What can holiday parks offer in the digital age?
Fan zones and drive-in cinemas are two developments whereby holiday park owners can use technology and internet connections to make their attractions even more appealing, as holiday park WiFi providers Infinium explores in this article…
England certainly had a tremendous bout of World Cup fever over the past summer, as dreams of the Three Lions winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia became more and more realistic as the tournament progressed. Although Gareth Southgate’s men fell agonisingly short with their semi-final defeat against Croatia, the feelgood vibes that the competition created will be fondly remembered by many fans for years to come.
It wasn’t just at home or in pubs where fans around England went to cheer on their team though. Possibly partly because of the country’s long heatwave, thousands of supporters watched the action unfold at fan zones which were set up in nearby towns, cities or other suitable public spaces.
Those in charge of holiday parks can certainly take a leaf out of those who organised fan zones for the World Cup and create an electric atmosphere at their sites by setting up their own similar spaces.
When designing your own fan zone, make sure you have either enough seats for everyone by cross-referencing the number of seats with the maximum amount of people who can be staying at your holiday park at one time, or make a space either towards the back of the zone a standing patch only.
Of course, the UK’s unpredictable weather may cause you to also consider placing your fan zone under a giant tent or canopy. If you plan to do this, possibly consider this feature to be detachable so that fans can enjoy watching their favourite sports while making the most of the sunshine on a hot day.
When it comes to the fan zone’s large screen, one idea that went down a success in the North-East England city of Sunderland was to have the screen attached to the side of a bus. That way, the technology could be easily moved and placed in a secure location whenever it wasn’t being used. There are a few other elements commonly found in fan zones too which will add to the experience and provide peace of mind, such as food and refreshment kiosks, and a lost child kiosk.
Wondering what to broadcast at your holiday park’s fan zone? There’s plenty of exciting sporting action planned for when the weather begins to heat up in 2019 already, including:
- The Grand National on Saturday April 6th
- Anthony Joshua is booked to have a boxing match at Wembley on Saturday April 13th
- The FA Cup Final on Saturday May 18th
- The Cricket World Cup held across England venues between Thursday May 30th and Monday July 15th
- The Champions League final on Saturday June 1st
- The Wimbledon Championships between Monday July 1st and Sunday July 14th
These are just a few highlights in the upcoming sporting calendar mind; consider the interests of people who usually stay at your holiday park and decide on the events that they are most likely to become engrossed in.
Ever since car parts salesman Richard Hollingshead was credited with opening the first drive-in theatre in Camden, New Jersey, on June 6th, 1933, the idea of a drive-in cinema has gone from strength to strength.
While this entertainment concept has long been associated with a slice of Americana, we have seen more and more drive-in cinemas appear across the UK. Nick Frow, who is the director of the Drive-in Film Club, believes that their growing appeal on this side of the Atlantic may have something to do with what a cinema audience wants.
He explained to The Sunday Times’ Driving supplement: “Your car is your kingdom, basically. You can do exactly what you want when you want to do it in your car. You want to rustle your sweet packets? Want to talk to your missus, or the family in the back? Brought a baby and it wants to cry or needs a feed? No problem. It’s perfect.
“This is about more than just the film.”
With many people visiting holiday parks in their own cars, adding a drive-in cinema around your attraction certainly makes sense. There will be a few costs that you must consider when first setting up your own community cinema — fortunately BFI Neighbourhood Cinema has covered them all in this handy guide, or you could relieve yourself of the stress by hiring all the equipment from a mobile outdoor cinema equipment provider such as Skylight Cinema.
Whichever option you go with, the result will be a part of your holiday park being transformed into a fantastic hub for entertainment once the sun sets and guests are looking for something to do. You could even add to the cinema experience by setting up a popcorn or hotdog stand for guests.
However, one crucial word of advice is to only show family films — film classification rules still apply at drive-in cinemas, so you’ll want to avoid informing families at your holiday park that they can’t enjoy the film because some of the children aren’t old enough!