Pumpkin Profits

Eventbrite’s Bel Booker presents 10 profit making ideas for next year’s Halloween events

Halloween is now the third most popular festival in the UK behind Christmas and Easter, with Britons spending a record £310m on celebrating last year (according to Mintel). Here are 10 ideas for events both big and small that you could stage to capitalise on the scariest day of the year.

Pumpkins at nighttime
Pic: Getty Images
  1. Horror movie screening

Looking for an easy way to scare people? Simply choose a popular horror film and stage a screening. Movies such as The Exorcist, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Carrie and Halloween are all guaranteed to generate screams.

Alternatively, to make your cinema night more inclusive, do as Ullacombe Farm in Bovey Tracey do and choose a PG-rated film like Hocus Pocus. Don’t forget, you’ll need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice and a film licence to stage a screening outside of a cinema.

  1. Ghost tour

Every area has its share of ghostly stories and tales of strange happenings – research your venue or local area and put together a guided tour. You can add to the fun by dressing up or assuming a character, like the guides of the Royal Arsenal Halloween Ghost Tour in Woolwich. The tour is led by the no-nonsense Sergeant Major Gore and clairvoyant Sarana, who dresses up like a cat and ‘communicates with the spirits.’

  1. Ghost hunt or séance

Rather than simply telling tales of the spirit world, give attendees the chance to make contact with it by hosting a séance. You’ll need the use of a reputedly haunted venue and an experienced spiritualist, or maybe you can channel your own inner Derek Acorah to lead the proceedings?

The Halloween Ghost Hunt of the Very Haunted Guildhall, Sandwich, offers guests a real-life Most Haunted experience with spirit boards, table tipping, glass movement, sensory work and equipment such as the Ovilus, which converts environmental readings into words.

  1. Murder mystery dinner

Murder mystery dinners are always popular, but especially at Halloween. Encourage guests to come in fancy dress and treat them to an evening of great food and crime solving. You can buy a ready-made party kit with a storyline and script or have fun writing your own.

Get your guests to play the roles or team up with your local am-dram group (or a few flamboyant friends) to act out the happenings. Don’t forget props and a prize for the first person/team to solve the murder. You could also give a prize for the best fancy dress. Check out the The Station House Hotel in Kilmessan, Ireland, for some inspiration.

5. Halloween crafts or cookery

A great way to get children involved at Halloween (without scaring the bejesus out of them) is with some themed crafts. Give them the chance to carve their own pumpkin lanterns, bake yummy pumpkin cookies, or take inspiration from Pinterest, which is awash with Halloween craft ideas. Macclesfield Riverside Park does this well by letting kids carve a pumpkin lantern and then use them to light the way on a spooky evening walk.

6. Monster ball

Hold a themed party night where guests must come in Halloween dress to gain entry. The Holiday Inn Aberdeen West hosts one such event, which includes a three-course meal and live music. Alternatively, you could opt for straight up dancing.

The Halloween family rave at The Rainbow Venues, Birmingham, is the brainchild of the Big Fish Little Fish team and combines dressing up, a DJ and a multisensory dance floor with glitter, bubbles and bouncy balloons. There are areas for toddlers and babies and lots of family-friendly activities too so mum and dad can get wild without scaring the little ones.

  1. Zombie run

Participants are bound to feel ‘dead tired’ at the end of a zombie-themed 5K or 10K race. Get everyone to dress up as the undead and drag themselves around the course, or turn the tables and have them chased by flesh-eaters.

The Zombie Disco Run in London does just that and sees participants collecting clues out on the streets while avoiding an army of zombies. Runners are rewarded with a finishers’ medal, free beer and access to a free Halloween party.

  1. Day of the Dead festival

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday held to honour the deceased. Celebrations traditionally involve dancing wearing colourful costumes and skull-shaped masks, making it an excellent theme to borrow for a Halloween event.

Talliston House and Gardens in Great Dunmow is doing just that, throwing a party where professional skull face painting is included in the price of the ticket. The organisers say the venue will receive a macabre makeover, hung with papel picado, decorated with sugar skulls and illuminated with lanterns, while a Cantina Cabina will serve Mexican food and drink.

  1. Halloween workshop

Don’t let people spend the day hiding behind the sofa; encourage them to get out and learn a new skill. Could you use your knowledge to run a workshop with a spooky twist? Ideas include a dance workshop to learn the Michael Jackson Halloween classic Thriller or a gory make-up workshop to learn how to transform yourself (or others) into a ghostly ghoul.

  1. Spooky farm fun

Halloween offers a great opportunity for landowners to earn some extra income – you can take visitors on a scary night time hayride past spooky scarecrows, get them lost in a haunted hay bale maze, or let them launch pumpkins from a giant catapult.

It doesn’t all have to be scary; Halloween at Red Mountain Farm in Drogheda, Ireland, focuses on seasonal fun for little ones, with a chance to visit a witches’ den and cast a spell, as well as cuddle rabbits and drive toy tractors.

With everyone up for fun, Halloween is the perfect time of year to host an event. Make use of your existing skills and resources, or team up with others, and think of an idea with a spooky twist for 2018.

And whatever type of event you decide to organise, you can use Eventbrite to ensure promotion and ticketing is not a scary process!

Eventbrite is a leading event technology platform. Hundreds of thousands of organisers use Eventbrite to boost ticket sales, promote and manage events, handle on-site operations, and analyse results across multiple sales channels. Read more articles on www.eventbrite.co.uk/blog or call 0800 652 4993 to discuss planning your event.

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