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if you build it they will come?


Ebuechner
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ok the sequencing is done the lights are out everything's ready to be turned on. So now what? if someone could chime in and give information on websites or other things they do to get people to their display it would be nice. it would be nice to show off the display after all the hard work.

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I live off of a fairly busy street so I have a traffic sign that points in the right direction.

Many local newspapers will list impressive displays on their websites and in print on certain dates. Might want to check that out,

But if your display is good enough, word of mouth travels fast. 

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Sit back and wait. My first year one of the teacher/principals in the local school district sent an email to everyone on the district (or their school, I forget.) Word spread after that. 

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Seeing as you live in Madison traffic shouldn't be an issue. Do not get local news involved. In a newspaper or a newspaper website is perfectly fine. But you get local TV stations involved- You will regret that decision in a short amount of time. Keep your neighbors in mind. Being Madison you don't want your neighbors forcing an issue and getting you shut down.

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The first few years my wife would call the local radio station, put fliers at hardware store, liquor store etc.  This was all to attract people to our toy drive and see lights of course.  8 years later people drive from close to 100 miles away to see it every year.  Traffic will increase by the year.  We recently moved so I'm a little concerned myself.  We had signs made for our old house which is now a rental to let people know where we moved to.  Too much traffic and attention can be a bad thing.  Last year was on the verge of too much traffic...  Neighbors get frustrated when they can't pull in driveway, people hit cars, music too loud in cars, trash, etc, etc..  There's a fine line between attention and too much attention

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My plan this year is to use my daughters to spread the word to their classes, girls scouts, soccer team, etc.  So far they have been over anxious as I've already had parents ask me about it (even though I'm still a good 8 hours from getting everything hooked up and tested... no to mention we got 5" of snow last night). 

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We just invited family and friends for official lights on party, created a facebook page to share with friends and that is all we are going to do to promote it. Don't want the traffic on our little street to go from zero to freeway amounts overnight. Lol. Let word of mouth do its thing. We had 2 cars tonight so that made me happy. Lol.

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Depends on what your goals are.  If you're looking for publicity, call the local TV, radio, etc...and try to get publicity.  Post fliers if you're allowed to.  Otherwise, just hang out and wait, give it time.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't want people to see it, because I do.  But the primary reason I do it is because I enjoy doing it and if it makes one childs' Christmas memorable, then it was worth it.  It makes my 3 kids look forward to Christmas year round, and that's the best reward I could ask for. 

 

The first year I did dancing lights, I think I had maybe 5 people come watch.  The second year I had 20 or 30 (I guess, I don't really know).  Last year...my third year...I had a lot.  Word had spread.  We lived in a small country town.  When I would wind up having casual conversations at my kids football or wrestling practice, people would ask where I live.  When I told them, they'd say "Oh...you're that Christmas house!!"  I'd just smile and say "Yep". 

 

We just moved over the summer, so now we're starting over.  Nobody here knows what we do.  Plus my display this year is tiny compared to last year, because we're in a rental house.  My show has been on for 3 nights now and I'm not sure we've had one person stop yet.  I don't care, I still enjoy it.  Next year we'll be in our new permanent home and I'm sure in time word will spread that we're "that" Christmas house.

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This is my 3rd year. The first year, only a few would stop and watch, mostly from this neighborhood. Last year, saw a tour bus out there but more cars too. This year, I added a pixel tree which steals the show, but oh my, the cars were out there watching, listening and so on. Many very nice comments and some wanting to know how to do it themselves. Lots of kids hanging out the windows with their oohs and ahhs! That makes it all worth it too me.

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We live in a very busy neighborhood and annexed to two others. We have no problem with cars stopping every night and all night. We added a 6x9 outdoor video screen and a 20ft Pixel tree...needeless to say no advertising needed. but as others have said.....word of mouth is really all you need. In time there will be plenty of viewers

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this is my second year and I have at least doubled my lights from last year. I added arches and RGB trees and stars from holiday coro. So far I haven't seen many people stop to watch but it's still early.

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The last two weekends before Christmas, things will speed up considerably when people out driving around see it. Word of mouth works! I posted mine on christmaslightfinder.com too. No clue if anyone actually uses that site but oh well.

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Every year it seems the crowds get bigger and bigger. My first year, maybe 50 cars for the whole month. Second, Christmas Eve, had 50 cars that night alone. Last year, on the second weekend, I had cars lined up all the way down the street. 

 

Don't get frustrated. I did my first year, but I forgot, "word of mouth" has to travel. One person or family comes, tell a couple of their friends, then they tell a couple, you get the picture. It won't be long til you're outside chatting with visitors for 75% or 80% of the time your lights are on. This is when you get the big grins on the kids faces, them dancing outside the cars, singing to the music they know. We now get Christmas cards in the mailbox just to say thank you. It's one of the most satisfying feelings you'll ever have.

 

Happy lighting.

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Be careful what you wish for.

 

This is our 7th year and we've reached the point where we do very little promoting. 

 

In 2011 a Minneapolis TV station did a fairly short feature on us and we were inundated.  It was exhilarating to the max and also just one small step short of frightening.  Since then, we've learned it's plenty enough satisfying to look out and see no more than one or two blocks worth of vehicles waiting.  

 

We have a FB page mostly for fans of the display.  Whether it's brought any new visitors I don't really know, but I doubt in smaller communities like ours it really makes much difference in traffic.

Edited by George Simmons
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I have a clue as the one other person in this town who does a show and well known for it...has a mile of cars lined up every night when it gets busy. I heard some of his neighbors are less than pleased because he lives in a culdesac and they can't get into or out of their driveways.

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Kind of off subject, how do people handle too much traffic? Just bought new home in much bigger upper scale neighborhood. I was happy with a few hundred cars a night last few years. I was outside doing interview with local news tonight who has been documenting whole process of setting up display for last month and wow... There were several hundred cars in less than an hour when I was outside. Luckily 20-30 cars can park and watch display! Its only the 4th.... I'm scared to see my street in a week or two. Traffic control?

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I know of a neighborhood in S. Calif. that the whole street participates and the street is actually closed off except to pedestrians to stroll along, watch and listen to the lights and meet the homeowners. Police insure the barriers are up and etc...no clue who's paying them though.

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just moved my transmitter sign tonight to a better location. I've seen a lot more people slow down and some stop to watch. I think some of my problem was people didn't see the sign in the other location. without the music its just a lot of flashing lights

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Flashing lights are no good if people aren't listening to the music.  I have to get my other tune to sign out.   I still gotta figure out this traffic thing..  I came home tonight to 50+ people in front of my house camping out, chairs, icechests, portable stereos to listen to music, plus a line of cars down the street.  I built it.. they are coming!  I've already pissed off one neighbor across the street that can never pull in the driveway.  People need to be a little more respectful...  The mayor lives 5 houses down the street and I've got numerous friends in local law enforcement.  I'm going to see what they have to say.  My 9 year old son is already making a fortune selling hot apple cider.  No free-loading entitled kids in my house.  He goes around car to car handing out free candy canes in his Santa outfit and offers people hot cider for $.50.  This is the first year I have been outside with my family on a nightly basis and it makes it all worth while.  The feedback has been incredible.  I urge everyone to be involved with display.  Don't put it up and hide in the house.  People really want to learn about what goes into it and how it all works.  Three nights outside this year have been more gratifying than the last 10 years sitting in the house.  I am in Santa Barbara California area where it was pushing 80 degrees today. This makes things a little easier for me than you folks in colder areas.... 

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