View Full Version : HAuNTcon?

03-02-2012, 08:01 PM
Is anyone going to HAuNTcon (in Monroeville, PA in May)? Everyone seems super excited about Transworld but I'm not seeing anything for HAuNTcon. Is there a competition thing I don't know about between the two? :/

scary bill
03-02-2012, 08:22 PM
I think many on this forum do not like Lenard, personally, I think HauntCON is much better than TransWorld. I have been to a couple, really like the preshow tour. Wait a minute, are'nt they talking about that for Transworld.

03-02-2012, 08:30 PM
I went to hauntcon last year and had a blast. I have chosen to go to MHC this year as my budget only will allow 1 trade show a year. If I wasnt going to MHC I would be going to hauntcon. Im Not that impressed with all the drama that transworld brings to the table.

03-02-2012, 08:37 PM
I am going to both. Been to a couple of HAUnTCons and loved them both. This will be my first Transworld. Looking forward to both.

03-03-2012, 01:32 AM
I think people do in fact have more fun at events like MHC or Hauntcon because the shows aren't about buying stuff for your haunt as much as it is seeing haunted houses, parties, costume balls, and these shows pack on the weight for seminars. Leonard does a good job he brings his vendors lunch and seems like he really tries hard to do the best job he can. My only complaint on Hauntcon is that Leonard doesn't promote them good enough... he should already be out there plugging away at everything they are doing, releasing information as it comes avail blah, blah.

Transworld promotes their show 12 months a year, and Leonard should do the same. MHC has higher attendance but they are also more aggressive trying to promote the show. I think Hauntcon has all the potential to be the bigger show because he hops around and showcases different cities and different haunts but he needs to be more on top of promoting what he's doing.

Leonard has been on these forums many times promoting Hauntcon but he should be on here 10 times more often, and more of a year around things not just a few weeks before the show. People have to make plans for these shows, get airfare, or book hotels not things you want to do at the last minute.

We have attended Hauntcon for Hauntworld and have had a great time doing so!

More aggressive approach on the promotion of the show might result in more attendance.


Rich Hanf
03-03-2012, 05:37 AM
I think it plays out like this. Transworld has nothing to do with this mess. Transworld is, was, and always will be in a class by themselves and are not just the class of the industry, but its life blood.

The competition is between Hauntcon and Natl Haunters Convention. It’s no secret that there has been bad blood between Leonard and the owners of Natl. Haunters. I was told by them personally that it all started when they gave Leonard free passes to the show floor, free event passes, free food, FREE EVERYTHING…only to have Leonard walk their show floor and try to convince their vendors not to show with them anymore. Instead he wanted them to show at Hauntcon in future conventions. Rob and Michael were Pissed. I mean PISSED!!!
It only got worse from there as Hauntcon, although in a different part of the country, had their event the week before Natl. Haunters thereby setting up a kind of “YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE” atmosphere. Well, this year Leonard brought the fight to their back yard and is having Hauntcon not only in Pa (like Natl Haunters) but on the same weekend in May. Now you REALLY have to choose. There might only be one survivor come the end of the weekend but who it will be is anybody’s guess.

My advice is to avoid the conflict and bad blood completely. Go to Transworld. It is the best of the best. It’s totally professional, the seminars are by top industry leaders, not people who have little or no experience but are willing to speak for free. The Transworld events and tours blow away anything else. When else are you going to be able to see the legendary Darkness or Lemp Brewery? Check out the Transworld show, AWSOME Seminar Lineup (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat), their event schedule, the Darkness Tour, the Insane Shane Monster Bash…all at TWEshows.com

Do yourself a favor and avoid the Mayhem . See you next week at Transworld Rich Hanf

03-03-2012, 07:08 AM

I would agree with you ... why are these two shows on the same dates every single year. It makes no sense. Larry

03-03-2012, 07:51 AM
On feuding:
I feel that injecting 3rd party hearsay into what went on between the owners of HC and NHC only serves to stir up trouble and further divide this industry. What did or did not go on between these two is really none of our business, right? And ultimately who cares? We all have a love for the same thing. Can we not all at least maintain some civility?

I’m fully aware that this industry feuding has been going on and on for years and nothing I say or do is going to change that. I’m only attempting to give my perspective, and maybe we can all think twice about what effect our negative comments posted in a public forum can have on our industry as a whole?

