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Haunting Copy
08-05-2008, 03:32 AM
Hi, All :)

Just curious (as I am but a yard-haunter), have any of y'all tried "appease the masses" by providing entertainment while they're waiting?

I've seen mentioned that some of you play audio loops. Anything more "hands-on"?

Sarah

bodybagging
08-05-2008, 04:48 AM
That sounds like SOP for all Haunts, que line entertainment is a must have. Movies, commercials, rules, being played on various monitors, top notch queline actors interacting with the line, strategedly place scares near the line, Interactive games at varios stations of the line......more more more

Haunting Copy
08-05-2008, 05:07 AM
What got me thinking about this was another thread that discussed entertainment *after* going through the haunt.

It got me wondering why it wasn't also done *prior* to going through the haunt.

While they're waiting, and somewhat captive, they might be more inclined to spend their money on side attractions, as opposed to having the freedom to run helter skelter out of the haunt and go home - or to the competition.

Maybe the queue could be arranged in a different way. For example, have the customers pay *first thing* as they arrive, ushered into a fenced-in area, and then have their groups into the haunt, restaurant-style.

Am I beating a dead horse here? :confused: It just seems like the potential for greater revenues would be far better this way.

FearSeeker
08-05-2008, 10:57 AM
It sounds like a good idea to me. You would just have to come up with some side attractions that they could leave immediately when it's their turn to go inside the haunt, kind of like when you're waiting at a bar in a restaurant and your "buzzer" goes off to let you know your table is ready. You can take your drink with you into the restaurant, but you couldn't do that in a haunt, so you would have to come up with things they could leave at a moment's notice without missing anything.

FearSeeker
08-05-2008, 02:41 PM
OK, so I've been thinking about this some more and I also looked at the Side Attractions thread. I think it's very boring to wait in long lines and think Sarah has a great idea here. I think the fortune telling thing could work here if you have a fortune teller who somehow gets a signal when it's the group's turn to go through the haunt and can "foretell" that to them.

I also think paintballs hurt and that nerfball fights could be a fun way to make long lines seem less boring, and you could charge for the nerfballs. I think there would be less liability/injury problems that way as well.

I doubt there would be time before the haunt to do the laser maze, but they could get started and come back to it. It may be good to get them interested in something, have to leave it to go through the haunt, and then want to come back and complete it or do it again.

If you have a gift shop, give the customers those buzzers they give out in restaurants and let them go shop until their buzzer goes off. If you don't have a gift shop, you could have them create their own T-shirts on a computer, or something like that, and they could pick them up at the end of the haunt.

There are also lots of ways to make money with photos taken while waiting to go through: charge for photos taken with the group or with haunt creatures, take pictures with customers' heads in those silly standup cutouts of halloween costumes or creatures, take pictures in dungeon-type setups around the queues, like in gallows or other haunt-type settings, etc. The list could go on and on. And they could either get their pictures immediately or at the end of the haunt.

These are just off the top of my head, but I will keep thinking.

Haunting Copy
08-05-2008, 03:01 PM
FearSeeker: Yeah, I thought about that. Some kind of "early warning" system would have to be put in place. Like have the hostess call out, "Party 1234, you have ten final minutes to live before entering the Dungeons of Death. Please say your good-byes and proceed to the Gates to Hell."

Haunting Copy
08-05-2008, 03:08 PM
There could be all sorts of things. I hadn't
thought of the tee-shirts and gift shop!

You could also use the opportunity to
collect info from customers who might
be willing to take a survey later on.
Let's say you get their e-mail addresses
and place them on a newsletter, with
their permission, of course.

Another idea would be a raffle for
prizes/souvenirs.

How about advertise that you invite
guests to dress up, and then offer a
prize for the best costume every two
hours or so.

FearSeeker
08-05-2008, 03:18 PM
I think all of those ideas are great. And if you do get any info about them ahead of time, you can always use that in the haunt.

I was taking my niece through a haunt once, and they had gotten her first name up front. One of the creatures kept following her around calling her by name and kept asking her to be his princess. It nearly scared her to death. I didn't know whether she would make it through the entire haunt because of that.

We have also discussed getting people's info up front and having them walk into their own funeral. Lots can be done when you get people's info up front. They could see their own info on a headstone in the haunt if it's something temporary that could be changed quickly.

