AttractionPros Podcast
AP Podcast - Episode 161: Russ Van Natta is back to talk about books, improving ourselves and challenging assumptions

AP Podcast - Episode 161: Russ Van Natta is back to talk about books, improving ourselves and challenging assumptions

September 29, 2020

Russ Van Natta from Creative Works is returning to the AttractionPros Podcast for another amazing conversation!  This time we talk about books, standing up while on the phone or presenting virtually, and the connection between mind and body.

 

We also dive deep into the concepts of challenging assumptions, process improvement and of course, their upcoming virtual conference taking place October 6th-7th: Amusement360!

 

Here are the books that Russ and Josh mentioned during the episode:

The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham
The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander
Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
No Ego by Cy Wakeman
 
Josh Linkner's books:
 

This episode is brought to you by BackLooper.  If you’re tired of learning about guest complaints from online reviews, read on.  It’s time to protect your reputation while still getting valuable data so you can make enhancements to your guest experience.  Using the most effective ways to generate responses, combined with intuitive reporting that quickly points out the largest issues, BackLooper enables you to strengthen your operations with superior guest experience intelligence that leads to higher satisfaction.  Now more than ever we need to bring our guests into the conversation so they can be a part of our industry’s success.  Get started today with no minimum commitment by visiting backlooper.com, or email Josh directly at josh@backlooper.com.

For more on Josh and and BackLooper:

https://www.backlooper.com/

josh@backlooper.com

 

For more on Matt and Performance Optimist Consulting:

https://www.performanceoptimist.com/

Matt@performanceoptimist.com

 

Open this page in your web browser

#weareallAttractionPros

AP Podcast - Episode 160: Ike Kwon talks about community, diversity and creating decision makers at all levels of the organization

AP Podcast - Episode 160: Ike Kwon talks about community, diversity and creating decision makers at all levels of the organization

September 22, 2020

Ike Kwon is the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Government Affairs at the California Academy of Sciences. While Ike's facility was still closed at the time of this recording due to COVID-19, he was able to share with us some of the great things they do to entertain and educate their guests.

In this episode, Ike talks about Platinum guest service, how he didn't think he would end up in California and what his team is doing during the shutdown.

For more on Ike or Cal Academy:

Website: https://www.calacademy.org/

Ike on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ikekwon/

Ike's email: ikwon@calacademy.org

This episode is brought to you by BackLooper.  If you’re tired of learning about guest complaints from online reviews, read on.  It’s time to protect your reputation while still getting valuable data so you can make enhancements to your guest experience.  Using the most effective ways to generate responses, combined with intuitive reporting that quickly points out the largest issues, BackLooper enables you to strengthen your operations with superior guest experience intelligence that leads to higher satisfaction.  Now more than ever we need to bring our guests into the conversation so they can be a part of our industry’s success.  Get started today with no minimum commitment by visiting backlooper.com, or email Josh directly at josh@backlooper.com.

For more on Josh and and BackLooper:

https://www.backlooper.com/

josh@backlooper.com

 

For more on Matt and Performance Optimist Consulting:

https://www.performanceoptimist.com/

Matt@performanceoptimist.com

 

Open this page in your web browser

#weareallAttractionPros

AP Podcast - Episode 159: Scot Carson talks about reputation management, guest psychology and moving a park

AP Podcast - Episode 159: Scot Carson talks about reputation management, guest psychology and moving a park

September 15, 2020

Scot Carson is the Founder and Chief Experience Officer at Amusement Advantage, a company that provides guest experience solutions, such as mystery shopping, to the attractions industry.

In this episode, Scot gives us insight into reputation management, shares how he got to close down the old Elitch Gardens park and open the new one, and why he prefers the term "new weird" to new normal.

For more on Scot and Amusement Advantage:

Website: https://www.amusementadvantage.com/

Scot's email: scarson@amusementadvantage.com

To learn more or enroll in the upcoming webinar: 5 Strategies to Improve Communication

This episode is brought to you by BackLooper.  If you’re tired of learning about guest complaints from online reviews, read on.  It’s time to protect your reputation while still getting valuable data so you can make enhancements to your guest experience.  Using the most effective ways to generate responses, combined with intuitive reporting that quickly points out the largest issues, BackLooper enables you to strengthen your operations with superior guest experience intelligence that leads to higher satisfaction.  Now more than ever we need to bring our guests into the conversation so they can be a part of our industry’s success.  Get started today with no minimum commitment by visiting backlooper.com, or email Josh directly at josh@backlooper.com.

 

For more on Josh and and Backlooper:

https://www.backlooper.com/

josh@backlooper.com

 

For more on Matt and Performance Optimist Consulting:

https://www.performanceoptimist.com/

Matt@performanceoptimist.com

 

Open this page in your web browser

#weareallAttractionPros

 

 

AP Podcast - Episode 158: Luke Schueler talks about passion, the color pink and helping communities in need

AP Podcast - Episode 158: Luke Schueler talks about passion, the color pink and helping communities in need

September 8, 2020

Luke Schueler is the Co-Founder/Owner/COO of Flying Squirrel Sports.  He is a self-proclaimed innovator, entrepreneur, inventor, founder, business owner, life-long startup junkie, and on occasion – a teacher of these subjects. Of course, we had to ask him about that!  This interview covers serial entrepreneurship, starting a business in the family entertainment industry, getting funded, marketing, branding, and expanding to multiple locations.

