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HAuNTcon 2015

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February 6-10, 2015
Belle of Baton Rouge Hotel & Convention Center
103 France St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

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Business Classes

DemonstrationsCreative SessionsBusiness Classes
Hands-On WorkshopsAdvanced All Day Workshops

In an industry centered on macabre subjects like death and dying, the one thing you don’t want flat-lining is your business.For haunters, the technicalities of business can be overwhelming. HAuNTcon has brought the brightest specialists in their respective fields of marketing, social media, business plans, getting started and more to share their knowledge and experience with you. These very important classes are chosen to help make running your haunt easier, more lucrative… and more fun! Times and topics are subject to change.
Note: Attendance to the HAuNTcon Tradeshow Floor is required to take these classes.
CLICK HERE to register.

Business 1 – Saturday 8:30 – 9:30 am Room: 320 C-F
Critical Components Of A Haunted Attraction Website
by Jeffrey Ward, Captivation Media Group www.captivationmedia.com

Description – A website is critical for any haunter, but is your site working as effectively as it should to promote your attraction? From mobile optimization, social integration, and the very latest trends in website marketing, learn what goes into a successful website and discover what you could be doing differently to bring more customers to your event.

No Registration is Required

A website is critical for any haunter, but is your site working as effectively as it should to promote your attraction? From mobile optimization, social integration and the very latest trends in website marketing, learn what goes into a successful website and discover what you could be doing differently to bring more customers to your event. www.captivationmedia.com

Business 2 – Saturday 10:00 – 11:00 am Room: 320 C-F
Media Buying Strategies: Stretching Your Advertsing Dollar
by Julie Dion, Dion Marketing www.dionmarketing.com

Description – How to get the most out of your advertising budget. Media buying is a task often left to business owners. This course will help both those who buy their own media and ones that work with ad agencies. Media buyers have more negotiating power than ever before putting them in the driver’s seat.

This course will focus on how to strategize, plan and execute your next media buy. By negotiating your advertising dollars you will learn how to combine new media options with traditional advertising to produce cutting-edge, cost-effective marketing strategies and campaigns. Attendees will learn valuable tips on buying efficient media schedules and the importance of negotiating value-added components (the new rule instead of the old variable) from media reps (examples: on-air giveaways, trade, contests, email blasts, social media and web inclusion). Attendees will leave with the tools to successfully buy their next media campaign.

No Registration is Required

Julie Dion is a marketing professional with nearly 2 decades of marketing, advertising, media planning and media buying experience for the family entertainment and attractions industries. She has developed and executed marketing, advertising and PR campaigns for various haunted attractions across the country.

Julie is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry. In the past 5 years, her advertising agency, Dion Marketing Company, has produced 26 top marketing awards of excellence for her clients. Julie was the VP of marketing for Adventure Landing Companies for 13 years prior to creating her agency. She has been a featured speaker at the World Waterpark Association’s (WWA) annual symposiums and the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), as well as other attraction-related industries.

Julie serves on the Marketing Committee for IAAPA. She served on the marketing committee for WWA for several years and was a member of the Tourism Development Council for Duval County, FL 2010-2011. She also served on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of North Florida’s College of Education 2011-2013 and is a member of the Duval County Research and Development Authority. She has a B.A. degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with her area of concentration in Advertising. Dion also studied and completed an extensive week-long training course through the Media Buying Academy in Washington, DC. www.dionmarketing.com

Business 3 – Saturday 3:00 – 4:00 pm Room: 320 C-F
Haunted House Safety: Don’t Let the Details Kill Ya’
by Fire Marshal Todd Mitchel & Shannon Brinkley, TerrorDome and Harris Co. Fire Marshal Office

Description – Just as in any business, safety and fire codes should be part of your business plan. The importance of safety and complying with local codes not only makes a safer haunted attraction but decreases your liability. This class will cover basic safety and fire codes that deal with a Haunted Attraction built in a structure, based on Harris County (Houston) Building Codes and the International Fire Code. If you are planning a haunted attraction start up, this class is a must! It will help you with information for basic fire code and safety compliance.

No Registration is Required

Todd is a Lieutenant with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s office inspections division. He is a TCFP Certified inspector with over five years experience and also a Texas Certified Peace Officer. Shannon Brinkley, is from the fireworks industry and is currently the chairman of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Texas Pyrotechnic Association.