The “best” show:
I have empirical knowledge and pure opinion as to "which show is better" as I have been a vendor at most of them (the exception is MHC, which my right-hand man Scott manned the booth alone last year). And I talk to literally hundreds of haunters each season and hear their feedback.

Last season for the first time ever I decided to vend at all of the major shows to see what was worth it and what was not. We did TW, HC, NHC, MHC, and IAAPA (in that order). After gathering all of the data and looking at each one from both a vendor and attendee perspective I feel I have a pretty good understanding of this topic. They each have positives and negatives.

The following is a brief synopsis of what I discovered. Please remember that this is from my own perspective and anything I say that is not glowing will ruffle some feathers! Everyone’s experiences will differ and I realize that many will not agree!

#1 TW: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. TW is the best show by leaps and bounds as far as pure $ changing hands and fun factor. It would be nice to pay less to do the show (i.e.: less drayage, lower utility costs, more vendor perks, free entry for attendees), but the high cost comes with high rewards. Will do this show again and again.

#2 MHC: Really, really, fun show to do (great vendors, nice people, hassle-free). Would do this show again both as a vendor and attendee.

#3 HC: Great show to attend both as a vendor and haunter . Very centered around local haunts and haunt tours. Mostly regional buyers. The tradeshow seems like a secondary emphasis and there just isn’t the attendance (as far as buyers are concerned) to really support a full tradeshow. I wish this show was more successful sales wise because they treat their vendors so well and the show is very hassle-free.

#4 IAPPA: From a buyer perspective, this is the only place to go for amusement park type stuff (food vending, ticketing, high-end effects, roller coasters, etc). Mostly professional high-end big ticket products. The $300 attendee fee and huge costs involved to vend will scare away most haunters and there is no haunt industry “party scene” nor any haunts to see. But wow what an experience! Imagine a tradeshow floor 10x bigger than TW!

#5 NHC: The words in the name do not really describe this show as it is not focused on our industry (more of a larper, horror, pagan “fan” show. Lots of “garage sale” vendors, not many buyers (almost exclusively regional). The large tradeshow floor made the attendance seem even lower than it probably was. Personally, I would not even consider doing this one again. But I’m sure some of you love it!


03-03-2012, 08:04 AM
I'll be going to MHC this year as work/budget won't allow Transworld (next year hopefully)!
We're also trying to buy a permanent place and that is affecting the budget.
I live 2 hours north of Monroeville and have attended different Cons (Steel City Con and Pittsburgh Comicon) in the same
place for years. I'm hoping to make it Saturday for Hauntcon just to check it out since it's close and an easy 1 day drive.


03-03-2012, 08:36 AM
They all have good parts. I think I may have been to 18 or so consecutive Transworlds it really is the show of shows. As far as Transworld bringing the drama I don't understand..WE (collectively) bring the drama on occasion to all parts of this industry, but really things are pretty good now comparatively I would say. I never plan to miss a Transworld! I think I have a similar IAAPA history ( Maybe 15 years) but it would be easy to drop if something came up.

I went to all of the Hauntcons and Midwests (The Ohio Haunt Conference that Dave Triesh and Rex Hamilton did before that) for years, even went out to the west coast for Haunt X one year and had fun at all of them. There came a point a few years ago however that I got busy and missed a few Hauntcons and Midwests and the earth didn't stop rotating. Now that was a revelation! I still love these shows but I am more selective now, it is really the HAUNT TOURS that call me. Last year I did Hauntcon and got to see a few haunts in the Louisville area I had always wanted to see - good times! This year I plan to go to Midwest they are touring EREBUS one of my all time favorite haunts, and certainly one of the most innovative I have ever seen.

Anyway as they say it is all good... It is just tough to find the time to go to all of these shows - almost like Thursday night at Transworld - you have to make choices....

Maybe one day I can get to National... Haven't made it there yet.

Anyway see you all soon at OUR show, the Show of Shows.... TRANSWORLD!


03-03-2012, 07:36 PM
I’m just a babe in this and have never been to a hauntcon let alone a tradeshow for Halloween or haunted stuff. I never knew they even existed until last year. (I know, where have I been right?) So this is where I’m standing at this point on Transworld and Hauntcon:

On the feuding, I do agree with FrightProps in that what’s in the past is in the past and if we’re all here for the same thing, then what’s the problem? What are we allowing to hold us back that has nothing to do with us? In that case, should I even care about who Lenard, Rob and Michael are? Leave out the politics and bad blood for me.

