View Full Version : HHA Updates... Here we go!
12-10-2008, 09:25 PM
HHA is underway. A new website is coming. A new logo is coming. A haunt directory just for members is coming. A PROVEN national public relations effort for the members is coming. Proven and Qualified leadership is coming from all corners of this industry is coming.
And last but not least a PLAN with clear objectives will be outlined to make your business grow, and to help you prosper. A single voice for all haunted house owners and operators is on the way folks.
The first board will be announced withing days. The unveil of the new website again within days... and the whole plan will be lined out prior to and during the 2009 Transworld Show.
There will be the first ever meeting for HHA at Transworld on Friday Night at 6pm.
HHA will have its own booth at Transworld to sign up members. Our goal is to be 1,000 Halloween Attractions STRONG within our first 18 months. Bylaws will be written soon, the association is on its way to setting up its first bank account, and a treasurer is already in place.
America Haunts PROVED good things can happen for all when you work together, now America Haunts is turning over their leadership and PR effort to THIS INDUSTRY!
More on all of this come soon...
NOW we would like to know your thoughts about what you would like to see a haunt association do for you!!! What do you think we as an industry can do that we can actually do as single business owners.
Your input is considered valuable.
12-11-2008, 07:32 AM
Is this a slate for elections?
I don't recall getting a ballot.
The rest of the announcement sounds good. Details will be anticipated.
Is that a train whistle in the distance?
12-11-2008, 07:37 AM
Good stuff Larry, I recieved my member card and the latest issue of HW mag... thanks!
What'd I'd like to see? Maybe a full scale internet marketing campaign... like:
-Frontpage of myspace, background and auto-play video
-Ads on other online communities
-Stories on national sites like, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, MSN, Yahoo, etc. etc. All front/home page stuff!
-A youtube channel featuring videos from member haunts and other "cool" industry videos... something to really show us off!
Also, I'd obviously like to see more more TV programs produced, like America's Scariest Haunted Attractions and maybe an America Haunts 2! Maybe a show called "Halloween Tech"... talks all about the "tech" of our industry from the big animations, talking skulls/projection bust, CGI effects, triggers/pads, audio systems, lighting systems, etc. etc. etc... something that could be aired on the Discovery Channel!
Thanks for the updates Larry! -Tyler
12-11-2008, 07:55 AM
I think this should ONLY be for pro haunters, that is people who have or run a haunt that was open this past season at least and can prove it if need be.
Nothing against home haunters or enthusiasts or people wanting to eventually own a haunt but to be a serious association that is designed to push the industry forward on a level of national respect and acceptance there needs to be a separation, not just anyone should be allowed membership like other associations...
12-11-2008, 08:06 AM
^ On that note, maybe a submission of a business license! -Tyler
12-11-2008, 08:28 AM
Yeah, active website too if there is any question.
12-11-2008, 09:15 AM
A business license for something that only operates for charity for 2 weeks out of the year? You want to make sure everyone has sperate haunt bank accounts? Make sure everyone is at least being monitored for sales taxes like the regional gypsy pest control guy?
Do you have a business license? The next step would be bonded? Insured to some specific level, have a workmans comp certificate, an Federal Empoyers ID.
Maybe the Texas Agriculural department can come measure my square feet and put a sticker on the front door saying it is in deed so many square foot and worth $10 per ticket? Have you seen the guys who run around in trucks with gallon pails to make sure you are getting a gallon of gas when the meter says gallon on the pump?
I would hope after everyone spent thousands complying with paperwork, the world of taxation and the unemployment system they would at least get a decoder ring.
Are you living in a township where you have fire ambulance and police that are paid for by the taxes you pay? You call one number an your call is directed?
Is there only one business entity involved in your various events? Do they have someone on staff to make sure their membership requirements are being met and maintained?
Is the new Haunt organization an insurance provider? Are they going to offer a better rate that what we already have?
Is there some real authority involved here or are we just making up rules?
How about we don't want anyone on the board that has not been part of an attraction or event for 10 years.
Anyone can spend about $1500 and pretend to be in business even have business cars printed up and all these government forms filled out yet has never operated, owned or acted in a haunted event. Even though my haunt made very little profit last year, I could get a picture of me infront of my hearse holding a black American express card and making some gang sign. Could I be someone then? Would a runner up be appointed in case I can't fulfill my duties? Is there a swim sut competition? I think only hot babes should be on the board.
Wait until you are over 50 years old and you will have the same opinion of everyone and their little self appointed rules making them so important when it has nothing to do with anything except wasting peoples time proving they are somebody.
