View Full Version : Putting this all together from scratch...

05-01-2012, 10:24 AM
Please critique my method!

Ok so this is all very overwhelming because there's so many facets to cover in this industry. I have a plan to put it all together and im hoping you can help me, even to just tell me if im in the right track, or maybe looking at a certain direction too early?

Since november I've been accumulating notes regarding my haunt biz. They range over everything involved, but have mainly been regarding maze setup, theme building, and where to locate needed supplies (makeup, controllers wood etc)

My plan is to put everything together in a book format: ex costumes I will have a picture of proposed monster, cost and website of each detail etc, then do that for location (min sq ft needed plus other requirements) sanitation, concessions, advertising, volunteer bonuses, etc.

In the meanwhile I will focus on putting the word out for actors and getting a location.

Should I be meeting with the fire marshal BEFORE I even get a location?

Should I be building a facebook presence right now???

Or should I be buying wood and renting a garage building one wall at a time ahead of time, so I can put it together lego style when the time comes???

Im just kind of lost because I can't seem to figure out the most prudent use of my focus right now.

Thanks a ton guys

05-01-2012, 11:15 AM
All your work and research will be meaningless if the fire marshall shuts you down. Get them involved ASAP!! And bring your research to show them all the work and time you've put in. They can make or break you, so treat them with kid gloves


05-01-2012, 01:02 PM
You really should attend one of the Getting Started in the Industry seminars. Hauntcon has a class this coming weekend and we have a class at the Midwest Hauntes Convention on Friday, June 8. You don't know what it is you don't know. Learn from other's mistakes and listen to their experiences. The classes will cost you about $200, but they could save you thousands of dollars in start up expenses.

We've been hosting the Getting Started Classes for several years and our attendees have always thanked us for providing them. Everyone who has attended the class told us they didn't realize how much they didn't know about the industry. We've had people attend the class after a terrible season full of mistakes and said they wish they had taken the class before they ever got into the business. A few people were never able to open because of code issues and they took the class to figure out how to deal with their building officials and fire marshals.

Best of luck and keep your day job,

Kelly Collins
The Scare-A-Torium
The Midwest Haunters Convention

Greg Chrise
05-03-2012, 10:04 PM
If you already have some portion of a haunt, this means you are serious and already might know more than they do. You can show pictures of rooms you have detailed even in your back yard or garage and say this is an example of what a room looks like. Compared to I have this dream and have scribbled out a 1000 thing "things to do list" and I want you, mister civil servant, to read it and be ready to talk about it, possibly even offer input like uncompensated engineering time and city planning or something that is just a dream.

As opposed to see this? This is how everyone in the industry does it. I have been to untold other haunts in other cities that are safe and successfull, this thing I built is just like them and now you can allow yourself to be excited as I am about having one in OUR town.

So, build the damn thing, take pictures of it, put it in storage.

If you were a band and showed up with no drums or guitars, no pa system and no definable talent and just a drawing saying you needed two 50 amp circuits someday would anyone care?

05-04-2012, 12:51 PM
That is excellent advice. We're doing something similar getting costumes and learning makeup in advance. Why not just start building at least one room to show people! We're going to need to make a promo video anyway. Plus that will give a more realistic view of buildout cost.



05-09-2012, 02:49 PM
You really should attend one of the Getting Started in the Industry seminars.

Who specifically teaches that class? I imagine Leonard does at HauntCon, but what about MHC?