Looking to expand your haunt business outside of October? The good news is that haunted events can be hosted all year.
Whether you’re organizing a winter-themed haunted attraction or a spring scare fest, these tips will help you pave the way for a successful off-season event.
Decide What Type of Haunted Event you Want to Host
If you’re thinking about hosting a haunted event, it’s important to determine what kind of scary experience you want to create. By deciding what type of haunted event you want to host, you’ll be able to plan effectively, cater to the interests of your intended audience, and make sure you achieve your goals. So, taking the time to choose the right type of haunted event is an essential step towards creating a memorable and successful scary event.
Here are some factors you may want to take into consideration when choosing the type of haunted event you want to host:
- Audience: Different types of haunted events appeal to different audiences. For example, a haunted house may be more appealing to young adult audiences while a hayride may be more appealing to families.
- Resources: Each type of haunted event requires different resources, such as, space, actors, lighting, and props. Choosing the right type of attraction will help you maximize efficient use of your resources.
- Budget: Your budget will play a crucial role in determining the type of haunted event you can host.
- Timing: Are you planning to re-open your haunted event for a day, month, or year? Are you looking to create a whole new haunted event?
- Creativity: The type of haunted event you choose will determine the level of creativity required to bring it to life. This could include a switch up in decor, music, style, etc.
Choose Your Holiday – Then Make it Scary
Halloween and Friday the 13th aren’t the only horror holidays to host your haunted event. Haunted house ideas can come from just about any holiday. Simply choose a date, then add a spooky twist to it.
This can be a great way to attract visitors, especially during the off-season. The key is to take familiar elements of the holiday and turn them into something scary or unsettling.
There are many haunted themes and haunted house ideas that can be associated with different holidays, including:
- A Christmas themed haunted house that features a spooky, abandoned toy factory
- Killing Krampus Escape Room: a popup escape game or an add-on to your existing venue
- Evil Leprechaun Festival celebrating the dark side of St. Patrick’s Day
- A Valentine’s Day themed haunted love house where twisted lovers seek revenge
- Vengeful Cupid Masquerade: a bloody Valentine’s ball
- A Easter themed haunted bunny house filled with demonic bunnies and zombie chicks
By choosing a different holiday to recreate into something scary, you can tap into visitors’ expectations while also offering something new. Creating a scary version of a holiday that is not typically associated with fear can provide a unique and memorable experience for visitors. It can be an unexpected twist on a familiar holiday that will stick in guests minds. This can help your attraction stand out from other similar attractions and generate more interest, leaving guests more likely to return in the future.
365 Business Ideas
Holidays aren’t the only outlet of inspiration for hosting your off-season event. You can take advantage of “National … Day/Week/Month”. You have the whole year to get creative with. Go ahead and pick which national day sparks your interest, add some fear factors to it, and create a successful off-season haunted attraction.
This could look like:
- Hosting a film festival for Alfred Hitchcock day on March 12.
- Hosting a halfway to Halloween party April 30.
- Hosting a drive-in horror movie night on June 6 for national drive-in movie day.
You can also incorporate your favorite haunted house ideas into these national themes.
Identify Your Venue
If you own your haunt’s venue or have a long-term lease, you may decide to use your existing space for your off-season event.
If you don’t have a venue already set up, check for local venues. You can contact local event planners and businesses, or conduct your own research to find the best place to host your event.
Whether you rent out a banquet hall for a zombie prom or get approved to use an abandoned building for your haunted house, you will want to make sure you plan your venue ahead of time.
Decide How Many Changes You Will Make to Your Haunt’s Current Setup
You can get creative here! Whether that means hiring new scare actors, changing your decorations, or creating an entirely new theme; you can make your off-season event unique and special in its own way.
When deciding how many changes you want to make to your off-season haunted event compared to your haunt season event, it is important to consider your budget, timeline, staffing, visitor expectations, and marketing approach. If you’ve chosen a holiday that’s two months away, for example, completely retheming your haunt might not be feasible. So, once you choose your favorite haunted house idea, write down a list of all the changes you need to make as soon as possible. This will help you make the modifications quickly and smoothly.
Assemble Your Terror Team
By assembling your terror team ahead of time, you can ensure that you have enough staff for your event. This could include security, technicians, decorators, clean-up crew, or scare actors.
If you plan ahead, you’ll have plenty of time to figure out the different roles based on your theme, train your returning actors, hold interviews for new talent if you need to, and spread the word about your event.
By doing so, you can build a strong terror team and make sure that your off-season event is a huge success.
Your fans might not be expecting an event from their favorite haunt outside of the Halloween season, so you will need to be proactive about getting the word out.
Share the news on social media and shoot out those emails to raise awareness.
If you normally invest in paid advertising for your haunted attraction, you could consider incorporating that for your off-season event as well.
If you were featured in any local media around Halloween time, reach out to those journalists again to share your story – a favorite local attraction expanding their operations might be just the kind of news they’d love to cover.
Don’t Forget To Set Up Your Ticketing
When it comes to planning a spooky event, setting up a good ticketing system is super important! If you need help setting up your off-season haunted event and haunted house ticketing, HauntPay can provide you with everything you need. You’ll be able to sell tickets both online and on-site, scan tickets at the door, and manage customer data. To make sure your ticketing system is solid, you could:
Set ticket prices: Decide on a pricing strategy that reflects the value of your event while remaining competitive with other similar events in your area. Consider offering discounts for groups or early-bird ticket purchases to attract customers to buying tickets in advance.
Create different ticket types: Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, it may be helpful to offer different ticket types, such as general admission, VIP, or fast-pass options. This can help you cater to different customer preferences and increase your revenue.
Monitor sales and adjust your strategy: Keep track of your ticket sales and adjust your pricing or marketing strategy as needed to maximize revenue and ensure a successful off-season event.
If you want your haunted event to run smoothly and keep your customers happy, it’s worth putting some effort into setting up a good ticketing system. This will help make buying tickets a breeze for your customers and create a seamless experience for everyone. So, take the time to get your ticketing system set up right, and you’ll be sure to have a successful haunted event!
Hosting a haunted event outside of the Halloween season can be a smart business move for your haunted attraction. This can bring in more revenue, attract a wider range of guests, and help you stand out from competitors.
To make it successful, plan early, recruit a strong team, and create a unique experience that fits the season or holiday. Remember to set up your ticketing system and promote your event through social media and local media outlets. With the right strategies in place, you can build a successful off-season haunted event that complements your haunt season business and helps you grow your haunt business throughout the year.
Ready to create your off-season haunted event and set up your haunted house ticketing? Schedule a demo today to see how HauntPay can help you reach more fans and sell more tickets.