As an entrepuenure if I need a professional engineer, I buy the service of one. If I need an attorney I call one. If I need termites to be gone I call a termite guy. I'm not really licensed to make these phone calls so maybe I'm not really qualified to have a telephone. It's okay though anyone can get an Internet connection and have a how to make money on line website. You could be sleeping under a piece of cardboard in Kenya as long as you pay the Internet Cafe guy $10. Or you can use the free computer a few minutes every day at the public library.
You could put up a haunted webste and get college credit in a communications class.
Until I see some real purpose, no one is going to see what I look like.
12-11-2008, 09:29 AM
OK Greg so everyone can join and we'll have IAHA version 2! Do we want to be taken seriously or not? Having a haunt enthusiast or haunt actor speak on behalf of large, major haunted attractions, even medium or small PRO haunts is ridiculous. This industry has been there and done that Greg, isn't this supposed to be different from the outset?
12-11-2008, 12:23 PM
I would like to think that as long as you are a Haunt owner/operator, you will qualify as a member. A person also may want to consider what proof he is willing to make public as a lot of cash is handled when the IRS can be very nosey.
Is this to be a "statu quo" membership or an organization that works for everyone. Every haunter out there started out small and while some may stay that way as others grow, they shouldn't be left out because they aren't "big enough" or suspected of not being the real thing. Who decides this?
It's hard for everyone to agree, even harder when it's a state to state business with different laws. But I always believe that no one person is above another,
and you want membership to be what? A gross income of so many $$ and proof of it? That's what it all comes down to with this statu quo membership.
I'm not in disagreement of qualify members only, but need to be careful on how this would be choosen.
Jim @ Colwood
12-11-2008, 01:30 PM
Jim it's not about how much you make or how big your haunt is, it should matter if you are even a haunter at all, as in owning or running a haunt. That's all I'm saying. If you own or run a haunt that's great. If you don't yet and someday want to, wait until then to join isn't that only fair? The only staus quo should be if you have a haunt, if not join the other associations this one seems to be planned a bit more focused....
12-11-2008, 04:02 PM
Anyone can join from a haunt owner to a would be haunt owner, an amusement park, who knows who will be the next haunted house owner? We don't know you don't know... however to serve on the board you will need to be a haunted house owner/operator, meaning you could say be the operator and not the owner for example look at Six Flags or Tampa Busch Gardens as prime examples, or the head of a major charity organization event...blah, blah.
But there will be certain requipments to run for this board, such as experience, references, there will be a strict nomination committee that will review all of this. If this industry is a half to one billion dollar industry, do we want a new attraction just learning the ropes or for example a home haunter sitting on the board helping steer an organization that reprsents a half a billion dollars? NO WE DO NOT! If this assocation raises a quarter of a million dollars per year to run this organization do you want it wasted on things that do NOT impact your business directly?
NO YOU DO NOT... this is why there will be guidlines to control all of this stuff. We do not want this group to fall into the same potholes as the other group. What YOU WANT as a haunted house owner is successful attempts to improve the awareness of your business, to champion your industry, to help keep us all safe and to speak for us all in times of need or crisis.
Do we really want our money spend on handbags, or the endless amounts of other things we can all buy ourselves or do we want RESULTS?
As for the first board, the first board is being put together to write the bylaws, to get everything together for the first showing at Transworld. Elections will happen but they can't happen until the bylaws are written and a nomination process is created. You don't want me doing all this stuff by myself, you want a group of haunters who represent a diverse background of this industry. That is what we are trying to put together so we can launch this thing right the first time... from there this industry will decide its fate.
12-11-2008, 04:09 PM
You could also separate your membership into levels.
And to be in one of those levels you have to meet certain criteria for each level.
That way you can allow anyone who has an interest in haunting be allowed to join, but you have to be at a certain skill or experience level to be a decision maker, board member etc....
It would allow everyone to have input.
12-11-2008, 04:13 PM
I think that is the plan to have two levels of membership. This is very needed step. Good advice! Larry
12-11-2008, 04:14 PM
HEY EVERYONE ... ANY COMMENTS ON THE NEW LOGO?
12-11-2008, 04:42 PM
You are very welcome,
I think Ben and I spoke about this way back.
And the logo is great.
Something also to think about. I know a board needs to be selected to help get the mission statement and bylaws in order, but you might also want to consider having a new board elected by membership soon following.
that way no one can say it isn't being done democratically
12-11-2008, 04:52 PM
I like the new logo, the people that you have do yor stuff have a lot of talent.
HEY EVERYONE ... ANY COMMENTS ON THE NEW LOGO?
12-11-2008, 05:10 PM
How is this different from IAHA?
12-11-2008, 05:17 PM
You are 110% correct and that is what will happen for sure! You just have to get all this leg work stuff done first.
