Importance of live and limited-time events

Offering live and limited time events is becoming increasingly important to attracting customers to location-based leisure venues. Since 2000, household spending on live entertainment and spectator sports events has increased by 1/3 while non-live location-based entertainment spending for such things as rides, attractions, movie theaters, FECs, theme parks, etc. has declined by almost 1/10 (-9%).

When we examine community-based entertainment venue spending, about half of all spending is for live entertainment. In fact, for the top 20% of households by income, which account for 1/2 of all such community-based entertainment spending, more than half of their spending is on live events, not the passive or attraction spending that is typical at FECs.

Live events including spectator sports, concerts, and wine, beer and food festivals are growing to be a large share of out-of-home leisure spending, especially for the upper socioeconomic households.

The great advantage of live and limited-time events is they motivate people to attend. Sure you can procrastinate about riding go-karts, or bowling, or playing laser tag, but you can't procrastinate about attending a live or limited time event, as it won't be there in the future.

Live and limited-time events harness the power of FOMO, fear of missing out. Your customers become your marketing on social media when they share the event to gain social capital. Over half of all Millennials and Gen-Xers considering unique and limited-time experiences better if they can share them on social media.

To succeed in today's very experiential culture, community-based leisure venues, including FECs, need to program live and limited time events as a significant part of their mix. This can include anything from music to special food events; the possibilities are endless.