Competitive socialising is a dynamic new concept in the world of entertainment and leisure. It’s driving growth in the night life, F&B and entertainment economies, and potentially provides a remedy to the growing number of vacant premises along the UK’s high streets and city centres.

The term refers to any social activity that brings people together in a social-focused environment to play games. Some prime examples include our own range of competitive socialising products like interactive darts and interactive shuffleboard, along with games like digital bowling, mini golf, karaoke, bingo, virtual reality games, and other modern entertainment options.

There’s nothing new about playing games together as a social activity. People have been going to restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs for decades to play pool, darts, bowling, and many other popular games. However, recent advancements in technology are driving significant changes in consumer trends, which means that digital games are more in demand than ever before.

Customers demand social experiences
Customers are spending less on physical items and products, and more on creating memorable experiences that they can share with their friends across social channels. Research from Deloitte suggests that the growth in consumer spending is reflected in the burgeoning demand in the leisure industry and the growing range of experiences being offered therein.

The research shows that 36% of people aged 18-34 are more willing to spend money on experiences than they are on clothes or other consumer goods. Deloitte’s 2019 research showed that entertainment spend grew by more than 10% year on year in 2017, while spending on fashion grew by a mere 1.4% in comparison.

Rapid advancements in modern technology have made it possible for F&B venues to offer highly entertaining digital and VR games, which appeal to modern customers far more than their traditional counterparts. This appeal is extremely important, especially considering that around a third of UK nightclubs have closed in the past decade alone. Customers are looking for fun new ways to socialise, and competitive socialising games provide just such an opportunity.

Memories over physical products
Today’s customers are looking for unique and memorable experiences that they can share with their friends in real time and on social media. Modern leisure venues that offer competitive socialising products alongside their food and beverage options can meet these needs, thereby improving customer dwell time and spending alike.

The food and beverage component is equally important; venues that offer tempting cocktails, craft beers and delicious food options alongside their games are fuelling the current growth in the night time economy.

Competitive socialising products have the power to increase footfall and spend in city centres, boost dwell time at local F&B venues, and drive the growth of the businesses that offer them.

They also enable businesses to keep up with ever-changing trends in technology and entertainment, which allows them to adopt more sustainable business practices. They can adapt their companies to diversify their offerings by supplying customers with a wide range of different games that provide unforgettable social experiences in a dynamic environment.