Shannon started in the Halloween industry with retail costume stores (Spookers Halloween) and added a haunted attraction in 2008 (Houston Terror Dome). From his experiences in the fireworks industry he has learned importance of safety and fire codes and has implemented them also in his Halloween businesses.

Business 4 – Saturday 4:30 – 5:30 pm Room: 320 C-F
Sponsors: Where, Why & How You Get ‘Em!
by D’Ann Dagan, Hangman’s Haunted House www.hangmans.com

Description – Learn about the different types and functions of sponsorships, how to select your targets, make a compelling pitch, close the deal, and make them want to stick with you year after year. Then enjoy a lively Q & A as you pick the brain of this seasoned veteran who is in the haunt sponsorship trenches in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

No Registration is Required

D’Ann Dagen is president of La-De-Da Productions in Fort Worth, Texas, and past president of the International Association of Haunted Attractions (IAHA). She is the founder and producer of “Hangman’s House of Horrors,” the top charity-benefiting haunted house in the world! Hangman’s has entertained more than half a million patrons and donated almost $2 million to local charities. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this past season, Hangman’s featured three haunted attractions anchored by a festival area filled with live bands, karaoke, games, food and frightening fun. Major sponsors included Coca-Cola, Coors, CW33, KSCS Radio, GameStop, Corner Store (aka Valero), Palm Beach Tan and Check ‘n Go with over 1500 extraordinary volunteers and 250 companies contributing their time and talent. www.hangmans.com

Business 5 – Sunday 8:30 – 9:30 am Room: 320 C-F
The Power of Partnerships
by Julie Dion, Dion Marketing www.dionmarketing.com

Description – People with haunted attractions can create promotions through partnerships and sponsorships that have tremendous value and effectiveness that can turn sagging bottom lines into soaring revenue heights without having to spend additional advertising dollars. Attendees will leave with the knowledge of the importance of negotiation. We will cover how to assign values to all attraction’s components (attraction signage, event sponsorship, attendance) which will be used to negotiate better partnerships. By strong negotiating and planning strategically, your attraction and event can get greater exposure through successful partnerships and promotions.

This course will teach attendees how to combine marketing dollars with their assets to create, negotiate and expedite the most cost-efficient and successful promotions and partnerships by aligning marketing initiatives with third-party tie-ins. Examples of these and suggestions on how to formulate successful partnerships with businesses, organizations, schools and media will be covered in this course.

No Registration is Required

Julie Dion is a marketing professional with nearly 2 decades of marketing, advertising, media planning and media buying experience for the family entertainment and attractions industries. She has developed and executed marketing, advertising and PR campaigns for various haunted attractions across the country.

Julie is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry. In the past 5 years, her advertising agency, Dion Marketing Company, has produced 26 top marketing awards of excellence for her clients. Julie was the VP of marketing for Adventure Landing Companies for 13 years prior to creating her agency. She has been a featured speaker at the World Waterpark Association’s (WWA) annual symposiums and the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), as well as other attraction-related industries.

Julie serves on the Marketing Committee for IAAPA. She served on the marketing committee for WWA for several years and was a member of the Tourism Development Council for Duval County, FL 2010-2011. She also served on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of North Florida’s College of Education 2011-2013 and is a member of the Duval County Research and Development Authority. She has a B.A. degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with her area of concentration in Advertising. Dion also studied and completed an extensive week-long training course through the Media Buying Academy in Washington, DC. www.dionmarketing.com

Business 6 – Sunday 10:00 – 11:00 am Room: 320 C-F
Using Facebook Ads to Drive Ticket Sales
by Steve Colberg, Scary Tinker Labs www.scarytinkerlabs.com

Description – During this session you will learn how to execute a paid Facebook advertising campaign to increase your ticket sales. Since going public, Facebook has been developing tools that allow you to zero in on your potential customers with remarkable accuracy at low cost. Steve Colberg from Scary Tinker Labs will show you how to most effectively setup and conduct a paid Facebook marketing campaign. This is a social media class for people that don’t like social media.

