Infect Your Customers…Before Someone Else Does

by on Aug.30, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Rotting Flesh Radio | Go to Original Post

by: RFR Casket Crew Hatter 99

Gore Galore's Goblin Monster

Gore Galore's Goblin Monster

This week let’s put ourselves into the shoes of the customers and try to figure out how we can infect those fresh little minds with incessant, head-pounding images of our haunts that will translate into sweet ticket sales.

Hat ON.

Most people’s budgets are tighter than ever these days, so while most Halloween enthusiasts would absolutely love to hit up every haunt within a thousand-mile radius every year, it’s just not feasible. With a limited amount of time, high gas prices, and tight budgets, most Halloween junkies plan carefully before embarking on their haunt jaunts. If they’ve experienced a haunt before and don’t have any reason to expect anything new this year, there is a huge possibility that the supposedly “stagnant” haunt will be stricken from their shortlist. Most haunts, of course, do enjoy various improvements during the off-season, the extent of which vary from one haunt to the next, but the haunters should always strive to avoid the stagnation stigma that becomes associated with various attractions. After all, we very rarely see a movie in the theater more than once. If it’s the same old show, what’s the point, especially if there are many fresh ones out there vying for our attention (and money)?

So, how can a haunt avoid that stigma? As both a Halloween enthusiast and someone deeply interested in the industry, I enjoy hearing about construction updates during the off-season. Whether you send an e-mail newsletter or provide updates via social media, snapping a quick picture and shooting it out to your customers with a little teaser of what’s going on will keep you fresh in their minds. Of course you don’t want to give away too much, so maybe the picture you snap is deliberately crooked, with something intriguing but somewhat fuzzy peeking its way into the frame at one corner of the picture. It might not be a totally radical change that you are teasing the audience with, but it’s (presumably) an improvement nonetheless, and your audience will realize that you are doing something new to the haunt this year. Most of the public likely assumes that you just walk into your haunt for the first time that season on opening night, unlock the doors, flip the lightswitch, and voila, it’s spookin’-time. They probably don’t realize the amount of love and work that goes into your attraction each and every off-season, so be proud of that dedication that you have, and let your audience in on it. At the very least, it will let them know that you will be open for business this year.

Universal's Halloween Horror Nights

Universal's Halloween Horror Nights

The Halloween Horror Nights Twitter feed (@HorrorNights) is a great example of an outlet that keeps its customers engaged, through games for followers to guess the themes and names of the new attractions, to construction updates, to acting tips. Everyone in the haunt industry knows about Halloween Horror Nights, so the event would still sell plenty of tickets without such a feed, but the organizers of the event recognize the need to keep themselves fresh in the audience’s mind. Even though your haunt probably doesn’t undergo as elaborate of a transformation every year as Halloween Horror Nights, it’s still vital to keep your haunt at the forefront of your potential customers’ minds as they are mapping out their haunted attraction plans. Let your sado-masochist tendencies take hold. Tease your customers. Tickle them lightly with little hints and games. We haunt enthusiasts love that. We don’t want to have all of the surprises spoiled before we get into the haunt, but we do want to know that there are indeed new surprises to be uncovered when we get there.

What other methods do haunters out there use to engage potential customers? What do some haunt enthusiasts out there like to see from the haunts during the off-season? Scream away in the comments.

Hat OFF.

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