View Full Version : How to justify ticket price?
10-07-2013, 03:59 PM
I was curious how everyone comes up the price for their tickets? We go up $1 per year. What justifies a $50 haunt compared to a under $20 haunt?
10-07-2013, 04:56 PM
What should set your price is what your overhead is plus profit, divided by your reasonable expected attendance. Now I know some people try to push big numbers of people though their haunts, but I prefer lower numbers and higher price. With the lower number attendees you can really give the customer the show they are paying for. I was talking to a haunt owner the other day that was complaining about that he can't push any more people through on busy nights than what he does now, and he still is not doing huge profits. So I suggested he raise his price on the nights that are most popular and he will do the same in sales in dollars, also the price minded person will come on the cheaper night that you are slow making them busier. There is a home charity haunt in California that I heard charges $50 per person and its by resurvation only. He is sold out every night because it a great theatrical show.
P.S. Overhead should include all of your expenses, from conventions to you figuring in want your hours to be worth. Your pay should not be your profit, it should be a fixed cost. Just imagine if you got hurt and you had to hire someone to fill in, then your profits would go to them and you would make nothing. I hope this was helpful, there are may ways people do it this is just mine.
10-07-2013, 08:21 PM
The average expense to the customer for this type of live entertainment typically averages out to $1.00 a minute. I've heard this formula before and when I really thought about it, it seems accurate. And that's for a high quality show. If a show is newer/smaller and doesn't have all the glitz and "wow" factors of some high end attractions, it might be a little lower rate than that.
10-07-2013, 09:22 PM
We go with what our market is used to.
No haunt in Connecticut can survive if they charge more than $10.
We have a very small market yet a very local love for haunts, and our state gas a landmark attraction that should be in the top ten haunts in the US and our entire state practically attends this show. It's what our market accepts.
That being said, since we're much newer but have a LOT invested. We use the same formula, $10 per haunt. But I made three at our location, allowing us to still charge what our market deems acceptable but gives us the ability to make multiple sales at the price we need with the amount of people we expect to see. So it evens out, and has done us well so far. :)
10-08-2013, 06:04 AM
Our haunt takes approximately 20-25 min judging from last year this year should be the same if not bigger. We are an original style outdoor and indoor haunt. We have a lot of actors and scenes but originality and very little bought props. All ideas are built. We are under 20 this season but go up $1 a year. Does anyone increase their prices yearly? Do you have different price points for young kids under 8 or do you have deals for coming on opening night or a slower night usually Sundays.
10-08-2013, 10:05 PM
I'm a newb, but i have a seriously business oriented mind. I don't believe there's a set formula. You really should take all of the options and ideas into context and apply what you need to your show. Just like mentioned before, a huge factor for me, is what the market is use to. I don't care if your show is 10x better than the next best in your area, if everyone is use to and loves the $10 haunt price, they're not going to like going to an $18 haunt, at least until they see some news coverage or huge advertisements like tv spots etc.
The best place to start is the $1.00 per minute formula. But you have to adjust it to your show as well. I went to the Darkness 2 years ago and at $25 a head, it is definitely not on the $1 per minute scale. Once you get so big, so long of a show, this formula starts to falter.
Local Market. I don't have a problem with a higher price haunt, as long as it's a reasonable amount higher, not a huge difference. People don't like price increase, especially in this day and age of politics and gas pricing etc. So if almost all the haunts are $10 haunts, use that to your thought process.
I went to a small, boyscout fundraiser haunt one time a few years ago. It was about 5 minutes long, but it was SO FREAKING FUN! It was well worth $10 to me... but guess what? They only charged $5. I could've easily paid $8-10 and been very happy with that haunt. So this brings me to the next bit, EXPERIENCE! If you are providing a great experience, maybe something new, something very different from the norm of your area, it may be worth a $1 or two more.
Ultimately, it's not up to us, or John Doe's formula... it's up to you and your show, and the market.
People may think I'm talking out of my rear here, but oh well. I may be. I charged $10 for my haunt, had 3 separate sections, 18' apart and people are STILL telling us things like how for instance, we were the greatest $10 haunt in this area. Blew everyone away! I was very surprised at our feedback. We tried and did our best to produce a great, and unique show.
We started slow on purpose. I knew that to build a great haunt would take capital, and that would require higher prices to recover my investment over a 5 year period. So we kept it a small, amateur haunt with great sets, and charged a dollar. Great attendance but of course, revenues sucked (and we knew they would). In the meantime, I continued investing in the haunt until we had a good enough show to "go pro" and charge what the market would bear. In our rural market, the magic number seems to be $10. We charge $10 for The Plague (our indoor haunt) and $5 for Camp Nightmare (our outdoor haunt).
I have been told that our haunt is high on the scare scale, which must be true because I see a lot of scared adults going through every year, and coming out screaming or crying. This year will be the barometer though, as this will be the second season at these prices and we have increased marketing significantly. If we do really well, I know the price is just about right. If not, then its time to do some sole searching.
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