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asanve
03-28-2009, 06:18 PM
We are a home haunt that is interested in going pro over the next few years. We have Allens book and have read it in its entirety. We are starting to collect information for our business plan and are confused as to the best way to do a market analysis. The nearest pro haunts to us are approximately 1 hour away in several directions. There was one haunt in the next town over (about 15 minutes from here) that set up in a building at the local fairgrounds. It was okay but not worth a second trip. We are a small community of about 25,000 people and are comprised mainly of schools, houses, parks, and small shopping centers. Not a big area for market analysis. The schools do not allow anyone to conduct surveys or distribute material, so that idea is out. Can anyone tell us how you did your market analysis and what worked best for you? Are there any pro haunts that are located in smaller towns that do very well and how did you do your market analysis? Does it make any sense to reach out to the cities 60 miles away to research them and include them in our market analysis or is that too far?

Hope you guys are having a great time in St. Louis! Wish we we're there!!! Thanks for all your help.

Greg Chrise
03-28-2009, 08:40 PM
Even if the former haunt was sucky, how many they saw is a good indicator of how receptive an area is. Generally you depending on terrain figure your population is 30 miles out or as little as a 15 minute drive and then your target is 10% of that with the ultimate advertising plan.

The first years can only be done to see what that opening figure is. It might start at what that old haunt was seeing and go up about 30% per year untill it flat lines. If you are only 25,000 with no mans land for 60 miles all the way around you would be favored to see 2500. In that isolated case, seeing even more means having a really spectacular show.

Some haunts thrive on people coming from tremendous distances and have targeted specificly to increase their customer base. Using off season events to sort of train people to drive that far when commanded to.

Some are quite fine with 2500 total, others aren't happy unless they have 25,000 or more. It is also matching the haunt to how many will come expense wise. You could put even the Darkness in a blizzard zone and still only 1000 people will come.

Proper advertising will bring 10 times what a slacker haunt sees the first year. Exactly 10 times.

Medium G.

michilson
04-01-2009, 05:23 PM
Thanks I hope to see more haunters post info on this as I too am looking into the Idea of a Pro Haunt! I feel I might be in a Better location as I have 3 Major metropolitan areas around me within say a hour drive. So if anyone can give me a rough idea of maybe how to try to look at what I could expect to see as far as like what they may have seen in attendance compared to the avg. Population of where there located!

like a percentage of what I could possibly see my first few years provided I maintain or improve the haunt each year! A smaller haunts first few years numbers would give me a good starting point!

MMManiac
04-01-2009, 05:35 PM
Good luck getting attendence #'s from haunts. As helpful as we all are we still keep some secrets or if they do give up numbers they are inflated. Before you even consider to enter the "pro haunt" secure a location. You will find out real fast that as soon as you mention "haunted house" lots of doors will be shut. Its just the nature of the business... Best of luck to everyone though who is trying to open a pro haunt. Your best bet is to start small... Unless you can write a killer business plan dont waste your time. Your better off going to small local business to secure small donations. Be creative and build youe own props, costumes, ect... as you get more funds each year grow bigger... Don't try to be the darkness year one. Wont happen. Even Larry put in his years on the bottom to get where he is now. My haunt 8 years ago was... amature by the very least.... We took in $3,000 which to was was amazing. It just continued to grow to get where we are now. Your biggest thing is to MARKET. Get the word out.

Hope that helps and doesnt discourage anyone from going pro... Just A LOT of hard work

michilson
04-01-2009, 05:48 PM
Well Iím not too worried about what they are making now thatís not what I have to worry about as they are a established haunt with 2 - 3 different themed areas. It would not even make scene to try to use their numbers now to judge how my first year haunt will do.

But I am asking if they would share what kind of attendance they had when they were in my shoes starting out when no one knew their name and it was all learn as you go and try to improve.

I know for some that was a long time ago but please share if you can! I also realize that not all will fit my situation but giving me a rough number even if itís a avg. from say 10 different haunts around the country will give me a starting point to try to judge my potential growth.

