Lo-Q plc, founded and headquartered in the UK, has won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade. Lo-Q develops and sells virtual queuing systems for theme parks and has seen its overseas sales more than double in the last three years representing an increase of 120% and a total export revenue of £35million during this period.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the UK’s most prestigious accolades for business performance and are designed to recognise and reward outstanding achievement. The awards are made each year by Her Majesty the Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, who is assisted by an advisory committee that includes representatives of government, trade unions, industry and commerce.
Tom Burnet, CEO of Lo-Q said, “To win this award is tremendous recognition of our success in international markets. Lo-Q’s virtual queuing systems are in use by leading theme parks and attraction operators globally, with customers including LEGOLAND® Windsor, Pleasure Beach, Blackpool and Flamingo Land, Yorkshire along with overseas parks including large parks in the Six Flags group in North America; Dollywood in Tennessee; and parks in Australia; Italy; Spain, and Germany”.
In the mid-1990s Leonard Sim experienced the misery of theme park queuing, having waited for hours with his family for a ride which they did not even enjoy because it closed due to a breakdown. As a technologist, he was challenged by his wife Henrieheta to solve the problem and some years later invented the solution and set up a company to do just that. “Lo-Q’s original and flagship product is Q-bot, a handheld device which registers an individual or group into a virtual queue when they make a ride reservation. Visitors are reminded by the Q-bot when it is their time to ride and it also lets them know if a ride is faulty allowing them to reschedule. Our aim is to improve a visitor’s experience of the park by giving them more time to have fun in other areas such as restaurants, shops and gardens instead of standing in line, ” explained Leonard Sim, the Founding Director at Lo-Q.
Since those early years Lo-Q has continued to add further virtual queuing solutions to its portfolio of products. Q-txt enables a visitor to make reservations for his/her favourite rides by using the SMS messaging function on his/her mobile phone. The latest innovation, Q-credits, just launched, is a waterproof wristband initially designed for water parks. Q-credits users clock up time credits again eradicating the need to queue. These time credits are redeemed to enable access to rides and, of course, the most popular rides require the most credits.
Leonard Sim continued, “The Lo-Q concept is that when visitors are queuing they are trading time for experience. Park operators would prefer guests to be active in other areas such as shops and restaurants rather than standing in line. Our latest innovation, Q-credits has tremendous potential as it can be offered in water parks as well as dry parks. In fact we are introducing it to the market this summer, in one of the USA’s major water parks. Q-credits is very flexible and can, for example, allow operators to price their rides dynamically in order to best match park resources available, with visitor numbers to everyone’s benefit.”
Winners of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise are announced annually on The Queen’s birthday, 21 April and receive an engraved crystal chalice plus an invitation to a reception at Buckingham Palace.
Lo-Q plc is a UK publicly traded company with subsidiary companies in USA and Canada. Lo-Q designs, installs and operates solutions that allow customers to make ride and show reservations when they visit a theme park or other attraction.
Its flagship product, the Q-bot system is a true virtual queuing system for theme parks. The Q-bot is a proprietary hand-held unit and is used in major theme parks around the world, including LEGOLAND® Windsor in the UK, Dreamworld in Australia, Mirabilandia in Italy and eleven Six Flags theme parks in the USA and Canada, Dollywood in Tennessee, USA, Pleasure Beach, Blackpool in the UK, Parque de Atracciones in Spain, Movie Park and Heide Park in Germany.
Q-txt is a mobile phone based reservation system for venues with a smaller number of queue lines. Q-txt is in use in a number of locations including Flamingo Land in Yorkshire, UK, Parque Isla Magica in Seville, Spain and Lake Compounce, USA
Q-credits is a waterproof wristband that accumulates time credits which can then be redeemed on rides. Q-credits was launched and trialled in Spain during the Summer 2010 with another trial taking place in Atlanta, USA during Summer 2011.
Lo-Q has extensive patent protection and owns the intellectual property rights in the system, its software and electronic design. Its headquarters are in Twyford, Berkshire in the UK and its USA offices are near Atlanta, Georgia.