Superfast Business Cornwall is helping a Cornish business achieve its ambition of being one of the foremost adventure centres in the country.
Hangloose Adventure is based at the Eden Project and boasts England’s longest and fastest zip wire, among many other adrenaline-filled experiences like a giant cliff swing and free fall simulation called The Drop.
Although only three years old, the business has grown exponentially since its inception and wanted to harness new technology to make its booking process more efficient, open up new markets and create a brand new virtual reality experience.
“We have been growing steadily since the business started and we are continuing to add new activities all the time,” said Hangloose Director Brian Phelps. “With help from Superfast Business Cornwall we have been able to implement three projects that will significantly benefit the business.”
The first project is a third-party vendor system that will allow third-party retailers, including hotels, tourist information centres and coach companies, to sell tickets directly to customers on behalf of Hangloose, and is already operational. This system will allow the development of stronger links nationally and it is hoped that it will help to drive further growth for the business outside of Cornwall.
The second project is the development of a virtual reality experience.
Steve Edwards, digital business enabler, explained: “The VR aspect of the project I find really exciting its uses virtual reality technology to allow access to all. Hangloose are already very inclusive but this technology means anyone can enjoy the experience.”
“Some of the things we do here are pretty extreme and it’s not for everyone, or people may have limited mobility,” added Phelps. “But with our new virtual reality experience, a customer can fly down the zip wire while remaining sitting in a specially-designed pod. The experience is about eight minutes long and the viewer will experience all our activities at once. We will also have a shorter version that we can include on social media to help drive more visitors to our website.”
This project is well underway, with the video almost complete and the virtual reality pods under construction.
A third project is also in progress – an online booking system that delivers a joined-up, easy-to-use customer interface, and makes the business more efficient. As Hangloose has multiple activities and packages, the system will help to deliver a smooth high-quality customer experience by ensuring that the right resources are in the right place, at the right time.
Phelps said: “By implementing these three projects, we are hoping to improve the quality of service for our customers as well as generating revenue and increasing efficiency.”
Hangloose aims to be one of the top adrenaline adventure centres in the country and to attract more visitors from across the UK. Currently, 80% of its revenue comes from outside of Cornwall.
The business received funding as well as advice from Superfast Business Cornwall, with Edwards working with Phelps to map the project across the three elements.
He said: “The use of innovative technologies, on these projects, will allow Hangloose to work towards achieving their goal of being one of the foremost adventure centres in the country.
“With support from us, the business will be able to ensure it maximises market opportunity and achieve its goals and aims much sooner. I am excited to see these projects come to fruition.”
Phelps is hoping that all three of the projects will be live by the first week in December.
He said: “Even though we are a growing company, we do have financial constraints so without Superfast Business Cornwall, we would have only been able to do one or two of the projects with a limited scope. We have been able to grow and develop the business much quicker thanks to the support and investment.”
Superfast Business Cornwall aims to help businesses understand, adopt and exploit digital technology to boost competitiveness. The service offers a tailored programme of high quality information, impartial advice and digital development. Grant investment is available to enable new digital projects.
The service is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Serco national market leaders in the provision of Superfast Broadband focused business support. Building upon the success of the previous Superfast Business Cornwall Service, this latest project runs until March 2019.
For more information about Superfast Business Cornwall and how it can help your business to utilise digital technology, visit www.sfbcornwall.co.uk.