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  1. Default Sinking 
    #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    76
    My fist year has been HORRIBLE. I have only seen 200 people and I cant not figure out why. My marketing is great. I am in all the wendys,circle ks, game stops, local newspapers and I have handed out flyers to all the schools, halloween stores and shops that are twenty minutes from my haunt. I also have radio ads being aired. My place is easy to find and have lights and music going outside plus a huge light up sign. Almost everyone that has went in my show says it was good or great and only had fifteen people not like it[which I think is pretty good out of 200]. I just for the life of me can not figure out why things are not working out. I am a nice distance from any other haunt except for one and his show is half the size of minds. Maybe I am cursed and its not my time yet. I also have had actors holding signs and hanging out by the street waving and looking creepy. If anyone has any info they can help me I am all ears because this last half I got to pull ALOT of people in. Someone told me I need to get my line really long and need to stall a long time before letting people in so it looks like my show is worth waiting in a huge line for but that sounds jerkish to make the first person wait a hour maybe longer to let them in after opening. Thanx and hopefully I can turn this around.
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Clinton Twp, Michigan
    Posts
    414
    I say look at some of the other threads on here about the slow season. It's not just you, it seems to be a national trend with a few exceptions!
    1986-1997 (Mutilation Mansion,) 1998 (Screamers Haunted House,) 1999 (Evil Intention Haunted House,) 2000-2001 Concept Creator/Business Partner (Urban Legends Haunted House,) 2002 Floor Plan Designer and Consultant for a (Haunted Barn) Owners had city challenges & were never able to open, 2002 Floor Plan Designer/Construction (Fright Nights Haunted House) 2003-2012 Now retired Owner (Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction)
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mesquite, TX
    Posts
    2,788
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mesquite, TX
    Posts
    2,788
    Did anyone tell you that you should expect to lose money the first few years? It sounds like you are on track for an 800 to 1,000 person season. What you can do to increase your attendance right now is contact every newspaper in a hundred mile radius and get on their free events listings. What is the name of your attraction?
    Allen H
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    He's somewhere is Colorado.

    You need to back track regularly to all the places that have fliers and make sure they are actually on the counters and being distributed. There should be a flier exchange and cooperation with even the other haunts in the area and any costume shops or halloween stores.

    Sometimes it bes like that but really low numbers are typically all the fliers and posters are still in someone's car or have been taken off counters and aren't really there. Do things like buy 10 pizzas and ask the delivery crew to sent a flier out with every box of pizza. Instead of begging or relying on buddies you can buy your way to higher numbers relatively inexpensively if you have street smarts.

    Beyond that it comes down to the overall look of the place, the quality of the advertising materials and making sure all other halloween and haunt deals are not bad mouthing each other but co-advertising.

    Chances are people are not going to in great numbers pull off the road on spur of the moment, they want to plan an evening and so your efforts now may end up in bigger numbers the last weekend. Just like how many times some church is having a car wash or something like that and you drive by.

    You may have to get some women to run the fliers and talk to all the women managers at all of these stores to not have all the fliers just discarded. You have to sort of match the personalities at the various places that can help you.

    There should be signs out on the streets like a garage sale. Horrible numbers usually mean people you relied on didn't actually do what they said they would do with fliers. One charity I rented a haunt and costumes to did 421 people after being in business for years because all the posters and fliers were supposed to be distributed by an unemployed guy who had no money to go anywhere and they were all in the tool box of his pick up truck. Conversely I have seen a rural location only see 800 people their first year and they had 12,000 fliers taken by people allowed by Walmart stores.

    Sometimes it is the location. Usually it is the fliers are not really on the counters as some manager decided this isn't supposed to be on the counter. Beyond that it is all reputation. I have had haunts see 12,000 people and there were not 15 people that thought it was not good. Maybe 3 people out of 12,000 got dragged there and weren't into it or felt abused somehow.

    To really assess what is happening we would need some pictures of the outside of the place, see what the fliers look like, is there a website, facebook page?


    Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.
     

