View Full Version : Final wrapups: NHC and hauntcon

chuck weber
05-05-2010, 07:42 AM
It's been awful quiet since the conventions.... How about some reports, opinions, sales figures, successes/failures, general observations, attendance figures, etc. please post photos too. thanks.

chuck weber
05-05-2010, 02:59 PM
or is everybody at the auction in buffalo? hope you got some great buys.

the ogre
05-05-2010, 03:22 PM
I for one thought nhc was great. It had something for eveyone from animatronics down to little nic naks for the average collector. Now we all know that transworld is the Mecca for the haunt industry but nhc has the potential to be a great show. I urge the smaller companies and the guys making masks and props in there garage to get a booth at this show it's worth it. I myself was able to pick up some odds and ends for my costume for great prices. Networking is top notch here. I have a beif case full of business cards and personal contact info. I plan on making some calls very soon. Like I said befor the GraveYard Prop Shop did verywell at the show and the Internet orders are rolling in, needless to say GPS will be at NHC in 2011.


chuck weber
05-05-2010, 03:56 PM
please, chime in. really want to know about the convention and the other attractions and side activities. was unable to attend either so I'm (and I'm sure others) are anxious to hear. thanks.

05-06-2010, 03:29 AM
On Friday RFR will have a Hauntcon show.

Next Week a NHC show

and the following week a Texas Frightmare Weekend show.

So hopefully that will give you something.

05-06-2010, 07:28 AM
It is a bit less polished than other shows - but it in its second year as a convention, this is understandable.
The hosts made every effort to make the event run smoothly.
The hosts wanted feedback, negative or positive.
They need to come up with better vendor hours the existing ones were an odd mishmosh
A logical badging system (simply marked vendor (no company) or guest, no names on either )

The hall is definitely 3rd tier, they will need to upgrade in a few years - when they do, the Liberty City has a huge hall.
The hall floor plan is cumbersome - complaints were heard regarding locations of seminars, events, etc.
Loading and unloading was fairly easy.
Hall was cooperative in hanging banners, security access to the floor, etc.
Services layout (air/electrical) was not well considered
What was planned and what the true layout was IMO, was hazardous.
Tripping being the number 1 problem with the way the services were supplied.
Access panels were almost mid aisle, with hoses and cords taped down to booths.
The organizers told me they plan to address that next year.
I believe with proper planning they could expand into more space - there was an Auto show concurrent, in the next/connected hall.
Many more amenities were supplied than compared to other venues we have attended
The huge one IMO - free internet service.

The make-up of this show is very mixed bag.
But it was rather a pleasure.
Many were what I call "smaller" vendors.
Some were less polished, many were spectacular.
Quite a few of those should consider a foray with the larger venues.
Others were completely out of their element, and had products better suited towards other "focused audiences"

Potential from the region is huge - could easily outsize other events with judicious planning/promotion within 3-5 years.
Philadelphia is the second largest city on the East Coast, sixth largest city, and 4th largest metro region.
Located in the middle of the Northeast Corridor, placing it 100 miles south of New York, 133 miles north of Washington, D.C., and 55 miles from Atlantic City.
Nearly 75 million people - approximately a quarter of the U.S. population - live within an 8 hour drive from Philadelphia.
Much of that audience is in a region where the economy is still relatively strong, and employment is higher than the national average.

Pre-sales numbers were inflated, but my expectations were not.
Have you yet to see ANY show provide accurate numbers?
I would guess/suggest that the total gate was about 1000-1100 adults.
This is a mixed audience show and included children of all ages.
Some enhanced promotion could really drive the attendance numbers up.

Mixed bag - horror fans, cosplay fans, film buffs, sci-fi buffs, mystic and paranormal buffs, but mostly Halloween and haunt enthusiasts.
A reasonable number of haunts did attend, as well as some regional/national parks.
There were some international buyers as well, to my surprise.

2 Hotels attached to the convention hall, seemed overpriced to me, even with show discount.
Seems that King of Prussia is a tourist destination (if you are a shopaholic) with the seconds largest mall in the US.
Means there are plenty of hotels, but they are f-ing nuts on their pricing.
Like Miracle Mile hotels nuts, or Times Square hotels nuts.
However I did get a good rate on 3 rooms and it was 2 minutes from the hall.

