Friday, October 30, 2009

What am I for Halloween?

Soaked and tired! Atlanta has had some recent turn of weather lately, and it has made this Hallow's Eve a very cold and rainy one! One of my jobs, besides writing and promoting websites and books, is as a Ghost Tour Guide in Atlanta. Tonight, my boss threw her 'Darkside of Underground' event, and it was, to say the least, something of a disappointment.

I felt bad for her, because I knew, invariably, that she spent alot of money on the event, and probably hadn't recouped as well. After all, we only had about 10 people show up. While I would like to blame it on the weather alone, in truth, the blame lies equally in three parts, the Weather, The Pricing Point, and the fact that bad directions were given.

The weather is self-explanatory. Despite the event being held indoors, it was rainy, and that is enough to discourage business.

The pricing point, was probably the mot important part. Entrance to the event costs about $30 USD; which is incredibly high for a niche interest with panelists and the like. Given that about one month went into promotion, and the event was limited to only Ghost Hunting and Paranormal interests, its hard to imagine anyone forking over $30 for such an event.

Lastly, there was a slight mixup about the location. We found out at the end of the night, through some intrepid attendees, that online directions had told visitors to park about a mile up the street, which is more than enough to dissuade traffic.

However, what the event did lack in traffic, it certainly makes up for in promise. can definatley imagine this event being the paranormal equivalent of Dragon*Con. However, there-in lies a problem, because Dragon*Con is the paranormal equivalent of Dragon*Con. But I definately imagine she will do well if she isn't dissuaded by this!

So thats the main lesson, you as the reader can gain from this. Just because the event isn't successful, it does build an asset value that cannot be readily quantified in dollar signs. However, this asset certainly leads to more of them. And that is notoriety. Im sure that the first Dragon*Con was barely profitable, if at all, and now look at it, it is one of the largest conventions in the country, and people fly from half-way around the world to attend.

It would be an interesting to try to quantify "notoriety" in a scientific way. However, I believe that this "notoriety" would be measured in advertisement labor hours, which would result in more attendees.

For example year one, your notoriety results in 10 labor hours of advertisment and pricing point of $30 sets the conversion ratio of one attendee for every four labor hours of advertisement. Thus, if you had one full-time employee who posts ads and spreads information via word of mouth for 160 hours (one-month), the total labor hours of advertisement would be 170, with a total of 42 potential attendees. This means you rake in $1260 worth of customers, while spending $1600 to acquire them.

However in year two, your notoriety, driven by a good experience from those 42 attendees, raises to where you get 100 free labor hours of advertisement. You set the pricing point at $20, and thus have a conversion ratio of one customer per two labor hours. This year you would do much better, getting 140 attendees and making 2800 in admissions, while only spending 1600 for advertising.

However,these are all estimates, and not based on any research. However, maybe I will do a more indepth study on my "Business Projects" blog. Right after I find out how much traffic per day a single backlink provides!

This will definately be useful for a zombie-themed event I am planning for Halloween 2010. Stay tuned for that if your in the Atlanta area!

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