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Critical To Your Business - The Future Of Haunting Panel!

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  • Critical To Your Business - The Future Of Haunting Panel!

    I wanted to remind everyone who owns or who plans to own a haunted attraction about a seminar VERY IMPORTANT to your business, THE FUTURE OF HAUNTING panel that will be presented at Transworld on Saturday from 12:45pm - 2:45pm.
    The speakers are:

    Cydney Neil of Rocky Point Haunted House

    Larry Kirchner of The Darkness, Hauntworld and Halloween Productions

    Chris Stafford of 13th Floor Haunted Houses, The Great Room Escape and Zombie Apocalypse Live

    Randy Bates of The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride/ Pennhurst Asylum

    Ben Armstrong of NETHERWORLD Haunted House

    For 2 hours they will discuss many critical aspects of the haunted attraction industry, but perhaps the most important to your business will be:

    1) HOW they have built their businesses and what you can do to take YOUR attractions to the next level of financial and critical success!

    2) WHAT will be the next big things in Haunting and how can you get ahead of the curve!
    There will be ample time at this panel to address YOUR questions - If you are serious about the business of haunting this panel is for you!

    Sign up here: https://registration.haashow.com/eve...turdaySeminars

  • cydneyc
    replied
    The Future Of Haunting Facebook Page

    https://www.facebook.com/The-Future-...0708981183211/

    This panel was given two hours because it is highly unusual, may never happen again, that 5 of the most successful haunters in the history of haunting are willing and able to get together, on an open Q&A panel. two hours is long for us too. But we are there for you. other haunters, not ourselves, to help you, to answer your questions, to help you solve your problems, your challenges, to inspire you with ideas and to help you to think bigger, outside the box! If I were a haunter, this would be the one panel I wouldn't miss all weekend, as it should be one of the most valuable.

    As for me not belonging on this panel, well, the panel is actually titled the Past, Present and Future of Haunting. I was going to be at Transworld for the first time in many years and I was invited to sit on this panel. Rocky Point started in 1979. It was highly successful for 27 years. We helped pioneer this industry. I have nothing to prove. I've already done that...I do, however, have a lot to offer, as we all do, but it is up to you to come prepared to get what you need from me and us. Do your homework, get your questions ready.

    Successful entrepreneurs do not predict the future, they create it! I closed my show at a peak moment because I was ready to create a new future for myself. I saw that new future clearly and am moving towards it.

    We are willing to give of our two hours because we have all been blessed and want to, as we always have, give back. I am there to give back. That's the future and it's always been my way. I hope that in the time I have with you on the panel and over the weekend I can help you see to your future more clearly and by sharing with you the many ways and tools I used to create Rocky Point's success help you move towards it.

    In the meantime, I have already been posting some really valuable and interesting articles on the Facebook page I created for the panel. I hope you take the time to visit it and see if there are some things that inspire you. Please feel free to comment and ask questions. I will try to respond as quickly as possible.

    See you all soon. I'm looking forward to it. CN

    Leave a comment:


  • mindtumor
    replied
    I don't have a problem with the length of the seminar, nor do I have an issue with the subject matter or the speakers. I was asking the other guy why he thought it was too long. In all the years I have been to the show I've never actually attended any of the seminars so I don't even have an opinion on how long one should be. I will say that I respect anyone that takes the time to put on or speak at a seminar. Anyone that takes the time to try and help and/or share knowledge should be commended.

    This year I have signed up to attend one seminar to see what I have been missing all these years.

    Leave a comment:


  • drfrightner
    replied
    Jared,

    I totally agree with you NO ONE wants to sit around for 2 hours and listen to anyone talk. People want to be on the show floor seeing cool and exciting things. Seminars in general have been on the downward spiral because there is so much info for FREE on the web. With that being said seminars can be valuable if you get the RIGHT person doing it. The future of haunting is a really bad topic and 2 hours is just 30 to 60 minutes to long.

    That is why no one is signing up for the thing... it should be cancelled.

