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Thread: Market Analysis?

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  1. Default Market Analysis? 
    #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Oakley, California
    Posts
    94
    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.
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    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.


    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.
     

  3. Default Great Info On this topic 
    #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Near Pittburgh, Pa
    Posts
    50
    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!
    Michael Chilson
    Brookdale Campground Haunted Halls
    Kozy Rest Campground Haunted Hay Ride
    ScareHouse Pittsburgh, Pa (Actor)
    Designer & Technical Director
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    984
    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
    Sean De Wane
    ----------------------------------------------
    The De Wane Asylum
    www.dewaneasylum.com
     

  5. Default Numbers? 
    #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Near Pittburgh, Pa
    Posts
    50
    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!
    Michael Chilson
    Brookdale Campground Haunted Halls
    Kozy Rest Campground Haunted Hay Ride
    ScareHouse Pittsburgh, Pa (Actor)
    Designer & Technical Director
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Arroyo Grande, CA
    Posts
    238
    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.
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    Quote Originally Posted by rwrussom View Post

    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?


    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.
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Arroyo Grande, CA
    Posts
    238
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Chrise View Post
    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.
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    160
    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
    Did you know...The HauntWorld Online Haunt Directory networks with ALL of these websites to bring you the BEST possible results for increasing your haunt business:
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    It's the most comprehensive online ad campaign you can buy! I'd love to earn your advertising business. Email me today at blacklightminigolf@sbcglobal.net.
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    La Grange, TX
    Posts
    709
    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.
    Sarah Meier
    Haunting Copy Copywriting Services
    "Words they remember you by"
     

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