  6. Default location 
    #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    76
    I was thinking it my be the location. The building is 9000 square feet but does not look it from the outside view. The building is really long and not that wide from the outside view. Plus there is two buildings right next door so you can not really see how long the building is. I knew i would loose money the first year but I figured with all the marketing I would at least come up with the rent that was really reasonable for a building that size. I am located in denver colorado and there is some heavy competition in this state[some haunts have a million plus wrapped into there shows] and some of my customers were gripping about there shows and said mine was better which was way more people then fifteen[so I thought I was doing good but I guess I was wrong]. I have a website horrordenver.com and a facebook page. All my flyers have been flying off of the shelves and the ones that were handed out at the school were done by me[I personally handed them out to the students at lunch time. Thanx for the info
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    753
    Quote Originally Posted by son-of-sam View Post
    My fist year has been HORRIBLE. I have only seen 200 people and I cant not figure out why. My marketing is great. I am in all the wendys,circle ks, game stops, local newspapers and I have handed out flyers to all the schools, halloween stores and shops that are twenty minutes from my haunt. I also have radio ads being aired. My place is easy to find and have lights and music going outside plus a huge light up sign. Almost everyone that has went in my show says it was good or great and only had fifteen people not like it[which I think is pretty good out of 200]. I just for the life of me can not figure out why things are not working out. I am a nice distance from any other haunt except for one and his show is half the size of minds. Maybe I am cursed and its not my time yet. I also have had actors holding signs and hanging out by the street waving and looking creepy. If anyone has any info they can help me I am all ears because this last half I got to pull ALOT of people in. Someone told me I need to get my line really long and need to stall a long time before letting people in so it looks like my show is worth waiting in a huge line for but that sounds jerkish to make the first person wait a hour maybe longer to let them in after opening. Thanx and hopefully I can turn this around.
    All my actors/staff park on the front side of the building and coincidentally it's street-side to the main road so we ALWAYS look busy. Hahaha.
    O'Shawn McClendon
    Creative Chair -- Operator: Cayce-West Columbia Hall of Horrors

    One mans junk is another mans kick-ass new prop...

    http://www.hallofhorrors.com

    http://twitter.com/hallofhorrors

    http://cwchallofhorrors.blogspot.com

    http://www.youtube.com/hallofhorrors

    http://www.myspace.com/cwcjc_hallofhorrors
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    17
    Just my $.02 but in looking at the map of your area there is some major competition within very close proximity, these are I'm guessing established haunts too which means that folks that may go to only one or 2 haunts a year will go to the ones that they know about or have heard about as having a reputation as being good, not saying yours is not any good but some folks don't want to gamble their money with the unknown particularly with the economy like it is right now.

    Then there are the folks that wanna do a haunt tour of lets say 2 haunts a weekend, with the four or 5 weekend nights the haunts are open your show may be the last on their list due to the unknown.

    Now if you really do have a good show then the 200 people you did see will tell 200 more and that will snowball and would expect that next week will be much better, and next year even better.

    Being a first year haunt with a market saturated like yours you've got to have a catch to draw people from the others this year since they don't know anything about you so what about your pricing? Can you undercut those guys and advertise that as your goal to save some bucks while providing the same scares.

    Finally and no disrespect but your website doesn't look very good at all, personally if I were just going in blind looking for a haunt in your area and knew nothing about the any of the haunts and relying only on the webistes to be the decision maker then I would not wanna to gamble on this one, another question, is it House of Horror or Horror Denver? It's confusing to me, also I can't find you on facebook, that's important and free. These are only my thoughts and keep plugging away if it is as good as you say it is word will spread and it'll pick up.
     

  9. Default Agree 
    #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    76
    I know the website is not a quality and my friend did it for free do to lack of time and the limited funds that I had do to having to use drywall and not the plywood walls I had[ I got what I paid for]. The facebook page is a fan page and it is house of horror. I can see that people judge a book by its cover and I can see how the website is effecting me do to the lack of ''spice'' that it has. I was not even going to put one up but some of the vets told me it is better to have a cheap one then none at all. All my marketing is all ready out that says prices but I do agree I should of low balled all the competition. Thanx for your guys input I did help my own demise by some of the fine things I should have tuned up[ I should of waited one more year to fix these things but its to late now got to ride it till the wheels fall off].
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Arroyo Grande, CA
    Posts
    238
    First off, catch your breath. For most of us who do not run established large and mega haunts, all the money is made at the end. Your first year is an uphill battle to get established. To that end, make sure your show exceeds expectations as much as possible. That pays you back next year.
    Communicate with your guests, find out how they found out about you.
    Attendance, I am assuming you opened last weekend. If that was true and those were your first days ever, be thankful for the slow start, Im sure you ended with a giant list of improvements you can make for this weekend. If anyone told you you would be getting more that 2500 this year, it was a pipe dream unless you are doing something really impressive. There are some building with half a milliion plus budgets there first year, but I am assuming you are the average guy. You will should see a big leap this weekend, maybe 5x and the double that next weekend. If you are not at least doubling one weekend to the next then there is an issue somewhere that needs attention.
    On lines, there is some truth to keeping them. While people will drive by a two hour line because it is too long, they will also skip an event that looks dead. This is about pacing at the gate. It is not a one size fits all answer. You need to teach the gate keeper, the person who is pacing the show, to balance so as not to have pissed off customers but try to keep a line outside.
    When established your attendance will relate closely to money spent on promotion. $1 per guest is often tossed around for your typical haunt. In general, this has held true for us. The money must be spent wisely of course. For your first year, that kinda flys out the window. Some have suggested 3-4x that.
    It will take two years to get even, like any other start up. At this point focus on providing the best show possible and attempt to exceed expectations whenever possible. You will grow from there.
    Randy Russom

    www.midstatescare.com
    Mid State Scare - San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria's favorite Haunted House
    2013 - Hmmm, we shall see what gets conjured up
     

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