    I personally think it should have just been a 2 hour q/a nothing more or less.

    It should still be that but only at 90 minutes.

    Larry

    PS SIGN UP FOR MY SEMINAR because I actually am going to help your business. If you miss it you a are a total FOOL! LOL

    Leave a comment:


  • mindtumor
    replied
    Originally posted by Haunted Mansion View Post
    I'm not interested in a two hour long discussion. It shouldn't be that long. I think if you are having trouble selling tickets its because the length not the title. No seminar should be more than an hour or 90 minutes. I'm not buying a ticket.
    That is an interesting take on why not to go. is it because you think that is too long to absorb the info, there isn't enough info to fill two hours, or just sitting for the two hours is unpleasant?

    Leave a comment:


  • drfrightner
    replied
    How does buying Terror on the Fox mean anything its in a super small market, its like 8 square feet big, I mean seriously. I don't mean to be disrespectful because that isn't my point, my point is who cares. There are like 2000 plus haunted houses out there and we are all going to be working for someone because they have like 7 haunts or something... you've got issues.

    Look at hauntworld there are THOUSANDS of attractions on this website and shock waves are going thru the industry because someone bought one of the smallest haunted houses in the industry in a very tiny market. You know Mike who works for those guys helped start that haunt, so obviously he has some affection for the place... I say GOOD FOR THEM! I say KUDOS... great awesome but that doesn't mean we are going to be working for them not by a LONG SHOT!

    What you are saying is just ridiculous! I think once again this has NOTHING to do with the topic ... the future of haunting isn't to have some national chain of haunts they always FAIL! And to keep the record straight I'm not saying 13th Floor will fail they are still small 7 or so haunts... but to say what you are saying that we'll all be working for them that is truly coast to coast and that would fail and its not going to happen is what I'm saying. What those guys have done is great they have a good business but I doubt they are thinking along your lines and no one else is either. Its absurd to make those statements.

    I know more about this than anyone... I've worked with FEC industry for 20 years and every single chain failed when they tried to get too big. They all come crashing down. Haunted houses in my opinion are not something you can't franchise or create a chain of say 20 or 30 markets across America. This industry is way to volatile for that to happen... and I mean they come and go way too often and right now we are seeing the most amazing amount of change that we've ever seen.

    The whole entire industry could be belly up within 10 years ... one major recession and we could see 50% of the haunts CLOSE and never come back. You are seeing all kinds of new competition enter the market place that are NOT actually haunts but some spin off of a haunted house. As I stand here today I do NOT see the haunt industry lasting another 20 years and could be less than 10 years. Technology, trends, habits, appeal is simply changing way to fast right now to predict ANYTHING. I say every haunt should think about TODAY RIGHT NOW and do as good as you can THIS SECOND and not focus on the future peruse. I'll state right now I don't think the topic is a good one either and honestly the seminar should have just been a q/a with very successful haunt owners.

    The future is NOT 10 years from now its RIGHT FREAKING NOW! So if you come to this seminar I won't be talking about ANYTHING BUT RIGHT FREAKING NOW! THE SMART HAUNTER IS DOING THE FOLLOWING:

    BUY PROPERTY and utilize that property for your attractions. Fix up that property make it appealing, pay off that property, and when your haunt hits the end of the road your retirement is that property. You can always fall back on owning property. If you lease and rent there is no future for you when the business finally goes south. So take advantage of your business, buy buy buy and retire that debt and when you're done hopefully your property has skyrocketed in value. That is smart business.

    Larry

    Leave a comment:


  • Infoamtek
    replied
    And that will be the future of haunting. If giant entertainment corporations find out real money can be made in running haunted houses they will crowd out the small independents and everybody will be working for Disney or their like.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deathwing
    replied
    Just read that the 13th floor group bought the legendary Terror on the Fox in Wisconsin. At this rate we will all be working for the 13th Floor guys in 5 years!