Thanks guys for helping out please donít give me anything that would give away your current numbers as it will do no good for us new guys!

rwrussom
04-01-2009, 06:24 PM
This question is asked over and over, by myself included. It is rarely answered clearly by those who really have the experience to give these type of answers.

The 10% of your service area population seems to come up over and over although I dont know what the basis is. It seems this is a ultimate target for market penetration, not a starting number no matter how good you market.

Hopefully someone with real multiyear experience can chime in. I know there are a couple who are out there.

Greg Chrise
04-01-2009, 07:33 PM
Hopefully someone with real multiyear experience can chime in. I know there are a couple who are out there.

And then many with multi year experience, that know the intimate numbers on many multi year haunts can go completely silent too if you don't know who they are or respect what they have accomplished or experienced. Or better yet know who they have helped and that's why they know. Do you deserve to know? Have you helped anyone lately?

rwrussom
04-01-2009, 07:51 PM
And then many with multi year experience, that know the intimate numbers on many multi year haunts can go completely silent too if you don't know who they are or respect what they have accomplished or experienced. Or better yet know who they have helped and that's why they know. Do you deserve to know? Have you helped anyone lately?

Greg,

The point was that there are a lot of people here throwing out advise without having the background to give it. Most of the experienced are tight lipped on some subjects. Many times for good reason. I am thankful to to those that offer up from their experience. For my part, this is not an area I can be helpful in. I have and do offer what I have freely, both on the boards and PMs were appropriate.

Patti Ludwinski
04-01-2009, 09:31 PM
I think that if a haunt is getting 2% of their population, then they're doing a real good job. We have 2 haunts in their 15th year of fear, and combined attendance divided by our population equals 4% or higher. (However, we do get a lot of attendance from out of town/out of state, and I don't know what the divide is. Let's assume 3.8% is local and .2% is out of town.) I would absolutely encourage advertising to your surrounding areas IF the price is right. People will travel for a good haunt but don't spend too much money doing it.

---Patti

Haunting Copy
04-01-2009, 10:25 PM
From what I understand, businesses in general, not just haunts, feel very lucky to get 3% of their target market in any campaign.

If they hit 5%, someone is getting a big, fat raise.

Haunting Copy
04-02-2009, 12:27 AM
Asanve, another thing you can try is asking your local chamber of commerce. In a small area such as yours, they will often know of previous charity haunts. Then, if there were such haunts, you could go to them and ask what kind of attendance they experienced.

If they ask why you want to know, be honest. (You know how small towns are; you don't want a bad reputation.) It might worry them that their haunt may suffer if you open one up, so you might want to think through what you will say in that case.

You might also consider using a MySpace page to reach your target market and ask them questions.

Haunting Copy
04-02-2009, 02:12 AM
I strongly recommend this organization: http://www.score.org/index.html

When you go to the site, there is a search box where you can input your zip code, and then you will be given a list of offices that are near you.

They also do consulting by e-mail, I believe.

Haunting Copy
04-02-2009, 02:59 AM
I feel I might be in a Better location as I have 3 Major metropolitan areas around me within say a hour drive.

Michael, if you are roughly in the center of three major areas, but are yourself rural or "country," I'd be very careful before deciding to open a haunt.

As one successful haunt owner told me once: "You can get people to the city, but you can't get them out of it."

Boni
04-03-2009, 02:59 AM
Haunt is located in a town of 20,000

County has about 75,000

4 other rural towns within half an hour

2 cities of 150,000 plus within an hour.

Year one, 500 people, but all out advertising was local and so were our guests.

Year two, 3000 people. Feature articles in both major cities newspapers and our town's paper, billboards on major highway, radio ads, fliers in the schools.

40% of our guests were from our town
30% of our guests were from the county but not our town
15% of our guests were from the other rural towns
15% of our guests were from the big cities.

So doing the percentages

6% of our town attended
3% of our county atteneded (this includes our town)
less than half a percent from neighboring counties
around a 10th of a percent of the two major cities.

