View Full Version : HAA Thoughts?

02-11-2011, 02:34 PM
Ok I supported and paid dues to the HHA and IAHA. Now they have disbanded and yet another new Association has popped up from the ashes of the past two. I must admit I am tired of let's do this, lets do that, lets start this, lets start that. I fully supported the HHA more than IAHA although again I paid dues to both. I think Ben did a great job and put long hours in and they kinda let him down and us that supported it in the begining! I am now thinking maybe I need to sit back and see where this leads. Shane and it's your thoughts please? Shane

02-11-2011, 03:02 PM
I will fully support the HAA... We joined HHA because we thought we'd benefit from it on a business level, not some free mags. We never joined IAHA because we felt is wasn't being run well. Now, the best of both have joined into one association.

Our industry isn't big enough for multiple groups/associations, mags, etc. etc. I wish it were more like IAAPA... which is where I see the HAA going!

So, I'd suggest playing the wait-and-see game... but I will fully support this new group!


02-11-2011, 03:38 PM
I say no to both. They made a mess of things.

02-11-2011, 03:42 PM
Grimley, did you find it not worth joining from a non-owner perspective? I know you're not happy with past magazine issues but did you think it was worth joining even if you don't own a haunt?



damon carson
02-11-2011, 04:18 PM
Im with Shane. Sit back and see what happens. Why do we need them?

Jim Warfield
02-11-2011, 04:22 PM
..somebody, everybody falls in lust somehow..lah lah lah!

02-11-2011, 04:40 PM
I was really feeling all the work Ben did I thought in time it would continue to grow. I could give a rats ass about a magazine because I can always call Larry and get my magazines. I felt they gave in to quick? Also I think competition is a good thing keeps group/people working harder. Shane and it's I dunno! Shane

02-11-2011, 05:21 PM
It was the HAA not BAA as in Ben Armstrong association. Randy Bates was the president last year not Ben wasn't he? But I do agree the association was better off with those guys.


02-11-2011, 05:44 PM
Just so you know Randy was voted in. I was on the nominating committee of the HHA and let me tell you Ben worked day and night to get this up and running! I can also say yes many had a hand in it but Ben did all the leg work. He even served as President not wanting to as he felt he had more than did his part but he did. Again I say we gave in to fast and it was a slap in the face of Ben. I would even go as far to say Ben will probably disagree with me. Shane and it's BAA or not he deserved better than this! Shane

02-11-2011, 05:51 PM
In my professional life as a designer, I've never seen anyone get anything out of just paying professional dues to an association (in fact, the previous haunt associations are the only groups I've ever seen offer all the "stuff" as bribes to join). The folks who get something meaningful out of associations are those who get actively involved and invest some of their own time and energy into the group (unfortunately those are also the ones who get most hurt if things go sour). After thinking about it for several weeks, Jay and I both joined this week... I'm going to do my best to get involved and try to get something out of it. I'm thinking that if I put positive energy into it, then maybe I'll get something positive back out of it, even if it's just making connections with industry folks I've not yet had the pleasure of meeting. We'll see what happens. :)

02-11-2011, 06:16 PM
I talked to Patrick the other day ... however I think a wait and see approach is best. They really have nothing to offer for the $250.00 they are asking for... as much as I agree with why they shouldn't buy magazines, and I do, I also think when you really have no benefits buying things could offset your lack of actual benefits until atleast you can create some.

It is NOT worth $250.00 period!

Could it be... its possible. Will it ever be I doubt it.

Right now I would say if this new board which mostly seems like OLD IAHA guys can do something with it, and they are really dedicated they will do these things with or without your membership.

So wait and see if anything happens... come back around next year and let them tell everyone what they accomplished and then decide. But when you look at it now ... NO doesn't seem like its worth it.

If you want to join to show support I don't think that is a bad thing, it can't hurt anything or atleast it doesn't appear like it will.

So choose join to show support or sit out and see what happens.

Either way you can't lose or won't lose anything.


02-11-2011, 06:30 PM
What I am thinking to me the discounts from the vendors alone was enough to offset the membership then you got 3 magazines ( again I can get my own subscription) but there seemed to be a drawing card. Also nothing aginst IAHA ( I supported it to) but it looks like the same ole is back again nothing personal. I am at this point not seeing a mix and match of old and new. I could be wrong. Shane and it's we need to see something solid! Shane

02-11-2011, 07:19 PM
Ben was a major force behind the success of the HHA. He is a positive thinker, good coordinator and an ideal leader for such as association.

The HHA was started and it was a movement right away. I can tell you that other guys also such as Pete Karlowicz, Eric Lowther, Tim Dunne, and Dwayne Sanburn worked their butts off with their duties. Larry was a force in starting it all before admittedly stepping away but continued to support it. Randy Bates was a good leader, everyone worked hard and really believed in the mission and the HHA.

Last year we went full steam ahead despite having a couple less enthuastic board members but things were heading in the right direction.

