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N2SPOOKINU
12-24-2008, 12:30 AM
I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of how to get your customers to come early in the season to avoid the last minute lines and rush the last few weeks of the season. We have tried several things but none work as well as we would like. have you tried anything that worked to give customers the incentive to come early?

Jim Warfield
12-24-2008, 03:43 AM
Nature affects this when the leaves turn a little earlier than usual and a slight chill is in the air.
An October that remains hot and very summer-like allows people to mentally drift right passed the first three weeks of the month sometimes.
So get yourself a boom truck and a paint sprayer for the leaves still hanging tight in the trees.
Put on a jacket, even if it's 99 degrees in the shade and shivver and remark about how cold it has gotten lately.
To foster your lying/acting courage try out at a nursing home where the captive audience will be agreeing with you.
I can get customers "early" compared to other October only haunts because I'm open when they are not.
I am open almost every night...of the year.

Banshee
12-24-2008, 09:54 AM
Jim..that is brilliant!
Maybe some sort of mass public dispersal of fresh-pumpkin-smell would help too...You could use those trucks that spray for mosquitos...:)
I don't know really.. just the tried and true practices..offer savings, incentives, early promotions, celeb guests... I think we've tried it all...
and they STILL want to come at Halloween!! *hmph*
Maybe televised mass hypnosis would work..hmmm

xtremecreator
12-24-2008, 10:51 AM
Simple...Do what we did. Hire Kane Hodder or another star to appear at your haunt. It cost us 10,000.00 for 4 days but was well worth it.

John

Jim Warfield
12-24-2008, 12:00 PM
You could have hired Mr. Tuxedo, Spookhouse cat for less money, maybe $9,990?
(Plus several cans of tuna?)
See him on my front page of the website hauntedravensgrin.com

I have been telling everyone for 20 years to come here anytime but the last half of October for a tour and all of this "wind" having left my lungs seems to have had little effect.
I do have an equal number of true "patrons" though who either once listened, don't care for crowds or just figured it out by themselves who relish appearing here the rest of the year for a very involved "Jim" tour, catered to what they want for entertainment, kids, adult, teenage, scary, not scary at all (usually Sunday afternoons these types show up) totally humorous, no humor-serious ghost storys.(Stuff that has happened here and in this town and in the local graveyard.)

mikeq91
12-30-2008, 01:38 PM
We've had this problem every year, but this year we offered coupons that were $3 off the first weekend, 2$ off the second, and $1 off the third. This way it gave them incentive to come early, but if they couldn't, they'd still have some redeeming value for the coupon. We had our best opening weekend by far this season.

Jim Warfield
12-30-2008, 07:57 PM
Early October discounts have been identified by some customers as not really being a discount at all because early in the month it is still a learning period for new employees and getting things mechanical still up and working, so they are getting a lesser show for lesser money, but if it works and the show doesn't get criticised, then you have won!
Go for it!
If they come early and like it, they may return, so this aspect is a win/win situation.

Mike Goff
12-30-2008, 09:01 PM
We've had this problem every year, but this year we offered coupons that were $3 off the first weekend, 2$ off the second, and $1 off the third. This way it gave them incentive to come early, but if they couldn't, they'd still have some redeeming value for the coupon. We had our best opening weekend by far this season.

Very interesting idea. How do you think that this strategy impacted the season as a whole? Do you think that the increase in traffic you experienced on your opening weekend was growth or do you think that this strategy just displaced the number of ticket sales more evenly across the calendar? Either way, it sounds like a great idea.

Slain
12-31-2008, 08:49 AM
We have had the same issues. Whomever said bringing in a celebrity was wrong. I've had both Robert Englund (2007) and Elvira (2008) on opening weekends. They did bring up attendance but not to pay for $25,000 dollars worth. I think Jim had the right idea. The air needs to get cool then they start to come out.
Some of the best ways I have seen is to start advertising early and maybe offering for the first two weeks special rates. That had some kind of draw to it...
Let me know if you figure it out. I've been trying for years...



I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of how to get your customers to come early in the season to avoid the last minute lines and rush the last few weeks of the season. We have tried several things but none work as well as we would like. have you tried anything that worked to give customers the incentive to come early?

Slain
12-31-2008, 08:53 AM
Banshee,
Did you says you used to do some Birmingham jaycee stuff?
I must know you or better yet you must know me..
What years were you there?

Jim..that is brilliant!
Maybe some sort of mass public dispersal of fresh-pumpkin-smell would help too...You could use those trucks that spray for mosquitos...:)
I don't know really.. just the tried and true practices..offer savings, incentives, early promotions, celeb guests... I think we've tried it all...
and they STILL want to come at Halloween!! *hmph*
Maybe televised mass hypnosis would work..hmmm

N2SPOOKINU
12-31-2008, 09:46 AM
That brings up a new question that should probably be a new thread but I will just add it on here. Do celebrities bring in the numbers needed to be worth their appearance?

Banshee
12-31-2008, 09:51 AM
Banshee,
Did you says you used to do some Birmingham jaycee stuff?
I must know you or better yet you must know me..
What years were you there?


Late 1970's while I was in high school..I'm an old fart :)

Slain
12-31-2008, 09:55 AM
I was involved from 1986 til 1996
I figure we have to know each other


Late 1970's while I was in high school..I'm an old fart :)

Mike Goff
12-31-2008, 10:05 AM
Looking through the boss ladies books I compared weekly averages from 98 to present, I noticed that our biggest unexplained spike was the weekend after the travel channel ran its America Haunts special. Was wondering if anyone else can confirm this.

Slain
12-31-2008, 10:05 AM
We have never brought in any celebrity to make money. If you do you will lose your butt. Since 2005 I have had 13 celebrities and spend a lot of monies including their fees, hotel, airfare (most are first class),per diem etc:
For us its just the cool factor. It is a great advertising tool. But like anything else in business its a risk. Your numbers better be there to pay for such or your going to get burned.
Depending on what kind of attraction and the attendance you have would determine if it is right for your event....
Some of these guys (mostly the big names) require spending thousands of dollars advertising their appearance. So if your budget can take it go for it...


That brings up a new question that should probably be a new thread but I will just add it on here. Do celebrities bring in the numbers needed to be worth their appearance?