Admission to HAuNTcon Education is FREE with paid registration for that day! However, HAuNTcon Registration is required to attend the below classes. CLICK HERE to register. Additional fees are required for Workshop Classes. Session topics, speakers, as well as class day and times are subject to change.
10:00-11:00am – Business
Year-Round Haunt Revenue: Are You Ready to Kill Zombies?
by Bobby Sutton, Apocalypse Zombie Experience
Off season revenue is crucial for surviving in a permanent location attraction. Opening the haunt for Friday the 13th, Christmas or Valentine’s Day is great but what about the months without holidays? In this informative session, Bobby Sutton will explain to attendees how a Zombie Laser Tag Game can be overlaid onto your existing haunted attraction to drive off season revenue. Topics include do’s and don’ts of non-October events, costs vs expenses, marketing strategies, equipment, demographics, frequency, financing, and everything attendees need to know about how to scare people all year long. Don’t miss this one! Whether attendees presently operate an attraction in year-round location or plan to do so someday, discover the proven track record of off season money making opportunities such as zombie laser tag, team laser tag, and escape rooms in this session.
10:00-11:00am – Creative
Haunt Scareactor Development
by Amanda Sullivan, Dead Land Scream Park
In this presentation, Amanda Sullivan will describe how attendees can develop their “scare actors” into something to be remembered. Topics include warming up your actors with vocal exercises and stretches, tips on maintaining the voice, actor safety, developing a character. Also covered are how to use the haunt scene to further the scare, taking a character from imagination to reality, and successfully intergrading said character into the attraction. The most useful tool an actor has is themselves. Learn to utilize it!
10:00-11:00am – Demonstration
Makeup Department Management
by Kyle Vest, Blast Effects
Beginning with budging and following through the actual process of scheduling makeup, Kyle Vest will break down how to take a haunted attraction makeup department to the next level. Topics include, how to save on supplies, what tools and materials should be in a makeup room, setting up a production line of actors, that cheaper is not always better, and what products work best for each style haunted event. Which makeup products are recommend for haunted attractions, and managing makeup artists to keep them on track and happy will also be covered.
11:30am-12:30pm – Business
Paid vs Volunteer Staff: To Pay or Not to Pay?
by Dana Martin, Dark Knight Entertainment Group
It’s easy to find haunted attraction owners and operators passionate on either side of this budget issue, and neither side of the argument is shy about standing up for their beliefs! Labor costs are usually a haunt’s steepest budget item, and many owners are looking for ways to cut corners without affecting their show. In this provocative session, Dana Martin will look at the pros and cons, the benefits (and pitfalls) of paying actors vs. using volunteer actors. Dana has successful experience with both volunteer and paid actors. In this session, she will present the good, the bad, and the ugly about both business practices and offer her expert advice on how to tackle one of the biggest expenses (and responsibilities) a haunted attraction must face.
11:30am-12:30pm – Creative
Haunt Concessions and Banquets: Create a Menu to Scare!
by Beau Rocker, 1312 Enterprise
This session by Beau Rocker will focus on the menu for Haunt Concessions and Banquets. Exposing attendees to various tips and tricks on how to present “normal” meals in a way that will leave an unnerving impression on your guests. An experience that could possibly lead to more frequent “Likes” on Facebook or a wider reach for your haunt through “word of mouth.”
11:30am-12:30pm – Demonstration
Using Fog, Haze, Scent, Snow, and Bubbles Effectively In Your Haunt
by Scott Lynd, Froggy’s Fog
In this educational class, fluid master Scott “Tater” Lynd will share tips and techniques on the proper and effective use theatrical fluids in a haunt. Topics discussed include fog machine placement, the correct fluid to use for each application, how to make fog stay low to the ground, fog vs haze, how and where to use scents, how to create illusive fog bubbles, the use of snow machines in a haunt, and whether adding bubbles is a good choice for your event.