The merger, had to happen because the industry should only have to support one association. An industry is only as strong as all members make it. If you want to see change join a committee, or contact a board member directly with your concerns or ideas and ask them to voice it in the next meeting. The HAA also has many good leaders with years of experience.

Joining an association is not about shelling out $250 and asking what you get out of it. It's about investing $250 and getting involved and help to make it great. Use the HAA as a platform to bring about change and improve this industry we all share.

To own a haunted house, manage one, or even act in one takes hard work, discipline and drive and those are the characteristics you can employ to help make this industry safer, more successful, and create a stronger public awareness that will view us as a more viable source of quality entertainment. Join the HAA and challenge yourself to make a difference.


02-11-2011, 07:45 PM
I agree about the others helping they did a great job!!!!! As far as dues I will disagree. I don't care if it's 50 bucks you should know where your money is going, what it will be doing for you, and what it will do for the group. I agree also with the helping out part everyone should pitch in. It's sad but true like all things it falls in the laps of just a handful. But to say not to question dues is a statement I don't agree with. That could come across as give me your money and don't worry about what were doing with it and what you will get out of it.

As with any investment I want to see it work for me. I feel the HHA did not get the chance to do that. At least with the investment if association failed then we did see something out of it. Shane and it's this is all about opinions good and bad and nothing more. Shane

02-11-2011, 07:52 PM

I re-read my post and at no place did I imply no one should question where the dues go. Read it again I said it's not about asking what you get it's about joining it and make it worth it for you. You should know what you are getting for your money but there are other benefits to take advantage of.

My point is to invest, and get involved you have the power to see your own return on investment by getting active.


Greg Chrise
02-11-2011, 09:07 PM
The national advertising thing was great. It proved the top haunts did not really need the baggage of a nation wide group to pull that off. Plus maybe such a thing doesn't have to happen year after year. A refresher of the Industry maybe ever 10 years would have the same exposure and hang around on Utoob etc for all to see. The pushing of all the top haunts was great and the videos also all on Utoob, of those haunts and interviews with the owners was as good as could be assembled with today's technology.

It didn't take money from every start up, who has no idea what they are getting into, from every actor 90% of whom are not getting paid to perform, and every want to be media agent to send money and get magazines hoping something will happen.

Just being an outsider and watching from a distance the videos and reports of how the groups all got together and actually listed how they will spend the next two years figuring out what they can be doing to better the industry is like fundamentally wrong. We aren't lobbying congress.

If there is going to be an elite, keep it elite. Those haunts making lots of money that spend lot of money on advertising just come up with a secret hand shake and it is done. I don't want to see pathetic home haunts on TV or more stories about how the weird people in the neighborhood said bad things about someone on the internet and drive around with a coffin in a pickup truck. That also happened as a larger movement gives even idiots the credance that what they are doing is for the greater good of something national movement.

In fact the more excited you guys got about an industry organization the more I worried about it and you know just suggesting things, making sure you support the effort by sending money somewhere magical isn't going to change anything.

If you want a dinner, join the barbeque society of america, if you want to dance or drink go join the moose lodge local.

What we are seeing are mini state groups having to be formed to adapt with state laws. Some states try to get together a bunch of people and it wasn't necessary nor effective. A national group can't do that and infact just spreads the worst case scenario of the state with the most laws, the most codes and the most enforcement has and that somehow needs to be the same high standards nationally. The problem is, each regions economies are totally different. The ability to do all of that and the requirement to do all that, do not exist county to county and it doesn't mean there are a bunch of unsafe haunts, it just means there is no reason to call in the national security agency and fill out 30 forms for every event. That have the support of every fire marshal architect and public official on the local roster some how getting a fee to come by. There are places that have infrastructure and there are places that won't have it for 100 years.

It doesn't cost money to have a page of safety tips. Infact it is regurgitated every year in the press. They just go to their files and lather rinse and repeat. No need to change anything. Every business owner has schooled themselves on what can be done for safety. Exists, floor plans, emergency equipment and actually schooled their local community.

When you get a bunch of people together and they have no experience in the real world, the first thing they will say is there needs to be a law about something. That's not right, not worth supporting the argument and certainly not thinking some meager amount of money gives anyone the right to be someone. Of course it isn't really recognized so who cares. When a bunch of people that have only been in business a few years are deemed published PHD mentors we are seriously screwed. I don't give as crap is they once had some other business once upon a time. And usually they HAD some business.

There is a need for education and helping new people. These seminars shouldn't just be the opinion of someone willing to get up in front of a room, they should have been a publicly available library all along, no secret society crap. When the secret is no one knows and doesn't have the time or what happened to them is different because of where in the country they are.

It might be so useful that everyone doesn't really get along. Here on this forum it continually gets weeded out as to what is important and what is not. A real conversation has taken place over the last decade. Not Rogeus rules of order.

