Meet Bob Cooney

Location-Based Entertainment & 
Amusement Thought Leader, 
Speaker, Writer, Mentor

In 1990, I started Laser Storm, one of the world's first laser tag companies. I opened over 200 locations in 30 countries and brought the first ever laser tag and virtual reality arcades to some of the top malls in America. In 1999, on the leadership team at Global VR, I helped launch the most successful VR arcade game of all time - "Beachhead 2000" - built on a proprietary boom-mounted display platform called the VR Vortek. Also at Global VR, I brought the first successfully licensed AAA PC-to-arcade cabinet conversion, "EA Sports PGA Tour Golf" to market to wide acclaim and tremendous sales.

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Today, I write for Replay Magazine on technology trends and speak about interactive location-based entertainment at amusement and technology conferences around the world. But what really gets me fired up is mentoring entrepreneurs to help them launch their businesses and products and bring amazing entertainment experiences to their customers.

For the last few years, I've been mentoring the founders of Zero Latency, advising them as they launched their amazing free-roam warehouse scale VR platform and deploy their technology around the world. Under my guidance, they've grown from one single location in Melbourne, Australia to close to 20 sites on four continents, and a dozen more in development. I also work with the independent operators who are opening these locations on marketing and launch strategies. The most recent locations have sold thousands of tickets before they've even opened their doors.

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It's like I've become the Genius Bar for Location Based Entertainment businesses. I answer the tough questions that inevitably come up and help the principals address the challenges and opportunities they haven't even considered, guiding them as entrepreneurs to run more successful businesses.

With nearly 30 years of industry experience - always staying on the bleeding edge of innovation - I ably predict both tech and business trends. This gives my clients the unfair advantage of knowing where the market is going and getting there before their competition figures it out. I can connect dots that many technologists just can't see because I view technology trends through the lens of an experienced marketer.

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I've developed the uncanny ability to navigate the maze of available products and technologies to select the best combination of hardware and software, so operators can build a sustainable and profitable amusement location, and then develop the most effective marketing strategies to keep customers lined up buying tickets.

One of the biggest issues for entertainment locations, including VR Arcades, is that there is so much consumer technology flooding the market, it's impossible to figure out what products and experiences to offer your guests. Many arcades mistakenly think they should offer everything, but this just confuses consumers, making it unlikely that they will have an amazing experience, tell their friends, or brag about you on social media. Most operators also think that the novelty of VR will just lead to a stream of customers pouring through their doors. While this can be true in the initial weeks or months, once the novelty wears off, you need a solid marketing plan and product update strategy to keep customers coming back.

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If you're involved in the business of virtual reality at this early stage, it's likely because you're passionate about technology and experiences. For VR to take off, it's critical that consumers have an amazing first experience. With so much bad VR out there, you have the responsibility to curate those experiences to guarantee your customers have a wonderful time. If you do, they will want to experience more VR with their friends in the future. I want to help ensure you provide your guests with the best technology and the most memorable experiences.

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