Haunting Copy
08-05-2008, 03:22 PM
The idea of walking into one's own funeral is great.

Curious, FearSeeker, how old was your niece at the time?

FearSeeker
08-05-2008, 03:31 PM
She was about 9, and we were going through with her sister and her sister's friend. They were both about 12, and it turned out to be the friend that we almost had to take out one of the side exits because she was the most terrified. After it was all over, they were so excited about it, they wanted to go through again, but I just couldn't do it one more time because it was all I could do to get the three of them through the entire haunt the first time.

Haunting Copy
08-05-2008, 03:35 PM
LOL.

I think if it had been me making the call, I would have
passed on using that technique for kids that age.

Shoot, my 14-year-old is a big ol' chicken!

A few years back, one of the kids in my mother's
neighborhood went through a local haunt and
she came out crying. I'm not sure that's healthy,
but I guess those things can't be avoided.

Oh, the child was about 12 at the time.

FearSeeker
08-05-2008, 03:39 PM
They had been hearing the advertisements on the radio and kept begging to go and their parents let them, so I was brave enough to take them. I just didn't know what I was getting myself in for. LOL

FearSeeker
08-05-2008, 03:42 PM
They were all clinging onto each other and to me the entire way through. LOL

twohlgemuth
08-05-2008, 10:25 PM
We have a DJ inside our facade above the waiting area as they wait in line with a large 12x16 movie screen playing Elswarro's Que Line DVD. Add our Ivy Man suit blended into the natural ivy on our haunted house and you got some great entertainment before the enter the haunt.

Midway Shops Themed in Ghost Town sets include glow products, and an apparel shop with all our custom T's. Next to that the ATM to make buying easy and the Last Ride Simulator shop to have some more haunting fun before the leave after the haunt. A Chilling Magic Show on a separate ticket that can be before or after the show is another great revenue stream.

All this is just more entertainment to keep them spending the money at your haunt oppossed to your competitions! The best solution is Timed Ticketing, that way your customers don't have to wait. We are coming out with a complete ticketing solution at St. Louis in 2009 that solves it once and for all from the Box Office to the Web. We have been testing it for several years at Spookywoods and not only does it improve customer service it makes an extra 5K per night.

Good Luck and Keep them Screaming!

phreakout
08-05-2008, 10:43 PM
one thing that sells the most (even though it was mentioned earleir) but glow sticks/bracelets/necklaces/novelties are top sellers in haunted house attractions.

alot of people feel that with light, that they will be able to see better and know where they are going. this way, they dont break rules of having too bright of a light, but they will feel better on going in, plus you make a side profit. alot of young customers will buy them, and buying glowsticks in bulk is very cheap.



lol last year we sold them while waiting in line to get in, and when they reached the door to go in, the one who explained the rules added this line:

"oh, i see you have glowsticks! thats good. you can see in the dark now....but that means that the monsters inside will find you faster than ever..... have fun!"

it really gets them freaked out, and it does give the actors a little bit of help to see where they are at.

you can order bulk from www.extremeglow.com or www.glowproducts.com

Nightgore
08-06-2008, 04:18 AM
Tony,

I'm so excited about your ticketing system! Also, be looking for a visit from us soon... we really want to take a look at your attraction, if it's ok with you first! ;)... Sounds like you are running a top-notch show and have much to teach us! -Tyler

Phoenix
08-06-2008, 04:28 AM
We got a lot of interest in Magic Motion for queue line entertainment at TW this year as it makes it possible for a hidden actor to control an animatronic prop to interact directly with your queue line.

Initially my thoughts about putting this kind of prop up front was kinda like giving the show away before you have even got any money off the punters, but after giving it some thought, you come to realize that when in the haunt your throughput requirements makes it hard to have a prop interact and converse without slowing down your throughput.

You could even tie this interaction up with the name grabbing ideas.

Nightgore
08-06-2008, 09:25 AM
Is there a link for "Magic Motion", I'd like to have an idea of what your talking about! Thanks. -Tyler

Phoenix
08-06-2008, 09:29 AM
Is there a link for "Magic Motion", I'd like to have an idea of what your talking about! Thanks. -Tyler


http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xsPFS8bmxa0

www.skulltronix.com

Haunting Copy
08-06-2008, 09:48 AM
FearSeeker: Too bad you don't have a video of that. Great blackmail footage!