If something is for real, it is not exclusive. Anyone these days can publically and freely find any information they need on any kind of business. There is a lot of information and so much of it is proprietary and is not discussed so there are so many failures. It is still a business so why tell everyone how to really make it. How do you tell people anything that already know everything? Oh, I know get them to form an organization and give up some membership dues and lots of travel money.

Jim Warfield
02-11-2011, 10:11 PM
No secrete handshakes for me!
Goopy, droopy, drippy slippy, gobby frothy body fluids from an over-active fluid drive unit.
"Holy Secretions Bat Man!

02-11-2011, 10:31 PM
I think the real issue is 'we've heard all this before a hundred times'... invest or just join and see what happens. We already know what happens nothing...

This has been the same drum beat for 15 years... Allan you did a great job with HHA and so did a lot of others, unfortunatly as it turned out no matter how much good you try to do there is someone there trying to ruin it, and worse was the fact that hardly anyone joins because these are haunters we are talking about...

It just isn't going to work, and I feel pretty burned overall and for me I'm not joining because it seems no matter who you get involved, no matter how hard you try drama follows you every step of the way. Then every summer every member of the board goes awol because they are busy working on their haunts and most if not all the good intentions are sorta slipped under the rug.

I think what our industry needs is just an association by name, run a website that promotes haunts and answers media questions in October. Hard to fight over that, hard to complain about that.

I'm sorry Allen but understand I appreciate your effort but $250.00 is a total waste, these guys could join IAAPA for that money, and get all sorts of things 100 times more organized. I think that is really the best option.


02-12-2011, 07:51 AM
Thank you guys for your kind words. Let me say that serving with the year one HHA board was amazing. Crazy as it sounds I actually looked forward to those meetings, everyone was on the same page and really worked hard. Creating the bylaws and building up to that first Transworld was an almost magical time. I spent a little time on the year two board filling in and they also did a great job.

When you create an Association it has 2 goals. One is to complete its mission and two is to continue to exist. All too often in this world we see groups who forget what they are supposed to be doing and are content just to survive. I am very proud that the forward thinking leaders of HHA and IAHA saw that once the bylaws of both groups became nearly identical there was no reason not to merge. Clearly the industry agreed, when the ballots from the membership were counted that came back only one person in both groups voted no.

Of course there will be an awkward period where the board finds its way. I know almost all of the new board personally and they really are a powerhouse of skilled individuals with amazing shows. Currently I don't have the time to get too involved but I will support this new group, for example I will be hosting the BRAINSTORMING session at Transworld.

I think there is a place for an Association otherwise I wouldn't have spent so much time with both over all of these long years. I plan to join and hopefully if enough good folks do we can really move it in the right direction.

Anyway thank you guys and gals on the board for making this effort to bring the industry together.


02-12-2011, 08:54 AM
Well said Ben!

After serving on the HHA board at the start, I saw how much hard work is involved behind the scenes. You're right, the year before TW getting the thing off the ground was an exciting time for all of us. I remember my cell phone getting really hot after some of those marathon meetings, not to mention the overage charges...lol! We got a lot done in a really short time, made some great friends and connections in the process.

If haunts still get a listing and link on the new web site I think that is probably worth the money itself if traffic can successfully be driven there.

Brainsrorm did a great job on the new logo and if enough people join for the board to do something with the money to increase awareness about our industry then it can succeed. I know some of the current board members as well and they are still working hard to launch this new endeavor and I plan to join. I just got the paperwork in the mail but haven't opened it yet. I like the new Screamzine's they send by email so far. Anyone on the fence should consider joining one of their committees to see if they can make a difference. I would myself but I'm pretty burnt out with this crazy long commute I have now, not to mention the haunt itself.

Good luck to the new board of the HAA, it has to start somewhere.



02-12-2011, 10:42 AM
I agree Eric!

Having served the last two years with the HHA myself, I have personally witnessed allot of great progress made towards protecting and promoting the industry by some really dedicated haunt owners who were not afraid to roll up their sleeves and put in the work.

The new HAA board has a really diverse group of haunters made up of previous board members of the HHA and IAHA that all are willing to donate their time to give back to the Haunted Attraction industry.

Like Allan said, get involved, join a committee, run for a board member position, and make suggestions about what is important to you and tell the board what you what out of being a HAA member.

For me personally, the vendor discounts, free admission to brainstorm meetings and other trade show networking events, access to group insurance, and the PR program definitely are worth the cost of the HAA membership.

Tim Dunne
Fright Kingdom

Jolly Pumpkin
02-12-2011, 10:59 AM
Larry, I created a website like you're talking about except it promotes haunt review websites. It's called The Haunt Reviewers Association (HRA). It promotes the best quality, most trustworthy haunt review websites online and certified HRA sites have to meet certain criteria in order to be part of the association. It's completely free and helps haunts in knowing what review websites they can trust and helps those wanting to start their own review site. You can check it out at www.hauntreviewersassociation.com.

02-12-2011, 11:22 AM
I love the new logo, it really fits in well with the old HHA logo which was also nice.

It's good to hear from you HAA guys in this thread.