How photo printing capability adds value for park guests:
Conversation with Cliff Reeves of DNP
DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation’s Photo Imaging Division delivers award-winning digital photo printing solutions that provide custom photo souvenirs. DNP is a leading supplier to amusement parks and attractions, and the company is a regular exhibitor at the IAAPA expos.
In today’s world of ubiquitous digital cameras, selfies and DIY photo-ops, how do entertainment operators create value with on-site photo printing, and market photo souvenirs to guests? Cliff Reeves, Director of Sales at DNP, answered some questions.
Please explain the role of photo printers in the attractions industry.
We have a strong foothold in this market. There are a lot of commonalities between the event photography market and the attractions industry; we both are selling experiences. Being able to merchandize a guest’s experience with a printed photograph reinforces the enjoyment they had at the property.
Everyone carries a phone with a camera, constantly capturing as many photos as they want. Does this minimize the demand of selling photography?
The ability for anyone to take photos is greater than ever; however, consumers aren’t moving these images off their mobile devices and into their homes. This serves to increase the value proposition of printed photos. We are providing park operators with the ability to produce large quantities of high-quality images quickly and capture their guests in the moment. Because consumers are printing less themselves, these readily-available images have even greater value.
What types of photo printers are available for amusement park operators?
There are really two commonly used types of photo printers, inkjet and dye-sublimation. Inkjets spray drops of ink onto paper, whereas dye-sublimation use a dry technique that diffuses dye onto paper. The dye comes in the form of a ribbon, which is converted into a gas by a heated print head and absorbed by a special receiving layer on the paper.
What are the advantages of dye-sublimation printers?
There are a variety of advantages, but for a park operator, it often comes down to a much lower cost of ownership including the hardware, software and paper. Dye-sublimation printing gives the user predictable costs. The price per print remains the same regardless of content, and there are no expensive ink cartridges to refill. Additionally, unlike ink technologies, there is no smudging or blotching because prints come out dry to the touch as soon as they leave the printer, and the prints are resistant to fingerprints, dust and fading.
Where are park operators having the most success with photo printers?
Park operators often tell us they have consistent success with mascot photos and entry gate photography. For those that branch out and look to deploy photography in more areas of their park, they have had success with haunted attractions and seasonal events and even hiring a roaming photographer to capture photos of guests.
Do you find that most of your customers who print on spec convert on a higher rate of sales opportunities?
A photo captures the emotion of a moment, and the park photo souvenir serves as a reminder of positive experiences and feelings. The photo souvenir package that guests take home as a personal memento helps reinforce the kind of emotional bond that can lead to repeat visits. Just as a shopper might purchase a candy bar at the checkout aisle of a supermarket, park-goers will make spur-of-the-moment purchase decisions in theme parks. Some parks find that it pays to print photos on spec. They drive sales by having prints on display and ready for purchase immediately after the guest exits the ride. Short wait times and easy traffic circulation in the retail area will increase the chances of a sale.
Do larger venues tend to have more success with onsite photo printing?
Not at all. Our systems are in large, well-known venues but are just as commonly found in a range of smaller venues. The key is in the quality of the printer, and in having a quality camera for capture, but everything else is just extra. We have systems that start as low as $1,000 and a venue only needs a camera to complete the system.
How are your most successful customers monetizing event photography at their properties?
We believe there are two rules that apply to maximizing profitability. The first is to take a photo that is hard for people to take on their own, and the second is to provide the highest level of print quality. This means we give our customers the ability to print a range of print sizes and finishes that can’t be duplicated by consumer inkjet printers and would otherwise be hard to reproduce. Customers that are having the most success and getting higher margins are not just offering traditional 4 x 6 images. • • •
Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) was established in 1876 as the first full-scale printing company in Japan. Today, the DNP Group is one of the largest printing/coating technologies companies in the world. The company works with a variety of photo industry hardware and software specialists to assemble customized solutions for the digital photo processing and printing space.
At its 71 production plants around the world, DNP’s global operations include commercial printing, packaging, decorative materials, electronics, business forms and information media supplies. For more information on DNP’s professional photo printing solutions for the attractions industry, please visit: www.dnpphoto.com