If you’re seeking a new attraction for your fitness center, all-ages entertainment center or indoor park, an obstacle course is a stellar investment. A highly-sought after experience for both families and corporate gatherings, obstacle courses offer businesses many benefits.
This ultimate crowd-pleaser helps kids grow and stay healthy, which enables you to market to families. It’s also the cherry on top of a corporate getaway that’s fun for employees and beneficial to managers. With an obstacle course, your opportunities are endless.
Read the full guide below or jump to a specific section:
- Obstacle Course Benefits For Businesses
- Benefits of Obstacle Courses for Child Development
- Obstacle Challenge Courses for Team-Building Events
- Try the Hive Interactive Challenge Course
Obstacle Course Benefits for Businesses
Family entertainment centers, gyms and rec centers, trampoline parks and more have been incorporating interactive obstacle challenge courses and receiving great returns. They offer a unique challenge for families and corporate teams alike that can justify higher admission prices, build customer loyalty and reach new markets.
Here are some of the benefits of buying an obstacle challenge course for your business.
1. Obstacle Challenge Courses Expand Your Customer Base
There are many reasons why an obstacle course can expand your market. The first is that they are fun for all ages. While obstacle courses are challenging for older kids and young adults, some also offer a less-intense play area for younger kids. The team-based challenges keep older kids entertained and provide an interactive learning experience for young tots.
Parents can choose to get in on the action or root for their kids among the crowd of onlookers. While an obstacle challenge course is designed to get people moving, it’s also a dynamic and enthralling spectator-sport. This excitement makes them fun for just about any visitor, no matter their activity or skill level.
Interactive challenge courses appeal to more than families, too — they’re also in-demand in the corporate world. By offering team-building events, your business can reach new markets with an interactive obstacle course. The best news is, you don’t have to sacrifice one market for the other. While families will usually use your equipment on weekends and school holidays, team-building events most often take place during the workweek. So, an obstacle course can let you open your doors to new customers and drive business all week long.
2. Novelty Is a Competitive Advantage
Interactive challenge courses are a unique selling point for businesses. They tend to draw a lot of attention, both due to their awe-inspiring size and novelty. Niche businesses like Ninja Warrior gyms have been cropping up due to this popularity. Gyms like this are also relatively hard to come by compared to average health and fitness centers. Now is the right time to bring a fresh idea to your business, while you can still be an early adopter of the “ninja warrior” obstacle course trend.
3. Businesses Have Flexibility
Obstacle courses can work with varying business models. You can offer an obstacle course as part of a free-play pricing model or as a pay to play attraction. As a fun, gamified challenge, it has the power to increase foot traffic to your business no matter how you earn revenue.
4. Team-Based Racing Is a Growing Trend
With TV shows like “American Ninja Warrior” and “Wipeout” promoting extreme challenges, obstacle courses are on the rise. Grueling physical races designed for adults create an atmosphere that’s both competitive and collaborative. Families also see these benefits in indoor obstacle courses built for kids. This trend is as exciting for kids as it is for adults. Parents love that obstacle courses provide their kids with a social, team-based experience that also feeds their kids’ competitive drive.
5. Players Experience Something New Every Time
With the many different elements that make up an obstacle course, it offers a great replay value. Players can try out new strategies, beat their previous records or build themselves up to overcome new obstacles. They can recombine to compete alongside new friends each time or find new ways to explore their surroundings. All these possibilities keep visitors coming back again and again.
6. Guests Build Camaraderie
In the fast-paced team sport of obstacle course racing, alliances build fast. Whether guests come with their friends or make new ones during gameplay, an obstacle course is an ice breaker and a social hub. When people form more friendships at your facilities, those guests are more likely to return and spend more time together.
7. Obstacle Challenge Courses Generate Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
After triumphing the physical challenges of an obstacle course, contestants win an all-important prize: bragging rights. Proud competitors will want to tell others how they conquered the trials, and this builds intrigue for your attraction. Families will recommend the experience to friends so they can experience the thrill for themselves.
Also, obstacle courses provide some picture-perfect social media opportunities. Onlookers can snap a few pictures of players in action, and many of these end up online for their followers to see. This social media buzz can bring new visitors to your facilities and gives you another way to get discovered online.
Benefits of Obstacle Courses for Early Child Development
One of the best reasons to build an interactive challenge course is that families love them. Varying activity levels have something toddlers, kids and young adults can all enjoy. And for parents who’d rather cheer from the sidelines, obstacle courses are a unique spectacle. They’re just as fun to watch as they are to play.
Their sheer enjoyment keeps families entertained, and there are an array of benefits of obstacles courses in early childhood development as an added bonus. Here are some skills kids develop from playing on an obstacle challenge course.
1. Sequencing and Memory
Knowing how to do things in a specific order and remembering how to do them are both skills kids use in school every day. An obstacle course hones these skills during Soft Play by asking kids to complete a series of tasks with increasing difficulty. Kids use their recall skills to remember what motions to use during each activity. Obstacle courses reinforce their ability to sequence events by requiring things to be done one after the next.
2. Motor Planning
Motor planning is the skill that puts sequencing and memory into action. Once kids know what they need to do, the next step is to do it. Kids develop their motor planning abilities through trial and error. They learn how their bodies move through physical activity. The more they practice, the better they can manipulate their movements.
