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twohlgemuth
05-24-2007, 11:30 PM
It's that time of year when you should be thinking about your ticket
procedures for your haunt. Some of you might remember last October I
had 1500 tickets stolen through UPS. Those tickets were stolen in
route to me and were unfortuately not numbered due to a printer in CA
dropping the ball and not sending me my tickets. I had to go to a
new printer that could not number the tickets and ship them out next
day, so I got them with no numbers. Turned out the UPS driver was
selling my tickets in my parking lot all month long! That is another
story in itself and I want to present the solution to that horror
story. Short of that story was UPS fired the guy and I got zero from
UPS. Over $32,000 in stolen tickets and it was a hard lesson learned.

After going through this mess with stolen tickets I wanted to go to a
bar coded system for tickets that are printed as they are purchased.

Since 2003 I have been slowly moving towards a 100% timed ticketing
concept for Spookywoods. I knew it would be a hard sell to get
people to purchase in advance right away since we have been a walk up
only option for two decades. I wanted to offer reservations for 3
years then moved to a 100% timed ticket system in 2007.

We started with online sales limiting the sales to 200 tickets per
hour. I found this an opportunity to offer a more convient
experience instead of waiting for hours in line. As we trained our
customer on this new method and how much of a time saver it was I
decided to go 100% timed tickets for this 2007 season.

I wanted to share my theory with the members to see if anyone
else has experience with my way of thinking.

The system I'm going to use is desiged using a 100% web based point
of sale bar coded system. Tickets are sold by the hour time slot.

Onsite, Phone and Online tickets will be sold from one database
limiting the tickets to 600 tickets per hour. The Onsite ticket
booth will have 5 PC's all connected to the internet accessing the
POS system. The Phone sales department will access the same internet
based system as well as the online purchases from my website.

As the walk up customer buys a ticket they are buying out of the same
600 per hour available lot as the phone and online customers can.
The theory here is to push the marketing to say "Buy in Advance for
Best Times, onsite sales limited".

So the situation could be that the walk up customer may not get in at
the 8:00 to 9:00 time slot for it being sold out to phone and online
customers.

The Phone and Online tickets cost $5.00 more, which includes fees,
over walk up prices. However, these patrons will get the benefit of
printing the online ticket at home and bypassing the ticket booth.
The phone sales will have to pickup their tickets at a WILL CALL
window.

I will have a scanner at the entrance to the event line that monitors
the ticket time printed on the tickets to only allow the valid time
slot entry.

My question to all the haunters out there is do you think this
concept of 100% timed tickets will be accepted by our customers or a
customer service nightmare.


Thoughts / Suggestions ?

Jim Warfield
05-25-2007, 12:53 AM
Our crude ticket system requires reservations be made only by sending a check a week in advance or a money order anytime. We put them on the schedule, they pick out the night and time.
As slots fill people will become aggitated when they can't walk up and buy a ticket , especially if it doesn't look too busy, it just defies all logic as far as they are concerned!!?
We try to keep some slots open during all October hours of operation to satisfy some of the walk-ups.
Some people don't show or wander off when they are supposed to be stepping up to enter the house and they are not there we put in someone else to flesh out that group.
A
One night two women sat parked watching the front of the house for several hours, they had reservations, their time came and went, they were waiting for someone to walk up to their car and ask them to come in!?
Almost nobody shows up here when they think that they will so if I was selling my tickets on-line there would be so many problems to handle!

annarchy
02-20-2008, 10:40 AM
Tony,

Hello, I was hoping you could answer some questions and give me more information on how the Time ticketing worked for you in 2007. We here at The Haunt are very interested in possibly trying to do try it this year. I am curious on if it affected the attendance, how the traffice flow worked through your attraction, ie: were there problems with bottlenecking- getting behind on the lines, etc. Also, any feedback you could give us on how you "determined the flow of your attract to c ome up with the 600 people per hour would be helpful, also your system of "corals, gates, etc. I hope I am not asking too much!
Thanks in advance
Annarchy