View Full Version : HauntCon

04-29-2013, 03:31 PM
Did anyone attend and what is the results, reports, and everything else. Larry

04-30-2013, 10:37 AM
I guess no one went! Larry

Allen H
04-30-2013, 05:04 PM
Hauntcon was a decent show. Sales were OK (I did not bring many masks) mostly DVD's. There were few vendors there. I did not mind that though, what that did was make the show about people and classes. I loved that, I met a ton of great people who I have gotten a ton of great ideas from (in whole or part) That will help my show. HauntCon was a good show, I have not been in years aside from this year but i now plan on attending next year.
Allen H

04-30-2013, 06:12 PM
Had a great time at HAuNTcon this past week. Just from eyeballing it, attendance definitely seemed up- the tours were packed and lots of the classes were packed as well. It was good to finally get to see the DFW area haunts. The tours are great because it's not just about the "big name" haunts, but we got to see a lot of real solid haunts I'd never heard of that are up there with the best haunts I've seen. Reindeer Manor on Thursday night was awesome, 3 high quality haunts with some real unique effects. Cutting Edge was certainly an interested experience, Hangman's House of Horrors did a lot of cool stuff, also enjoyed the Haunt House. Overall met a lot of great people, learned a lot, saw a lot and I look forward to hearing next year's location.

05-01-2013, 10:36 AM
If Leonard ever wants to make this show work he's going to need marketing, great locations, and engagement. In other words he's got to be willing to go out there and sell the event, we saw not one post from Leonard about this event... I saw nothing anywhere.

Future locations I would consider... Boston / New England area - New York City area - Los Angles


05-01-2013, 11:31 AM
The problem is that Leonard is competing with a giant, well financed show. I think most haunt people just hit Transworld and that's it. It's in a usually consistent location so you don't have to hunt down reliable hotels and restaurants and transportation and other diversions, again and again. It is a known commodity. I don't care what city it is in, I can make one show a year unless it is within a couple hours driving distance.

Who, in this economy, has extra money to travel to additional shows? Particularly one happening so close to Transworld's show date. And then MHC is a month after that. Who can take off extra days from work to attend more shows?

What would be an incentive to have a show in Los Angeles? It is the 8th most expensive city to visit in the nation. It's largely a crappy city unless you really, really plan out your stay. Not enough hotels or motels of good quality and price. Hollywood is a dump. No full time standing haunts to visit. Most the beaches suck or have gang issues. Yes, there is Disneyland.

New York is the second most expensive city to visit... Total average daily cost for two people staying in New York: $606.38.

Boston. The 9th most expensive city to visit.

And these are all heavy union states, so Vendors get ripped off setting up shows.

Yeah, Leonard's show needs more marketing. That said no amount of marketing is going to get me to another show.

05-01-2013, 01:05 PM
Well I guess you didn't totally understand everything I said... every single show that is produced is out there on message boards and anywhere else promoting the show. Leonard does not do this and its FREE! Everywhere TW is marketing their show Hauntcon can afford but they don't. The only thing TW has that Leonard may not have is a huge database but he has one all the same. More can be done and should be done if you want to bring buyers and sellers together. Otherwise skip the tradeshow all together do haunt tours and seminars and call it a day.

As for the cities I choose I don't agree with you... when I say New York that doesn't mean it has to be in NEW YORK it can be in New Jersey or on the outskirts. New York/New Jersey has many major haunts from Headless Horseman to shows in New York City to the Worlds only haunted themed restaurant.

New York area let me clarify... would be #1.

Boston again outskirts or Boston doesn't matter... they have ZILLIONS of haunts in the New England area plus they have Salem MASS the WORLDS only Halloween themed tourist town not far away.

As for LA you have tons of haunt related attractions that you don't even know about but lots to do fun things I might add... one of the worlds top tourist towns.


05-01-2013, 01:25 PM
Larry I liked Dallas for the Haunts we saw but the rest of it could have been any where else. Sawdust as far as competing with TW you are wrong look at MHC they had 4500 people last year and will be over 5000 people this year, they don't have deep pockets but they do sell their show well. (TW did about 6000 this year) I agree that it would be nice to go to New Orleans and as far as vendors the size of the show room would still put us in a hotel so that is not as big a problem with unions. The one thing that Hauntcon has going for it that is that it takes us to new and interesting places every year. Haunts in different places do things just a little different than others so it becomes a learning experience. I do not know if I will go back next year that depends on the venues and where it is located. If its in Atlanta or New Orleans then I will be there just to see some haunt I want to see.

