View Full Version : Demographic Stuff

Old Tree Studios
11-23-2008, 10:55 AM
It seems to be shown that the typical haunt demographic is 18-34. Does anyone have any percentage estimates to show the numbers on either side? As in Less than 18 and Over 34. The goal here of being able to produce a boring pie chart.

Pesky investors looking for hard numbers.


Raycliff Manor
11-23-2008, 11:53 AM
This is an excellent opportunity to check with other area event promoters and/or attractions and see if they can provide you with demographics of their audience. If you have a successful mini-golf / fun park or other amusement center, see if they can give you insights as to who their target audience is. Do you have a college or colleges nearby? College students are typically a great target audience. You can see if the colleges will tell you the number and average age of their students. You might even be able to find it on their website. You might also check with the bowling alley/s if you have one or more in your area. There is a big resurgance of popularity in bowling in many areas and it's typically with people in the age range you mentioned. When we were in Eureka Springs, our audience didn't include many teens. In our new location we have a much higher teen and tween audience, so the demograhics can vary from one location to another. You might even see if the movie theatres will help you out with obtaining info. If your area has an active Visitor and Conventions Bureua, talk to them as well. Don't forget the Chamber of Commerce. They may require you to join in order to receive their assistance, but you'll want to do this anyway. When you are communicating wth the other businesses in the area and soliciting their help, remember, these are also potential sponsors or at the very least they may hold an opportunity to cross promote! Hope this helps. ;)


Greg Chrise
11-23-2008, 02:10 PM
In my town each haunt might serve an 18 to 34 demographic, which actually has been defined by radio and other advertising not by haunted houses.

one gets young families. 2 to 70. as grandpa brought the kids. Attendance sucks.
another gets highschool and college kids 14 to 21. mediocre attendance
another gets post grad 23 to 30. outstanding attendance

The one that makes the most money by seeing the most customers with expendable income is actually the 23 to 30. Obviously they don't have homework earn their own money and you are available for service realtive to what other entertainment there is in a town.

young ladies wearing apparal is targeted to 18 to 34. Maybe in New York City or the malls trying to be a branch of NYC? So any one in advertising thinks every product should be marketed to that same successful market. Do you crowds look like the wedding gown buyers?

For example time flies by for us old dudesbut, the MYspace crowd is now 5 years older and high attendance was achieve more with free viral campaignes over a period of time and the participation of 4 radio stations.

Success may also be defined by the man who came up wth the media that would determine what was seen, heard and expressed in advertising is 28 years old. If you are older than that how do you really have an insight to a target demographic?

So you need a 26 year old advertising guy and when he gets to be 30ish you find another 26 year old just starting out. I just realized this and it is freaking genius.

TV ends up being supposedly the best but, it reaches the family market, the lowest attendance on the scale. Reason being they most likely will only show cute stuff acceptable to a wide audience. Just like the audience the family market may take 9 years to mature into the single and pending money crowd. Or you can start right out with the singe and spending money crowd.

Quoting 18 to 34 might spark attention with a potential investor as that is what every other market says they are after. That's how advertisers blanketly hype their campaigns. Perhaps if you said something else it might not ring true as to what the other possible investments of the world say they are about?

If you investors are older than 30, how can they feel or know what is happening in the real world? How could they put faith in a 26 year old? So, you have to seak the language everyone else speeks for investors but do things more specific in the real world.

So, as an older dude, you are the liason between other older dudes and the 26 year old advertising staff. That's good for a $900 per week job.

I some regions of the country, wedding dress sales might be much younger girls and can be tracked by monitoring shot gun sales. But, there is generally way too much going on to worry about going to a haunted house.

Old Tree Studios
11-23-2008, 02:28 PM
Yes, all good information as usual! I'm looking for something a little more specific, though. I gleaned the 18-34 haunt demographic figure from Hauntworld.com's Haunted Facts page. I took this to mean that generally, nationwide on average, this is the typical age range of haunt attendees.

