Wednesday morning, Bones brought me along with him to a breakfast meeting with the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce. These are our bosses – they’re footing the bill, they helped us get our location, and they will be reaping any of the haunt’s profit. If all goes to plan, we’ll be working with the Chamber for the next few years.
I’d like to say I went to the meeting looking respectable and professional.
The truth is, I still had dried paint on my forearms, and only realized it right before we left.
Grace and poise at all times, y’all.
Still, the meeting went well, and we left feeling their support and carrying a bag of generic pre-printed tickets the Chamber uses for all of their events.
I’d like to say I’m so haunty-cool that I just happened to have a skull-shaped hole punch for us to use on said tickets. I *can* say that the Chamber assumed Bones was just that damn cool.
The truth is that my ex-coworker, Mandi, gifted me with this particular item months ago because SHE’S cool enough to see something like that and assume I’ll need it in the future.
We also had a meeting with the local fire marshal. This is the one thing guaranteed to scare the majority of haunt owners out there, because a fire marshal can literally keep you from opening. There have been enough fires in haunted houses, clubs, and the like to make many fire marshals not want your business in their town, thank you very much. But! Again, we were lucky. Our fire marshal knows we’re using a small space, knows it’s for the Chamber, and has worked/helped run haunted attractions himself. We gave him a list of materials we may use, along with our general plans of operation and some safety procedures based on those a friend sent to me to use for just that purpose.
We’d already known the local police chief was supporting our event, so we left this meeting feeling much loved by Vicksburg.
As far as publicity/promotion goes, a local magazine had sent Bones this proof for an ad to be placed in her publication:
Then a member of the Chamber delivered our posters, which I don’t have a good picture of, but I assure you they’re even MORE spiffy. The cost of printing of the posters and flyers came out of our budget, of course, but were perfectly timed for our first publicity event, which happened at the local high school’s first football game. Many of the local businesses gather together for a tailgate party, and Bones already had a space reserved for his business, so he donated a corner of his pavilion to the haunt.
As it turned out, the lady responsible for the above ad was there as well, but hadn’t realized she would need a pavilion, so had shown up with candy to sell and no way to keep them out of the sun. So we gave her another corner of our pop-up tent. In return, she took a bunch of our flyers to an event she was attending the next day, so absolutely a win/win for all!
…Aaaaand that’s our poster, right there! 🙂
We only sold one pre-sale ticket, but we handed out a lot of flyers to our core target audience, and the response from people was fantastically positive! There was a haunted house in town years ago, and everyone seems to have very fond memories of it, so the idea that there’s going to be another one local enough to walk to is inspiring lots of positive response. Yay us!
Now we just have to finish building it..