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.
Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.