Haunting Copy
04-03-2009, 06:25 AM
Haunt is located in a town of 20,000

County has about 75,000

4 other rural towns within half an hour

2 cities of 150,000 plus within an hour.

Year one, 500 people, but all out advertising was local and so were our guests.

Year two, 3000 people. Feature articles in both major cities newspapers and our town's paper, billboards on major highway, radio ads, fliers in the schools.

40% of our guests were from our town
30% of our guests were from the county but not our town
15% of our guests were from the other rural towns
15% of our guests were from the big cities.

So doing the percentages

6% of our town attended
3% of our county atteneded (this includes our town)
less than half a percent from neighboring counties
around a 10th of a percent of the two major cities.

How did you get the schools to allow you to flier them? :)

Haunting Copy
04-03-2009, 06:28 AM
Haunt is located in a town of 20,000

County has about 75,000

4 other rural towns within half an hour

2 cities of 150,000 plus within an hour.

Year one, 500 people, but all out advertising was local and so were our guests.

Year two, 3000 people. Feature articles in both major cities newspapers and our town's paper, billboards on major highway, radio ads, fliers in the schools.

40% of our guests were from our town
30% of our guests were from the county but not our town
15% of our guests were from the other rural towns
15% of our guests were from the big cities.

So doing the percentages

6% of our town attended
3% of our county atteneded (this includes our town)
less than half a percent from neighboring counties
around a 10th of a percent of the two major cities.

Do you have a method to recommend for how to gather and break down the numbers? Did you poll your patrons or have different tickets for different places where they were sold?

Boni
04-03-2009, 09:51 AM
Do you have a method to recommend for how to gather and break down the numbers? Did you poll your patrons or have different tickets for different places where they were sold?

At Dr. Buzzsaw's Haunted Hospital, patients, after purchasing a ticket, are seated in a waiting room and our creepy nurse hands them a clip board "Before the Doctor can see you we need you to answer a few questions"

The survey was all about how they heard about the haunt, where they were from, can we contact them via e-mail next year, etc.

it worked great.

JamBam
04-03-2009, 10:36 AM
We are in a town of 17,000 with 35,000 in county near a bigger city (Ft Wayne) of 200,000 with 600,000 in metro area of which we are considered a part of.

Our customers are asked for their hometown at the door and a tally sheet is kept. We have done this the past ten years. Most recent years, 35 percent was from our town area and 65 % from out of town (at least 20 mile away). This past year, the in town numbers were 16.71 % because we feel we had more out of town guests and out in town numers were identical three of the last four years.

We had many from out of our marketing area that found us online and traveled to us, sometimes from personal referrals about our event. The internet is definately our friend.

We are in the 1% catch rate of our market probably.

rwrussom
04-03-2009, 10:54 AM
Brett - The website is beautiful. 1%? So, you guys are only pulling in th 6000 range during the season? Thats surprising.

Haunting Copy
04-03-2009, 05:43 PM
We are in a town of 17,000 with 35,000 in county near a bigger city (Ft Wayne) of 200,000 with 600,000 in metro area of which we are considered a part of.

Our customers are asked for their hometown at the door and a tally sheet is kept. We have done this the past ten years. Most recent years, 35 percent was from our town area and 65 % from out of town (at least 20 mile away). This past year, the in town numbers were 16.71 % because we feel we had more out of town guests and out in town numers were identical three of the last four years.

We had many from out of our marketing area that found us online and traveled to us, sometimes from personal referrals about our event. The internet is definately our friend.

We are in the 1% catch rate of our market probably.

Brett, that's a good idea, getting their info at the door! Kind of like when you go to Academy, they always ask for your zip.

Those out-of-towners, do you know whether there were haunts that were closer to them? Or was yours the closest?

Thanks :)

Haunting Copy
04-03-2009, 05:44 PM
Brett - The website is beautiful. 1%? So, you guys are only pulling in th 6000 range during the season? Thats surprising.

It's common for businesses to run at 1%.