As for the comments about IAHA... don't even get me started LOL. I will not say the negative, I will stick the the positve of HHA.
HHA will not have home haunters, enthusiasts, horror fans or people who aren't really vendors on the board. The board will be made up stricktly of haunted house owners and operators with no less than FIVE years experience running and operating haunted attractions. The goals of organization will be VERY CLEAR... HELP THE HAUNTED HOUSE INDUSTRY GROW and PROSPER!
Though national PR directed at the HHA website we hope to find new customers for your business, through education we hope to help you grow your existing business and keep you going in the right direction.
These are the clear differences. You need haunt OWNERS to direct the association not enthusiasts, not horror fans or part time vendors. You need people who all have the same pitfalls, problems, goals, and dreams to direct the organization into the future.
One person can do many great things but together we can be an ARMY of ONE!
12-11-2008, 05:20 PM
Dark Angel, I understand what you are saying and agree with that whole heartily. I was not exactly clear on your post prior to that. Thanks for clearing it up.
Larry, The logo looks great !
Question, are the Board members going to have limits on how many year term?
I suppose this will be in the bylaws, correct?
Jim @ colwood
12-11-2008, 06:42 PM
I appreciate the extension to people trying to start a haunted attraction (like myself), but how will this association benefit us newbie’s?
It’s obvious the industry needs a more formal association, but will it only benefit the current attractions or will there be programs geared towards start-ups to help them succeed?
12-11-2008, 07:15 PM
Kevin I think had a great idea splitting the membership criteria. I'm all for creating something that will help this industry grow for ourselves and for our perception from the public, everyone really.
12-11-2008, 07:37 PM
We may not all agree on everything but one thing I think we all agree on we need an association for professionals, who make their living and or are trying to make their living producing Halloween attractions.
The plan is to make this association work for those already in the business. To answer the one question posed... the goal of an association shouldn't ever be to help those not in the business get into the business.
That would be working against your membership because every haunt you help get started is one haunt that could be competing with an existing member. The goal of this association should never be to complete with any existing member, or a vendor, or a service or to promote one person over another person.
As for what can HHA do for a newbie, well you can share in the success this association will surely accomplish, you can share the communication and knowledge that will be brought forth.
12-11-2008, 10:29 PM
Looks like things are headed in the right direction.
I agree, anyone can join, but those making the decisions (board) should have the experience necessary to make them. As far as different levels of membership, you can look to IAAPA as an example, they have different membership types - Amusement Facility, Manufacturer-Supplier-Consultant, and Individual, which allows virtually anyone to join, however, I'm sure anyone who has an individual membership, is not running for a board position or making decisions for the organization, but is still gaining a wealth of knowledge from the association.
As far as the logo, it looks great, a little more professional looking than the old one.
12-11-2008, 11:42 PM
Check out this video here where I did an interview COAST TO COAST talking about our industry on behalf of the Haunted House Industry. This was seen by MILLIONS of people. Notice how when they talk about the Darkness I try to steer them back onto the whole industry. I do my best! Bottom line this was funded by America Haunts on behalf of the whole industry. Check it out. Larry
12-12-2008, 06:49 AM
That was a cool video. It seems they wanted to see more of the props than to talk numbers. Don't you just hate those little ear pieces they give you to feed you the questions? I barely understand half of the questions they ask when I am using a pair of those!!
12-12-2008, 08:08 AM
The plan and ideas are on track. It needs to be focused and not try to be one size fits all because there is a difference between enthusiast, hobbyist, and even events.
Market size might be another break out within so that haunts in small towns could network and haunts in big markets would do so as well.
The board needs to be stable so that it doesn't roller coaster in effort. A marketing person who is part time employed for many of the efforts needed.
12-12-2008, 05:30 PM
Larry, maybe I misunderstood your post so I may be off target here, but my question wasn't would the association help those not in the business get into the business, but help the start-ups succeed and learn from the experienced; and by start-ups I mean 1st/2nd year haunts.
Since this association is being touted as the end-all for the haunt industry, I guess I'm expecting something along the lines of the ASQ (American Society of Quality). You can look it up if you really want to know what/who they are, but basically they provide a great wealth of resources for those already well established in AND those new to quality management. It offers those resources (for cost of course) to those in the quality sector regardless of experience. I think an association structure like ASQ's should be this association's goal, but that's my opinion.
12-12-2008, 06:05 PM
I thought I answered your question but I guess I didn't so I'll take another shot here...
The goal of the association is to work for ways to improve the awareness of haunts nationwide, keep them safe, and find ways to help your business. The goals will always assume you already own an attraction. You being a newbie well you will benefit from our accomplishments as a member, and you will have access to all sorts of information we collect, or things we accomplish.