If that is true, I'm hoping to find... in the same spirit of 'haunt industry as a whole', what percentage of haunt attendees are 18-34 and what percentage are under 18 and over 34. Of course those numbers are all over the place depending on where you live, quality of haunt, etc.

But in this case, just looking for some basic general figures if someone might have such a thing.


Jim Warfield
11-23-2008, 05:58 PM
Diarys kept by radio listeners have been replaced by a small electronic device that automatically records all of the information and sends it through the air waves to the company keeping such records.
I have alot of Boy Scout troops come through my house but then we are only 3 hrs. from Chicago and ten minutes from camping on the Miss. River and a fantastically beautiful state park. (That might be why the scouts are in the neighborhood?)
In the summer I see many vans full of familys, encompassing all ages and I am not running a butcher shop here as far as my style of show so I have to Disney-fy it and give something to everyone in the room to keep them in the room and interested which I have been doing from the first day I opened 20 years ago.
We do tell everyone that we cannot cater to the small-timid ones on busy October weekends so don't bring them here then.
This is not because of my show but simply because small kids could get trampled by the bigger wilder teenagers.
I am sure that I have a great many more female customers than males.
How does this sound to the rest of you haunt owners? Do the girls "Rule"?
I think girls like feeling scared much moreso than guys, it's that macho/ego thing that gets in their way, girls don't seem to have this problem.

Greg Chrise
11-23-2008, 06:38 PM
Girls always bring another girl just like going to the restroom at a restaurant. Then there is a guy. Then his male freind that brings a girlfriend half the time so out of 5 people there are 3 girls, 2 boys.

As they get older, it might be 3 women with no men or just one guy incase they need to change a tire.

How about should a haunt be better located on the poor side of town? Or the middle class area of town?

Are your monsters multi lingual?

so yes, our best customer is a poor multi lingual little 8 year old girl and she shows up 100% of the time.

Jim Warfield
11-24-2008, 07:57 PM
How scary would scary entertainment have to be to be noticed if the bad side of town was a hellish war zone?
When I was a kid the Circus employed a tatooed man and freaks for the side show, now 1/3 the "normal" population could be called freaks by those 1950 standards!
The future of freaks a few decades from now may lie with the field of purposely mutated genetics.
A high price to pay for that little 15 minutes of "Fame".

Greg Chrise
11-24-2008, 08:48 PM
As far as the bad side of town or even the gasoline alleys, I find all those that are one step away from earning derogatory clown names don't leave the house after dark and don't come to haunted houses even if they know about it. Even if they would be paid to work there will opt out.

The remaining population that isn't paranoid can dis it all away if it is a pretend monster show. Perhaps at average age 34 you begin to realize it is really a scary world and so you have biologically been removed somehow.

The bottom line of 18 is a limit to demograph speek because they need the approval of a parent or gardian to make a purchase or somehow be effected by mean older adults under their own risk?

So 4.3% are below 18 but lie and say they are 18 to be curious and accept any mind numbing punishment to see how the grown ups make it.

The real answer to this post it to develop your show and then determine what ages that show would appeal to rather than expecting 38 year olds to dig the same thing 14 year olds might like. Or vice versa, pick an age group and cater toward what they would like.

Do they like Harry Potter
The twilight movie
so on and so on
or are you making it into a bugs bunny cartoon that for different reaons caters to all ages?

The percentages have never been published or polled probably for the reasos I stated here plus, they were imagined by a guy with a crew cut and really thick glasses so who cares what he thinks unless you are picking out patio colors?

You have to do a study of what entertainment draws in your own town rather than quoting a double blind nation wide study. Some age groups in New Mexico aren't going to haunted houses because they are looking for UFOs in the desert.

So far we haven't been able to get NBC to do Halloween night coverage using their super computers and halographic dislays to at the moment proclaim what is the real world ticket purchases.

