View Full Version : 3 1/2% Rule ?

11-10-2008, 11:30 AM
Anyone familiar with this rule for attendance of a special event?

The most you will ever draw is 3 1/2% of the population of your service area.

The propblem may be in determining your service poputaion. At some point a local event becomes a regional event and that number jumps.

Does this hold up in your experience?

11-10-2008, 11:54 AM
I think this would depend on how you define your service area. But something else to consider....by special event are you referring to your haunt? In which case, it may not really be a special event, and can more be considered an attraction. I'm not sure what the rules of attendace are for an attraction, but at a certain point your attraction is no longer "local" and becomes a destination. I forget which book I was reading but it was talking about how the Disney theme parks are all destination type attractions. Locals go there too, but I beleive the thinking is that far more people will travel great distances to go there.

Not sure how well this would work for the haunt industry. I don't think there's any one haunt out there that people will actually plan their vacations around.

11-10-2008, 12:32 PM
I agree completely. Some of the really large haunts do start to become more than local attractions, more on the level of a regional event like a large sporting event but not at the level of a destination attraction as you noted.

I would guess that for most of us, the area population we draw from is easily indentified so this rule could be tested. I do not know the specific parameters the rule was ment to apply to.

I seem to recall it refering to a local cultural event. That would refer to something somewaht different than a haunted attraction but not altogether different if the attraction ran say 3 nights over the final weekend on October. For the more typical pro-haunt operation that may work every weekend in the month some additional forces are at work.

11-10-2008, 08:37 PM
It's all marketing... depending on how well you advertise and market the event you COULD see 10-15% or even 0% of the population! -Tyler

11-10-2008, 09:53 PM
That must only apply to urban locales. If you call the town we are located in our service area, then we drew 32% of the population this past season.

Jim Warfield
11-11-2008, 08:32 AM
This town only has a population of 1,700, this county only has a population of 15,000?, so yes I do have people plan vacations to come here, I also see people planning to come here for many years before it happens, just the other day, infact and they were alot of fun too!
Any business or tourist attraction works better if there is more to see and do in the area...at least to a point, being next to disney?
Mount Carroll, Ill. is 3 hrs. due west of Chicago, ten miles from the Miss. River, about 35 miles from Wisconsin, 45 miles S.E. of the tourist trap known as "Galena", which supposidly sees 3 million people a year showing off General Grant's Home and a whole town of very old houses and buildings.
In the summer we see many people camping around here, enjoying the magnificient river veiws from the cliffs of the Palasades Park, and the widest spot of the entire river is at Thomson, Ill. 18 miles from me, bike trails and nature abound here in the rolling unglaciated hills of this area.

11-11-2008, 09:30 AM
Formulas like this rarely mean anything. You just keep growing until you hit a bottleneck. It might be your local population, show quality, your budget to market, your parking, or your ability to get people through your event.

Pretty much just look at every factor about your event and add extra focus to the bottleneck that holds you back the most. If you fix it you should keep growing.
(i.e if your bottleneck is local population you need to market regionally...)

That approach seems to work for us.


Jim Warfield
11-11-2008, 01:32 PM
Just scan your crowd on a busy night, see all the bottle necks out there?
Gather then up, put them in the glass recycling bin.
Of course trading bottles for cans, if they are cans of beer will see more problems.