An Expert View With…

Alison Paterson Blackpoolpb-1ALISON PATERSON

ACADEMY, EDUCATION AND GROUPS MANAGER,
BLACKPOOL PLEASURE BEACH

Who are your main group visitors at the pleasure beach?

We welcome all groups. We believe we can cater for all of them, although the largest proportion of our group visits are by schools, colleges and universities who visit either for an educational purpose, or to celebrate the end of their academic year by enjoying a fun filled day riding our range of heritage and modern, steel roller coasters.

What have you done to maximise your reach to the Education groups market?

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has a proud and rich history that is something we are happy to show our younger groups. Our Education Academy is key to this. We don’t want the children just to experience the rides we have, we want them to learn about them, and therefore we offer a tailor-made a presentation within the Academy which is in-line with the National Curriculum so they can learn about how a roller coaster works before experiencing the thrill for themselves.

What’s key to success with groups?

Keeping up with the groups market is all about streamlining processes and exceeding their expectations. I attend many exhibitions, networking events and partnership meetings to guarantee I have the opportunity to hear feedback, comments and group organiser’s needs. I also take an active role in tailoring our products to ensure we promote the right product at the right price to the right market. Organising a group trip can be challenging which is why my team and I strive to make their experience stress-free. Communication is key with all our group organisers and together with my team, we go above and beyond to ensure every client feels special and receives the highest level of customer service before, during and after their visit.

What could be done to attract more of  the traditional adult groups market?

There is so much more to Blackpool Pleasure Beach than meets the eye. Attracting the traditional groups market is about challenging the preconceptions they may have.  We have worked hard to design innovative and bespoke packages that highlight the heritage and cultural aspects that we have to offer. Marketing is key to ensure the traditional GTO’s are kept up to date with all the exciting and diverse products on offer.  Facilities, such as a dedicated coach park combined with strong group discount incentives will increase visitor numbers from this market.

Alison Paterson’s background is in international sales, marketing and client relationship management. Originally from Oxford, she has made Blackpool her home and has worked for Blackpool Pleasure Beach for nearly 20 years. As the Academy, Education and Groups Manager, her key objective is to attract group guests to the 42-acre attraction and enhance their visitor experience.