No Registration is Required

Steven Colberg of Scary Tinker Labs – Scary Tinker Labs specializes in web marketing for the haunt industry. Steve’s other company, The Singularity Group, has more than ten years experience in search engine optimization and lead generation. While managing over a hundred websites he developed many strategies to maximize ROI that can be applied to any Halloween related website. Search engine management, Facebook marketing, guerilla marketing techniques, link building, on page optimization and content strategies are just a few areas of expertise. Scary Tinker Labs provides internet marketing services for haunt conventions, haunted attractions, and haunt industry vendors. www.scarytinkerlabs.com

Business 7 – Sunday 3:00 – 4:00 pm Room: 320 C-F
Operating a Non-Profit Haunt for Big Rewards
by D’Ann Dagan, Hangman’s Haunted House www.hangmans.com

Description – How is operating a non-profit haunt different than a for-profit haunt? This session will explore manpower, goods and services, taxes, insurance and specialized marketing strategies for big non-profit rewards…led by the producer of the top charity-benefiting haunt in the world!

No Registration is Required

D’Ann Dagen is president of La-De-Da Productions in Fort Worth, Texas, and past president of the International Association of Haunted Attractions (IAHA). She is the founder and producer of “Hangman’s House of Horrors,” the top charity-benefiting haunted house in the world! Hangman’s has entertained more than half a million patrons and donated almost $2 million to local charities. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this past season, Hangman’s featured three haunted attractions anchored by a festival area filled with live bands, karaoke, games, food and frightening fun. Major sponsors included Coca-Cola, Coors, CW33, KSCS Radio, GameStop, Corner Store (aka Valero), Palm Beach Tan and Check ‘n Go with over 1500 extraordinary volunteers and 250 companies contributing their time and talent. www.hangmans.com

Business 8 – Sunday 4:30 – 5:30 pm Room: 320 C-F
Paid vs Volunteer; Operating An Attraction With A Hybrid Staff
by Jim Bugos, Ghoul Mansion www.ghoulmansion.com

Description – Paid vs volunteer actors and staff… What route to take? This seminar will explain how to develop your staff ultilizing a paid vs volunteer system. These techniques will have your staff returning year after year!

No Registration is Required

Jim Bugos has been involved with Ghoul Mansion haunted house in Sharon, PA since 1995. Starting as a member of the security staff, he advanced through the ranks to head of security and operations manager then in 2004 bought out a partner and become the managing partner of the haunt. With his staff, they operate in the small market a little over an hour from Pittsburgh, PA and achieved the milestone of operating for 20 years in 2013. Jim is also certified as a “Specialist in Human Behavior Consulting” in partnership with Personality Insights in Atlanta, GA. www.ghoulmansion.com

Business 9 – Monday 8:30 – 9:30 am Room: 320 C-F
Monster Management: The Training, Care and Feeding of your ScareActors!
by Alan Ostrander, AEO Studios, Inc.

Description – “ScareActors” are a rare and special breed… and at times require special handling, indeed! They are also the “Front-Line;” the “Face” of YOUR attraction! Making them one of the MOST crucial assets to a successful Haunt! The Training, the Actions, and the Performance of your actors can mean happily frightened, ready-to return guests…or the demise of your event. From liabilities to guest interaction and impacts, the proper training and management of performers is integral to any production plan.

Join Alan O, a 25+ year haunt veteran, and Hong Kong’s “Father of Halloween”, for this entertaining discussion. A guide through the process of making your Performers the Best and Most Prepared that they can be, to consistently put on a Frightfully good show!!!

No Registration is Required

Alan Ostrander has been specializing in all aspects of the Haunted Design industry since 1984. He is known as Hong Kong’s “Father of Halloween”, and one of the Creative Directors of the original Terror on Church Street. Throughout the US, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, and Argentina, Alan has worked as an actor, set designer, stage manager, prop master, artistic/talent director and many other positions in the entertainment production industry.

A renown make-up/special f-x artist, Alan is founder of AEO Studios, Inc., a “one-stop Haunt Shop” and Makeup Artist Network. With more than 25 years experience in the entertainment industry, he is sought after and known for his creative work on the cutting edge of theatrical artistry. This includes an extensive background in all aspects of makeup application – beauty, fantasy, stage, corrective – as well as prosthetic fabrication/ application and large-scale physical effects. Alan’s work may be seen in many Feature Films, Television Series, Theme Parks, and live Theatrical Productions throughout the world. He has also been lecturing and teaching make-up & f/x for the past 14 years.

