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Ticket options and crowd management

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  • Ticket options and crowd management

    Hey all you haunt professionals! As we close out the 2018 season, we are looking at moving our location to a MUCH larger building we own for the 2019 season. All indoor, lots of parking, lots of possibilities. Lately I have been pondering methods of managing crowds and I think a lot of it starts with ticketing options and how you manage the sales part of the experience. I see so many haunts do things so many different ways, I wanted to reach out and see what works for people, what doesn't, what you've maybe tried and abandoned and why... I see general admission, timed tickets, "Fast Pass", total skip the line, online and on-site options, upgrades, etc. I am curious how haunts out there use these different options and how you manage each type of customer to try to keep wait times down, increase customer satisfaction, and keep your staff sane and happy. Yes, I know you will always have complainers out there and you can't please everyone...responses regarding that topic won't help anyone.

    Some background on us:
    We are about 7500 sq ft. We are looking to start out in the new location with at least double that square footage. We average about 15,000-16,000 people per season, and are looking to grow that with our larger space, indoor waiting, more parking, etc. We currently have general admission and "fast pass" tickets, and two separate lines for these ticket types. Currently we have a separate ticket office where you can buy tickets on-site. We also have online sales of both ticket types. If you don't buy online, you need to wait in line, sometimes 15-20 minutes, to buy your tickets, then go get in the appropriate line for another length of time. If you have online tickets you can get right in line before we even open. So sometimes we will have a 30-60 minute line from online tickets before we even open the doors to the ticket office to start on-site sales. Sometimes the fast pass line gets long enough that we need to stop selling them for an hour, and then release just a limited amount for the next hour to try and manage the line. This can also make impulse upgrades to fast pass an issue because someone may want to upgrade, but we are not currently selling them, and may not be for a while.

    This is how the ticket sales have run for a few seasons and I see it as inefficient, and possibly a huge potential for headaches if we do end up growing our crowds...I do not see this as a sustainable method. We've discussed the pros and cons of timed fast passes, adding a VIP skip the line option, splitting online and on-site sales lines and doing away with fast pass...also, moving the point of sale closer to the attraction entrance (so the ticket line is really your only line you wait in, and online sales become more of an unspoken fast-pass) is something I've seen, but then if people get sick of waiting and leave, you don't have that sale already to prompt them to come back another night.

    So I'd love to hear what other haunts are doing that seems to work well, especially if you made a change from some other method and saw improvement. And I'm sure this information could be of use to a lot of other haunts on here as well.

    Thanks for your input!
    Chief Engineer/Co-Creative Director
    HUSH Haunted Attraction


  • #2
    Sorry I missed this thread but I can tell you there is a solution for sure. First off we have a ticketing system and I promise you its the best out there Feel free to call me and we can discuss 314 504 3970.

    Secondly as to your long line especially with the fast pass... there are many solutions here. But if your fast pass line is getting so long its out of control you can jack up the price of your fast pass hoping fewer people will buy them. That is one option. But let me just take Creepyworld that we operate... the fast pass line has gotten super long yes. So what do we do?

    Well on the very busiest of nights we're letting in people a lot of faster obviously but you need to consider opening sooner on those nights. Getting a head start helps big league.

    Secondly, we will let in huge amounts of fast pass while SLOWLY scanning the tickets of those without and allow them to merge into the line.

    In other words so no one loses their minds, the regular line keeps going, we just scan/tear those tickets slower. We put two people on allowing in the fast pass people.

    So both lines move.

    But sometimes its best to try and tackle that fast pass line as fast as you can, so once you do get it totally under control its manageable. Personally I would not ever stop selling fast passes, if its that big of a deal just tell people those passes are now DOUBLE.

    There are many ways to deal with this problem.

    Larry Kirchner