    Jake

    Leave a comment:


  • Haunted Mansion
    replied
    I'm not interested in a two hour long discussion. It shouldn't be that long. I think if you are having trouble selling tickets its because the length not the title. No seminar should be more than an hour or 90 minutes. I'm not buying a ticket.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dark Tiki Studios
    replied
    Originally posted by Deathwing View Post
    Cydney Neil? Didn't her haunt Rocky Point close down in Utah like 10 years ago? You have 4 of the past leaders but only one representing the future of the industry in the 13th Floor guys, they are becoming the leaders of the industry. Maybe next year it'd be great to get some new blood to talk about where they want to take the haunted house business.

    Jake
    OK... the "future of haunting" might involve interactive games/challenges/competitions (paintball, laser tag, obstacle course, or something not invented yet). Probably also virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms, and possibly using implants (which everyone will already have) to temporarily modify customers' brainwaves. I think there is likely to be a reality TV/Vine/social media real-time video aspect too. But those are all GUESSES.

    I will concede that nobody can accurately predict the future, because the future is unknown. With that being said, I know there is a tremendous amount that most any haunter could learn from ALL of the people who are on the "future of haunting" panel! You categorize them as "past leaders", but all (with he exception of Cydney) are CURRENT leaders in the industry, and current industry leaders should have decent guesses as to where the industry is headed (or at least a better guess than most).

    You have a point that perhaps Cydney Neil doesn't belong on a "future of haunting" panel, but she still has a lot of haunt knowledge that the average haunter does not have, and most haunters would be fortunate to hear her speak about haunting.

    Leave a comment:


  • cydneyc
    replied
    The Future of Haunting

    Hi,

    I just created a Facebook page called The Future of Haunting. I am honored to be on a panel with Larry Kirchner, Ben Armstrong, Randy Bates and Chris Stafford at the upcoming Transworld Haunted Attractions Show titled, The Past, Present and Future of Haunting. I, obviously, fit into the, not to be discounted, past section! I thought that creating this page and starting a conversation would be more valuable than a handout. I'll post my insights as well as a bunch of articles I've read recently on the future of not just haunting, but business, marketing, VR, etc. and comment as much as possible. Please feel free to post your own insights, information, questions and comments. See you all soon! Cydney Neil

    https://www.facebook.com/The-Future-...0708981183211/

    Leave a comment:


  • cydneyc
    replied
    "Absurd"

    Jake,

    This thread just happened to come across my desk this morning. First, I'm not sure we have met, but perhaps we can meet at the haunt show this year. I'm certain that your opinions and comments are not based on what you actually know, but what you have either heard or just think. I'm grateful to Larry for coming to my and the others' defense...but I do understand why you and probably many others are wondering why I am back and on a panel about the Future of Haunting? To explain, first, I have agreed to and am honored to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award from the HAA and have a small meet and greet booth at Transworld this year. Second, while I was there, I wanted to offer any help or expertise I could add that may be of value to the haunters at the show. I knew the title of the panel would be a stretch for me to have some current relevance and value on, but that said, I believe, for many reasons, I still can and do. My insight and advice come from being a visionary, a creator, a businesswoman, a strategic thinker and having pioneered and been very successful in the haunt industry for over 25 years, not a haunt tour I took in October, frankly, for no real reason other than to see some friend's haunts and celebrate their success with them.

    The one thing that gets me every time though is the comments on how I had such an advantage or somehow my connections with Hollywood made me successful. This couldn't be farther from the truth! My friends in Hollywood were just that, friends. They generously donated props to me and occasionally came as my guest to apply some make-ups, teach an acting class or the like. But it is totally absurd to suggest or think that those contributions somehow created two massively successful haunted attractions that grew over 27 years from 200 to 70,000 customers and $1.5 million dollars worth of ticket sales "10 years ago", that won dozens of awards for our business model, our youth programs, our marketing campaigns, our set designs, makeup effect school, costumes, etc. and transformed thousands of people's lives who were involved. All that success came from being raised by a brilliant creator and successful entrepreneur and then working nearly every day for 20 + years, creating and designing, building and implementing successful models and practices and then doing it all over again, year after year, and frankly, when I decided to close my show, I felt like I was just getting started! No amount of "connections" could create that type of long term growth, success and have that kind of impact. It is unfair of you or anyone else to take those hard earned achievements away from my staff and me or frankly, anyone who has ever been through the same 20 year journey and created their own hard earned success story. And the future, for someone who has actually done that, is not all that hard to talk about or predict. In fact, I have designs and plans from 20 years ago that I am still not seeing in the haunt industry today.