You guys are throwing me off with the abbreviations. Haha. So TW is Transworld; HC is Hauntcon; NHC is National Haunters con?; MHC is ?; and IAAPA is ?

Thank you FrightProps for breaking down the direction for me that each of the different conventions or tradeshows take for the people who attend or vend there. I’m not interested in buying anything for an amusement park so it wouldn’t make sense for me to go to IAAPA, for example.

Drfrightner, I agree with you on that there is nothing more important than advertising and marketing. Even if you have the best of the best coming to present at your convention, why should anyone come if you don’t show people what you have?

On another note, I am a recent member of HAA and have yet to get my card. Upon trying to ask where it is and when it’s coming, they assumed that I’d be attending Transworld because “99% of the industry attends”. (I’m in school in ND, there’s no way I’m going anywhere in the middle of the semester). Now, I have to say that I can’t really buy into that because if 99% of any industry attended conventions or tradeshows, we wouldn’t be having them inside buildings. I attended PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Conference) last year and was blown away by the number of people that were there and not everyone was there for the whole three days either. At the very least, I was surrounded by the top, professional percussion/ marimba players in the world but they alone don’t make up 99% of the industry. They’re the 10-20% of those that have worked hard to do what they do, are genius at what they do and get paid for it. I’m reading that some people are all for Transworld and others are for the more local or national tradeshows/ conventions. But as far as Transworld, just how big is it? Just how big are anything of the cons? Or is it all about what a person/ business as a vendor or attendee is looking to get out of the cons/ tradeshows?

Oh and thanks for sharing with me your thoughts everyone. I’m really getting some good education and knowledge out of this. :)

Prelude to a Nightmare
03-21-2012, 02:05 PM
I'm attending my first hauntcon and MWH this year. I would go to transworld, if I could afford it. I'm looking to have a great time, meet great people and celebrate the industry! I live 15 minutes from Monroeville, so if you have any questions please let me know! Hope to see you all there!

03-21-2012, 02:14 PM
MHC is fun. I'd go there just because I'm tired of seeing Leonards kiddie facade show after show. I like that it's pretty close though, but the show floor does not get that many quality vendors.


03-21-2012, 04:41 PM
For the newbies out there, a quick primer. (which is purely my opinion as well)

Transworld (TW): THE buyer show. That is its primary function and that's what people going there to do. The parties and haunt tours are secondary, although the past couple of years they have been more visible and are getting bigger.

National Haunters Convention (NHC): Never been, won't comment on size or quality

HAuNTcon (HC): I have been to several and I like that it travels around the country. From what I understand Leonard puts bids out for cities and takes the best offer. That is why he is in Pa this year. I know last year he was trying to decide between 2 cities and I guess Monroeville won out. Usually he advertises the next year's show at HC but didn't last year because of the bidding war. I have no issues with Leonard and he has always been nothing but good to me. I have spoken at previous HC's and will be speaking at this one as well.

West Coast Haunters Convention (WCHC): One of the unique things about this convention is that it is run as a nonprofit that contributes to a foundation that provides grants for special education. Never been, won't comment on size or quality

Canadian Haunted Attractions Convention (CHAC): I will be attending and speaking at my first one this year. It's a small convention that is growing but still has a bit of trouble breaking into the US market. It travels around Canada much like HC. Looking forward to seeing what it's all about.

Midwest Haunter's Convention: (MHC) THE party convention with good educational seminars and the best costume ball of them all. This is the chance to buy all those props you saw at TW but may have waited to see if you could afford them or to pick up things you forgot. In my humble opinion, the pre-show tours are without a doubt the best and there is more networking and socializing than at any other con. I understand this year there are entire floors at the hotel reserved just for Haunters so the party can go all night long. I will never miss another one.

There are quite a few smaller regional cons but I will leave those out of the discussion...

Prelude to a Nightmare
03-21-2012, 08:05 PM
For the newbies out there, a quick primer. (which is purely my opinion as well)

Thanks Badger! I'm pretty pumped about getting out there and look forward to meeting you in Canada!

03-28-2012, 10:29 AM
We will be coming out with some Hauntcon updates today. Stay tuned.

I also talked to Leonard about potential locations for 2013 and I think he's going to have a really good spot. I think that will be exciting news coming soon! Larry