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Home > Haunter's Lbrary > Marketing, Revenue & Ticket Sales > Promoting an Attraction's Fear Factor

Promoting an Attraction's Fear Factor
By Michael Cruz

Once your attraction's identity has been established and you've determined which collateral materials will be used, the next topic is which areas of your event are not normally associated with traditional businesses. Some "tricks" contained in this chapter can turn your attraction into a real treat.

There are many unique aspects within a special event when compared to a traditional business such as a retail store. Determining the development of spin-off activities, information sales lines, the possibility of working with a charity, and other factors will need to be determined when developing a marketing plan. However, before any decisions are made, there are several specific considerations that are unique to our industry. Let's take a look at specific opportunities and situations which you may encounter.

Level of Fright
If your attraction contains different levels of "scares," you will need to educate or inform the public about this fact. The reason is simple: By explaining to your target audience the amount and depth of the scares involved, will potentially save you numerous phone calls to ask if little "Jimmy" would enjoy it. While you'll probably still get calls, indicating this fact in you marketing message, may reduce the amount of calls. One example is Mike Burns, the acting director for Saphra Haunted Castle in Lincoln Baths, New York. He ensures the public is made aware the attraction may not recommended for certain age groups.

We are all familiar with the movie rating scales, G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17. Currently, many attractions use the Motion Picture Association's (MPA) rating scales to describe the intensity of scares in each attraction. Unfortunately these rating codes are protected under federal trademark laws. Any use of them without permission, is a violation, be sure not to use this scale. No one wants to receive a Cease and Desist Letter from the MPA's legal counsel.

Scale of Scares
If your event contains different elements that appeal to different ages, you may want to consider implementing a scale of scares allowing potential participants to make a determination if they want to experience each specific attraction. You need to first determine the type of elements, and the level of fright for each element. The example Scale of Scares below measures the level of fright, gore, or adult material each attraction will contain. The sample Scale of Scares below allows event participants a chance to know what to expect.

• An attraction for all ages.
•• Unexpected surprises, so be on the lookout!
••• Gory, gruesome & grotesque (gotta love it)!!!

Using something similar to this scale will be helpful as there are usually a variety of people who will attend your event. While you want to choose the audience most likely to visit, this does not mean they will be the only ones who are in attendance.

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