If you are NOT a member you will not have access to anything we accomplish. If you do not own a haunt you join you are helping the cause and you will get things like industry directory phone book lets say, or vendor discounts, blah, blah but all of the things the association spends its money on will be towards helping those with attractions.
Members who join that do not own attractions will pay less money, in fact a lot less, and you will still have the access to the information, and access to vendor discounts, industry directory and all of that. So it will be worth it to you no matter if you have a haunt or not. We also want to set up national health care for the members, so you can purchase low cost insurance for yourself, your family and workers.
12-13-2008, 11:21 AM
I have helped other organizations start up. You have to have some patience.
At this time, Larry is one of the driving forces, but there are many others well respected in this industry that are coming on board.
Any organization in the development stages needs help and this one has some of the big hurdles out of the way with Larry fronting many things: website, some artwork, time, and effort to start this thing. Larry is saying he will not be on the board. He has gathered many people together with the same vision to take HHA in an owners direction. It shouldn't try to be everything to everybody.
The more I find out, the more I like what I hear. I am hoping this will be another way in which to network and learn to help with my goals.
TW in March will be here quickly and the rest of the HHA details will be on the table.
12-14-2008, 11:30 PM
I agree Brett, patience may be a virtue, but in this case it is an absolute necessary!! I too have been involved in several local and national organizations, from established to start-up. You go no where without a clearly defined purpose. No organization succeeds if it tries to be a "one size fits all". That unfortunately was the case for the IAHA. I too am not here to slam the IAHA, heck I was one of it's strongest proponents, but when it refused to focus and tried to please everyone it started it's downward spiral!
Back in 1999, I for one was almost insulted that the IAHA was allowing me to join even though I didn't own a haunt yet. I assumed I could only be an associate member and here they were not only allowing me to join, but seeing if I was interested in a board position! Granted I had prior experience on several other boards, but there should have been more criteria in place. My hope is the HHA learns from the mistakes, avoids making them and provides a true service for the industry.
We all claim to be part of this industry, then we refuse to treat it like an actual industry and it stays a mere shadow of what it truly could be. Why should banks, vendors, real estate brokers, sponsors or other business professional take us seriously when WE refuse to? Until we move from an artisan focus to a business focus we are doomed to spin our wheels. By this I mean a vast majority of those who own haunts did so because they LOVE Halloween. These are the creative people who build the props, design the scares. They are the life blood of the industry. But without a clear business aspect to your business it becomes nothing more than a glorified “hobby”.
I have said it time and time again. It bothers me that any seminar at TW that has the word “scare” in it is always packed. Any seminar that has a business focus is empty!!! Yet without being a successful business, you will never GET to scare anyone!!!
If correctly implemented, nurtured and supported the HHA CAN be what this industry so desperately needs, a REAL VOICE. We need leaders who will follow this mantra, not people who only want a board position to be more popular or to use it as a promotional tool to promote their own haunt locally. If we focus on presenting our industry in the correct light, we will ALL reap the benefits.
Act and treat ourselves like an actual functioning industry and someday others may do the same.
12-15-2008, 04:58 AM
I agree with you Rich.
The levels of membership and the pre-req's for board members is essential for the focus to be there.
Patience is also necessary by all when disagreements occur. Many times people (we all are in this group) get caught up in the moment and get irate with each other. Businesslike attitude and professionalism needs to be remembered.
Looking forward to March.
12-15-2008, 08:05 AM
Which group of people are not currently seeing the haunt industry as an industry? I hear this claim quite a bit but not sure who these people are.
12-16-2008, 03:02 AM
The new HHA website is coming folks... it is being worked on even as we speak. You will LOVE this new site. Rogues Hollow is building the site with some graphics created by Brainstorm Studios.
I can't wait to see how it turns out...but within days it should be up!
12-16-2008, 09:36 AM
Not to start drama, because I think the association is a GREAT idea, but honestly I'm not going to lie I'm a wee bit worried the money I spend to join will be used to say... better the darkness? I understand Larry, you probley fronted alot of $$ of your own to get this started but is the membership $$ going to be used strickly to grow the association? It may seem like a dumb question but a question I'm sure alot of people are thinking, just afraid to ask..
12-16-2008, 10:22 AM
I would NEVER use a dime of the HHA money to fund anything person. Secondly, you are correct I am spending money out of my own pocket right now and I alot of it I might add. Thirdly, I will not be the treasurer of this association that will be announced maybe later this week.
All the HHA money will go to someone else no longer will it go to me. I will not be the President, VP, or any other exec position.
Lastly, HHA finally has a board in place. It will be announced soon!
