California mandates it, as well. But, I still do not see that a "tour guide" has to be someone who is always with the group.
The Greeter guides them in at the beginning and then they are on their own for a few rooms. They are then met by security disquised as what I call an "Enigma." The Enigma guides them through three rooms and they are on their own again.
I plan to get a bit more "theatrical" this coming year. A few guides throughout will probably be essential. However, I have a special way I think I'm gonna pull it off....
We used a guide for years, but our lines were getting too long. So this year we dropped the guide and went to a room by room design, kinda how Xeverity described. It worked great, and kept the line moving. The only place they are left alone is some of the hallways, where they can't do to much damage to us or them. So I say drop the guide, put him out front as Q entertainment.
During parts of the tour the patrons might think they are "alone" but they are not.
Even "empty" hallways can fall victim to magic markers and gum and having holes kicked through them, oh, I forgot, human waste, if fecal doesn't matter, then urine trouble.
We have guides and they work well they prevent the running groups from runing up on th slow group and keep the slow group of "donwannamovs" from slowing up evereryone. One gropup of "donwannamovs" can turn the haunt into a 100 person congo line.
The zone guides have complete visibility of the groups when they walk in the connecting hallways.
Also the majority of zones - rooms go 'room to room' without a hallway inbetween. In addition there are a couple places where the guides interact with each other - introducing the group 'this one screams a lot' .... one of the guides in the haunt is a 'dungeon victim' who introduces and delivers the group to 'his master'.
Of course what is funny is that the whole time he was guiding the group through his zone and displaying his master's work he was actually priming the group for the next scene.....and dropping bits of vital information
then they meet the master ........
Technically this would still comply with the guide/group ratio - because we don't allow more than 6 in a group and basically they are always with a guide. If the hallways were a major problem there is no reason why the guide couldn't walk them down.
It does keep it flowing. This allows people such as magicians, greeters, contortionists, etc. to do what they do best in their zone...
Of course we still have a maximum flow rate - haven't yet thought of a way around that....
6 people every two minutes is 180 per hour (in a pinch we can speed it up)
What are your flow rates?
We only used guides once where I volunteered. My business partner and I were the two guides and had a blast...on busier nights we used one or two more, but we had a whole routine and the people had fun. It worked out better cuz that was the year not many Lion's member's donated THEIR TIME and the guide could vanish/appear and garner more scares. Gave it a neat aspect and crowds weren't a problem...
Our flow rates...uh...that was tricky...
They'd have groups pay and wait in line by the door...the older gent at the door was supposed to wait, depending on the line length, a minute or two (or until he heard a certain 'noise'). But the guy would seem to get nervous if more than 8 people would be waiting to get in and start putting a group in...10 seconds...another group...door closes...another group...
We told him over and over...so make sure you get a trustworthy doorman!!!
guides give patrons a sence of security.i would rather them feel alone.we had a detail officer this yr that would follow our customers through for his self enjoyment.i was gettin dam mad at him
Guides do not automatically purvey a sense of security.
Would Dr. Lecktor as your guide make you feel more calm?
Anthony Perkins? Vincent Price?
Some small-town wack-o/looser who keeps looking at you as if you are a piece of porthouse steak?
AND YOUR WOMAN SEEMS TO THINK HE'S CUTE!!!
"Security" ...we have numerous ways of dealing with that personal illusion.
Right Vincent? Anthony? Doctor?
I'm not a psycho path, but I play one on tv, and everynight, now I can't tell when I'm playing or not?
The only thought in the back of their mind that still holds out a shread of hope for them is that misconception that I am just "playing", and I sometimes toy with this concept mercilessly for extended periods of their agonising time here.
"Only my hairdresser knows for sure!"
Any guide has a wonderfull opporunity to control the patron's attention (or to mis-direct it) that same person hiding alone in the dark waiting to go "Boo! only gets a fraction of a second to influence them, and then it's gone.
no offence jim,in your type of haunt you need a guide.i was speaking for myself i guess in our style of haunt
There are many "right" ways to do something , usually the most "right" way is what we find works the best for us personally.
Doing something just because it makes more money doesn't always work in the long run because customers have memorys.
We recently had a couple deals here in which the customers were surprised that we did so much for them, over and above normal expectations.
A little girl was too scared, her Father walked her outside, I told him if she wanted to that she could return to the tour, she did this several times and afterwards the Father offered Jessica $20.oo for her extra effort, which she refused. Sometimes extra effort is what is needed and it was a success because the girl did see and enjoy most of the house! (Future customer!!) Her two brothers (who aren't alot older than she is) have been through the house 18 times!
Tonight a young man was pleasantly surprised when I refunded him $30 because he had sent a check a week ago and 3 of his group didn't show up.
This time of the year refunding is no big deal, BUT if it was a busy night in October and a group didn't show up and we are losing money waiting for them while the parking lot is teeming with waiting customers, that is different because we are losing money and the tardy customer is the one to blame.