The post started by a new member that opened with saying they were disappointed this year and have been there eight years now. While the event staff should be the people the comments be directed towards, it is their opinion.
Lessons to be learned for all of us who charge our audiences is to make NO EXCUSES for any night you are open. The opening night and weekend is always a strain to pull off. But you customers should not see a difference from day 1 to day 10 to day 30. They shouldn't know you are having problems, handle it! They pay the same and you owe it to them, you took their money. NO EXCUSES!!
One way that we minimize our problems is to do our Media/Friends/Family/Sponsor dress rehearsal night on the Thursday of opening weekend. The actors get to invite friends and family to see them performing. It is two hours in full makeup and scares. Yes, the show starts up to 30 minutes late, yes there are problems as in any first night. We also might have a dj mention that we have a free night or put a message on a social site to get some more people to a FREE show for the express prupose of what a dress rehearsal is about: working out the bugs in the show. They know going in that is the case and we don't charge them. Makes the first night of charging customers as good as it can be, much smoother operations wise, and we know that they are getting a show they expect and we owe them.
By the way, at the end of dress rehearsal we also do a fire drill with alarm pulled and staff expected to to follow their training for evacuation with a couple people monitoring it including the time it takes to accomplish.
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