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Thread: counting your attendence

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  1. Default  
    #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
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    12,813
    When I decided I had better begin using tickets I decided to immitate the ski lodges, use stickers , they have a disclaimer (just like the lift tickets!) we get them in different colors for different nights, it also has a notice that I can use their recorded image in court, if need be.
     

  2. Default  
    #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Posts
    808
    for those who have posted (so far) on this thread. what is your nightly/seasonal attendence count?

    for those haunts with numbers in the 20,000+ (netherworld, the darkness, POE, etc.) range how do you count your attendence?
     

  3. Default  
    #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    1,488
    You'll never get that info online Jason.....
     

  4. Default  
    #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Livermore, CA
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    242
    Quote Originally Posted by MDKing View Post
    You'll never get that info online Jason.....
    Alan - he might get some of it

    Our POS system gives us all that information real time.
     

  5. Default  
    #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    Karl, I was referring to haunters telling people over the web their attendance numbers...
     

  6. Default  
    #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, Ca
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    808
    lol yeah what the hell was i thinking. lord knows i've been on here long enough that i should have remembered that we all keep a little something to ourselves on these forums.
     

  7. Default  
    #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,813
    Some certain questions only get a certain sort of answer.
    "How many rooms are in this house?"
    "All of them."

    In Illinois the property tax clerk can raise your taxes on your building if they decide that you are making more money than they feel you should be making from the amount that you paid to buy the property.
    Of course this feature of taxation is actually" income", but it can happen that way here.
    My ex-lawyer got upset when I pointed out to him that he should be paying more property tax on his law office because of the vast amount of money he took in operating from just a small office.
    Maybe he got upset because I had it right? At least as "right" as the county tax lady had it on my place, right?
    Like the ancient saying:"It all depends upon whose kid has the measles."
     

  8. Default  
    #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Posts
    808
    as a whole, i don't care on what the bigger haunts numbers are. i've already learned that answer from various sources. i just hope someone like ben, larry, or whoever, can speak first hand on; how does a large attendence haunt keep track of their numbers on a nightly and yearly bases.
     

  9. Default a little long ... 
    #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Livermore, CA
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    242
    Jason,
    Whether you are doing 7,000 or 70,000 customers, the system is basically the same.

    Just count the money in the cigar box and divide by your ticket price.
    Or you get fancier: You have a known number of tickets to start. At the end of the night you have an amount left. In theory, the difference is how many people went through the gate. You also start with a known amount of money, subtract that from what’s in the drawer at the end of the night and you know how many of those you actually sold.

    Of course all of those are over simplification and there are a lot of variable to take into account.

    To accomplish the cash handling:
    At the low end you have a cash register(s). These cost a hundred dollars or so and do basic cashiering functions. You can have preset buttons for entrance fee and other buttons for discounts. Push Adult and it rings $20, push coupon and it subtracts $2. Enter how much the customer gave you and it figures the change due back. You can take reports showing you how many Adult tickets, how many coupons and how much money you should have in the drawer. The reports can be cleared out at the end of the night. These generally won’t accumulate detailed daily sales but will give to-date information (how many Adults were sold this month and so on).

    Another option is something like the KIS System http://www.wwlinc.com/products/details.asp?pid=33&pt It is kind of a blend between a ticketing machine and cash register. It has normal cashier functions, types of tickets, various coupons, etc. At the completion of the sale the system prints a roll stock ticket for the guest. During the night you can take reports showing the details of what has occurred. Having not used one, I can only assume it has the ability to Z or clear the totals on demand. Last I looked these sold in the $2000+ area and you need to buy the ticket stock from them. They are available in counter top or hand help configuration.

    Then you have a POS (Point of Sale) System, with one or multiple terminals. As with all these choices, the busier you are, the more terminals you need. These systems can be industry specific systems with a program that you tweak with your event specific information, something like from Dell http://search.dell.com/results.aspx?...=all&x=12&y=11 or Micros http://www.micros.com/ or Radiant http://radiantsystems.com/ or scores of others. Very few (if any) of the full line POS companies market a system geared for Haunts – just not that much of a market. Look to paying $5k and up per terminal plus all the bells and whistles you can imagine.

    A true ticket generating system, like at a movie theatre, is way out of my league. Plan on spending a bunch, and probably not having it work the way you envisioned.

    Another choice is to go with a generic computer(s) and use a program designed to do what you want. There are thousands of these POS programs out there, but it will be unlikely that many will have a haunt specific variety available – again, just not much demand. ClearCut http://www.clearcutoperations.com/ and HauntController http://hauntcontroller.com/blog/?p=37 both have Haunt solutions and I’m sure they are a few others along with hundreds of home grown systems. The benefits to these types of systems are they use relatively cheap hardware (generic computers with specific options), can be made to work almost exactly the way you want and have taken into consideration many of the ways haunts may work.

    All of these alternatives will give you the basic information for sales. The more elaborate you get, the more information you get, but there is a point of diminishing returns. How valid is seeing sales by 5 minute increments? For me, not at all, but if you are selling timed tickets this may be very important. How about the ability to automatically clear the system of daily sales? That is huge for me, as I don’t have to think about it. I set the End of Day to be 10AM and this gives me the ability to make adjustments the next morning. To someone else, that is meaningless, they just reset at the end of the night. How about logging different cashiers onto a terminal? Again, not for me as the cashier assigned to a terminal stays there all night. It’s a matter of prioritizing and listing what you need and then comparing that to a list of what functionality is available.

    To me, having databases for each year is very nice. It allows me to run a variety of reports based on last year vs. this year, the 2nd Tuesday vs the 2nd Tuesday last year, October 12 2007 vs. Oct 12 2006 and so on. It also allows me to create reports or import into Excel to massage whatever kind of information I think I need. Of course the crux is that you need to initially gather the information.

    Most of these systems do not generate ‘tickets’ by themselves, except as a receipt type.

    Where you go from here is up to how much time and money you want the throw at the issue.

    I will say that the time to fine tune your system and cash handling techniques is during the slower times at the start of the season. You don’t want to find an ‘issue’ with a procedure on your busy nights! Just like getting groups through your haunt, figure how to do it on slow nights cause you are not going to have time to change it on the busy ones.

    We use three Itronix ix250 GoBook laptops, with cash drawers, scanners and touch screens, connected to a server in the office. These are run with the HauntController software and the scanners are for validating on-line tickets. Our preprinted tickets are numbered and issued to each of the cashiers at the start of the shift. Cameras also help keep the honest people honest, but remember that there isn’t a system made that cannot be compromised. The busier you are, the more little problems tend to cover themselves. A few hundred dollars missing on a $50,000 night might not even show on the radar, but that same monies missing on a night your only taking in $2000 will stick out like a sore thumb. Volume, as wonderful as it is, can cover a wide variety of problems.

    On the other hand, if you are a small operation and you or you spouse is selling tickets, maybe the cigar box will work just fine for you.

    So basically there is one method (mentioned at the top) but 3,527 variations of it.

    If that wasn’t your question, then never mind
     

  10. Default  
    #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Posts
    808
    yeah, that about hit the nail on the head!! lol
    thank you
     

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