Operating a haunted attraction isn’t all fun and games. Your job requires a lot of hard work, organization, and attention to detail. But that can all be derailed by one bad vendor. Especially if that vendor manages your ticketing and payments – this is how your haunt makes money!
When you’re evaluating potential platforms, keep these 10 questions ready to help you decide whether they’re the right partner for you.
1. How much will it cost?
This is often the first question our team answers when we onboard a new haunt is about costs, so we imagine it’s pretty high on your list, too. That’s understandable: costs and ROI are critical to your business.
Don’t just ask potential partners what their service fees are. Ask if they have any minimum-length contracts, monthly fees, or setup costs. Can any service fees be passed on to ticket purchasers?
Setup fees, monthly subscription costs, or even per-ticket expenses can hamstring your haunt’s ability to free up cash flow that allows you to grow. Passing on the fees can lower your overall costs and produce a more profitable season. Fans don’t mind paying an extra dollar or two for the convenience, but those savings to your haunt really add up when they’re multiplied by thousands of tickets every season.
With HauntPay, all fees can be passed on to the ticket purchaser. It’s FREE to haunted attractions.
2. How easy is it to set up?
You shouldn’t have to create a new full-time position just to manage your haunt’s ticketing and payments. Look for platforms that allow you to set everything up in a matter of minutes, then change things on the fly whenever you need to.
Will you have to complete a new merchant account (and the piles of paperwork that come with it)? Must you email a support address every time you want to change a single graphic or send a message to ticket-holders about an upcoming game?
A good ticketing platform should be self-service, but when you need a little extra help…
3. Will I get the support I need?
Whether you’re a new haunt owner or a seasoned pro, you know the importance of a solid support team to help get the job done. You need to know someone has your back if things get off track. We’re not just talking about your management team; a good ticketing partner should be there for you during the planning phase, during the haunt season, and for post-season wrap-up to help you succeed.
Communication should be easy and convenient for you. If you don’t see a chat button on their website or a way to call in and speak with a real person, that’s a red flag.
Don’t just think about yourself, though. Consider your guests: will they be able to contact ticketing support if they have questions or need help? A good partner will help with guest ticketing support, so you can focus on producing a great haunt experience.
4. Can I customize my ticketing page?
Would you be happy with a generic, plain ticketing page? Or are you looking for something that can be customized with all the spine-chilling graphics and images your customers expect from your haunt? Shouldn’t your ticketing page feel like it was made for haunted attractions?
Even if you’re not looking for a completely whitelabel solution, you probably want to add some customization to your ticketing page. This strengthens your haunt’s brand and offers fans a more seamless experience.
Will you be able to add your own logo and graphics? Can you embed the ticketing form on your own website? Ask potential partners what is possible with their system, and how much support they can offer in helping you set up the customizations you need.
Did you know? HauntPay is customizable for your haunt, and we even offer a whitelabel solution for advanced options.
5. How does timed ticketing work on your platform?
This is such an important feature to haunts that we’re giving it a dedicated spot on our top ten list. Nearly half of all haunted attractions use timed ticketing, according to the 2022 Haunt Industry Report. Timed tickets give guests a window of time to enter your haunt, and can help smooth out the crowd flow on busy nights. Be sure to ask your ticketing provider to show you how easy or hard it is to set up this feature on their platform.
It’s not just the ability to create time slots, but whether they can repeat. You may need to have multiple one-hour time slots every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening in September and October. Will your ticketing platform make you create each of those individually? (What a headache!) Or will you be able to bulk-add any custom times you like?
6. Do you offer virtual queues?
Maybe your haunt doesn’t use timed ticketing, but you still understand that guest satisfaction and spending increases when they spend less time waiting to enter your haunt. Allowing them to electronically hold their place in line while they explore the midway, enjoy some concessions, or visit the gift shop is a great solution. But not all ticketing platforms support this.
Ask your ticketing provider if you’ll need a separate system for your virtual line. If they offer it themselves, how much will it cost?
Remember: guests who are standing in line are not spending money. Look for ticketing software that helps you increase revenue and guest happiness.
7. When will I get paid?
This is huge. Especially these days, getting timely access to your ticket revenue can make or break a business’ cash flow.
A good partner will transfer ticket funds as they come in, within two business days of every sale (that’s how long it typically takes the banks to electronically move money). If your provider wants to make you wait until after your event ends, or there’s an additional delay in sending you funds, ask why.
8. How will you help me make money?
Ticket revenue is just one small part of a sports team’s overall revenue strategy. There are upsell opportunities for merchandise, skip-the-line passes, VIP experiences, and concessions, plus sponsorship packages and other revenue streams.
Do they support merchandise sales? If you’re offering add-on experiences like an escape room or midway games, will guests be able to add those offers onto their admission during checkout? Can they offer social discounts, which give fans an immediate discount for sharing your haunt with their friends? A robust system should make it easy for you to incorporate sponsorship packages into your season, too.
Don’t forget to ask about Group Sales and fundraisers: a key revenue-generating function for many haunted attractions. Will their platform support corporate outings, kids club fundraisers, and other types of group sales? This can have a huge impact on your bottom line and help you build a larger fanbase in your community.
Psst! Haunted attractions that use HauntPay for at least two years more than DOUBLE their revenue on our platform. We love to help you make more money.
9. What kind of reporting will I get?
Running a professional haunt is impossible without the right data. You need to know who is purchasing tickets to your attractions AND who is attending every night. And you need to be able to create the right reports for your business. No two haunts are the same. Look for a ticketing system that will allow you to get the data you need to understand how the business side of your team is performing.
10. Will I get access to guest information?
Some ticketing platforms keep all your guest data to themselves, but that’s selfish. When a guest purchases a ticket, you should be able to keep in touch with them, right? After all, your haunt is the business they want to support, not your ticketing software.
Before choosing a ticketing platform, ask whether you’ll have access to contact information for your ticket purchasers so you can remarket to them throughout the season. Or send them special offers, like discounts and early bird tickets, before you reopen next season. The key to gaining repeat customers is keeping in touch with the people who buy tickets to your haunt. Your ticketing platform should help you do that.
Looking for a guaranteed zombie-proof ticketing platform for your haunted attraction? Our team would love to answer these and any other questions you might have! Schedule a demo today or get setup right away with an onboarding call.