Greg Chrise
04-03-2009, 08:16 PM
If you call SCORE you are talking to a bunch of old retired people that will tell you to get some papers behind you, maybe a job at the post office and it's awfully tough to make a business out of a hobby. You will hear things like how old are you? Aren't you a little old to be playing halloween and all kinds of crap that might have been how they did it back in the day. Hey grandpa! do you think text messaging would work? How about social media? You have got to be kidding me. CHRIST!

You wanna find out how many people they saw? find their blabber mouth accountant.

Jim is old enough to be the haunted version of SCORE and he is right. YOu will not know until you do it. It is called "devoping a market" where perhaps one does not exist and may not exist until you demand it exists for more than 3 years. Some times it takes several haunts in town to jump start any serious intrest at all.

There is no one you can call, no group of people you can hang around and spend hundreds of dollars being pals and attending meetings and social events that is really going to translate into money in your pocket. It is great to get these people's quick blessing but they are not your customers. They in fact may be your competitio if they see "how easy it must be" to get people in lines with money to spend.

Greg Chrise
04-03-2009, 08:26 PM
Why don't you just pitch this idea to a nursing home. First hold up a sign to get everyone to turn up their freaking hearing aids. If you can get everyone clapping to some old song it will make them all have at least one happy day before they croak.

Greg Chrise
04-03-2009, 08:36 PM
The way the numbers work is this

If there are 4.5 million walking by there are probably 4,000 other things going on and 1% is good

If there are 1.5 million walking by there are probably 1,000 other things going on and you should be headed toward 4% return on investment

If there are 100,000 people wandering around aimlessly you might start out at 1% to 5% and over the course of years shold approach 10%

If there is a captive audience of 10,000 people you might get 40% of them to light a lighter to a moody song

If there are only 1000 people who care, you might get money from one in 20 so it better be a big ticket item like $1200 to 5,000 a pop

If it is a board of directors of 10 people it might take 5 years for them to decide to spend $10,000.

If it is just you hoping the system is going to work for you, you may get cable TV or something.

JamBam
04-03-2009, 10:13 PM
Yes Sarah we know there were haunts close to them We have had people tell us they checked out all the websites and we had the best one so that is where they cam e to. And were not disappointed.

There are also a lot of people that visit two, three, and four haunts in a season and know we are one of the ones to come to now.

Our name is getting lots of personal recomendations.

Haunting Copy
04-03-2009, 10:47 PM
Yes Sarah we know there were haunts close to them We have had people tell us they checked out all the websites and we had the best one so that is where they cam e to. And were not disappointed.

There are also a lot of people that visit two, three, and four haunts in a season and know we are one of the ones to come to now.

Our name is getting lots of personal recomendations.

I wasn't trying to insult you. I was just wondering whether people will travel to go to the haunts.

The haunters I've spoken with were "sure" no one would go to a rural area if there were haunts nearby (in the city). So I guess there are always exceptions.

Again, I wasn't trying to belittle you. I'm just trying to get some answers for people who are interested in starting a haunt.

Boni
04-03-2009, 11:21 PM
I wasn't trying to insult you. I was just wondering whether people will travel to go to the haunts.

The haunters I've spoken with were "sure" no one would go to a rural area if there were haunts nearby (in the city). So I guess there are always exceptions.

Again, I wasn't trying to belittle you. I'm just trying to get some answers for people who are interested in starting a haunt.

Sarah, I don't want to speak for Brett, but I did not sense any anger in his response. I think he was just answering your questions.

Boni
04-03-2009, 11:24 PM
Yes Sarah we know there were haunts close to them We have had people tell us they checked out all the websites and we had the best one so that is where they cam e to. And were not disappointed.

There are also a lot of people that visit two, three, and four haunts in a season and know we are one of the ones to come to now.

Our name is getting lots of personal recomendations.

Brett, as you and I have very similar circumstances in our demographics, other than you being much closer to the big city, how much of your traffic is from the other small towns around. Like Wabash, Marion, or Columbia City.

