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slash
08-07-2007, 08:15 AM
Hi all,

Over the past years we have not had a steady group of volunteers, and they are really not taking it seriously anymore. So, we are searching for a new group of volunteers to staff the haunt this year. I have posted on Craig's list, and used myspace, however, I am still not getting much of a response. Any advice on what works as far as recruiting people?

Also, we want to have a staff orientation night this year, probably a week or two before the haunt opens up. We would go over safety, actor training, and assign spots. Has anyone done one of these before? If so, what did you teach your staff?

Thanks guys

Motograter
08-07-2007, 10:30 AM
You can try getting together with your local high schools in your area. Talk with the theater teachers and try to get a nice group of students to volunteer at your haunt. It could be an extra credit assignment for school. They earn a curtain amount of credits for curtain amount of hours worked.

Motograter
08-07-2007, 10:33 AM
Sorry I forgot to add, the house I worked for did this and it works very well. Most of the students had no haunted house experience but they learned very fast had fun and did a great job.

hamilton
08-07-2007, 12:42 PM
Is this a charity haunt, or pro? here in California we are required to provide compensation, whether that's money or school credit... don't know what the deal in Mass. is. I've had zero luck getting any 'volunteers' in the past... they always want something.

Kevin Dells
08-07-2007, 01:19 PM
Slash,

I wouldn't wait until the last minute start recruiting asap and don't stop until you have more than enough. May i suggest offering an incentive to returning actors for bringing in freinds, cash,t-shirt, night off with as free ticket,you know what you have to offer.

My thought would be to hold a low dollar picnik, supply hot dogs and the such without getting really expensive (that way if turnout is poor your not out a ton of cash.) You can also ask returning actors and staff to bring a dish to pass.

Now use the picnik to interest all new attendee's, i would definetly have your best charcaters dressed and playing with the crowd,let the newbies see how fun it is. If the haunts available have it at the haunt and give tours so they see the haunt close up and behind the schenes ask for ideas and seem interested to how they see things this encourages them even if you hate their idea.

Make up seminars during the day,get them into make up no matter what it takes, make them a monster at the picnik for sure,let them see what they could possibly look like and if their up for it tell them to work the crowd with the veterans.

When they seem really interested then tell them to mutliply that enthusiasm by 100% opening night to a crowd.

Jim Warfield
08-07-2007, 09:14 PM
Kevin if you "pretend" to like their haunted ideas to get them enthused, then how will they feel and what will they think when as the season goes on none of their ideas are allowed to come to fruitation?
Maybe when selling someone a used car this works , once they sign the contract, that is....
You would only really need one weenie at that pinic, hanging on a fish hook from a fishing line as they all jump for it.
The "Winner" will be the one that tramples up and over everyone else's back and snags the weenie between their knee caps.
"That's My Girl !"

slash
08-08-2007, 07:49 AM
Kevin if you "pretend" to like their haunted ideas to get them enthused, then how will they feel and what will they think when as the season goes on none of their ideas are allowed to come to fruitation?
Maybe when selling someone a used car this works , once they sign the contract, that is....
You would only really need one weenie at that pinic, hanging on a fish hook from a fishing line as they all jump for it.
The "Winner" will be the one that tramples up and over everyone else's back and snags the weenie between their knee caps.
"That's My Girl !"

LOL

Thanks for the replies guys. I will try and contact the theater people @ the high school and see if the kids could do it for an exam credit or something. Since they've already picked their courses, I think it would be too late to do a course credit.

Kevin Dells
08-08-2007, 01:19 PM
Kevin if you "pretend" to like their haunted ideas to get them enthused, then how will they feel and what will they think when as the season goes on none of their ideas are allowed to come to fruitation?
Maybe when selling someone a used car this works , once they sign the contract, that is....
You would only really need one weenie at that pinic, hanging on a fish hook from a fishing line as they all jump for it.
The "Winner" will be the one that tramples up and over everyone else's back and snags the weenie between their knee caps.
"That's My Girl !"

Your right i would hire her in a second flat!

Not everybodys idea's get used but i have had some of my newbies throw out some great idea's that in fact were actually used. If the idea was far fetched then yes you would have to laugh at them! Nicely.

My thought was the more you show new people coming in the door the more interested they will be about joining on. thats why i suggested doing some make up seminars and seeing the better actors in action,perk their interest!

It's like smelling the steak from the steakhouse parking lot.

Empressnightshade
08-10-2007, 06:04 AM
Slowly over the past three years, I've accumilated a small core of approximately 12 people. These people love what they are doing and they love the haunt. With them, I do not have to entice or give freebies to peak their interest. And because of that, I freely give to them whenever possible.

To be honest, I'm against spending extra money on those who will probably eat your tube steaks, use your makeup and then leave never to return. Your money should be spent on those who come back, wether it's one or two people -- incentives should be announced as something for those who come back.

Our nonprofit is a member of several volunteer organizations such as Volunteermatch.org. With them, you can put out your listings of volunteer opportunities and hopefully those looking for such an opportunity will asked to be referred to you. I've gotten quite a few referrals, but I would have to say that only 5 - 10% ever get past the emailing stage. It makes me rather frustrated at times since it takes time for me to transfer their information to my data base and write special emails welcoming them to our nonprofit and haunt only to never hear back from them again or be told, "Please take me off your emailing list. I just simply don't have time to participate this year." Well then why did you waste my time with a referral?! :mad:

I will be hitting up the local high schools this year, as well as being more aggressive with getting college students involved. Sometimes, theatre/drama teachers will give extra credit to students who participate in the haunt.

I'm sorry you are having difficulties with recruiting. It's a very daunting task, this I know. But, don't give up. Good luck...to us both! :)

Medusa53
08-10-2007, 06:02 PM
This year,I am putting any volunteer who shows up ALL 5 NIGHTS and really works,into a drawing for a 2 night stay in Florida.On Nov. 1st,I will draw 1 winner.I usually host a BBQ or 2, a pre Halloween party,and a Christmas party,throughout the year for all of my volunteers.Seems like hardly anyone shows up at my Christmas party so,instead of putting out all of the money on food,small gifts,etc., I will use the Christmas party money to fund the Florida prize(aprox.cost..$150.00) the prize is for the room only( on the beach!)and it must be used before Oct1,2008.I'm gonna see how this works this year.It may be a hit!

drfrightner
08-10-2007, 06:40 PM
We're about to start recruiting ourselves... here is my secret. Once I get my website done, I buy TONS of overnight commercials on the radio, promoting the haunts, and on the tail end talk about becoming a monster.

It really works, because overnights are CHEAP and the people who would like to be actors at your haunt are up all night!!!! LOL

Larry

Jim Warfield
08-10-2007, 07:24 PM
The really frustrating thing about finding helpers is that I have to spend the time talking with them for a minimum of at least an hour, it is always the craziest busiest time for me. I can never get more than one or two potential hopefulls to show up here at the same time, to save me spending numerous hours talking, THEN guess how many of these people ever end up showing up at all to ever work here?
...maybe one out of 20?

Empressnightshade
08-11-2007, 04:23 AM
The really frustrating thing about finding helpers is that I have to spend the time talking with them for a minimum of at least an hour, it is always the craziest busiest time for me. I can never get more than one or two potential hopefulls to show up here at the same time, to save me spending numerous hours talking, THEN guess how many of these people ever end up showing up at all to ever work here?
...maybe one out of 20?
That's exactly what I mean, Jim. :(