The unofficial start of summer begins this weekend, but the cause marketing team at BMC is already transfixed on fall and Halloween Town (HT). HT is our new event marketing attraction we launched with iParty last October at the Seaport World Trade Center. We sold only four-hundred tickets in advance. Fortunately, 9,600 more people showed up day of and the event was a huge success.
As we look ahead to expanding HT to two days the weekend before Halloween, we've made a number of changes that we hope will make the event even more successful. A recent Boston Globe article on Six Flags' new strategy for boosting attendance suggests we may be on the right track.
- Families are in. Teenagers are out. Besides the fact that teens can be more annoying than a baby with colic, families spend 25% more on entertainment and food. Families were a natural target for HT because while the event was for kids, the overarching goal was to introduce adults to Boston Medical Center.
- Stop the arms race. Six Flags is done building the fastest, tallest and scariest rides and is adding more family-friendly entertainment like water rides and costumed characters. Same is true for Halloween Town, where you won't find cat-size rats and gobs of blood. But you will find an expanded play area for toddlers.
- Serve up Disney-lite. Going to Disney is the experience of a lifetime, but it costs an arm and a leg and you have to take time off from work to go. Six Flags is the mini-Disney that doesn't require a credit-line or an overnight stay. HT's pricing is eight to ten dollars cheaper than other Halloween attractions. And because we appeal to families in and around Boston, we're talking a 20 minute trip tops.
- Deep six Mr. Six. Was this guy creepy or what? There are two places you won't see him: Six Flags or Halloween Town--unless he's with his grand kids.