AP Podcast - Episode 58 - Jeff Platt of Sky Zone talks innovation, being a young leader, and the power of play.

October 9, 2018

Jeff Platt is CEO of Sky Zone, and the creator of the trampoline park concept - although its not originally what he set out to do.  When the trampoline court for a new sport concept attracted attention from nearby kids at a skate park, they realized they needed to shift to experience-based recreation.  Today, Sky Zone has more than 200 locations worldwide, and was acquired by CircusTrix in early 2018.

In this episode, Jeff shares:

  • Advice for young leaders
  • His approach to his role and how Sky Zone fosters innovation
  • How his perceptions were changed after being on Undercover Boss
  • His philosophy that the guest experience is secondary to the team member experience
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AP Podcast Episode 57 - An exciting MAILBAG episode about guest recovery and developing young leaders

October 2, 2018

Is it still a "mailbag" episode if the question comes from Twitter?  YES!!

This mailbag episode is in response to the following question that come in from Twitter:

"Big fan of your show. I was curious if you could talk about these questions on an upcoming show. These are pretty much my struggles at work. Working at an FEC / High speed gokart track, we get a lot of complaints about guests that didn’t enjoy their race. It’s either 'not what they expected, they got bumped, or wasn’t fast enough' either way they want a refund for their experience. At what point is giving a refund ok or should we expect the guest to know what they are getting them self into.

Most of my team leaders are 18- 19 and this is their first leadership role. Have any suggestions in helping them become better leaders. Thanks!"

 

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AP Podcast - Episode 56: Part 2 - Time to book more groups with Sheryl Bindelglass

September 25, 2018

Part 2

Sheryl Bindelglass (@SherylGolf) started learning how to sell when she set up a soft-pretzel operation in her father's pharmacy.  Today, Sheryl is a prominent leader in the Family Entertainment Center industry, where she helps her clients grow their revenue, book more groups, and develop personal relationships with their clients that go far beyond the transaction.

In these episodes, Sheryl discusses the early days of her career (and makes us guess her first job out of college), and takes us on a fascinating journey that led her into operating a successful entertainment center, and resulted in starting a firm to have a wider positive impact on the entire industry. 

We discuss how the front line should have influence in making strategic decisions, how everyone has a salesperson in them, and that you can only sell something that you believe in.  Sheryl talks about how every staff member should be well versed in group sales, even if it is not their direct job.

"My philosophy is that the more people we can get into this industry, the more fun people will have."

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AP Podcast - Episode 55: Part 1 - Time to book more groups with Sheryl Bindelglass

September 18, 2018

Part 1

Sheryl Bindelglass (@SherylGolf) started learning how to sell when she set up a soft-pretzel operation in her father's pharmacy.  Today, Sheryl is a prominent leader in the Family Entertainment Center industry, where she helps her clients grow their revenue, book more groups, and develop personal relationships with their clients that go far beyond the transaction.

In these episodes, Sheryl discusses the early days of her career (and makes us guess her first job out of college), and takes us on a fascinating journey that led her into operating a successful entertainment center, and resulted in starting a firm to have a wider positive impact on the entire industry.

We discuss how the front line should have influence in making strategic decisions, how everyone has a salesperson in them, and that you can only sell something that you believe in.  Sheryl talks about how every staff member should be well versed in group sales, even if it is not their direct job.

 

"My philosophy is that the more people we can get into this industry, the more fun people will have."

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AP Podcast - Episode 54: Russ Van Natta of Creative Works talks about a gaggle of creative creatives.

September 11, 2018

Russ Van Natta is VP of Sales for Creative Works, an attraction design and installation company specializing in "get-off-the-couch" immersive experiences! Russ gives us a glimpse into how the company hires, maintains a healthy working atmosphere and churns out some pretty amazing experiences!

Don't forget to sign up for our email list to get the latest updates.

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AP Podcast - Episode 53: Matt and Josh unpack the lessons from a recent coaster extravaganza!

September 4, 2018

CNC (Coaster Nerd Con) is an annual coaster trip taken by Matt and two buddies.  Their goal? Ride as many coasters as they can in a 7-8 day period.  2018 marks the 8th year of CNC's, and there is no indication it will stop anytime soon! 