05-01-2013, 02:08 PM
Well I guess you didn't totally understand everything I said... every single show that is produced is out there on message boards and anywhere else promoting the show. Leonard does not do this and its FREE!

The HAuNTcon thread on Hauntforum.com has had over 6000 views and 168 comments since it launched last August. http://www.hauntforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=24

The HAuNTcon thread on Halloweenforum.com has it's own section with over 1000 views since February when it was set up. MHC is the only other con that has it's own section. TW does not even have its own section. http://www.halloweenforum.com/hauntcon/

(Note: Leonard did not start these threads.)

I saw multiple HC posts on FB every day for the past month. Most of them were by HC or Leonard himself. I think the word is getting out on forums, it's just not Leonard posting them. Could he do a better job promoting? Of course he could. Who out there sits back and says "I think I'm doing enough marketing"? Maybe Leonard just doesn't feel he needs to promote on this particular board because everyone here pretty much knows what's going on and how Leonard operates. I could probably count the number of times he's posted here on 1 or 2 hands...

05-01-2013, 04:33 PM
Badger I think as far as forums it's ok I just did not see many emails sent to me from HC. I have received tons from MHC and TW so that is the area I think he may be missing. I liked the show I got what I wanted out of it, I would have just like to see more vendors and that comes with higher attendance.

05-01-2013, 04:37 PM
Couple things...

One that is my point if its his show he should start threads and keep people informed. He does not... its not about anyone one forum its about any and all forums they have the ability to promote. This is a serious mistake on his part it shows lack of interest on his part, which translates over to vendors or buyers not showing much interest either. MHC which now has tons of people coming does the opposite which just goes to show ... see my point.

I also agree that you can compete with any show if you put forth the effort. We live in a digital world and in that world not much money is needed but effort is ... Hauntcon at least in my opinion shows very little effort. If they want this show to continue they need to put out MAX effort GO ALL OUT which will show potential vendors they are serious about helping them make sales. Just my view point.


05-01-2013, 07:16 PM
What I seem to be getting out of this is that Hauntcon didn't promote on these forums therefore they don't put effort into their show. Seems a bit extreme. Whereas those who attended have said that attendance was good. As a marketing person, I do agree that you should get your message out everywhere and anywhere you can, especially using means that are free. But missing one way to get the word out does not imply "little effort".

05-01-2013, 08:11 PM
I don't think Transworld has a thread on that forum (hauntforum)
because its dominated by home haunters and haunt enthusiasts.

Not many pro haunts of significance post over there.


Dark Tiki Studios
05-01-2013, 08:29 PM
Leonard did promote Hauntcon heavily on Twitter. He seems to really be into Twiiter. I wish I could've attended.

05-01-2013, 10:05 PM
Can anyone READ? I said clear as day that I didn't see anything anywhere ... Haunt Forums are for home haunters. Twitter that is a joke no one is following Twitter other than celebs or sports stars. And sorry to be deliver the bad news no one pays attention to facebook either... people only pay attention to their own facebook page. I'm NOT saying because he didn't promote on any one thing I'm saying the sum of everything out there... one guy pointed out that even on the home haunter sites Leonard did NOT start the threads himself it was started by others. As for TW having threads OMG give me a break, you had zillions of people talking about it for months they didn't need to start one. You had everyone from vendors starting threads about new products they are bringing, to Shanes party thread to hundreds more. Hauntcon had no presence at the TW show, very little marketing, and all I'm saying is at the very least he could personally try to promote the show himself for FREE but that wasn't even done. The show is down to almost no vendors and I'm saying they need to get on the ball if this show is going to make it. I think anyone with half a brain would agree with that... only a moron who doesn't understand how to spell cat or dog when it comes to marketing wouldn't agree.

MHC is on the ball, even this EHC or this West Coast thing you hear more about those shows than Hauntcon. I want Hauntcon to succeed but Leonard needs to get off his coach and work harder.


05-01-2013, 10:20 PM
As I understand it, hauntcon had no presence at Transworld because Leonard was told he's not welcome anywhere near Transworld because they found out about his email blasts that Transworld deemed negative.

Transworld is crucial to reaching the industry.


