entry time slots help manage flow, avoid bottlenecks around any new one-way systems and generally minimise contact throughout the visitor experience. The pre-bookable element is a step towards a cashless – i.e. contactless – structure, too.

But what happens when no money exchanges hands, digitally or physically, at the point of booking these time slots, as happens with annual members and season ticket holders? For some attractions, this particular process has contributed to a new problem: member no-shows.

Hever Castle in Kent is one attraction wrestling with this hitch. “One complex area after reopening under the ‘new normal’ has been managing the availability of time slots for our annual members and day visitors. We chose to keep it simple and not to limit time slots for our annual members. Unfortunately, what we saw in our first week was £15,500 of unrealised revenue as a result of no shows from members,” says Sarah Cole, the castle’s marketing and communications manager.

Unfortunately, the problem of member no-shows isn’t unique to Hever Castle. Here are five strategies you can employ to help tackle the issue at your visitor attraction.

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