Prepare for a Record Turnout for the 2021 Haunt Season

Justin | May 28, 2021

2020 was tough for everyone. Especially many haunts. Some haunts were forced to cancel the season altogether because of local restrictions or the fact that it would be difficult to safety operate during a pandemic. Those that did open had to make some drastic changes: things like making sure people were social distancing and scaling back scares so actors could keep a safe distance. So in a nutshell, even those that opened had to water down the intensity in most cases.

People standing in line

Now that COVID guidelines are being loosened and large gatherings are starting to become a thing again, people are anxious to get out. Tickets are starting to be sold again for concerts and live events. And they are selling quickly after being shuttered for over a year. Expect the same to hold true for the 2021 haunt season.

People that haven't visited a haunted attraction in years may show up in your lines this season. Or those that never really had an interest may decide to finally check it out. After all, who wants to stay at home on a nice October Saturday night after last year? You should plan for and be prepared for a record turnout on those traditionally busy nights especially when the weather holds up.

Here's a checklist of some things to think about as you plan for the season.

  • Add at least one extra actor/staff training and dress rehearsal night. You want to make sure your staff feels prepared when the first big crowd hits.
  • Hire a few extra "front house" staff for ticketing, parking, etc. if you can. There's nothing worse than being understaffed here when hundreds of people all show up at once.
  • Make sure your managers and/or team leaders know who is responsible for what.
  • Have a way to easily manage and organize the status and role of all actors and staff. This includes being able to see (in real-time) who is checked in and where they are assigned. This is one such tool that can help here.
  • Have realistic expectations. Don't expect your ticket booth staff to sit at a window for hours at a time without a break. Nobody wants to do that. Cross train critical staff and allow them to swap in and out to avoid getting burned out, especially on busy nights.

At the end of the day, a little extra preparation goes a long way. And it could mean the difference between happy customers that share their great experience on social media versus disgruntled customers that leave a bad review.