How is it people can't read a clock?
After 3 years of giving timed ticketing a fair shake, I have decided to remove it from our ticket options. I too thought it could help with long lines etc. It actually created enough (not majority) of complaints that I found my staff running around trying to put out fires most of the time instead of concentrating on "normal" business operations.
For those of you that visited us in Grand Rapids on the MHC bus tour, I'm confident you understand I'm not venting non-sense without supportive cause to back it.
How is it people can't read a clock?
I have been wondering about the timed tickets and how they work to spread out your attendees. Does anybody have info on a way that works well for them. I did go to a haunt that sold ticket with time slots but we still waited 2 hours to get in.
There is the major problem with timed tickets and /or just keeping the show moving predicably as needed. I'm just referring to the hired help. Then there are those customers who might think you are ripping them off for the time they get to have inside your place, so they try to lengthen their "Experience" by not moving, by moving any wrong direction open to them (or they percieve to be open?)
A Haunt might begin the night running smoothly predictable then workers become tired or maybe bored and the rate of customers per/hour will drop, so if someone did simple math earlier that night , it is now Wrong. (People are not machines)
My Wife does all the scheduling for groups, much of this taking place sometimes days beforehand via phone or computer. She also has to make clear exactly how our system works to some people who think the sun, moon and earth revolves around Them!
My Wife, Jessica can really think on her feet and is always thinking, remaining creative and flexible as any problems arise, comunicating options and changing situations almost non-stop to those customers affected.
Of course to really do this well, such a person incharge like my Wife also needs to know or at least have an excellant "Feel" for what is going on behind her, inside the house because things can sometimes modify quickly.
I give her complete control over everything , myself included. I trust her overview of the situations.
So if anyone was reading this hoping for some magic solutions or easy, quick fixes.. no, it requires skills and people-talents, plus experience.
As a haunt owner of a rather highly attended attraction, having someone trying to monitor this is impossible. We tried for three years and had some of my best staff of 125 people on top of this. Late arrivals, slow moving patrons, patrons forgetting their tickets etc all add to the confusion. We limited the number of tickets we sold online to 1/2 hr increments so we had a good handle on the quantity without over-selling...which really ticks people off! The challenges mentioned in the previous sentence are not the fault of our attraction or my staff members; rather the neglect or inconsideration of the customers. However, we do recognize that sometimes things like late arrivals are not anyone's fault.
I'm sure this system works well for some attractions out there; it simply was more work on our end than what it was worth. Regardless of the situation, we ended up being blamed for whatever confusion arouse. In the high majority of these times, our attraction was not at fault. So it is with no regret that I eliminate these needless occurrences and remove timed ticketing.
I will continue to sell General Admission and Speed Pass tickets online but only as a "Will Call" when customers arrive with an email confirmation number. No high service charges or fees that I need 'pass on' to the customers or 'absorb' myself.
Sometimes simpler is better in my world. Technology is great...but my opinion is that it takes more effort to manage [all of it] for only 23 nights.
When admission went up, chewing into the drinker's Booze Money!
"Buy your booze, stay in-tavern or at home."
Many are driving 1-2-3 hours to arrive here,deer crossing the road, people just getting lost.. it all conspires to make reservations a pain.
One time there was much grumbling coming my way from the parking lot/line.
I opened the drawbridge, stood out there where everyone could see and hear me and truthfully approached the problem, explaining it so everyone could understand, and this did seem to work, appealing to intellect and common sense.
I basically said:"It takes a certain amount of time to go through this house. We are trying to give everyone the same good show. When you get in the house, you would not want to be hurried or rushed either , but would like the same performance those ahead of you are getting now, right?"
Many heads in the crowd were nodding in agrement and a "quiet" seemed to settle over the sea of faces and I went back inside and returned to doing my best, which I pride myself on and does constitute a major reason I have patrons and a business and can do only THIS for my living... for the last 26 years.. open every night .
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