05-02-2013, 07:04 AM
The bottom line is that attendance was up and those who went enjoyed the show. It was a good location for it, good tours, good education. I'm yet to really hear anything negative from someone who was at the show. Debating their marketing is kind of irrelevant.

Allen H
05-02-2013, 07:41 AM
Honestly any better marketing and they would have outgrown their venue. So they nailed how many they could handle. Also the Hauntcon audience is not the transworld audience. There is an overlap, but it is rather small. So marketing at transworldwould not help as much with getting happy atendees. I hate it when a show over promises, it is always a let down. Very glad they did not do that. The forums the show was on are more his audience and as a vendor I love that it is diferent people.
Allen H

05-02-2013, 10:08 AM
I think their venue was small because they aren't getting vendor support any longer... I want to see Hauntcon succeed. I like the idea of traveling to different cities each you and exposing to the entire industry new haunts, new cities, and new fresh idea's each year. But the show is shrunk now to the point it doesn't even need a show floor and I just wonder out loud here if it would be better off dumping that element all together. Otherwise the show specifically Leonard needs to get on the bike and go all out to promote the show to the entire industry. I stand by what I said that he doesn't even come close to reaching out to the industry to drive in buyers not also vendors.

When the show started it had lots of vendors now not so much... I'm also NOT buying into they can't get them because of Transworld. You can get them 110% but you have to put forth a much better effort than he does now.

The effort in my opinion on a scale of 1-10 is below a 5... take away Transworld money and what effort do they make ??? I would say 10 plus all the way. MHC same thing their effort is 10 plus and the results speak for themselves. I like the CONCEPT of Hauntcon better than I like MHC because an MHC style show is stationed in one spot and is limited to the haunts it can showcase, so I hope Hauntcon either gets on or off the bus!


Greg Chrise
05-02-2013, 11:26 AM
I didn't go to Hauntcon even though it was only 3 hours away from me due to commercial business deadlines. Still, I have been able to objectively see how it works, and it is what it is. There is no reason to advertise nationally for something that comes into a region once over 10 years, recruits all the local haunts to participate and uses social media to inform people that are already your contacts.

The places he is chosing are small and it isn't enough for a big vendor to make a buck but for the brand new guy who wants a responce about his products, the booth cost is super reasonable and it is all doable. Starting out one might rather want their products to be sold and delivered even in person instead of thinking globally right off the bat when you only have 50 of something.

The parties, the seminars, the haunt tours all have a following. Many of my local haunts do consider this the show they want to attend no matter where in the country it is because of the unpressured pace and low attendance allows lots of one on one contact with people.

He hits regions that are already a large community that is already connected, it isn't just pick out a city and try to make it work. Its more like back in the Myspace days, there was an article about a band that had a van and a trailer with their instruments and would myspace the next town and get 300 people in a small bar. That to them was a successful number for what they had to offer, what merchandise they had to sell while at the location and what minimums they collected from the door. End of story, it wasn't a get famous or discovered thing, it was make a living kind of thing and I think this article might have come to me from the old Haunted attraction days.

Why spend big bucks and go through all the motions nationally when you are working limited capacity venues? Everything doesn't have to be super hyped or in competition with something else.

So the local haunt community and a few of the local stars become the hosts of the event in a way and it is all nice. Those that do make it their business to travel get that same welcoming in all the other towns. So it isn't about neon signs and Las Vegas adds, it becomes as simple as smiling at freinds even though you have nothing to say as you walk by. Real freinds, not networking victims and drinking buddies.

05-02-2013, 04:46 PM
I went and have no major complaints, I do like looking at new products but TW takes that spot for most vendors. I had fun and enjoyed the smaller feel to the show, you left the show feeling that I had a bunch of new friends. As with all shows there is always things you want changed but nothing that is a show stopper for me.

05-04-2013, 03:46 PM
My business partner and I went to HAuNTcon this year and had an amazing time. We learned so much and enjoyed the haunt tours. I personally didn't go to buy stuff. I went to be reenergized for the 2013 season. Success! We are more excited about our haunt than we have ever been and I believe alot of that is due to our positive experience at HAuNTcon.
We are hoping for a southeastern city in 2014. If so, not only are we coming back, but we are bringing our core staff.

