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9 Must-Follow Industry Influencers for FEC Venue Operators

8 Must-Follow Industry Influencers for FEC Venue Operators

In the ever-evolving world of attraction venues, staying on top of industry trends and best practices is crucial for success. Whether you're an experienced operator or just starting out, learning from professionals and industry influencers can provide valuable insights and inspiration. 

To help you cut through the noise, we've curated a list of nine influential figures who are making waves in the attraction venue landscape. From innovative entrepreneurs to seasoned industry experts, these individuals have valuable expertise to share with FEC operators. 

Here’s our list of who to follow:

1. Mike Whincup, Owner, Galaxy Inflataparks:
Mike Whincup is a visionary attraction venue owner known for his expertise in creating inflatable parks that bring boundless joy to visitors. With his dedication to providing exceptional experiences, Whincup has successfully built an empire of inflatable attractions. Follow him for insights into creating unique and thrilling attractions that will keep your guests coming back for more.

2. Jerry Merola, Managing Partner, Amusement Entertainment Management (AEM):
Jerry Merola is a mastermind in managing and operating amusement and entertainment venues. With decades of experience under his belt, he brings a wealth of knowledge in optimizing operations, boosting revenue, and enhancing guest experiences. Follow Jerry for expert tips on everything from ride maintenance to marketing strategies.

3. Sheryl Golf, Owner, Sheryl Bindelglass:
Sheryl Golf is an attraction venue owner and consultant specializing in family entertainment centers (FECs). With her vast industry knowledge, Golf helps businesses thrive by implementing effective marketing and operational strategies. Follow her for valuable insights on improving your FEC's profitability, creating engaging experiences, and building strong customer relationships.

4. Dave Wallace, Founder, Turfway Entertainment:
Dave Wallace is a seasoned industry veteran who has successfully developed and operated various entertainment concepts. As the founder of Turfway Entertainment, he brings expertise in creating immersive and interactive attractions. Follow Dave for inspiration on designing captivating experiences that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.

5. Bob Cooney, Entrepreneur, The Being Virtual Show w/ Bob Cooney:
Bob Cooney is a distinguished, ten-time entrepreneur and an expert in virtual reality (VR) and the metaverse. He has been a keynote speaker for over 30 years, delivering speeches at events worldwide. Bob is also widely known for his exceptional go-to-market strategies that have helped launch some of the most successful VR entertainment products. Follow Bob for accurate predictions about the latest technological advancements and business trends.

6. Beth Standlee, CEO/Founder, TrainerTainment:
Beth Standlee is the CEO and founder of TrainerTainment, a consulting and training company focused on the entertainment industry. As an expert in staff training and development, Beth helps attraction venues enhance their team's performance and create memorable guest experiences. Follow her for valuable tips on staff management, training techniques, and boosting employee morale.

7. Brandon Willey, Founder & CEO, Hownd:
Brandon Willey is a renowned entrepreneur who founded Hownd, a platform that helps businesses attract and retain customers through automated marketing. Follow Brandon for cutting-edge marketing strategies, customer engagement ideas, and tips on leveraging technology to drive foot traffic and increase revenue for your attraction venue.

8. Howard McAuliffe, Principal, Pinnacle Entertainment Group:
With over 20 years of experience in operations and consulting in the FEC industry, Howard is a well-respected figure as an owner-operator, vendor, and consultant. Howard is actively involved with various industry associations and is also a frequent speaker at industry events such as IAAPA and various trade shows for operators and distributors. Follow Howard for insights on industry trends and top tips of the trade.

9. TJ Schier, Chief Operating Officer, BigShots Golf:
TJ Schier is the leader of the BigShots Golf team under ClubCorp. The brand is known for its food-forward, tech-savvy, and immersive golf experience. TJ also has a wealth of experience in the food and hospitality industry and has created e-learning programs such as Takeout Domination and Catering Domination. Follow TJ to learn about franchising, team member motivation, training the current generation, delivering excellent customer service, and more.

The attractions industry is an exciting and ever-changing landscape, and keeping up with the latest trends and strategies is essential for success. By following these nine industry influencers, you'll gain valuable insights, expert tips, and fresh inspiration to elevate your attraction venue's performance. 

Whether you're looking for innovative design ideas, marketing strategies, operational expertise, or staff management insights, these influencers have got you covered. Stay connected, stay inspired, and stay ahead of the game by following these attraction venue powerhouses.