As I noted a few weeks back, the 2nd Annual Historical Haunted Tour was a tremendous success. We were able to donate over $4,000 to Trails and Vistas and the Truckee Donner Historical Society, two incredibly important organizations within the Truckee / Tahoe region. In addition, I wanted to share key information that helped our plan flourish – you know how much I encourage a strong and detailed plan. We realized all of our pre-determined goals, which included:
- Position the 2010 Historical Haunted Waking Tour as one of the season’s most talked about events by providing a unique and engaging experience.
- Create public awareness and promote preservation of Truckee’s historical gems.
- Produce a 2nd annual sell-out event. (We hosted over 190 individuals.)
- Capture additional funding opportunities by hosting a raffle the evening(s) of the event. (We raised $1,300!)
- Continue to create a solid foundation for long-term growth through this unique and thoughtful partnership.
Our media efforts surpassed our expectations that generated exposure for the tour within a variety of high-exposure outlets including:
Print – Sierra Sun, Oct. 29 / The Weekly, Oct. 27 – Nov. 3 Issue / Reno Gazette Journal, Oct. 17 / Sacramento Bee, Oct. 17 / Los Angeles Times, Oct. 3 / The Squeeze In Newsletter Oct. / The Union, Sept. 30 / Sierra Sun, Sept. 20 / Moonshine Ink, Sept. 15 / Moonshine Ink Rocking Stone Calendar
Web – Examiner.com / TahoeTopia.com / Haunted-Places.net / MSN.com / Upi.com / Zvents.com / Allvoices.com / Truckeeguide.com / Topix.com / Sunshinetahoe.com / SierraNevadaGeoTourism.com / Trailsandvistas.org / TheRichardsonHouse.com / Truckeehistory.org / websites and online calendars affiliated with publications listed in “print” section
In addition, we were able to obtain a great deal of research on our attendees by interviewing 85% – yes, 85%! Over 160 individuals filled out the form; in large part due to the incredibly generous $10 gift certificate provided by the Squeeze In for all research participants. Here’s what we learned:
- 70% of our attendees were Truckee or Tahoe residents, 30% were visiting from as far as Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Florida to closer locals such as the Bay Area and greater Los Angeles region. (Not bad for shoulder season.)
- Of the out-of-town visitors, almost 70% said they’d be interested in a Tour Package (room, meals and other special inclusions), to boot 40% of our locals said they’d be interested in the same.
- 8% of our attendees were between the ages of 21-30, 24% between 31-40, 21% from 41-50, 18% between 51-60 and 27% 61+, a fairly even distribution across the board.
- Almost 90% indicated they would return next year, with notes from those stating otherwise mainly due to travel / date conflicts.
We received a variety of incredible comments from our attendees; I wanted to share a few:
“Enjoyed every stop and entertainer! A great event, please keep it up – you’re pulling a lot of our town’s history together.” – John, Local
“Truckee Regulators were tall drinks of water; seemed very authentic.” – Jennifer, Oklahoma
“Costumes were fantastic!” – Lisa, Local
“Very engaging…” – Anna, Local
“Thank you for sharing local history and a chance to get together with fun and charismatic people.” – Jennifer, Reno
“The tour gets better each year. We can’t wait until next year!” – Cathee, Local
“Great fun – girls night out!” – Pam, San Louis Obispo
“Keep up the wonderful work.” – Jill, Auburn
To my fellow marketers, are you remembering to obtain this type of information? If so, are you sharing what you’ve learned with those involved? Before moving on to the next task at hand, revisit your goals and communicate their status – people want to share in your success. In addition, this type of recap will serve as a launch for your next project and further help refine your marketing efforts.
We hosted a “HHWT Thank You” reception last week in an effort to show our incredible volunteers just how much we appreciate them. Instead of serving as a hostess, I quickly turned into a student. I was blown away their individual experiences during the tour as well as the many additional talents each and every volunteer would like to bring to the table for the 2011 event. The docents, guides, Truckee Regulators spent countless hours researching Truckee history as well as attending formal rehearsals and in several cases, hand sewing their costumes. Our host sites enduring our rehearsals and opened their doors to almost 200 tour attendees over the course of two days. The locations included our host sponsor Moody’s Bistro & Lounge and site hosts The Truckee Hotel, The River Street Inn, Truckee Book and Bean, Squeeze In, The Richardson House and The Old Jail Museum. The Pour House also deserves a shout-out, the cat calls from their “women of the night” were a great addition to what used to be Truckee’s Red Light District.
Our greatest efforts were realized by Chelsea Walterscheid, Nancy Lopez, Cesar Lopez and Billie Cornell – a dynamic, talented and driven team.