It has really begun now...
This will be a dream full filled for me. The day when all haunted house owners can say proudly they belong to something that works for the benefit of their industry, in a positive and productive way without drama, without conflict, without the association interfering or hurting your business.
It can and will be done!
12-16-2008, 01:07 PM
This board who appointed who? When was it voted and and who all voted. I have not recieved one call, email nothing saying who was up for nominations or anything. I can probably answer my own question by bring up all the same names thats are always brought up ( at least here anyway). I hope I am wrong but this Industry seems to be more on the line of a pyramid. Same ones get asked, same ones get interviewed same ole same ole. Its like I am in the HHA, I am in the HVA I am in the this that and its always the same people. I am yet to see one new name and I MEAN ONE NEW NAME. Most can see its a protected circle and that circle makes all the same decisions. Also who and when were the bylaws wrote? As members of this why were we not allowed to vote on board members? I am president of a organization and our board members were nominated and voted on by the paid members. I have not see that here. Why?
I have a second question for us who paid 50.00 last year where is that money now and what has it went for. Will we recieve a break down on how many joined, where the money is, where the money went? I myself have been in the Haunt Industry for 15 years. I kept out of all the Industry stuff by my choosing. I have friends who has been in it as long as me if not longer than me. Not once have I ever seen their names mentioned here. It just gets old. Not to offend but with change and orginization also comes new names, ideas, ect. Shane and its I got more questions Shane this time!
12-16-2008, 02:47 PM
Larry loved you piece on the news!!
The only issue (read your fortune haunters) I have with the whole thing is they will play this back when it hits October 2009.
The 2008 season saw vast entertainment increases but my gut feeling is to all haunters is to hold on to your money in 2009 because the day of downturn is coming for the haunt industry...
Mark this date and keep close eyes on you wallet..
12-16-2008, 09:21 PM
First to you... thanks for your comments! I know things might get worse with the collapse of the upcoming 'ARM' loans but I really believe that while some industries really bit the dust others will thrive especially our industry. I'm glad to hear you had a great year! Good for you!
Larry this time... LOL
All good questions and I can only tell you I'm turning over the lists to HHA's new director of fullfillment. No your $50.00 wasn't for nothing... you will get your full 4 magazines. Secondly you will recieve a FULL $50.00 discount to join the real HHA in March. I have spent more than I have collected on a variety of different things and EVERYTHING will be accounted for I can assure you. Currently I'm paying for the new HHA webite, templates, logos, the banner which will be used for the tradeshow, blah, blah. blah.
There will be a full accounting I promise you. Just be happy that a real association for professional haunted house owners which yes includes Mr. Shane is here, to offer Shane and all the other haunt owners of the world something that will continue to build the industry in a positive way!
Shane I personally hope you embrace this new organization and offer YOUR help. I think your help could be very valuable. I hope to hear that you will offer it.
12-16-2008, 10:24 PM
I'm glad to be a founding member of the HHA (or that's what it says on my card) and can't wait until the meeting during TW! So excited! -Tyler
12-17-2008, 05:48 AM
I sent you a private message, and was wondering if I may talk with you sometime VIA phone?
I don't fully understand a few things about the HHA and would like to have you clarify them for me.
If you rather not then that's ok, I just won't worry about it then.
If you are willing, then e-mail me a good time and hopefully it will work for me too.
Jim @ Colwood Ent.
12-17-2008, 07:45 AM
Thanks for the reply. But you still did not fully answer my question. Who was nominated, when was it voted on. who voted on it. Who wrote the bylaws. I as a paid member would want to vote and nominate officers and I have not recieved nothing. Also how long will these positions be held? 1 year?, 2,4, forever? Again I hope I was just over looked. Will we see the same names as always? Will there be new names, new ideas? Who else out there was over looked? Who nominated who? These are serious questions and I would like a serious answer. Shane and its where is the voting booth Shane this time.
12-17-2008, 08:36 AM
If you look back on this thread I asked the simple question on how long of a term the board members are in for? Never received an answer either. I thought maybe it was a stupid question as I don't fully understand this whole process. I don't get to read these post's as much as I like too because i'm so busy. Thus it's hard keeping up and takes so long too go back and read every post made.
I feel the terms should be limited or subject for re-election on a 3 year with posistions being alternated from one another. But then, who am I?
Nation wide health insurance will be extreamly hard to accomplish in my eyes.
Don't know if there is a carrier out there that would do this. IE. Blue Cross has Blue Cross of Michigan, Blue Cross of Ohio ect. ect... . Would have to be seperate policies. I'm not sure of this and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
Jim @ Colwood with good luck Shane on getting your answers Shane
12-17-2008, 09:07 AM
Allow me to try to respond here.