Hey, there's another idea. You know how you can buy a video of yourself on a rollercoaster at some theme parks? How about that for a haunt? The lighting would be an issue, but with all the innovation in this industry? Should be no problem!

****

Tony: I went to your site and looked at the Ivy Man suit. OMG, that is SO cool. I hope you have plans to do different types, as well.

Also, I wanted to ask you . . . on your ticketing system, for those who buy tickets that get them into the HH quickly, you don't think you could actually be *losing* revenues by not having them wait (i.e., buying stuff at the pre-haunt events)?

*****
"oh, i see you have glowsticks! thats good. you can see in the dark now....but that means that the monsters inside will find you faster than ever..... have fun!"

phreakout: I can just see the oh-crap-I-hadn't-thought-of-that look on their faces, LOL!

*****

Phoenix: I went to your site, too, and watched the YouTube demo. Amazing!
He would make a perfect host for a HH. Imagine all the different personalities
you could fit him out with. Or, for that matter, "he" could be a "she." :)


Sarah

Haunting Copy
08-06-2008, 09:53 AM
BTW, Phonix, unless the person providing the voice for the MM skeleton gives something away, I don't see how it would give away the show.

I don't understand how it could slow things down, either.

There must be something I'm not getting.

Sarah

Phoenix
08-06-2008, 11:28 AM
I think its a matter of personal opinion, I only came to understand this prop as a queue line entertainer at TW, before then I would have kept the prop in the haunt where I could control the time at which the punters would see it and at what point they recognise it as an interactive prop.

However, the prop works best when its got time to interact with punters, and they actually take the time to interact with it., when you have a long queue line its not always a good idea to have something interactive inside the haunt where you want to keep people flowing, however, you have the opposite problem in the Queue, here you have time, and the punters are waiting around anyway.

At TW it was a blast to use, despite the fact I was sitting 2 feet behind the prop in full view, many people just didn't see me (OK, it was in the dark zone) and they were amazed that the prop was following them, and even more amazed when it started directing personal comments at them.

Its very much a matter of how it bests fits inside your haunt, its a very versatile system which can be used live or you could just use it to pre-record routines for playback, some people felt that whilst the prop itself didn't fit with the tone of the inner haunt it did make an excellent MC, and we even have a major theme park looking at using the system for driving one of their characters.

gadget-evilusions
08-06-2008, 12:29 PM
BTW, Phonix, unless the person providing the voice for the MM skeleton gives something away, I don't see how it would give away the show.

I don't understand how it could slow things down, either.

There must be something I'm not getting.

Sarah


If inside the attraction, something interactive like the awesome skulltronix system either gets lost in the attraction, or holds up the customers. In busy attractions you want customers in each scene for a minimal amount of time, we shoot for maybe two seconds before scaring them into the next scene. Other wise it gets hard to get a couple thousand customers thru the attraction before it's closing time.

Phoenix
08-06-2008, 01:13 PM
If inside the attraction, something interactive like the awesome skulltronix system either gets lost in the attraction, or holds up the customers. In busy attractions you want customers in each scene for a minimal amount of time, we shoot for maybe two seconds before scaring them into the next scene. Other wise it gets hard to get a couple thousand customers thru the attraction before it's closing time.

yup, but in the queue line the problem is reversed

FearSeeker
08-06-2008, 01:21 PM
I think the skulltronix system in the queue line sounds like a great idea, and the you-tube video made it look terrific too. What a great distraction while you're waiting, and it can be used to gather information to use during the haunt.

FearSeeker
08-06-2008, 01:22 PM
I also think that if it's possible to make a video of people going through the haunt and showing them being terrified, those would make for some great sellers at the end of the haunt.

FearSeeker
08-06-2008, 01:29 PM
One other idea: what if the skulltronix guy or gal encouraged people (kids in particular) to get their glow sticks (or whatever you are promoting) up front to make the monsters go away while going through the haunt? Then wouldn't people be more likely to buy whatever it is?

Or the skulltronix person could train the kids to scare their parents in a kids section of the haunt in order to help alleviate their fears before going in. I think my nieces and their friend were all freaked out before going in just because of the waiting and worrying about it while the spooky music played, and it would be nice to find a way to calm them down or distract them while they are waiting.

Just some things to think about.