In this episode, Matt relays a few of the experiences and observations from the trip, and he and Josh extrapolate some interesting learning and discussion points.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Soft-closing times give a positive impression at the end of the day
  • Engaging your guests’ sense of smell to enhance the experience and increase revenue
  • Technology’s role in helping staff deliver bad news
  • The future of loose article
  • The charm of older, smaller parks

Here are all of the parks visited on CNC 18: Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Dutch Wonderland, Hersheypark, Knoebels, Dorney Park, DelGrosso's, Kennywood, Waldameer, and Cedar Point. 

 

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AP Podcast - Episode 52: Paul Gibbons of New Vue shares the fun side of data analytics

August 28, 2018

Paul Gibbons, Founder of New Vue, joins the podcast to talk about best practices in data collection and how to manage and actually use the data you have. 

A few notable bits from Paul in this episode:

"If you can't measure it, you can't manage it."

"More of your time should be focused on decision making rather than looking at spread sheets."

For more on Paul and New Vue: http://www.new-vue.com/

 

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AP Podcast - Episode 51: Matt and Josh provide the over/under on over promising & under delivering

August 21, 2018

To get people to visit your facility, you have to tell a compelling story.  But what happens when that compelling story doesn't match the delivered experience?  

Matt and Josh discuss a real-life situation where some overblown promises turned out to be too good to be true.  Oh, and what to do about it ITHO (in their humble opinion).

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AP Podcast - Episode 50: A look back on the guests we’ve featured in the last year

August 14, 2018

We have officially made it to Episode 50!  To honor this occasion, we would like to take the opportunity to spotlight all of the guests that we've featured since the beginning.  In this episode, you'll hear short clips from each guest as they share insights, stories, and their expertise in the attractions industry.

If you have not had the opportunity yet to listen to our previous episodes, we recommend taking the time to go back through the first 49 episodes and listen to the full conversations with each of the guests that we've had on the show.  All of the content that we create is designed to be evergeen - it doesn't matter if you listen to it the day it comes out or a year later; all of the topics are still applicable.

In this episode, we are thrilled to feauture snippets of conversations with the following AttractionPros guests:

  • Scott Brown, Family Entertainment Group
  • Ben Story, Avius
  • Jennifer Berthiaume, Lion Country Safari
  • Chris Gray, Skyline Attractions
  • Amy Holloman, Eastern State Penitentiary
  • Matt Eckert, Holiday World
  • Eric Davis, Zoo Nation, Awesome Ocean, & Stand with SeaWorld
  • Clint Novak, Central Park Funland
  • Erik Beard, International Ride Training (formerly Wiggin & Dana)
  • Terri Adams, Schlitterbahn
  • Case Lawrence, CircusTrix
  • Cindee Huddy, International Ride Training
  • Tim O'Brien, Industry Journalist
  • Lisa Shanley, Nassal ACM
  • Richard Ray, Cedar Fair
  • Bill Lupfer, Florida Attractions Association
  • Nick Gray, Museum Hack
  • Sherry Howell, CenterEdge Software
  • Lars Kristensen, NiceJob
  • Mark Rosenzweig, Ride Entertainment
  • Ed Hodgdon, Funtown/Splashtown & NEAAPA
  • Ken Whiting, Whitings Foods
  • Nick Romeo, Double T Multimedia & Florida Attractions Association
  • Laurie Squire, Imagine Exhibitions
  • Barry Zelickson, Big Thrill Factory
  • Kurt Allen, Mississippi Aquarium
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AP Podcast - Episode 49: Matt and Josh explore what negative PR can mean to an attraction plus much, much more!

August 6, 2018

A few "news" articles making the rounds recently inspired a discussion about what they mean to the typical park-goer (who may not understand the true meaning behind what is written). 

The conversation also careened into the following areas: 

  • Favorite vantage point for a coaster picture
  • The 2nd best pretzel Josh has ever had
  • Viability of waivers (in our humble, non-legally binding opinion)
  • Guests and their "safety brains"
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