To many of your questions there are no complete answers because it is being created as we speak. I cannot tell you what is on page 7 if I have an empty book!
Expect inital information in a few days, and more coming in rapid succession.
Know this, ultimately this will operate as a full association just like any other, and as an active member you will be able to shape it as you would any association.
At this point suggestions about how it SHOULD operate are more useful that questions about how it DOES operate because it is just being created now, if that makes any sense.
Wait just a moment and see what it really is before you worry too much about it.
I feel pretty confident that all information will be reasonably complete by Transworld.
Now questions about things like term limits etc. Good Stuff! A good exercise here is to look at other associations and find what RIGHT in them and what is WRONG with them. Term limits are CRITICAL in my opinion, for example.
12-17-2008, 10:19 AM
At least this is an answer and/or a responce.
Jim @ Colwood
12-17-2008, 10:47 AM
If there is an empty book then where did the 50.00 go got last year? To me we should have paid when the HHA was in place. We paid 50.00 to a name and name only. There was no nominations, there was no voting, there is nothing. So almost a year ago many people paid 50.00 and we still have a blank book? This is no different than these so called preachers calling out to their flock that its their place to pad the pockets of the ones who come a calling!!! WHY WHY WHY! I said its coming off as a pyrmid and all those on top make the money of those on bottom!!!!!! Renewals are coming up. Where will that money go? To me no one needs to spend another dime till we have names, nominations, meetings, voting ect!!!!!
Again WHOS NOMINATED AND WHO DID THE NOMINATIONS AND WHEN DID THEY TAKE PLACE??????.
Guys for those who keep emailing me please guys post it here . Its apparent you all have the same thoughts and questions I do so post it here! Its not like your going to be booted or removed from this site ( I assume anyway)
Ben I am more and more interested in us having dinner when your in town. I got a ton of questions for you too!!!! Shane and its please give me some answers Shane this time!!
12-17-2008, 11:38 AM
I have tried over and over again to answer all questions. Read every post and I think between them all you should find your anwers. I can't answer them anymore clearly. This initial boards term will only last the first year. The members will vote on the second board, so in theory every single person on this board could be voted off by this time next year.
Why can't you have a vote on a board ... that is an easy answer. WE HAVE NO BYLAWS, and without any bylaws you have no process to vote, you don't have any requirements to run you have NOTHING. You must put a board in place so you can create all of these things and once they are created the bylaws will dictate everything. If we can recall the first IAHA board was not voted on either it was created by people raising their hands. This board was hand picked from a group that had all sorts of different backgrounds from say charity haunts, home haunter turned pro, to long time successful haunted house owners.
You will be happy trust me. But I can't announce a thing because I wasn't voted to be the spokeman, but the person who is will be answering those questions so give him a chance.
Remember this group is your group and soon enough you will have all the details and in the end even Shane (LOL) could be president if he meets the requirments of the bylaws, once they are established.
Right now there are SEVERAL things trying to be accomplished before Transworld such as a new website, which is something I'm working on right now. Keep an eye out.
12-17-2008, 06:19 PM
Presumably the HHA publishes a financial report right? So as soon as the report for 2008 is complete it will be distributed to members right?
12-17-2008, 07:55 PM
Yes everything will be revealed for all members...that goes without saying.
All of this is just getting set up so give it a few weeks to get things straight.
12-17-2008, 08:05 PM
I was also involved with another start up association years ago. This isn't out of the ordinary. It's sort of a catch 22. You need the by-laws in place to adopt the goals, elect the board, etc..... but you need the board to create the by-laws and adopt the goals!! The way Larry is attempting it is the easiest. You have one driving force (Larry) presents the needs for the association, gets like minded individuals to volunteer to help, uses those people and their individual expertises to help create the platform of which to build the organization. Then with the all the pieces in place the organization can hit the ground running.
A smaller group of like minded individuals can accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. We ended up with problems in the IAHA that could have been solved quite easily in the beginning, but once the organization was set, it became a monunental task. Some of those problems still exisit today and are now lending to it's eventual downfall. I am not being a Hanfadomus here! I'm just stating facts as they are presented. The major problem the IAHA has is trying to be the "end all, be all". It was formed as an association of "Haunted Attractions". But quickly lost it's focus because either they claim they didn't want to exclude anyone. In reality they wanted a BIG organization, assuming numbers meant representation. If you only include actual Haunt OWNERS and OPERATORS you have a very finite number. So they decided to allow people who were somehow involved such as actors or tech people, then people who were THINKING of getting into the business, then anyone who just LIKES the business.
