How photo prints can be used to enhance the park experience, drive revenue streams and encourage return visits
by Suzanne Seagle, Director of Marketing, DNP
ABOVE: On-ride photos provide opportunities to create souvenirs for guests they can’t get elsewhere. Photo courtesy DNP.
For park guests, a photo represents the excitement of the moment; a way to preserve the memory and the emotion of the experience. Offering printed photo souvenir packages allows guests to take home a personal memento of their visit and creates a deeper, stronger emotional bond, and a connection to the brand that will ultimately lead to repeat visits.
Park-goers routinely make—and indeed want to make— spontaneous, unplanned purchases in theme and amusement parks. Branded prints with a park logo or custom borders and folders are among the most popular items sold at attractions around the world. Branding a photo print increases the exposure of the park’s brand and is a great way to showcase the experience to prospective guests.
The Photo Imaging Division of our company, DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation, is a leading supplier to amusement parks and attractions and delivers award-winning digital photo printing solutions that provide custom photo souvenirs. “Park visitors want to capture the moment, and they take thousands of photos on their smartphones every day, but they often have no way of viewing those photos off-screen, and they very rarely print photos at home,” said Cliff Reeves, Director of Sales. “The growth in printer hardware and media sales suggests that consumers are rediscovering and appreciating the emotional power of printed images. For the attractions industry, this represents a major opportunity to improve the bottom line.”
Many parks have considered print on-spec with the hope that seeing the finished product will spur sales and convince customers to purchase packages. Having prints on display and ready for purchase immediately after a ride, or a green screen photo, is critical for driving sales. Short wait times and small crowds will increase the chances of a sale. DNP gives park operators the ability to produce large quantities of high-quality images quickly and capture their guests in the moment.
“There are two rules that apply to maximize souvenir photo and photo package profitability,” said Reeves. “The first is to take photos that are hard or impossible for people to take on their own, and the second is to provide a level of print quality, sizes, and finishes that can’t be duplicated by consumer inkjet printers.”
Reeves explained that park operators have consistent success with mascot photos and entry gate photography. For parks that branch out and look to deploy photography in more areas, they have had success with haunted attractions, seasonal events and even hiring a roaming photographer to capture photos of guests.
The Tech Matters: Dye-sublimation
While the capture device is vital to the success of in-park photography, the technology behind producing printed packages is equally important in ensuring the best possible quality product. The two most widely used photo printing methods available are inkjet and dye-sublimation. Inkjet printers spray droplets of ink onto specially-coated papers, whereas dyesublimation printers use a dry technique that diffuses dye onto paper. This dye comes in the form of a ribbon, which is converted into a gas by a heated print head that is then absorbed by a special receiving layer on the photo paper.
Dye-sublimation printing offers several advantages for park operators, including high margins, low maintenance, and speed. When it comes to printing with a dye-sublimation, since there are no expensive ink cartridge refills, the price per print is the price per print. Dye-sublimation media (paper and ribbon) prices generally don’t fluctuate and are usually good for hundreds of photographs in a single roll.
And unlike ink jet technologies, there is no smudging, running, or blotching because prints are dry and ready to touch as soon as they leave the printer. Dye-sublimation prints are resistant to fingerprints, dust and fading, and typically are available in glossy, matte, fine matte, and luster finishes. Implementing a high-quality dye-sublimation solution also minimizes downtime, ensuring photo operations are running and producing prints without delay.
There are a variety of advantages to dye-sublimation printers, 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.
“Park operators need to be able to produce unique, highquality, profitable prints before guests lose interest, and dyesublimation printers are the fastest, best quality, most flexible photo printers available,” added Reeves. “Our dye-sublimation printers can print high-quality, full-bleed, customized images in a matter of seconds, ensuring every print is ready and available for purchase, even before the ride is over.” • • •