View Full Version : Issues with Blue Star Shows?
08-21-2012, 10:48 AM
Anyone out there working with Blue Star Shows for your haunt advertising? We’ve been with them for two years. The first year was great, but things went downhill rapidly the second year. Please contact me if you have any information you would like to share. Thank you,
08-21-2012, 02:32 PM
That approach just doesn't work ... radio stations have plenty of fall advertisers these days they don't need to have rates rammed down their throats. Read the article in the upcoming hauntworld magazine and see what I'm talking about. I wrote a really cool article about all the competition you face now and how we are losing PR, and marketing dollars are being spent to promote alternative forms of horror entertainment. As for Blue Star I've never worked with them but I was told by my local stations they would never do deals with them... who knows!
Haunted Prints (EOM)
08-21-2012, 05:09 PM
What are the "alternative forms of horror entertainment"?
08-21-2012, 08:28 PM
I think the real question to be asked is why would you even have believed that scan artist to begin with? I talked with him a few years ago and my partner called bull sh-t immediately. Not a bright move by Pickle working with him too.
Those guys called me a couple of years back, I couldn't get them to even "ballpark" me a price. They said I would have to talk to Sonjay. I do recall Crazy Bob used them at the Hydro and seemed pleased with them...maybe check with him
08-22-2012, 01:26 PM
The first year everything worked great. Our commercials were running all day and night. You couldn't turn on the radio without hearing them and I saw our TV spot several times. We doubled our numbers the first year we were with them. The second year; I only heard my radio spot twice all month and never saw a TV spot. It's because they bought "remnant spots" which are the only spots left after all other media buys are placed. Appears the majority of our spots ran overnight when no one is listening.
The biggest problem was with their ticketing system. It jumped numbers, and we were paying them based on ticket sales. In total our numbers were inflated about 25%; meaning their registers said we sold 2500 more tickets than we actually had sold. We go to court next week. We just want to put this experience behind us.
It's a shame because they were so helpful the first year and if they had maintained that professionalism we would have both made good money last season and we wouldn't be in this situation today. We're very disappointed in them.
08-22-2012, 07:33 PM
Doubling your numbers may or may not be an impressive stat. I'm not familiar with your attendance and it's no ones business but your own but if you are a first or second year haunt or just a small haunt and double from let's say 4,000 guests to 8,000 it's not really that impressive overall. It's good for you as you are growing but when you're a new or an under achieving event it's easy to make big increases. Now if were a big show and did lets say 15,000+ and doubled that'd be huge!!
08-23-2012, 04:41 AM
I've had a quick conversation with their guy at Blue Star and based on my conversation with their companies rep, I would avoid them. In my opinion, their basically just interested in making a quick buck and moving on with no real long term interest into marketing the haunts they represent. Their guy basically straight told me, they just want to get in and get out and have no interest doing anything beyond that. Your better off doing your own marketing or finding someone locally with media buying experience that can develop a strong marketing plan for you that you can bring on in house. I've spoken with other haunt owners that say it's not worth working with Blue Star, they regret it, and in my own opinion after my personal conversation with them, I would recommend to anyone avoiding them.
wow- I remember when they called...I didnt like that they couldnt ball park me a price...they gave that option instead of percentage of sales. I tried to get info on them an........wait.....I just realized they aren't worth my time anymore....:rolleyes:
08-23-2012, 08:47 AM
Curious; I noticed they have the Wells Township haunt logo on their web site as a haunt they are working with???
I saw last night they have our logo on their web site too. We'll be demanding they remove our logo ASAP. They're using our name to promote their services. My mistake; I supported them the first year when they were doing great. Then it went downhill really fast in the second year. I feel like they used us to recruit other haunts to sign up with them. They really did help us the first year, but once they have your name on the contract, they don't have to do anything.
ARE YOU FRICKIN KIDDING ME??? We have NEVER done anything with them! I'm on it
I did the email/call me thing. We'll see where this ends up. I spent all of 30 seconds searching and the BBB came up. Looks like you're not the only one having issues....I have no desire to be associated with that kind of junk...thanks for the heads up
09-02-2012, 01:11 PM
They approached me two years ago at Transworld using you as their poster child. I really only gave them the time of day because your name lent some credibility. I believe Denise at Realm of Darkness tried them last year...I don't know the outcome.
