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Advice - July 2016

4 Steps to Startup Success

Former children’s television director Joachim De Munck and his schoolteacher wife Sophie Boeykens created the new indoor family entertainment center (FEC) Legenturia near Brussels, Belgium.

European legends are the theme of this 60,000-square-foot facility, which includes a 300-seat theater for magic shows and a medieval-style village where children can play at being bakers, archers, prisoners, and inventors. The FEC can host 1,500 guests; the owners aim to attract 70,000-75,000 annual visitors in the first year, rising to 200,000 in future years. De Munck shares some lessons he’s learned during the attraction’s development.


The couple spent their savings on a trip to IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 in Orlando to secure the industry knowledge they needed to win bank backing. “It was the best investment we’ve made,” says De Munck. “The IAAPA workshops are worth every penny. Even when you’re small like us, the ‘big gambas’ welcome you into their industry!” He and his wife raised £1.5 million in funding for Legenturia and own 84 percent of the business.

Offer Multiple Languages

Brussels is at the heart of Europe. As well as targeting the local audience, the couple wanted to reach the families of foreign nationals working at the European Parliament, NATO, and multinational companies. Legenturia is trilingual, presenting attractions and shows in French, Dutch, and English. 

Be Innovative with Birthday Parties

Legenturia combines parties with magic shows as a way of “creating memories,” says De Munck. Children can take part in tricks, while their friends and families watch and take photos.

Cloudpos software from Clixx includes a “genius planning tool for birthdays” developed specially for Legenturia, according to De Munck. Staff can plan food orders in advance. On the day, party food orders pop up on screen in the lineup of real-time food orders.

Make Smart Cuts to Save Costs

Salaries are high in Brussels, so Legenturia’s team installed operator-free systems where possible: “The Imply games, bowling, laser tag (Veqtor UK), and Zorb football have token-operated doors. The Semnox turnstile system allows us to control our gates with wristbands and RFID,” says De Munck.