PDA

View Full Version : How did you go professional



Boni
02-01-2009, 08:48 AM
Thinking back to your first few years in the haunted house industry, what did you do that really set yourself apart from the rest and allowed you to keep growing?

Did you have a signature scare or theme that people raved about?

Did you have great actors?

How many people when through your haunt in year 1, 2, 3, 4.

How many years did it take you to go "professional"

I think it would be a great learning tool to understand how others in the industry started and how they made it.

Boni
02-02-2009, 08:45 AM
Anyone interested in helping here??

Ken Spriggs
02-02-2009, 01:41 PM
Not really wanting to sound like a jerk BUT (too late I know)

You are asking for info, that I as an owner, will not place on a public forum.

What works for us....doesn't always work for others..

Now for an answer that I can give...

Make sure you have great actors....and great scares
(Some of you will shoot me for this)
Most start ups.....black walls and no money for big animatronics and props
they are great because heart and soul goes into it.....when you get money.......you slip

When you get lots of money....you seem to lose the edge...remember that!!!

Mike Goff
02-02-2009, 02:43 PM
Not really wanting to sound like a jerk BUT (too late I know)

You are asking for info, that I as an owner, will not place on a public forum.

What works for us....doesn't always work for others..

Now for an answer that I can give...

Make sure you have great actors....and great scares
(Some of you will shoot me for this)
Most start ups.....black walls and no money for big animatronics and props
they are great because heart and soul goes into it.....when you get money.......you slip

When you get lots of money....you seem to lose the edge...remember that!!!
Excellent advice, but I don't think that you need to be shy about giving it, and no I don't think you should be shot. While your advice is spot on, it's not a matter of knowing, it's a matter of doing. I doubt that you will find anyone who will deny the need for great actors, but these same people are not willing to do what it takes to aquire and retain great actors.
Everyone thinks they have great scares, I don't think that anyone achieves truly great scares until they remove the phrase "Thats good enough" from thier vocabulary.

I feel very confident that there are no secrets that can be released that will upset the pecking order in the haunted community, because there are so few who are willing to consistently apply them.

Boni
02-02-2009, 10:19 PM
Thanks for the posts.

I appreciate the insight of people that have been there, done that.

When asking about things that work for you , I don't want to hear your trade secrets of how you do business now, I want to know when you were more grass roots, doing it on blood sweat and tears, what really helped you.

Was it sets, marketing, gore, startling scares, flashing effects, great mazes, story line.

Basically, if I want to push forward with this, what should be my top three priorities.

Right now I think its Marketing, Set, and Story Line. But Actors keep coming up. I use volunteer actors, but maybe I should redirect some funds and look for paid actors, I don't know. That is where I wanted some advice from all of you as to when you knew it was time to pay your actors, or improve your sets, or devote more to marketing.

I realize its a wide open questions, just trying to learn.

Greg Chrise
02-02-2009, 10:53 PM
Step one is confidence in yourself. There are people standing around at Tradeshows and on these forums, so you aren't crazy. Or if you are crazy, you aren't the only one.

Step two is from your confidence everyone else begins doing their thing matter of factly and even contributing because they too have a confidence extended to them.

Step three is the more people that make the event their own even though it isn't for retirement money and dental benefits, the more your network of advertising by word of mouth already exists.

Imagine some idiot was supposed to distribute all the posters and fliers and quit taking them with them. Would people still know about your event? How did they find out? The bottom line was everyone involved in the event at any level was excited and proud enough of the event to spread the word in their own way.

It is so easy to over think things. Empower about 50 people instead of being an answer man. All of the other crap will just happen because there are the resources and the opportunity to make things happen. If the network of family happens organically and not because they were contracted to do these things, the passion shows and the money comes.

Or conversly everyone is a half living zombie and nothing good comes of it. Putting zombie make up on them isn't a stretch and isn't really entertaining.

People spend billions of dollars a year trying to learn how to just let go and find the zen in things and in other people. On the other end of the scale people spend billions trying to council people that have learned to just let go. Don't get caught and get paid to do it. Don't try to live on Rice, it isn't THAT Zen.

Jim Warfield
02-02-2009, 11:12 PM
I have stated my reseme and haunt history countless times here and at least probably a good 1/3 of my 9,751 posts deal with helping and trying to explain things to those who ask questions.
I do feel guilty about using up so much of Larry's ink here too.
All those berries that had to die!