Jim Warfield
04-04-2009, 12:08 AM
But it would take alot of advertising to get them to travel to see a cookie-cutter genaric haunt, in my opinion. They may make that trip once. ("Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.") (Other four-letter words can be substituted for "fool" and often are)
The first haunt magazine to mention me was H.A. and in Leonard's article he said something like the Ravens Grin Inn is one of those places that you can't get to from here, or something like that?
Maybe like swinging from playground monkey bars from one route to another is part of the challenge to arriving at an urban myth?
I had Seven physical levels to this place waiting for them when they got here and if they couldn't follow directions, got lost and never found me, it just added to the mystique!
(I love part of the definition of the word "Mystique" = "the special esoteric skill essential in a calling or activity")
When someone is looking at the outside of my house and ask me why I would do such a thing, I'll say:"It's my calling." (And I picked up the phone, didn't let the machine get it!)
The only real time people seemed to be hesitant to make the 3 hour drive from Chicago to here was right after 9-11 when paranoia had people thinking terrorists were no doubt waiting to fire rockets into their kid's school bus as they drove across northern Illinois!
Actually terrorists in raccoon and deer costumes threw their bodies against bumpers.

Haunting Copy
04-04-2009, 01:42 AM
Sarah, I don't want to speak for Brett, but I did not sense any anger in his response. I think he was just answering your questions.

If so, my apologies to Brett. We're still in Hell Week at work (which is more like Hell MONTH), and I'm super stressed out. :(

Jim Warfield
04-04-2009, 02:34 AM
When you work in Hell, do report directly to satan? Does he ever give a kind word of encouragement?
Benefits?
I bet he banned smoking there too just to make more suffering.
That would be in character wouldn't it?

Haunting Copy
04-04-2009, 02:58 AM
LMAO - I needed that, Jim. Thanks! :D

Any haunters here done a "haunted motel" theme? I could offer lots of ideas. :|

Boni
04-04-2009, 03:04 AM
LMAO - I needed that, Jim. Thanks! :D

Any haunters here done a "haunted motel" theme? I could offer lots of ideas. :|

As a matter of fact, BRETT.......

Haunting Copy
04-04-2009, 03:05 AM
as a matter of fact, brett.......

lmfao!!! . . .

Boni
04-04-2009, 03:35 AM
lmfao!!! . . .

13th Floor, Huntington Jaycee's, his website is awesome.

Lord of Fright
04-04-2009, 07:11 AM
Michael, if you are roughly in the center of three major areas, but are yourself rural or "country," I'd be very careful before deciding to open a haunt.

As one successful haunt owner told me once: "You can get people to the city, but you can't get them out of it."

:confused:
Ok first of this country thing is all wrong!! You have to promote and the people will come!!! IE: The Nighmare Forest still brings Louisville outside their comfort zone and we continue to do so!!

So yes I'm from the country and I like it that way!!!:cool:

http://www.nightmareforest.com

michilson
04-06-2009, 04:56 PM
Boni Thanks that was what I was looking for!!!

Here's My Breakdown.

Town of the Haunt
13,000+

Towns within 20 miles
2,000+
5,000+
600+
6,000+

Towns / City's 50 Miles away
1,000+
103,000+
19,000+
9,000+

I realize that not all 5% of the 50 mile populations would be making the trek to come to my haunt right off the bat! But down the road I think I could have a good chance to get them to come if itís good enough. I know people that travel from this same area to Pittsburgh to go to haunts there because thier that good and thatís an hour and a half drive on the highway. So people will travel to go to a good haunt!

So Iím looking at between 30 Ė 70k in local population itís kind of a more rural area so itís hard to get a really good accurate count!

Haunting Copy
04-06-2009, 05:47 PM
:confused:
Ok first of this country thing is all wrong!! You have to promote and the people will come!!! IE: The Nighmare Forest still brings Louisville outside their comfort zone and we continue to do so!!

So yes I'm from the country and I like it that way!!!:cool:

http://www.nightmareforest.com

What I would like to know (if I were thinking of starting a haunt in a rural area) is whether people will travel far for a haunt when there are good haunts nearby them *already*.

It's a matter of knowing who and where your competition is.