1:30-2:30pm – Business
Adding Off-Season Revenue with a Paranormal Attraction
by Scott Morrow, Fearless Ghost Hunter Show
Paranormal tours and experiences have sprung up across the world and are becoming increasing more popular. Haunted ghost tours give the public a chance to participate in ongoing research into the paranormal. Haunted attractions are in a perfect position to take advantage of the paranormal craze by offering ghost tours in their buildings. In this lively seminar, Scott Morrow, the mastermind behind Fearless Ghost Hunter’s Show, will give attendees an inside look at the world of the Paranormal. Attendees will learn how their haunted attractions can profit as ghost tours and understand the necessary tools to make the Paranormal off-season event a chilling success!
1:30-2:30pm – Creative
Must-Know Secrets of Haunt Design and Theming!
by Brad Weinstein
In today’s market, customers expect and crave originality in their entertainment experiences. A generic haunt theme is not enough to drive the word of mouth and social media shares that are necessary for a successful event. In this creative session, Brad Weinstein will describe six proven tactics that will help attendees improve the overall haunt design and theme of their attractions. Sharing examples from his professional experience with Fright Fest, Disney World, and Sleep No More, Brad will cover theories for developing a strong original theme and how to apply that theme across the whole attraction.
1:30-2:30pm – Demonstration
Pneumatics 101: Animating Props With Air
by Jim Slanker, Canyon Trail Cemetery
Pneumatics 101 is the ultimate beginner’s guide to pneumatics! In this session, Jim Slanker will review the different components to safely and effectively use pneumatics to create your own animated Halloween props. Topics include a review what to use and what not to use, the basics of compressors, cylinders, solenoids, triggers, controllers and other accessories used in animating props with air.
3:00-4:00pm – Business
Reach More FANS: Advanced Marketing and Online Ticketing Tactics
by Alex Linebrink, HauntPay
With over 1,000,000 haunted attraction tickets sold, Alex Linebrink has learned some lessons on getting the word out, reaching more fans, and increasing sales. In this informative session, attendees will learn about selling more to each customer, getting more money upfront, and using inexpensive (or FREE) online and social media tactics and tools to boost attendance. Several case studies using these techniques will be explored in this not to be missed session.
3:00-4:00pm – Creative
Maximizing Your Haunt’s Sensory Inputs
by Alexis Abare, Haunted Farms of America, Inc.
Stimulating your guest’s minds in unique ways helps set your haunted attraction apart from your competition. In this thought provoking session, Alexis Abare will describe how to create truly memorable setups and scares by exploiting and manipulating your customer’s perception of reality. The discussion will include each of the five senses, focusing on thinking outside the box to produce unique portraits in your patron’s minds. From subconscious and subtle, deprivation to overload, to overt and in your face attendees will explore the full gamut of sensory immersion.
3:00-4:00pm – Demonstration
Escape Room Tech 101 (pt 1)
by Tod Ardoin, Escape Room Louisiana
Haunters who are considering opening escape rooms or have already opened Escape Rooms can join Tod Ardoin as he covers the basics of Escape Room technologies. From mag locks and PicoBoos, to Arduino controllers, this 2-part session covers modern technologies used to make escape rooms tick. The wiring of these devices will be demonstrated with the opportunity for participants to see how easy it can be to use low voltage equipment. Even those who plan to do their own escape room technology can benefit from knowing these basics.
4:30-5:30pm – Business
Overcoming Challenges of Haunting in a Rural Area
by Reverend Michael Ross, Sinister Sidney, LLC
Operating a haunted event in a rural community can be quite different than operating one in a city. In this presentation, Reverend Michael Ross will explain the many choices and hurdles that operators haunting in the country may face. From where to go, to who to know, topics in this session include setup, resources, publicity, new ideas and advice on how to overcome obstacles that can make or break an event’s success.
4:30-5:30pm – Creative
Five Tips for Effective Scares
by Brian Ward, Legend at Pope Lick
In this Creative session, Brian Ward explains five tips to create effective scares: Always Be Ready. Get the Big Picture. Keep Your Eyes Moving. Leave Yourself an Out. Make Sure They See You. These five simple tips will help attendees create scenes that fulfill the original design, coordinate the build team and casting team, and keeps designers from putting customers and/or actors in unsafe situations. These tips combine actor training, set design, and safety to achieve effective scares for all types of attractions.
4:30-5:30pm – Demonstration
Escape Room Tech 101 (pt 2)
by Tod Ardoin, Escape Room Louisiana
See description under Part 1