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Trail of Terror
10-24-2012, 04:37 PM
How do haunts get thousands of people to come a night... I have even seen new haunts first year haunts blow the attendance out the roof... How do they get so many people to come... I have been doing this for 5 years in a row and big for two years and the most i get on a good night is 600 people.... 200 on the worst night... I have gone up in attendance every year, but I guess you can say I am greedy.. I want the big numbers.. I have talked to everyone that comes to my haunt and they say its great, some even say we rank up there with the big haunts... Granted I dont have millions of dollars in my haunt but I don't have chump change in it either... To give you a little insight about my haunt....I have an 7000 sq/ft house in the middle of my woods... I have many scence going through the woods to get to it with many scares.. then you have to go through the house the find your way back through the woods... takes 15 - 20 mins. to go through... my ticket price is 12.00 ... The haunt is called the "ASYLUM" website is alabamaasylum.com

Any help would be appreciated...

Geoff

Mr. Haunt
10-24-2012, 05:13 PM
You bring up a good question, and it's hard to believe if someone is giving the right information regarding attendance numbers or not.

My thought is if you want to attract a larger number of paytrons, you need to make it the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night.

Here are a few ideas:

Beer Garden

Hold a costume contest or party with live music

Have something available for younger kids like a face painting, carnival rides, petting zoo, and what ever

Get a horror celeberity for autographs and photos

Serve or offer food that is better then hotdogs and chips

Maybe offer VIP tickets that include a pizza party with a few of your actors to entertain your guests

Pumpkin carving contest

Hire a comedian for stand up

Anyway I could go on and on with ideas but then I would have to charge money for my ideas. You need to draw people to your event and make it as big as you can maybe not everything all at once, but you need to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourslef the same question.

Yes I am right now only a home haunter, but it's not rockit science brain storm what you can.

Mr. Haunt

Front Yard Fright
10-24-2012, 09:18 PM
This biggest thing to consider is your local population. These haunts that are running through thousands of people every night have the population density to do so. People will travel to see a good haunt, but if you're too far away from the main drag or a big city, you're fighting an uphill battle.

Allen H
10-24-2012, 09:59 PM
What info are you collecting through exit surveys? How are they finding you? Numbers are accurate- I have been at several haunts on off nights and seen crowds over a thousand. Where you are is a big deal but also how long you have been there. As a third year haunt you sound like you are doing fine (the years before you were going big shouldn't count).
Give it time, If after seven years you haven't broken 15,000 patrons then you should reevaluate your marketing or location. Time will be your friend.
Allen H

Brandon_K
10-25-2012, 01:15 AM
I am in total agreement with Zach. You're ~40 miles outside of the nearest big city. Your town has a population density of 214/sq mi. Our haunt throws up some big numbers, so I'll use us as a reference. We're 15 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh in a middle to upper middle class city. The city that the haunt actually resides in has a population density of 2870/sq mi. Those are HUGE differences.

Is that to say that haunts out in the sticks can't put up the big numbers? No, not at all. A haunt south of us puts up HUGE numbers, but they are also just outside of a college town and they are one of very few haunts in our southern area. So there are a lot of southerner's driving north to see the Pittsburgh haunts and they get a lot of that traffic. Certainly not to say there aren't Pittsburgher's driving south to see them, they have a huge show and a huge event going on. But they also have MASSIVE amounts of land and huge amounts of coin sunk into their place, along with 23 years of operation.

Long story short, I don't know many (any?) small haunts in the middle of nowhere doing the big numbers. All of the haunts that I know of that are 40+ minutes outside of a major city that can pull the big numbers, have been doing it for a long, long time. And I'm sure they started off just like you.

MovieRelics
10-25-2012, 05:00 AM
What are you doing as far as terms of marketing? Even haunts that are a long drive away, people will go to if you market it hard and have a great haunt to back it up to. There was a haunt that was recently opened in my regional area, that as far as local's considered, was way way out in the middle of no-where and a long drive. But after they put in some serious marketing, now by the 2nd years operating they are considered one of the best haunted attraction in my region that people are driving 45-60+ mins to drive to from all over the central state area. So if you know you got a great attraction, focus on your marketing and try to figure out where your spending your money for maximum exposure. If your putting great marketing initiatives in your area to let people know about you and keep them interested into coming to your haunt, you will see the numbers.

And Allen H was absolutely right. What are you doing for exit poling? You've got to do reliable polling to find out as much about the haunt to help grow it as possible. I've seen a few haunted house owners that tried doing exiting polling, find out what people thought about their haunt (both good and bad) and instead of taking it as a opportunity to make some changes to grow their attendance, they took it as a personal insult when they hear negative feedback ignoring the whole survey and they are still wondering why their numbers are either stagnent or in decline. Exit polling is a great way to find out tons of data about your haunts guest:

Age demographics (who's my real market, Should I be focusing on high school markets, college, both or families)
School information (What high schools and colleges should I be targeting advertising dollars)
Social networks their using (Is my audience more a Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare crowd? Where should I focus my online ad dollars)
Where are they driving from? (Helps figure out where your ad dollars on billboards, TV and Radio spots are effective or should be expanded to)
How did they hear about us? (Social network, Newspaper, radio ,tv ads, or word of mouth?)
What works in the haunt (What are people really enjoying and should be expanding on)
What do they hate in the haunt (what is creating the negative comments)
What do they like as far as concessions (are they buying food and drinks and are they reasonably priced?)
What do they want to see for next year (more clowns, monsters, snakes and spiders, etc..)
Would you recommend us to others? (Word of mouth is your best advertisement as people listen to friends and other before any other form of advertisement)

This is just a very short list of data that I've pulled for haunts doing exit polling for them. And if you can get a great sample size, your going to have great data that can help grow your haunt from a attendance from a low 2,000 per year - 10,000+ per year. I personally sat outside of a haunted house myself armed with nothing but an iPad and was gathering live data that the haunt owners could sit in their office and see the polling data coming in live. We got a crazy sample rate of over 85% (if memory serves) of the people that came thru that haunt that showed what was working and what wasn't. If you listen to that data and don't take it as a personal assault on your "artistic vision" and remember your haunt is a business that needs to generate revenue, that data can be what helps your attraction to grow and grow!