In this episode, we not only talk about facility design and following your passion, we also dive into the path Luke and his team took when confronted with extreme socio-economic hardships - a great lesson for all business owners.

For more on Luke and Flying Squirrel Sports:

Website: https://flyingsquirrelsports.us/

Luke Schueler on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lukeschueler/

 

This episode is brought to you by BackLooper.  If you’re tired of learning about guest complaints from online reviews, read on.  It’s time to protect your reputation while still getting valuable data so you can make enhancements to your guest experience.  Using the most effective ways to generate responses, combined with intuitive reporting that quickly points out the largest issues, BackLooper enables you to strengthen your operations with superior guest experience intelligence that leads to higher satisfaction.  Now more than ever we need to bring our guests into the conversation so they can be a part of our industry’s success.  Get started today with no minimum commitment by visiting backlooper.com, or email Josh directly at josh@backlooper.com.

 

For more on Josh and and BackLooper:

https://www.backlooper.com/

josh@backlooper.com

 

For more on Matt and Performance Optimist Consulting:

https://www.performanceoptimist.com/

Matt@performanceoptimist.com

 

Open this page in your web browser

#weareallAttractionPros

 

AP Podcast - Episode 157: Josh and Matt discuss 7 ways to get the most out of your guest feedback

AP Podcast - Episode 157: Josh and Matt discuss 7 ways to get the most out of your guest feedback

September 1, 2020

Every attraction gets feedback. The question is... what do you do with it?

In this episode, Josh and Matt discuss 7 ways to get the most out of your guest feedback.  Those 7 ways are:

  • Designate a person or team
  • Respond quickly
  • Express appreciation
  • Use proven complaint resolution methods
  • Document, document, document
  • Follow through to completion
  • Keep your promise

This is also a special episode because Josh announces the official relaunch of BackLooper, which enables attractions to collect guest feedback that results in higher engagement and provides the operator with analytics and intelligence needed to make ongoing improvements. As a twist to traditional survey programs, BackLooper simplifies the process for the guest while amplifying the value of the data provided to the business.

To learn more and to download the checklist discussed in this episode, visit BackLooper.com/checklist

A new way to contact Josh: josh@backlooper.com

 

If you have a question for the mailbag or know of a leader we should highlight on the show, please drop us a line.  If you have questions about anything addressed on the show, feel free to reach out anytime!

Josh: josh@backlooper.com

Matt: matt@performanceoptimist.com

Website: http://attractionpros.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/attractionpros/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AttractionPros

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AttractionPros

#weareallAttractionPros

 

AP Podcast - Episode 156: De-escalation techniques to help your employees, your guests and your business

AP Podcast - Episode 156: De-escalation techniques to help your employees, your guests and your business

August 25, 2020

The landscape of guest behavior has changed. Due to your new policies, some of your guests feel emboldened to question your rules, putting your team members in uncomfortable situations when guests don’t agree and don’t follow them. The end result is two-fold: employee morale drops, and your business suffers from lost revenue and a damaged reputation.

This episode is a replay of a webinar that originally aired on August 24, 2020.  Matt and Josh apply principles of employee engagement and guest experience so that you can help your team members navigate these unusual times. This circumstance requires a combination of proactive measures put in place to minimize escalated situations, along with a set response plan when guests become unruly.

Additionally, Scot Carson shared aggregated data collected from Amusement Advantage‘s mystery shops related to COVID-19 concerns and how they have impacted the guest experience this summer.

If you have a question or would like to get in touch with Scot, Josh or Matt:

#weareallattractionpros

 

AP Podcast - Episode 155: Chris Gould talks about saving zoos, being an evangelist, and goat poop

AP Podcast - Episode 155: Chris Gould talks about saving zoos, being an evangelist, and goat poop

August 18, 2020

Christopher Gould is Senior Vice President at Iconic Attractions Group. He and his colleagues are on a quest to save zoos and make those entities and experiences sustainable in the 21st Century.

In addition to talking about what it will take to save zoos, we also discuss specific insights zoo operators need to have to make the right decisions, Iconic's approach to help, and in come cases turnaround) underperforming organizations and how cities are often defined by their local attractions.

Chris also generously contributed to the Lessons from Executives e-book

To learn more about Iconic Attractions or to get in touch:

Website: https://iconicattractions.com/

Email: info@iconicattractions.com

 

If you have a question for the mailbag or know of a leader we should highlight on the show, please drop us a line.  If you have questions about anything addressed on the show, feel free to reach out anytime!

