Well, we have been advertising opening on the 12th. Reason being, a long story about the newspaper not knowing what "10 days prior to meeting" means and getting override from the mayor to get zoned etc etc.
Only our facebook page (200 likes) and a few flyers up in Jonesboro (65k ppl non college times)
We went to open Fri the 5th. Didn't make it. No audio in our temple, still needed lights and the snakes put out etc. Zombie room wasn't done... several odds and ends and it was POURING down rain until 8pm. We said to he11 with it and worked till 9:30.
We opened last night, again no real advertising that we were doing a soft opening, was suppose to be for friends, family and sponsors only to get timing down etc.
We started out with a few friends and their families. All gave $10 donations (can't sell tickets till the 12th) they went through, ... SCARED THE SH.T OUTTA THEM! Got em good. They left building 3 going "HOLY CRAP that was awesome"
So, then we start hearing cars pull into the parking lot. one after another. Hear a beat on the wall "Yall got a line out here, game faces on" and then it started.
Keep in mind, this is my first real haunt. Most I've done was 5 room parties and yard haunts. Impressive I've been told, but still NOOOOTHING like this. EVERYONE, except the last 3 dooshbag magees that was kicking tires etc over (they got THROWN out by our mechanic basically) everyone, left saying how awesome it was and how they'll definately be back. Not ONCE did we hear anything negative.
We had close to 100 people, and 75% of people didn't donate. We took in $350 from donations and some people only gave like $10 for the group, or $3-5 person. We closed at 10. Had been slow for 35 min's and the last car load pulled up as one of our last groups was leaving, had a girl and a boy crying (teens) ... they turned around and got in the car and left lol. That was our last carload. Actors were leaving and 2 truck loads came up FULL about 45 min's later and wanted to go through, so unfortunately we lost about 15 people there but they said they'd try to be back next weekend.
We have to do 2,500 people for the season to pay rent and stay again next year. We're open on Fri's Sats and Sun's (for only a few hours on Sunday)
We all had a blast and we found a few things we can adjust to make it better. So far, for not really being open I think we had a good turnout for one night.
Thought I'd share.
Hope everyone has a great season.