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Museum Design

Timed Ticketing: The Future of Haunting – Part 2

Enter the Internet
Today, most online ticket companies have built into their system a “timed ticketing” option. The ability, like Haunted Hayrides Inc., to sell a specific number of ticket for a specific time frame on a specific date. Finally we have a cheap alternative to phone banks and operators. People can even pay for their ticket before they get there eliminating the need to handle cash onsite.

Now for this to work, all advertising must send the buyer to the ticketing website. No tickets will be sold onsite, (except perhaps for the more expensive front of line tickets and upgrades, in case someone just has to buy on site or wants to go in now).

Patrons buy their tickets in advance, so you have their money before they even get there, and some people will buy tickets and never show up… FREE MONEY! Once the maximum number of tickets is sold for the 8:30 time slot on Saturday night, that time slot is sold out. Now when people are looking at the site, thinking about buying a ticket for Saturday, they see the time they wanted to go is sold out which drives impulse buying. They will be more likely to go ahead and buy tickets for one of the other times slots still available before they are all gone. Soon Friday and Saturday sell out, and if you want to you can then add a Thursday or Sunday to the schedule to meet demand.

Now patrons have a scheduled time to arrive onsite. They know exactly when they need to be there and know they will not be standing in a long line. They can schedule dinner or a movie or another haunt around their reservation. When the haunt opens, you know you will have exactly as many people as you can handle for that time slot and there will not be a single person trying to buy a ticket at closing time. The haunt will run on a comfortable capacity that is set by you. The quality of the haunt experience will be higher and patron satisfaction greater.

Timed Ticketing also levels out the attendance spike. You will never have more patrons than you can handle. It even levels out your staffing and manpower needs. You can get by with less parking, fewer hours and less overhead. Timed Ticketing saves you money, makes your patrons happier and makes you more money.

So what are you waiting for?
Timed Ticketing may not be for everyone. It will take some guts to do it the first time. and it will take time to train your market to understand that they just can’t show up and buy a ticket. If they do, you have to point them to a computer or their phone to purchase tickets IF there is a convenient time slot open. That will take a huge leap of faith. Even if you don’t have the crowds to warrant timed ticketing yet, you need to do implement it now to train your attendees and show them how great it is for them as well as for you.

One problem with Timed Ticketing is the fees that some online ticketing companies charge haunts for their service. With Timed Ticketing, now everyone buying a ticket to your haunt must go through their system, not just the 20% that took the option before. For that reason, the online company you choose should be willing to drastically decrease the fee you pay for each ticket. Or better yet, you should change your ticket company to someone like HauntPay, whose program doesn’t charge the haunt for the ticketing service. HauntPay is the only ticketing company that was designed for haunts and that is all they do. The setup is easy and you will be selling Timed Tickets online quickly. Contact them out at www.hauntpay.com You only have a few weeks to get timed Ticketing in place. Don’t wait! Do it now before you get swamped with all the little details that demand your time and energy.

Timed Ticketing is the future of haunting, and the only way to flatten out the attendance spike. Your actors and staff will thank you; your bank will start filling up with cash, even your customers will be grateful for not making them stand in line for hours. Even the haunts around you will thank you for not hoarding all the people for hours in your haunt’s lines. Halloween 2015 will be the biggest season yet. Now is the time to put Timed Ticketing to work for you.

Leonard Pickel has almost 40 years experience in the Fright Attraction business and specializes in getting people started with their first event. He owns Hauntrepreneurs(R) Themed Attraction Design and Consulting, HAuNTcon and Chicago Frights Haunter’s Conventions and is partners in the haunt web portal Findahaunt.com You can reach Leonard at leonardpickel@gmail.com or 972-951-5100