History has shown us this was the wrong approach. It is more important to have QUALITY as opposed to pure QUANITY. This is the focus of the HHA.
So Larry is doing it the most effective way. Get the best people you can, lay the best foundation you can and you get the most secure structure possible.
12-17-2008, 08:33 PM
I will attempt to explain this with clarity.
You paid $50 to Halloween productions, a business.
For that you got a service -
A four issue subscription to Hauntworld that will be honored
A membership card with deep discounts from vendors
A directory (that has not been published yet)
A part in starting a new association. (Your membership here will work towards a membership in the new association in some powerful way TBD)
There was no board, there were no bylaws etc.
There is no more expectation of reviewing the books than you would have by purchasing a subscription to Haunted Attraction Magazine or getting a prop from Scarefactory.
$30 of that went to your magazine sub.
You are worrying how Larry misused your other $20.....?
A true association is being created.
It is being incorporated, getting tax exempt status, forming bylaws etc.
An interm board has been formed from a diverse group of Haunt Owners that will be annouced in a matter of days. I am certain most of you will like it. Perhaps some of you will not.
Then again some people are hard to please.
Don't forget these people are working for YOU. Will you be supporting the time and effort they put into this or will you taking bricks off the foundation and throwing them even as it is being built?
This association will most likely be functional by Transworld 2009, and with elections in 2010.
Remember, without bylaws, without rules, without qualifying the membership as actual haunt owners as many of you have called for, without legal structure there is no framework to even have an election. These things must be built from scratch.
As it was previously stated the IAHA board was formed by a show of hands and took a long time to get rolling. You have to start somewhere.
When it is fully formed it will be a true association. From the day the actual association bank account opens there will be a public record and regular reports will be issued.
So there you go.
Now where do you stand?
Is your glass half empty or half full?
Are you a creator or a destroyer?
What you need to know is a group of your peers will be working very hard to create something you can be a part of, something that will elevate this industry.
Please provide input on what you would like to see this group do, now is the time.
Or we can storm the castle and demand Larry show us what he did with our $20.
By the time he finishes paying for the graphics, website, fees, tradeshow banners, etc. and turns these assets over to a board to run, he is going to wish he charged us $500 each!
I believe in this and my glass is totally full!
How about you?
12-17-2008, 09:03 PM
I understand what you are saying. However, you guys may want to think about it, if the previous posts were accurate. The HHA apparently has existed for some time now as fees have been collected from some according to previous posts, people claim to have membership cards and Larry has been publicly introduced as the Chairman of the organization on national television (the Fox piece). Claiming that these people who paid have no no rights and that there really is no legal entity that they paid their money to is probably not comforting. And you may not care if they are comfortable, but you only need one person with an axe to grind to cry fraud and you have a whole big bucket of crap to deal with.
Considering the volume of emails I get from this board, I know a lot of people out there just want information and want to be included. A lot of people want this to work and want to feel like it really is their association, but feel shut out. They don't post because they are afraid of being the voice of dissent and the possible repercussions. PR to the outside world is important but you guys could really benefit from a member liason or member outreach program right now if you want this to go smoothly and successful from the start. If your attitude is that people don't have the right or need to know then I'm not sure why HHA is being created. If you have actual people paying and have HHA cards it would have seemed natural to keep them posted and solicit their input on board members.
12-17-2008, 09:30 PM
While I am not inclined to think any fraud is in the works, in fact I think the goals are very worthy, I do agree with the concern of running over the top of existing members.
I purchased my annual membership in November and it apparently expires in March, not really a year is it? This was never disclosed at any time on the website, nor is it now I believe.
More importantly to me, none of the advertised benefits seem to exist except for the magazine (which i do enjoy). The location to over 100 articles and features of haunted house information in the members only section has eluded me to date.
12-17-2008, 10:19 PM
Well said. Ben I did not assume myself that Larry has misused any money and I really don't feel anyone else does either. HOWEVER the 20.00 per person is a hell of alot of money if there are as many members that has joined as we have been told. I don't think people wanting to have names, breakdowns on how many actual members the HHA has and where the other money is going is to much to ask for. I am sure the website, graphics, lawyers ( if any are involved) ect cost nothing is free anymore. But all some ask is to be told that.
I may be wrong I will have to go look but I purchased a subscription to HauntWorld myself. And now I am told I get it when I joined the HHA and today I recieved a letter saying my subscription has ran out. If what you say is true and if I am correct I have over paid. Either way I am not going to fuss over a 30.00 subscription. But I can see where all this is getting more and more confusing!!! it seems EVERYONE here wants to be involved in everything to make sure that this is truly something for the Industry and not another way for a couple of folks to make additional money from those who are quick to throw it out just because someone says we need something here. Yeah again it confuses me too. Right now as far as myself I don't know whats going on. I buy banner ads, I buy subscriptions to HauntWorld I buy in to HHA I buy I buy I buy. Its only right that some of us just want to know every detail. Shane and its I am still hanging in there Shane this time!