09-02-2012, 01:41 PM
Someone called me a couple days ago and said they wanted 30 to 50% of the gate for doing the marketing... omg! That is about nuts if you ask me! Let me just say the following and you can trust me on this... every single time I post something, say something I'm trying to help you, give you good advice and sometimes people write off what I say or whatever. But I've been doing this longer than almost anyone I know and I've done everything from selling sponsorship, all my own marketing, and lets not even go into the web because I've done just about everything you can think of there as well... the point is when I'm saying something try and take it to heart.
The ONLY WAY you can grow your business is to KNOW - UNDERSTAND - LEARN everything you can about marketing your event. If you must rely on someone to tell you what to do you will probably NOT succeed. If you can't understand yourself what is best for your business and what will take you to the next level you will not get where you want to go ... trust me on that. When I started in this business I started doing flyers on cars and went from there... I did it all.
Marketing is something you have to be willing to dive into make mistakes, and learn from. Today the guys who are the most successful are the ones who do most of everything themselves, understand their own market, how to get to the people within your market. What I've learned over the years is most markets are different from another, different styles, different traditions you name it... that is one reason I would never bring in someone from out of town to market my business. If you really want to hire a marketing company hire someone in town who knows the town.
The bottom line is you have to get your fingers in the marketing, the same way you'd have to get your hands dirty building your haunt. Marketing is actually more important to your business than having a good haunted house believe it or not. A local marketing firm will charge you 15% of which they get from the radio station for example... however I act as my own marketing firm and I make the stations give me 15%. Additionally I don't work with any company that doesn't give me net 30 billing... so I'm getting 15% off the bill, and getting net 30 billing, then why would I ever give someone 30% of my tickets... ahhhh never!
Look the whole idea is nuts to me, and honestly only a desperate haunted house at least in my opinion would even do a deal like that. However if you are so desperate why don't you learn more about marketing and turn your own business around. Just my opinion!
09-11-2012, 03:03 PM
It gets worse. One of my complaints with Blue Star last year was that I wasn’t hearing or seeing any of my commercials (actually I only heard two radio spots all month) when the previous year I heard dozens of them a day. I never saw a TV spot last year, yet they insisted the spots were running. Well I found out yesterday from my new ad agency that two of the TV stations insisted that Blue Star never placed an order for TV spots. Yet both stations were listed on the recap report from Blue Star showing spots had been purchased. How is this possible? According to their contract they don’t have to tell us what stations were on the media buy; in fact they don’t have to place a media buy. But they said dozens of spots were purchased when the station says the spots were never ordered.
When our new agency has time, they are going to contact all the other stations on the media report from Blue Star to verify if indeed they did place a media buy on those stations too.
Just sharing the facts with the readers on this forum. Be forewarned.
09-11-2012, 04:33 PM
09-11-2012, 09:35 PM
Well, if you got the contract and a bill from Blue showing where they said they bought media spots and then can get the airtime plays report from the TV stations showing Blue never really purchased them and no ad's were aired, then sounds like you got a good case to prove fraud.
09-13-2012, 12:06 AM
It will be great to see a company with this much bad press as the Transworld show in March. I believe that all of us need to work on a BBB for the haunt industry. It is a niche market and trust needs to be there.
Good point other Sean. There are some real jaggoff vendors in this industry, BUT, a ton of good/great ones that shouldn't be affected by the bad guys
09-13-2012, 11:15 AM
Just saw the site and your name is still on it. Thought I would give you the heads up.
09-14-2012, 03:09 PM
I believe that all of us need to work on a BBB for the haunt industry. It is a niche market and trust needs to be there.
And that's why we started the Vendor Reviews on HauntersDigest.com. Know who your doing business with.
10-25-2012, 09:15 PM
Kelly & Sean... I'm assuming (HOPING) that everything has been resolved by now, but if there's anything I can do to help, don't hesitate to reach out.
10-27-2012, 09:36 PM
My close friend who owns a haunt had dealings with them as well. Stay away !!!!! You have been warned............
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