3. Learning From Sensory Input
Kids are exposed to lots of different sensory experiences during obstacle course gameplay. They face deep pressure when trying to hoist themselves up a rope net. They’ll also experience up-and-down, side-to-side, spinning and impact sensory input. As kids experience these senses, they learn how to react and adapt to different situations. This activity helps them develop motor skills and coordination.
4. Strength and Balance
Obstacle courses promote active play. Separate trials work out different muscles, giving kids an all-around physical workout. Besides being great exercise, obstacle courses also teach balance. Various obstacles keep kids on their toes and get them excited about physical activity. This game prepares them for other team sports and instills a life-long love for physical fitness.
5. Bilateral Coordination
Bilateral coordination is the ability to move both sides of the body to complete a task. One activity that uses this skill is holding a piece of paper with one hand and writing with the other. It gets more complicated with activities like climbing, where kids push off with one foot while lifting their other leg toward the next grip. It’s one of the harder skills for kids to learn, and obstacle courses provide unique challenges that help kids develop their coordination.
6. Problem Solving
Interactive challenge courses present new problems for kids. As they enter a particular obstacle, they try out a tactic and may find that it doesn’t work the way they expected. So, they try something else. If that still doesn’t work, they might talk to another contestant and try to figure out a solution together. Obstacle courses teach kids to persevere and collaborate to solve problems.
Obstacle Challenge Courses for Team-Building Events
Obstacle courses offer another unique selling point for businesses: team bonding. Team-building events offer companies a win-win by creating a fun corporate culture that cultivates skills. Employees get to let loose and have fun, then return to work ready to perform at peak efficiency. Team-building activities get people to collaborate with their co-workers. With the growing demand for team-building activities and companies wanting to offer a new experience at each event, obstacle courses provide a unique advantage.
Companies love obstacle courses for their team-building events. Here’s what they offer for corporate getaways.
1. Team Spirit
In the day-to-day activities of a company, it can be hard for employees to see themselves as part of a unit. With teamwork being a driving factor for success, businesses must foster a sense of camaraderie. Obstacle courses ask players to tag-team with each other to achieve the best time possible. Contestants rely on each individual’s strength and trust each other to play their very best.
At the end of the experience, players know more about the strengths, creativity and drive of their peers and can return to the workplace ready to rely on one another.
2. Improved Communication
A highly-effective team thrives on communication. For authentic discussions to happen, corporate cultures need to break down barriers while upholding respect for individuals. Nothing breaks down barriers between people like a physically challenging team-based obstacle course. Co-workers see each other in a new, unfamiliar environment and take on the role of encouraging one another to complete tasks. After completing a team-building event, employees may be more open and respectful to one another.
3. Increased Productivity
When team members are used to working together, they get more done. Team building helps players get to know one another and see each other’s work-styles in action. Since obstacle courses are fast-paced, teams learn to make quick decisions and work through frustrations as a group.
This often much-needed break from daily work gives employees a mini-vacation with their team. With an obstacle course, employees get their heart-rate up and return to the office feeling refreshed and ready to achieve. Taking regular team-building outings gives employees something to look forward to each year, quarter or even month, which motivates them to work harder.
4. Strategic Thinking
Most employers encourage their teams to use sound strategy in their work. Whether it’s pitching ideas to clients, making hiring decisions or improving processes, a smart strategy is the key to success. The beauty of an obstacle course is that strategic planning happens in rapid succession, right before everyone’s eyes.
Players must brainstorm ideas to reach each checkpoint, and with the other team right on their heels, this brainstorming session happens fast. As contestants execute their strategy, they need to pivot when things go wrong. During a team-building event, players might have the opportunity to complete the course several times using different strategies to see what works best.
All these strategic thinking skills can transfer over to the office the next day and beyond. Employees learn how each move they make contributes to an overall strategy and how each person’s role helps the whole team meet their goals.
5. A New Experience
A key aspect of leadership development is bringing employees out of their comfort zones. The action-packed landscape of an obstacle course lets managers see how their team reacts to pressure and unfamiliar situations. Employees learn to cope with new challenges and strive to try new things. Team members who usually do their work quietly have the chance to come out of their shells.
In a head-to-head team-based trial, employers can observe how team members interact and learn who emerges as a group leader. Employees who don’t get a lot of opportunities to showcase their skills outside of their typical duties have a new chance to shine and show their leadership potential.
6. Problem Solving
An environment like an obstacle course takes teams out of the ordinary and into more creative and imaginative headspace. The gamified course encourages finding collaborative solutions to problems. Team members listen to unconventional ideas, think through options as a group and embrace new perspectives.
Employees may be surprised by what they accomplish and learn to embrace new ideas and problem-solving strategies in their work lives as well.
Try the Hive Interactive Challenge Course
If you’re ready to experience the fantastic benefits of obstacle courses at your business, check out our Hive Interactive Challenge Course. The Hive by Soft Play® is an obstacle course re-imagined. Part indoor ropes course, part timed-obstacle course, the Hive is an interactive adventure course for thrill-seeking kids and young adults. It is enclosed in a hexagonal structure that catches the eye from a distance and allows for a 360-degree view of the action.
Inside the hex core, you’ll find challenging obstacles such as ropes courses and ball obstacles that are equally tough for older kids, young adults and corporate teams. Outside the Hive is a junior adventure course to keep little kids active and excited. With something for everyone and a built-to-last construction, the Hive is the perfect addition to your business.
Can your guests Survive the Hive? Reach out to our specialists for a free Soft Play design consultation to find out! We can offer custom solutions for any budget that can attract families to your destination.