FearSeeker
08-06-2008, 02:25 PM
Tony,

I forgot to mention that I looked at all of your Spookywoods stuff, and I was quite impressed!

Haunting Copy
08-06-2008, 02:54 PM
I see my mistake, Phoenix, LOL.

So yeah, I think he would make s super addition to *queue* entertainment.

I don't know how excited I'd be about having the kids touch him, though. Even with supervision, it's still tricky. Then you also have all the drama of the parents thinking
it's perfectly OK for Junior to smear his cotton-candy hands all over the thing. In my mind, there's just too much at risk.

But as for upselling, if I were a customer, I'd buy all the glowsticks in a case,
just for the kick I'd get out of talking to a "live" skeleton! :)

Sarah

FearSeeker
08-06-2008, 03:00 PM
Couldn't you put the skulltronix system just out of reach of everyone, maybe up high looking down on the crowd or in a cage or behind a barricade so that nobody could touch it?

Phoenix
08-06-2008, 03:24 PM
I see my mistake, Phoenix, LOL.

So yeah, I think he would make s super addition to *queue* entertainment.

I don't know how excited I'd be about having the kids touch him, though. Even with supervision, it's still tricky. Then you also have all the drama of the parents thinking
it's perfectly OK for Junior to smear his cotton-candy hands all over the thing. In my mind, there's just too much at risk.

But as for upselling, if I were a customer, I'd buy all the glowsticks in a case,
just for the kick I'd get out of talking to a "live" skeleton! :)

Sarah

Like all prop placements you need take such matters into consideration, the performer can also supervise the prop by being hidden just a few feet away behind a scrim curtain, this way they also get to hear the punters without needing a monitor microphone, and its easier to tune the prop motion to synchronise with the performer such that the prop always looks where the performer looks.

If you have the prop sitting then you can have a table that acts as a natural barrier, or maybe use a coffin or something else 'natural' like a torcher cage

elswarro
08-06-2008, 08:20 PM
We have a DJ inside our facade above the waiting area as they wait in line with a large 12x16 movie screen playing Elswarro's Que Line DVD. Add our Ivy Man suit blended into the natural ivy on our haunted house and you got some great entertainment before the enter the haunt.



Good Luck and Keep them Screaming!


Hey Tony! Thanks for the plug! Our dvd's are a really affordable way to add ambience to your line. If anybody wants to see a demo, visit our website!
www.elswarro.com

Haunting Copy
08-06-2008, 11:46 PM
Phoenix and FearSeeker: LOL. Give the skeleton a sociopathic personality to account for the cage
and some gruesome comments (if that kind of thing is allowed). Could be a lot of fun. :)

FearSeeker
08-07-2008, 12:09 AM
Sociopathic personalities, fun, and gruesome comments, within reason, are definitely allowed in haunts. ;)

Phoenix
08-07-2008, 04:34 AM
Sociopathic personalities, fun, and gruesome comments, within reason, are definitely allowed in haunts. ;)

This is of course the great thing about having a live prop, the actor can tailor the spiel to the audience, if its a bunch of young kids then just threatening to eat them or asking the parents if you can buy them is unusually enough, however as the average age of the queueline matures then the actor can up the ante.

Jim Warfield
08-07-2008, 08:02 AM
Having tickets with the time on them did eliminate customer bitching, also eliminated large groups standing infront of the house with nothing to do but possibly spend more money.
There are 4 taverns within 120 feet of my house (this house was originally a tavern, 1870 to 1925) and the Local Firemen set up a food stand across the parking lot from my entrance.
Adam Drendel wrote once that the exterior of my house provides much anticipation and "entertainment". The whole downtown looks like it might be a movie set, but then it was a couple of times!
Now if I could just come up with several millions of dollars to buy the whole downtown and put a plastic bubble over it all! (that bubble would be the biggest expense!)

Haunting Copy
08-07-2008, 10:09 PM
This is of course the great thing about having a live prop, the actor can tailor the spiel to the audience, if its a bunch of young kids then just threatening to eat them or asking the parents if you can buy them is unusually enough, however as the average age of the queueline matures then the actor can up the ante.

And it makes for a wonderful memory of the event. :)

FearSeeker
08-08-2008, 08:01 PM
And it provides photo opportunities near the live prop for a small fee, of course. ;)