In addition to the make-up services, AEO Studios also manufactures lines of theatrical props, and operates a retail supply center of professional make-up products for other artists. As a manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer of theatrical makeup and special f/x props, AEO has proven to be a leader in offering a wide range of products and services within the entertainment industry.

Business 10 – Monday 10:00 – 11:00 am Room: 320 C-F
7 Ways to Profit in the $7 Billion Dollar Halloween Industry
by Kimberly Stewart,

Description – Have you ever thought about having a Halloween-based business that isn’t a pro-haunt? Come find out the 7 different paths a business can take and get some great ideas. Find out how you can use your unique talents to design a perfect small business so you can have fun and make a profit!

No Registration is Required

Kimberly Stewart is a small business idea consultant who has been helping people identify and figure out how to go after their goals since 2003. A lifelong Halloween enthusiast, she recently developed a program to help her fellow creative types see the value in their talent, so they can have multiple profit centers in their lives. She is a 2007 graduate of Naropa University’s Contemplative Psychology program.

Business 11 – Monday 3:00 – 4:00 pm Room: 320 C-F
Taking The Fright Out Of Writing A Haunted Business Plan
by Joyce McLean, Ghosts and Pirates LLC www.hauntedmayfieldmanor.com

Description – Every business should have a business plan, that’s what the experts say…but how do you create a business plan, where do you get the information and how do you use it once you have it? The task seems overwhelming. The good news is it’s really not that complicated or daunting. Common sense (and a little bit of research) can get the job done. No matter if you are thinking of opening a new haunt or are a seasoned haunter, a business plan can help you make more money!

No Registration is Required

Joyce is the owner of two attractions, Haunted Mayfield Manor and Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast. She also owns Head to Footsies, a women’s clothing and accessories store. She is one of the recipients of the Houston area Economic Development “Entrepreneur of the Year” award, as well as the Galveston, Texas Chamber of Commerce’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. She is a major advocate for small businesses. She understands small business operations, and is always eager to encourage people to go into business for themselves. www.hauntedmayfieldmanor.com

Business 12 – Monday 4:30 – 5:30 pm Room: 320 C-F
How To Build A Creative Team
by Chris & Jeff Davis and the crew of Davis Graveyard, Davis Graveyard www.davisgraveyard.com

Description – Learn how to put together and work with a small effective creative team from a group of volunteer home haunters that set up one of the largest and most detailed yard displays in the country. How to identify a good fit for the team. Learn how to get members to work together and stay on schedule and perform. Find out how to balance the number of team members with the right amount of optimists and pragmatists. Learn how to emphasize each member’s value and teach flexibility.

No Registration is Required

www.davisgraveyard.com

DemonstrationsCreative SessionsBusiness Classes
Hands-On WorkshopsAdvanced All Day Workshops

Contact

Event Coordinator: 
Leonard Pickel
972-951-5100
HAuNTcon@gmail.com

Exhibitor Booth Sales: 
877-347-EXPO
hauntconsales@gmail.com

Webmaster/Designer: 
Chad Savage / Sinister Visions

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About HAuNTcon

HAuNTcon features movie & TV industry celebrities for presentations and personal appearances.  In the past we’ve hosted makeup professionals such as Brian & Nick Wolfe, Cleve Hall, and Tom Devlin.  Actors from iconic horror movies such as Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) have graced our celebrity ensemble.

If can’t get enough scares in October, try our Pre-Show overnight bus trip that includes lights on and lights off tours of local haunted events. This tour is followed by the full action tours on Friday and Sunday evenings.

The Trade Show floor, Friday through Sunday, is filled with the latest in fright services and equipment, for the professional Haunted House owner and the Halloween enthusiast alike. From horror makeup and highly detailed masks to static props and large animatronic creatures, everything a Haunter needs will be for sale, often at wholesale prices.  Stay four out Haunted Garage sale, where local haunted houses and manufacturers sell and trade anything everything haunted at this flea market/swap meet.  The sale is a great place to find killer deals.

The conference wraps up with advanced education on the Monday, following the trade show, with day-long hands-on workshops, covering everything from attraction design to creating realistic scenes of terror at your event!