So, please, spare me your "angry" emoticon and hurt feelings. People are looking at investing a LOT of time and energy, and it doesn't hurt to examine the market and ask the questions.

A revised question might be, if your haunt is in a rural area *and* it draws people from metro areas, what kind of competition (quality, number of haunts, locations, indoor/outdoor) are you facing in those metro areas? In other words, are the people traveling *even though* they can get good scares without leaving their cities?

Boni
04-06-2009, 10:23 PM
Jump in here and correct me if I am way off base, but I would guess 25 to 50% of haunted house guests will try to go to more than 1 per year.

If your local big city has 3 or more established haunts, you are going to have to really out perform them if you need their market to make your haunt successful.

If your local big city only has one, which is the case for me, then that one is like a primer for wanting more. The next night or weekend they are searching outside of their market to go to another one, that is good for the haunts within 40 miles.

In my market, the local big city has 1 established haunt, the county south and west each have a very strong haunt. I am two counties to the west. I can't rely on that big market to carry me, but I did hear a lot of people say they went to the one in the neighboring county earlier in the night and then came to ours.

Next year, I want to work out a deal with Brett where we each advertise for each other.

I think it can only help us both if we put fliers, posters, etc in our exit room. By doing this, you hit the people as they leave and they are in the mood, but they already bought a ticket for yours, so you don't get anyone skipping yours for the other.

I tried to get this done last year, but couldn't find time to make the drive to exchange fliers with Brett, we will do it this year though.

Haunting Copy
04-06-2009, 11:04 PM
Jump in here and correct me if I am way off base, but I would guess 25 to 50% of haunted house guests will try to go to more than 1 per year.

I think you're absolutely right, especially since most of them open only one month per year. Personally, I couldn't see myself being satisfied with seeing just one.


If your local big city has 3 or more established haunts, you are going to have to really out perform them if you need their market to make your haunt successful.

Another thing that may make a rural even haunt more competitive is teaming up with other activity/amusement businesses in the area. If the haunt and a couple of the local businesses could put together a "package" for tourists/visitors, it might pull pretty well. (A restaurant with a really good reputation is a good pull, too.)


If your local big city only has one, which is the case for me, then that one is like a primer for wanting more. The next night or weekend they are searching outside of their market to go to another one, that is good for the haunts within 40 miles.

In my market, the local big city has 1 established haunt, the county south and west each have a very strong haunt. I am two counties to the west. I can't rely on that big market to carry me, but I did hear a lot of people say they went to the one in the neighboring county earlier in the night and then came to ours.

Next year, I want to work out a deal with Brett where we each advertise for each other.

I think it can only help us both if we put fliers, posters, etc in our exit room. By doing this, you hit the people as they leave and they are in the mood, but they already bought a ticket for yours, so you don't get anyone skipping yours for the other.

I think that's a great idea! I wonder if you guys could talk to some other businesses and put together a "trail of fun" for visitors to the area. You could even create a scavenger hunt, of sorts. A brochure placed in the right spots would be good, and the expense would be mitigated because there would be many businesses sharing the cost.

michilson
04-07-2009, 01:55 PM
Other than maybe a couple of volunteer Fire company haunts there's nothing to my knowledge really close to compete with a Large Scale Professional Haunt.

the closest pro haunts are over a hour and a half away one in pittsburgh and one in cleveland.

Nothing to my knowledge in erie in the forms of a pro haunt!

So as far as i know there's not really any close compition to compete with.

Old Tree Studios
04-07-2009, 02:45 PM
Depending on where you live, sometimes a search of your town on Wikipedia will give you a raw demographic break down of your town (or towns) that you are marketing towards. Reference that with the "haunt demographic" and that can give you a rough number to play with for attendance.

JamBam
04-07-2009, 03:42 PM
Sarah,

I did not take offense by anything you wrote. We do a haunted hotel theme and would welcome your thoughts for ideas on the "motel" ideas.

The postings on market stuff is alway good to know. I love to anylize and compare data with others. Many times haunters are cautious of releasing data for many reasons.