05-04-2013, 06:25 PM
I always felt kind of a little us and them mentality here, at least as far as HAUNTWORLD and HAUNTED ATTRACTION. I am a little sensitive to things like this, maybe I am misreading everything. But someone had April's Fool Joked about Leonard buying up Larry's empire, it was supposed to be a little surprising or shocking-- It felt a little like a jab to me. That said, I don't know what the relationships are between Larry and Leonard and wouldn't want to assume anything. Maybe Leonard is just being extra cautious to not appear as if he's stepping on Larry's toes. Maybe Leonard steers clear to avoid any appearances of impropriety.

Leonard is a wealth of information and has done a lot to further this industry too. If he has never been welcomed with open arms to this site, maybe it is time that he is.

I am not on the inside track to know the answer to all this, but I'm sure someone out there knows. Anyone???

Allen H
05-04-2013, 06:45 PM
that is an old odg that is currently sleeping. I would love it if we let it lie. Larry has been warmer in recent years andeven promoted/posted about hauntcon in the past. So as all situations do it is evolving.

scary bill
05-04-2013, 07:04 PM
I have been to both, didn't make this year hauntcon, made transworld. Comparing the two is like comparing apples an oranges. I go to hauntcom for the classes, different tours every year, and the fun and camaraderie. transworld is to look at all the new cool stuff and buy things.
What is so great about hauntcon is that it is in different areas every year. The haunt tour is fantastic. Like said before, it is nice to see the whole gamut of haunts, not just the cream. I like the classes better too, considering they are free and there is many.
I think each has its place, and enjoy them both, just for different reasons.
I want to try and make mhc this year, not sure funds and work will allow.
As a whole, I would say I enjoy hauntcon way more than transworld, but transworld has the sales floor, so you have to go to it.

happy haunting everyone

05-04-2013, 08:33 PM
Thanks for clarifying, Allen. Didn't want to stir anything up, just not in the loop.

05-09-2013, 02:09 AM
Couple more things here...

Talked to Cutting Edge Haunted House and they reported about 500 people from Hauntcon attended their haunted house. Obviously the trade show floor was probably the smallest ever but obviously people liked the seminars and the tours.

Now to do some clarification here... I have NOTHING against Hauntcon or Leonard in fact just the opposite. I have talked to Leonard multiple times about this show and encouraged him to go more on a limb and promote the event more. I'm a big believer if you don't take risks you'll never experience any rewards... you can't go around hoping or expecting that something great is just going to happen without a maximum effort. I believe 110% that no all out effort is being made to promote this event to its fullest, therefore the tradeshow aspect continues to decline. At some point I think you have to either just say that this is a haunt tour event, with seminars, and parties with no tradeshow floor at all, or you need to do a better job promoting the show to the industry and whomever else you deem as potential targets. These are facts... undisputed in fact.

I for one want this show to succeed because the idea that you can go see haunts in different cities is very appealing because it puts the spotlight on different owners, different markets and new fresh faces each year. Now people say and I think Leonard himself has said maybe it doesn't do as well as the other shows because its feet aren't planted in the ground like Transworld or MHC for example... and I say humbug, its lack of effort all out blitzkrieg marketing just isn't done here. This show needs to be marketed sooner, harder, more in depth, turn up all the stones, and let the haunts from those markets sell the event!!! If I took over this event I can assure the attendance would triple in the first year, because I wouldn't take the build it and they will come approach... I want Hauntcon gets bigger and better, and I hope the cities, the haunts, and the owners can help Hauntcon promote this event better.

Its not just Leonard doing a poor job its the haunts that get toured they could do more themselves to help sell the event... its an all around the board, get everyone on board approach that needs to happen. I want the show to succeed if I didn't I wouldn't be mentioning any of this ...

Bottom line pick a BIG MARKET for next year... go big or go home! Then make the haunts themselves help promote the event, get an early jump, put the peddle to the meddle and never let off and then yes start all over again! Maybe someone will say they are not doing a poor job, okay maybe that is the wrong choice of words. So let me put it another way,,, its not being done on the level that I personally would take this show, how I personally would turn up the heat to a boil, and its certainly not the level or anything close to what Transworld is doing. You don't have to have TW money to promote this show you need the effort to take advantage of everything you know and everything you can do to make it the most successful secondary show of the year.

I could post a LONG list of things Hautcon could do to boost attendance, hell I could do the same for ALL these shows every single one, so I hope Hauntcon will do better next year and beyond because the overall concept of the show can be very important to our industry.