Wed, August 12, 2015
Answering some big questions about online ticketing for Haunts
Did you know that when Haunts use online ticketing, people buy tickets an average of 13 days before redeeming them? We ran the numbers and were surprised to learn how much ticket inventory sells ahead of time. But it makes sense, every online ticket sold is an opportunity to sell more tickets -- people are excited and post about your Haunt on Facebook and Twitter.
The other great thing? You can set up your event page any time of the year and set a date for tickets to go on sale. That means you can get back to the important stuff, working on your haunt!
Online ticketing is more than just a buy now button, though. It can help you control the throughput of your haunt, keep you up-to-date on sales and provide more accountability for revenue. Here are answers to a couple of the biggest questions we get around online ticketing:
What are the pros and cons of timed ticketing?
Is timed ticketing the best thing for your haunt, or is it the worst idea you wish you’d never had? Here are the biggest pros:
  • You are able to control the throughput
  • It encourages ticket holders to mingle and chit-chat while they are waiting
  • It encourages ticket holders to go through the midway and buy merchandise, since they don’t have to stand in line the whole time
  • It gives ticket holders peace of mind and manages schedule expectations
Here are the cons to time ticketing -- things to strongly consider before diving in:
  • It adds a layer of structure to the event (this could be a pro, depending on how things are going)
  • If you tell someone they are going in your haunt at a specific time, they will expect that - when you fall behind, things get ugly real fast
  • it’s more effort to set up than General Admission tickets, but when executed properly the benefits far outweigh the extra 30 minutes it takes to set up
  • You’ll need an added layer of customer support -- Be ready for questions from buyers about changing to another timeslot
  • You really have to commit to it, there’s no “let’s just see how it goes” with timed ticketing
If you are considering timed ticketing, ease into it by trying something like this (or skip a step, depending on what you do right now):
  • Year 1: General Admission tickets redeemable anytime during your season
  • Year 2: Date specific General Admission tickets
  • Year 3: General Admission tickets for each day in October, plus the Token Method* onsite (explained below)
  • Year 4: True timed ticketing
What’s the token method?
The token method is a way to control the throughput on your haunt, without going all the way to timed ticketing. Create stacks in different colors of branded haunt tokens (poker chips a great and easy solution). The tokens in each stack should equal the number of people that you want going through your haunt for each window of time. Ticket holders redeem their tickets and get the next token. Announce when each color of token (the next window of time) is ready to enter the haunt. The pros for the token method are pretty clear, your online ticketing and customer service needs will stay simple, you’ll manage customer expectations without making ticket holders wait in a long line and you can easily keep track of how many people are going through your haunt.
What are the advantages of using a POS system?
The main advantage is obviously tracking and reporting on all ticket sales. The more you sell and redeem tickets through a POS system, the more accurate your numbers will be, helping you keep track of revenue and what to expect the following year.
If you sell tickets online, you maximize your sales opportunities. Not everyone carries cash on them and for those that do, they’ll have more cash to spend on site. You’ll also be able to take advantage of unique features.  Those features include
  • Upsell: offer up an easy way to buy your t-shirts, or any other merchandise you’re selling
  • Promo codes: Give last year’s attendees a returning scare discount
  • Social sharing: Leverage your local evangelists and get them to share they’re excited to come to your haunt
If you have any questions about ticketing for your haunt, please GET IN TOUCH

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