Statistica has released figures that show Halloween retail spending in the UK reaching 474 million in 2019 before the pandemic. That’s an increase of 55 million the year before and an increase from 2013 of 244 million pounds in the UK. This is an ever growing market with experts predicting the continued growth in the coming years. With the increased popularity comes increased spend. Customers are always looking at new ways to spend their money and the nature of Halloween lends itself to becoming more ‘experienced based’ with major success at events such as Alton Towers’ annual Scarefest.
Visitors are interested in coming to your attraction to make memories and Halloween is no different. From pumpkin picking to haunted hayrides, there’s so many ways that you can adapt your attraction to accommodate some spooky activities. Here’s a quick run down of some questions to consider:
1. Who are you trying to attract?
Defining your audience is the first key step in knowing what additional events or activities you should be running at your park. If you decided that the young adult/teenage audience is for you then you should be looking into late night opening and really going for the ‘scare factor’. This may involve creating sets or turning existing rides or elements of your park into Halloween themed areas to run the events. If you choose to instead try to welcome families you may be more inclined to keep your regular opening hours and run some family friendly events like, ghost hunts or pick your own pumpkin. Look at your membership and visitor reports, is there an audience that you already attract that would benefit from these events or are you trying to bring in new visitors?
2. How much do you want to spend?
As you’ll already know putting on an event can be costly so have a think about how much you are willing to invest. Is this something that is included in your annual pass holder’s membership or is it a paid for addition? If it’s paid for what value does the visitor get from their additional spend. If you decide to go down the route of pumpkin picking, your additional costs may be to purchase the pumpkins, create a themed area and set up your online ticketing so people can purchase their timed-entry slots. The timed-entry also allows you to plan your resource ensuring wastage is kept to a minimum. This is a relatively cost effective addition to your visitor attraction. However, if you want to go down the live-action route you may have additional costs to think of including; hiring actors, costumes, creating sets, purchasing Halloween themed décor, staff and running costs to open after hours. Spending money to make money is the key to any business, but maybe go back to questions 1, do you have enough of the right audience to ensure a ROI?
3. What already works well for your visitor attraction?
You might already run events throughout the year from Easter to Christmas, why not stick to what you know works and adapt it to Halloween. For example, if you run family Easter egg hunts during the Easter holidays and have a system in place and a process to the event, why not adapt it into a Halloween theme? Ghost hunts or Witch hunts around your park could work well for families. At Christmas you might already do a Christmas Lights trail around your attraction. Why not do a spooky themed one with a haunted hayride or ghost train (depending on resources available in your park or attraction). If you’ve nailed the formula for putting on great events at other times of the year, just adapt that formula for Halloween.
The last question to ask yourself if you’re not already running a Halloween event is why not?
The increasing spend and increasing popularity of Halloween with parties, festivals and events in the UK is not one your attraction should be missing out on. Starting from October 1st right though to the 31st, you can attract additional audiences through your promotional streams such as Facebook, Instagram or website. Once you’ve sorted the idea, audience and the logistics all you need to do next is get planning. Plus, with the school holiday half-term usually falling around these dates can you afford to miss out?
VisiSoft can help you to fully manage and plan your event ticketing and update your menus to themed items dependant upon the time of year. Our EPOS solution includes simple menu structures that can be accessed, changed and updated across an attraction if needed. So if you want to add some spooky witches brew hot chocolate to your café menu or pumpkin soup to your restaurant options, you can fully manage the updates easily on site. Setting up event ticketing couldn’t be easier with VisiTickets too! Simply set up your date/time options, name your event and away you go. Members can log in to manage their events and alter or change dates if required.
If you’d like to know more about VisiSoft why not Book A Demo or Speak To Our Team today.