Everything was there within a few miles.
Found a carry out place with a rocking selection of brews to, so I was happy at the end of each day to crack open all sorts of tasty bevies.

Honestly I do not care about this category, you rarely see me outside the show floor at shows....
They had a number of events planned and 2 tours that I was aware of.
They involved all the age categories and the vendors as well, which I thought was solid approach.
Auctions, fashion shows, talent shows, contests, education seminars were all at this show.

Consider this a growing show, do NOT write it off.
I was caught off guard to hear how many people never knew a web gun product existed.
So many in fact, that we were voted Best Product by audience polling - um, 11+ years ?!?
Whoddathunk it?

We will do this show again.
I would recommend anyone with a days travel also consider it.

05-06-2010, 08:18 AM
I agree with a lot of what Corey had to say. I think what gives this show such potential is the owners, Rob and Michael, they truly work year round on making this show as big of a hit as they can. You all ready know a lot of what's going on for next years show at this show, things like dates and tour info. And they really listen to the vendors and the customers on what they are looking for and try there best to bring it to them. Lets look at the facts we have two guys that weren't big names in this industry take a back yard BBQ to get to know like minded people in the area and turn it into a really sold convention in what maybe 10 years total. Not to bad I would say, it really shows there hard work. A lot of what there doing right now is bringing things in to see what works and what doesn't ( testing the waters ) but I think like Corey said maybe 4 to 5 years and it could be one of our industries bigger more solid shows.

Robert Dudzieck
Fright Factory

05-06-2010, 08:40 AM
I thought Hauntcon was done very well despite the scheduling issues. Leonard does a fine job every year in bringing quality speakers and instructors and even thought I didn't attend, everyone I talked to said the tours were first rate. It was very cool for them to see how the big theme parks work their haunts (as I used to act at one for several years) and the instructors that they brought in were first-rate. I learned a lot from the seminars I attended and made some solid contacts that will hopefully inprove my business. There will be plenty of HC recapped in this weeks RFR so tune in for that.

On a secondary note, I saw a lot of people who had brought their families down for mini-vacations. With discounts at The Mouse and other local attractions, how could you not? The weather was absolutely PERFECT with temps in the 80's and sunny everyday but Friday. I got to see a good friend that I hadn't seen in over 20 years and it was great to catch up.

The costume ball was first-rate as usual and a good time was had by all, especially at the afterparties. Watching Leonard attempt to crack a bullwhip while dressed as Herman Munster was something I can now check off my bucket list.

Kudos to everyone who helped to make it a successful weekend. I hope to see a few of you in Louisville next year...

05-06-2010, 01:31 PM
I did not personally attend either event so I won't say one way or another... however a couple thoughts to both shows.


1) For one your show sounds too much like MHC and I think it confuses people I think you should change it. To some degree when you promote your show you might just be promoting MHC instead.

2) I think and don't take offense you have the messiest website I've ever seen its so hard to read, and follow I think it just sends peopel way. You have something like 500 million links piled on top of each other and most of the info is useless anyway. Look at TW site much cleaner, organized, and easier to follow. I think this is a big drawback.

3) Events are to much like MHC almost like copying I think you should come up with more of your own events that make you seem more unique. I think that is a draw when you have something no one else has or something you originated it makes you more original.

4) Tours: With so many haunts near you I don't get why you don't have the biggest tours of all these shows, more work needs to be put into the events and tours and less on vendors or how many you get. People are NOT going to come to your show because of VENDORS because your show is NOT the place for that, not to say you can't make money doing but the point is the buyers come because of the tours and events and when you make those stronger you get more buyers for the vendors.

5) Dates: Put your dates as far as possible from any other show. I hate to say this but Hauntcon was always around the same dates and you kind of invaded that area... you take MHC they are by far the most success regional show and their show is weeks upon weeks later and months and months after TW. I think you should consider in the middle of MHC and Hauntcon not same dates or right on top of Hauntcon.

NHC: Has a lot of potential because of the area and the pure amount of haunts in the area. You need to bone up and market the show better because outside of message boards I didnt' see any ads for this show anywhere. If are you going to promise vendors the stars and the moon you must take those funds and market the show to everyone and anyone you can. Something you need to do a much better job of in the future if you want vendors in droves to support you. On a final note let me say I know its a lot of work to pull these things off and kudos to you but my opinions are just those opinions.