Josh – josh@amusementadvantage.com

Matt – matt@performanceoptimist.com

 

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

AP Podcast - Episode 154: Jeff Vierkant talks about traditions, finding the right community and minimizing waste

AP Podcast - Episode 154: Jeff Vierkant talks about traditions, finding the right community and minimizing waste

August 11, 2020

Jeff Vierkant is the CEO of Historic Arnolds Park, Inc. in Northwest Iowa.  Jeff oversees an amazing collection of attractions that have been serving the families of the Okoboji region for generations. 

In this episode, Jeff talks about how his previous experience in manufacturing helps him find the waste in a business, and his previous experience as a ride operator at Arnolds Park helps him relate and stay connected to the work of his front line team members.  One of the most impactful stories Jeff shares is how he and his family found an amazing community, and how that drove his decision to move to the area.

 

For more on Arnolds Park:

Website: https://arnoldspark.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArnoldsPark

 

If you have a question for the mailbag or know of a leader we should highlight on the show, please drop us a line.  If you have questions about anything addressed on the show, feel free to reach out anytime!

Josh – josh@amusementadvantage.com

Matt – matt@performanceoptimist.com

 

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

AP Podcast - Episode 153: Josh and Matt share highlights from the Lessons from Executives e-book

AP Podcast - Episode 153: Josh and Matt share highlights from the Lessons from Executives e-book

August 4, 2020

We asked 25 attractions executives these questions:

  • When did you realize the pandemic was going to drastically impact your business and what were some of the first actions you took?
  • What do you wish you would have known on March 1st, and how would that have impacted your decisions and leadership during the shutdown?
  • How has the pandemic disrupted your philosophy for running a business that will change the way you lead in the future?

Their responses were raw, insightful, transparent, heartfelt, strategic, caring and downright inspiring. In this episode, Josh and Matt share some of the lessons and trends from the collective responses, as well as specific quotes and insight from individual leaders. Of course you will get a lot out of listening to this episode, but you will get EVEN MORE by downloading and reading the e-book yourself.

 

To download the FREE Lessons from Executives e-book: http://attractionpros.com/lessonsfromexecutives/

 

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to each of the participants who took the time to contribute to this invaluable resource for the attractions industry.

 

Kurt Allen

President & CEO, Mississippi Aquarium

 

John Anderson

COO, Michigan Science Center

 

John Arie, Jr.

CEO, Fun Spot America

 

Jennifer Berthiaume

Vice President, Lion Country Safari

 

Sarah Cole

President & CEO, Glazer Children’s Museum

 

Matt Eckert

President & CEO, Holiday World

 

Eric Eimstad

General Manager, Miami Seaquarium

 

Roger Germann

CEO, Florida Aquarium

 

Christopher Gould

Senior Vice President, Iconic Attractions

 

Matthew Johnson

Executive Director, IMAG History & Science

 

AJ & Kevin Jowett

Owners, Revolution Off Road Adventures

 

Jim Kunau

General Manager, Island H2O Live!

 

Ike Kwon

COO, California Academy of Sciences

 

Brad Loxley

COO, Sun World

 

Tony Moore

Executive Director, Gathering Place

 

Tim Morrow

President & CEO, San Antonio Zoo

 

Michelle O’Brien

Owner, Fiesta Village Family Fun Center

 

Jonah Sandler

Founder & CEO, Scene 75 Entertainment Centers

 

Luke Schueler

Founder & COO, Flying Squirrel Sports

 

Pat Simmons

Director & CEO, North Carolina Zoo

 

Christina Soverns Schwartzman

Chief Business Officer, Sawgrass Recreation Park

 

Dennis Speigel

President, International Theme Park Services

 

Glenn André Viste Bøe

CEO, Skånes Djurpark

 

Ken Whiting

President, Whiting’s Foods

 

Barry Zelickson

Owner, Big Thrill Factory

 

If you have a question for the mailbag or know of a leader we should highlight on the show, please drop us a line.  If you have questions about anything addressed on the show, feel free to reach out anytime!

Josh – josh@amusementadvantage.com

Matt – matt@performanceoptimist.com

 

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

AP Podcast - Episode 152: David Rosenberg talks about IAAPA, sustainable food practices and his celebrity look-a-like.

AP Podcast - Episode 152: David Rosenberg talks about IAAPA, sustainable food practices and his celebrity look-a-like.

July 28, 2020

David Rosenberg is the Vice President of Guest Experience at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.  He also served as the 2019 Chairman of the Board for IAAPA.

 

In this episode, David shares his thoughts on the evolution of the aquarium experience, getting a crash course in international relations with IAAPA and how good intentions, without a plan, can yield the opposite of your desired results. 

 

To connect with David:

 

If you have a question for the mailbag or know of a leader we should highlight on the show, please drop us a line.  If you have questions about anything addressed on the show, feel free to reach out anytime!

Josh – josh@amusementadvantage.com

Matt – matt@performanceoptimist.com

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Facebook

LinkedIn

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