Boni,
We will get together on a cross promotion. We need to set a time to meet and discuss things soon as I am starting to put my ideas to action.

Haunting Copy
04-07-2009, 04:29 PM
Sarah,

I did not take offense by anything you wrote. We do a haunted hotel theme and would welcome your thoughts for ideas on the "motel" ideas.

The postings on market stuff is alway good to know. I love to anylize and compare data with others. Many times haunters are cautious of releasing data for many reasons.

Boni,
We will get together on a cross promotion. We need to set a time to meet and discuss things soon as I am starting to put my ideas to action.

LOL, on the haunted hotel ideas, I was being fecetious. I have such a terrible boss, that it's the customers here who could tell of nightmares, LOL. The dude won't put anything into repairs. He's just running the place into the ground, and it's embarrassing to be a part of it.

I would like to say again, to whoever is interested, the concern over competition is sometimes not necessary. (I do believe there is a legitimate concern for more rural haunts, though.) It's like anything, if a person has a particular interest in something, then that person will pursue almost all avenues of that interest, especially if they are not all that common. Apparently, they will even drive out to the boonies for it! (I know I would.)

Cross-promotion with another haunt, in my marketing mind, is the best thing any haunt can do. When I was in St. Louis, there was no way I was going to go to Necropolis and *not* FearFest, or vice versa. And the only thing that kept me from The Darkness was I had heard we were going to have to wait for three hours. Since I had no jacket, that was too long for me.

Another consideration . . . even if a city is chock full of haunts, cross-promotion among *similarly priced/quality* haunts is a good idea. Then, customer expectations are met, which keeps them happy - which will bring them back the next year. If the quality of the haunts are mixed, I think the credibility of the cross-promotion is lost.

There are systems in place for bigger businesses to do market analyses. I hope HHA or IAHA will come through for us with something similar.

JamBam
04-07-2009, 07:02 PM
I am of the belief that in haunts and marketing, the customers usually don't go to just one. Years ago, I went to a haunt in a town 20 miles north of our town. They had a one page sheet of many haunts listed on it. The guy who ran that haunt had put it together and passed it out as a service to his customers.

Many times customers come out of a haunt and ask the workers outside, "where is another haunt?" A few years ago, one haunt that was the biggest event in the area and us got together and we pt together a nice folded handout for our customers. We got eleven of twelve events within an hours drive of this area to participate. If the customer went to five of the events, they would get the sixth event FREE.

We did a similar promotion the next year and had a full color 2 page sheet that was folded over the edge of the Sunday comics and several other area papers during that week to reach over 250,000 households in four cities. We had 12 of 13 events in that year. The one event that declined put our page up (both sides) on the side of his ticket booth. Haunts bought two areas with a coupon and map listing and a third area was sold and priced by the area ordered.


I feel sorry for the areas that do not have a network and cooperation like we have had. I have heard of haunts marketing materials being taken out of stores and pulled down and replaced with competitors stuff.


This year, we will be cross promoting with haunts at least an hour drive from us. We will have their posters by our ticket window with an offer decided by that haunt. Ours will be a buy one get one free if they bring us the ticket of the other haunt. Most we have talked to will be doing the same offer for our customers. I am sure that many of those that come will bring others that will pay full price. I think we have five lined up to do this with us so far. The farthest is three hours drive away. All it will cost is a few posters.

The customers will visit more than one and will travel to new ones if they are aware of them. We will keep track of those numbers for future use.

Haunting Copy
04-07-2009, 07:11 PM
When you started cross-promoting, would you say your attendance went up noticeably?

I hate to hear that haunters tear down other haunts' marketing materials. For one, it's tacky (and maybe illegal?). Two, they shooting themselves in the foot, missing a great opportunity!

JamBam
04-07-2009, 07:55 PM
We haven't cross promoted in a couple of years. But, the customers have told us they knoew of us for a while and decided to come. Our radio ad budget and the internet ads have also come up with attendance. So I can't prove it helped, but I am sure it didn't hurt.

Jim Warfield
06-21-2009, 07:49 AM
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Boy, I'm such a "Grouch!"