    Again, I do hope we get a chance to meet and talk. I'd like to hear about your business. And if there is any way I can help you with your haunt's future, I look forward to it.

    See you then,

    Cydney Neil



    Originally posted by Deathwing View Post
    Larry,

    I meant no disrespect to you or anyone. The point I was making is that the name of the seminar refers to the future of the industry and to me, it appears that the 13th floor group is the future. They represent what's next instead of what's existed up until this point, those guys are going to dominate the industry nationally and no one has done what they are doing in the past that I know of. Everyone know the other 4 and knows they are/were industry leaders but I think for the most part they have peaked, with you being the exception perhaps due to your expanding next year and you are the top dog in the industry overall and you run the best magazine.
    It's no disrespect at all, but Cydney talking about the future of haunted houses because she went to a bunch this year is as absurd as having Leonard Pickle on as an expert on the future of haunting. She was a legend, I went to Rocky point at least 5 times when it was open. But she did have something the majority of us didn't band that was connections in hollywood and she acquired props and set pieces and even talent that someone in say, Idaho, could never get. She was in the perfect position to be highly successful and she did an amazing job.

    Jake

    Leave a comment:


  • Speculo
    replied
    The value of a seminar depends on where you are in your haunt career and what you are trying to achieve with your business or attraction. If you think the folks on this panel have nothing to share that might help your business move forward then you shouldn't go. Personally I find inspiration everywhere, an example is some of the creative work I see Home Haunters producing every year, absolutely amazing stuff.

    But this panel in particular will have a strong focus on business and where the industry is headed. If you want to know where something is going there is no better way that starting with people who have been there. Even better is to have multiple perspectives and observations, as I am sure some of these folks will have differing ideas on how to get it right, and where it is headed next.

    When looking for a consultant, the best start is to find a person who is successful in the area you wish to improve in. The problem is these sorts of people are often not available to consult, that is why at least gaining insight at a panel like this can be very valuable.

    I am looking forward to this seminar myself, not only to teach, but more some to learn from these haunters that I am honored to share a stage with!

    That said I will be working on questions for the panel the next few days - eager to hear what topics you would all like covered.

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • David Polites
    replied
    Very interesting discussion guys.

    I'd like to second the request to consider video recording of some of these sessions. I'm deeply interested to hear what larry and others have to say on the future of the business, but unfortunately, it's logistically simply impossible for me to make the international trip for Transworld this year. I'm going to raise hell to try and get there next year, but in the mean time I'm sure there's many other interstate and international haunters who would pay to hear these classes but are unable to travel for various reasons and would love this kind of info now.

    Understand if it's not possible of course, but if there's some way, please think about it

    Leave a comment:


  • haunter1313
    replied
    This seems to be more like the OLD Larry talking. How old are you now? Just kidding. I have always enjoyed your 'sermons' because they are always filled with a lot of history and knowledge. It has taken me a few minutes no make that 30 minutes to read these two posts but I actually agree with you. Thanks for your time and comments based on the passion alone I'll sign up for that seminar today. It's really interesting to hear people talk about what is or isn't the future of the industry. I tend to agree with your last comment there which is the future is right this second. I couldn't agree more on that comment. Who ever thought Blockbuster video would go out of business? It can happen in a blink of an eye. So with that being said I agree with you. The future is right now so maybe I better get back to work!

    Leave a comment:

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