1) Hauntcon needs to update their website a lot sooner than this year especially if their show is on the same dates as another show. People make choice not at the last last minute but sometimes months in advance. Dont' wait until you have all the info to update no no update any time you get info. I think Hauntcon cost themselves a lot of business but not updating their site sooner. I had emails asking me 'is Hauntcon happening this year because the site is updated'.

2) I think someone from Hauntcon needs to do what these other shows are doing and keep the haunt community more informed as udpates become available. These message boards are out there for a reason: TO INFORM!!! USE THEM! You have MHC, TW, and these other shows and especially NHC use boards daily to promote and the only one that wasn't really promoted much by the organizing group was Hauntcon. Next year inform us even 10 months out, heck inform us NOW what do you KNOW tell us... we want to know!!!!

3) I think if you followed the two steps listed above you'd have a lot more attendance and vendors which would be better for Hautcon.

In the end I think Hauntcon has a lot of merit because it brings haunters to cities to see haunts they don't normally get to see. Personally I would like to see posts from the owners ASKING US the haunt owners WHERE DO YOU WANT ME TO GO... go to the cities most people want to see. I'd like to see a lot more interaction between Hauntcon and the community at large.

When its all said and done I think all of these shows can be great if they realize who they are, and what they can successfully achieve and not try to be something they are not. I think all the shows and events should try harder to put the events up to 4 weeks apart for everyones benefit.

Just my thoughts.


chuck weber
05-06-2010, 03:56 PM
and everybody, thanks for the info on the shows... let's keep it going.........

05-06-2010, 07:10 PM
Larry, maybe this is just me but (just your opinion) seems to always be very negative towards NHC. I think it was a great show everyone there seemed to have a good time. There were some good classes and even outside of the classes, some great discussion about the industry . I think now that Fright Times is back out there and owned by Rob a lot of people will be subscribing and they'll be able to reach a lot more people with their info. The timing of the two conventions is not the best situation but the NHC is held in a convention center which are much harder to secure, where Hauntcon is at a hotel a little easier to get.

Just my opinion I like the personal friendly feel of the NHC - reminds me of the old school days of TW. Everyone talked very openly and there wasn't the over shadowing of egos everywhere. I think there is room for both and I think they are each going to get their local attendees and some from outside the area.

In closing, enough of the underlying negativity.


the ogre
05-06-2010, 07:31 PM
Nhc was very relaxed and friendly. It was my first con ever and truthfuly I didn't want it to end. I got to meet people like the guys from fright factory(rob) and Todd from fearscape and they were awsome people. Like rob said it was a great time had by all. I wish more people would give this con a chance. Like everything it has it flaws but I think it's potential out weighs those flaws. Pa has a huuuuge haunt community and the con is in a great location, again I ask to give it a chance. I'm a mere pion on this forum so I can't really comment on the negative statments but everyone is entitled to there opinion.


05-06-2010, 08:28 PM
Hauntcon was at a convention center as well...I dont see how he was being negative? I wish both nhc and hauntcon had diff dates so I could attend both. Guess everything cant be perfect.


05-06-2010, 08:39 PM
here we go more pics

05-06-2010, 08:41 PM
still yet more

05-06-2010, 08:43 PM
another group

05-06-2010, 08:49 PM
pics pics pics

05-06-2010, 10:20 PM
Nice pics Mike. Larry

05-06-2010, 10:29 PM

Not at all... I'm offering suggestions to both events to make them better. Do you think my opinions are out of line, or helpful the event. Can you follow their website I can't. Wouldn't you like to see these events spread out further apart? Wouldn't you like to see more haunt tours?