After everyone is Radio Chipped we might have a handle on this. We'll get the IAHA to lay off the expensive "Hello My Name Is:" name tags and pay to have this data recorded one year.

Until then, it doesn't exist. Just make it up and we'll go with it.

Jim Warfield
11-24-2008, 11:29 PM
And if you are next to a church don't have too many "Demon-Graphics".
(They really don't like the competition!)

11-26-2008, 07:26 PM
We are three blocks from a regular college (FSU) and ten blocks from a black college. We aim for scares, not a "fun for the entire family" type joint. So about 55% of our customers are college aged (18 to 21), 25% are high school (12 to 17), 10% are 22 to 34. Onlky 2 or 3% are children under 12 and the rest are over 34.

Greg Chrise
11-27-2008, 12:01 PM
The demographic might in fact be realtive to a location as monster waxes example. As so may other factors efffect the different age groups when it comes to traveling and purchasing a ticket.

It is so much easier to engage investors in a higher population town or once completely established. Haunts seemed to do well this year despite the economy being so bad, David Letterman reported that even the Salvation Army has surrendered.

Still I will argue with myself here. On TV they interviewed poor families coming to get their free thanksgiving care package and they were so thankful, they actually had to make the concious decision to get off the couch and miss that brand name foot ball game on TV to come there. A tremendous sacrifice.

More than a matter of just knowing census data, you have to know the sociology of what each age group is being effected with by expendable income and other diversions. Any one that has gathered serious quantities of money knows these tricks of sociology and probably have taken adantage of these factors. For example whether it works or not you can target the Myspace group, the text message group, Haloween store shopper as specific sub catagories to a campaign.

Some businesses can't wait for the 3rd of the month when the government checks come out, others pray on tax return season with certain age groups. In the instance of haunted houses, if you are only open the last 2 weeks in October these people have already spent their money or reality has struck and they are heavily budgeting their funds.

When there is a bad economy it seems this is when the most new haunts start up as people want to have something not effected by an employer or specific job market catagory. So entering into the demographic equation is competing haunt start ups no matter how small in the same area that will appeal to a specific age group.

However, in selling something, if the investor thinks they are smarter than say a radio man mentioning a demographic or or what ever stupid stuff, they are more likely to get him to stop going on and get down to exactly how much are we talking here. A closure rate is much higher when you don't really know what you are talking about but believe something a large corporation has told you to say, you don't make it any more complicated than necessary so it can be easily dismissed and the conversation moves on. The prospective investor knows more somehow whether they do or not and the transaction is finalzed.

In presenting demographic information it should be the Wall Street journal says this, the local radio station says that, the haunt industry says this and agrees with this. Beyond that you don't have $25,000 to spend on a marketing survey and that money would better be spent on facilities. Or this is why you are seeking out investors early to spend the money to dial in where the best location would be.

When it is all said and done I still like the pay as you go haunt. Once you have a bandwagon to begin with it is so much easier to get people to jump on. To take it to a better level of operation as a business. The marketing survey has actually been accomplished by polling potential and actual customers.

Jim Warfield
11-27-2008, 01:09 PM
We all know someone who wears very pretty, fancy, expensive clothes and drives a shuddering piece of old junk.
Likewise some drive new cars and wear clothes a corpse wouldn't be found dead in (unless it's a zombie/corpse).
Spending choices, but most of us don't have the money or the sweet enough Sugar Daddy (or "Mommy") to own everything we think we need or want.
Hobby and entertainment spending decisions seem to often run along emotional lines rather than fads or hard reality ones.
Bored? Spend some money. This works too for certain enterprises.
Remember the fastest, quickest, easiest way to get money (with usually no jail time) is to inherit it. Maybe you turned over your Thanksgiving Day plate after you emptied it and there was a nice envelope with a check from Dad?
Maybe you turned over your full plate sending that unedible tripe to Bowser and discover little sister never washes the underside of the plates?
You decide the underside, to wash or not to wash, mine or yours!?