12-17-2008, 10:51 PM
Well said Ben...
Let me explain in even more detail... I saw a vision as well did others that if we can start a REAL association we can accomplish much for this industry. Some of you believed in that end goal and you joined the association with the hope we can get this pointed in the right direction to help your business.
What has been done in that years time aside from you getthing your hauntworld magazines...
We created a website that had costs. We promoted that website NATIONWIDE through America Haunts to the tune of $54,000.00. We single handed helped raise awareness of this industry through this website and helped secure stories about this industry.
Also through this website many of your local newspapers called HHA and asked for quoates about your local attractions and we answered every single email for information. You may or may not know this already but many of your local papers got their stats on the industry from HHA even if they didn't mention it.
Additionally we created a vendor discount program which is still FAR from done. We have also been doing all of the work to keep an updated HHA data base for all the people who joined. This has now been turned over to new board members.
Hold on one second...I'm losing my breath.
Right now I just paid a bill to Brainstorm Studos for $1000.00 for the new HHA logos... now even more for things like banners, and new member cards. In addition to that I will be getting bills for the new website that is going up and artwork for that.
Hold on I'm not done...
I promised a data base on the site for members... that is a lot of work so I put all the hauntworld databases on the site for the time being. But as promised I'm working on a HHA haunt directory RIGHT NOW!
This will cost me about $4000.00 out of pocket to set this up. Keep in mind I paid about $150,000.00 for all the programming to create the programs in the first place so yeah I own the programs but it has to be set up from scratch on will require some additional programming to work. It will also require a cold fusion database hosting service which costs me every single month.
As Ben pointed out we're really talking about your $20.00... right now we have 187 people who joined HHA so far... so we are really talking about where or what did we do with the $3750.00.
If you go back though everything I've stated you will find a lot more expense than the $3750.00. Let me put it to you this way... I put my money where my mouth is folks. I wanted to see this happen so I put my money into it all year long. By the time March ROLLS around I would have about $10,000.00 into and that would not include the $54,000.00 America Haunts spent to promote the industry through the HHA website.
Sooo... what else do you want me to say? What other questions can I answer?
I think I'm done.
Now the real question is are you ready to make this work for you, your business, your future, your industry, or do you just enjoy running people over the coals. Maybe the other association or associations you've been members of have damaged your belief in what should, can or will be done but this one will not!
Today my glass is full and I'm not dumping half of it out just because some people can't past today. I'm looking into the future and the future is bright, today is bright, yesterday or last October was bright for our industry but the future is only going to be better.
That I do believe!
12-17-2008, 10:53 PM
Shane if you have or had a regular subscription and it ran out I can only tell you your HHA subscription did NOT run out. You would be owed two more issues... and you will get them. Lastly if you have an issue with your magazine or if you don't get them or if we didn't get you what is owed to you that is a matter you should take up on a private level and send us an email and we will do our best to resolve your issues.
12-17-2008, 10:58 PM
Here are the new banners for HHA. Please use them if you are a member or if you are support our efforts.
12-17-2008, 11:02 PM
Here are all the new logos.
Check them out.
12-18-2008, 08:22 AM
Will there be banners that say... "Proud member of the HHA... Making the world scream"... or something BESIDES join now? Something like I would love to put on our site once it's up instead of a join now banner!
Anyway, love the banners and the logos... everything is getting exciting! -Tyler
12-18-2008, 02:56 PM
More images you may want to take a look at... HHA is a train running with no brakes. We're not stopping for the naysayers, we plan on doing everything we can to make this industry stronger!!! Get on board.
We need 1000 members, we need 2000 members. We need the WHOLE industry to jump on board here and make this successful! It will take EVERYONES SUPPORT not just a few big time haunted houses, it will take an army of haunted house owners and operators to make this a truely sucessfull organization.
It will take your support, it will take your help, it will take your idea's, it will take your involvement and it will take your money to make your industry stronger!
Here is a screen shot of the new website coming within days!
PS: All sponsors of HHA will have their logos displayed on the front page. If you have a company that is interested in sponsoring HHA please let us know. The new MEMBERS ONLY haunt directory is coming soon. ALL vendors who JOIN will have their companies listed...no vendor, no haunt will be listed unless you are a member in good standing. HHA will embark on yet another NATIONAL public relations effort and it will direct people to this website... so please be a supporter of HHA and take advantage of national media!
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