As for Hauntcon don't you think they should communicate sooner, better, and update their website sooner? These are comments to HELP these shows become better.


chuck weber
05-07-2010, 08:16 AM
anyone who has more, please post

05-07-2010, 08:28 AM

I do believe a lot of the points you just brought up are valid, like the NHC website being way too busy and Hauntcon should give everyone info much sooner than 6 weeks. But in reading the post about this subject for the last two to three months you seem to be coming down in an attacking way towards NHC . Instead of just an opinion, to me it's been coming off as finger pointing that what NHC has been doing is bad bad bad, and HC can do no wrong. Maybe this conflict in both being around the same time is due to the fact that no one has any idea what's going on with HC until the last minute. With HC moving around like it does, it would be easier now for HC to move its dates a little to help out. I do understand that if we were in grade school this would be considered unfair, but in an adult world it would just help out the industry and stop all the talk of who did this and who did that. And it's not that I'm siding with NHC, but they do stay in one location so they are booking multi years in a row which I would think is harder to change.

Everyone is entitled to there opinion, I just don't think you should try to use it to steer people in one way or another.


05-07-2010, 09:50 AM

Lets call a spade a spade here... from the owners of the event to all their minions to many people between how many posts, how many threads, how many NHC vs. Hauntcon posts did we see hyping up NHC over Hauntcon??? You tell me? How many posts did we see saying NHC would be better, would have more vendors, blah, blah, blah.

My main point was and is these two shows shouldn't be on the same day, same weekend, or now even a couple days apart. Its not right or fair to the haunt community. And to listen to one barb after another against Hauntcon wasn't fair either.

If the two shows are not on the same dates we wouldn't have had any of it... the whole situation brought out the worst in everyone who supported one show over the other. True?

So look I don't know why but Leonard doesn't hype up his own show so his show was simply being slaughtered. I'm not slamming NHC by pointing out valid points on how to improve their show not at alll... but look here are the facts, I went to town on Hauntcon for all sorts of points as well.

I want to see both shows do well for those who attend. I sit here yearly and get comments on our haunts, videos, magazines or whatever...

Some are TOTALLY unfair, however some are great and I take them to heart and do something about it. Is our magazine better? I'd say so because I listen to those who PAY FOR IT NOT those who don't!

I think NHC, no make that NHC, Hauntcon, to even TW all have things they can do better, and they don't know what those thigns are unless you speak up!!!!

If NHC or Hauntcon thinks my opinions are valid ones or your opinions are valid ones they will do something about those issues. Lastly if we can keep the shows apart then well we probably don't have anyone percieved as for one show over another next year.


Cookie Crumbler
05-09-2010, 02:44 AM
Thanks for all of the pics!! Looks like it was fun!

Dan Faupel
05-09-2010, 11:32 AM
Hauntcon went really well...we got many good leads at our booth, my seminar was well attended, enjoyed ourselves at the Busch Gardens haunt tour, had a blast in the evenings at the socials, met several other Florida haunters, and made several new friends. It was nice having a show right in my backyard too.

chuck weber
05-09-2010, 05:53 PM
hopefully we'll still get more opinions and details on both shows.

chuck weber
05-11-2010, 07:22 AM
with everything going on down there there's gotta be more.... please, post...... thank you

05-11-2010, 08:24 AM
I don't know how many times this has to be repeated but NHC has their dates booked years in advance..they already have a commitment and they stay in one place so that it can grow. I have exhibited at both Hauntcon and NHC and I enjoyed both but NHC seems to have a niche on people just getting into the busniess. It's not the same ol' crowd saying, "wow...cool prop, cant' wait to go home and make one."
It also draws an affluent crowd and like Transworld an international one. I'm sure Rob can improve any site problems as he has built most of the best ones out there, like Unit70.com and ParanormalHeadquarters.com Don't take my word for it, come on down next year..the dates are posted...
John "Minion" Denley

05-11-2010, 09:14 AM
Met quite a few international people when I was at hauntcon met a group from equidor, several groups from london, a group from netherlands and some others. It was very interesting to say the least. Leonard always seems to draw a lot of internationals to hauntcon every year I have attended. Plus meeting with folks from disney and universal mgmt was nice as well. Overall had a great time and enjoyed the costume ball and all the activities...hopefully this next year I can attend both shows even tho they are back to back.


05-13-2010, 11:39 AM

05-13-2010, 11:42 AM
Also several more pics of con


chuck weber
05-17-2010, 05:22 PM
great stuff ! Overall I heard it was a GREAT show !!!!! buyers and sellers were very happy and seminars were awesome and well attended. Lots of great ideas were exchanged and lots of fun was had by all.