For Immediate Release:
HAuNTcon: Conference Spotlight
By David Ruzicka
Screams fill the night and frightful sights are seen through the dark, chilly air of… January? HAuNTcon 2014, Sponsored by Darklight Precision Lighting, teams up with the Halloween & Party Expo and moves to January 23rd through 28th at the George Brown Convention Center, Houston Texas!
“HAuNTcon,” an acronym for the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Conference, is an expo and convention “Designed by Haunters, for Haunters” of every age and level of experience. Open to the General Public, HAuNTcon brings people who love Haunted Houses, Halloween and scaring people together for a fun-filled four days and nights of Haunt Tours, Education, Tradeshow and Networking, rounded out by a Haunted Garage Sale and the Annual HAuNTcon Costume Ball.
Each year, HAuNTcon moves to a new city and in 2014 will team up with the Halloween & Party Expo; over 350 booths filled with wholesale costume and party vendors. Both tradeshows will be under one roof and for the first time, HAuNTcon attendees (over the age of 18) will be allowed free admission to the exclusive Halloween Industry’s Wholesale Buyers Show with no additional qualification.
Hordes of eager attraction owners and Haunt fans from across the US and around the world are converging on Houston Texas for this action-packed event.
HAuNTcon literally hits the road running on January 23rd with the “2 Day Pre-show Haunt Tour,” a bus tour of Houston’s best and most unusual haunts and attractions. While some attractions will be staffed with actors in full October mode for your “fright-tainment,” attendees will also get a once in a lifetime opportunity for a close Haunt operational look during backstage lights-on tours. Preshow tour tickets includes transportation, meals and tours of a lucky 13 diverse offerings; from the famous Texas Haunt complex Phobia to Zombie-themed laser tag to the National Museum of Funeral History, and this is only the beginning, there are 15 more attraction tours scheduled during the run of the actual Conference. Without time to even catch a breath, the relentless HAuNTcon schedule continues Friday night with the Kick-off Haunt Tour of the 5 element haunted event ScreamWorld. The Haunt Tours continue on Sunday with tours of Kingwood Asylum and Heart Stopper Fright’s 3 Haunts and again Monday night with tours of Creepy Hollow Haunted House and Fearshire Farms.
Seminars and Workshops
Haunter Education is a key component of HAuNTcon and classes begin early Saturday morning, running thought Monday afternoon. Included in the price of show admission, over 50 hours of Education is offered during the 3 day tradeshow. Creative Sessions, Business Seminars, Hands-on Workshops, Make Up and Product Demonstrations are all designed to provide cutting edge information and tips and tricks to show attendees ways to do what they do better, faster, easier and cheaper. The comprehensive educational program includes sessions on Haunted House Marketing and Business Plans, Cheap Scares and Haunted House Design, Actor Training and Character Development, PropBuilding and Set Design, Makeup Demos and Mask Making. Whatever an attendee’s interest or weakness, the HAuNTcon Education program will fill the need.
Instructors include haunt industry notables such as Michael Burnett of Halloween Horror Nights, Drew Edward Hunter of Sally Industries, Nick Wolfe of Evil Twin FX, D’Ann Dagen of Hangman’s Haunted House, Quan Gan of Darklight Presision Lighting, and Adam Pogue of Froggy’s Fog. This year HauNTcon has even reached out beyond the pool of industry experts and brought in Houston Fire Marshal Todd Mitchel to offer a seminar on Fire Safety and amusement park media expert Julie Dion of Dion Marketing to speak about Media Buys and Sponsorships. Roy Wooley, RJ Haddy, Tom Devlin, Tate Steinsiek and Laney Chantal, all stars from the Syfi Channel hit show FaceOff will also be offering workshops, makeup demos and mask making classes throughout the show. As if all this was not enough, after the tradeshow closes, HAuNTcon offers a set of All-day Hands-on Workshops, Tuesday January 28th.
Buy and Sell
Coinciding with the Education, HAuNTcon 2014 offers a “Cash and Carry” Tradeshow Saturday through Monday. Attendees can make sure to get products in time for Halloween 2014 by getting a head start on purchasing and placing orders for the latest Haunting products and services. Quality Haunt Vendors like Darklight Precision Lighting, Distortions Unlimited, Little Spider Creations, Spookyprops.com, VFX Creative Studios, AEO Studios, Inc., Froggys Fog, DWN Productions, 1313 FX Fright Zone and Halloween Productions/Hauntworld, Inc. to name a few, will be selling the latest in animations, makeup and props; many at wholesale prices. On Sunday afternoon, hundreds of attendees will line up in advance for the Annual HAuNTcon Haunted Garage Sale. This dark themed bargain hunt is a crowd favorite and everyone can join in the selling frenzy by purchasing a table for a minimal fee.
However, HAuNTcon is not all Haunt Tours, Education and Tradeshow, the show’s signature event is a massive Costume Ball. This upscale party on Saturday night gives people who are normally working on October 31st a rare chance to get into costume and celebrate Halloween with friends and family. Haunt owners, actors, makeup artists and Halloween fanatics from around the world will be in attendance for an evening of partying, networking and ghoulish fun. Sponsored by Froggy’s Fog and Houston Press, this year’s spooktacular will ensure that frightfully decked-out guests celebrate the industry in style, with party favors, a t-shirt toss, prom photos, a Texas Bar-B-Q buffet, free beer and soft drinks. A DJ and a dance floor will be present to keep the festivities rocking throughout the night, (costumes are suggested but not required). Even those unable to attend the full conference, can join macabre-inclined individuals on this must-attend “preeminent social event on the Haunting Calendar.”
Haunters eagerly anticipate HAuNTcon each year for its Education, Haunt Tours, Networking and Show Floor. From its first year in 2004, HAuNTcon has listened to attendees and exhibitors, and made changes to tailor the conference to what the haunt industry needs. If you own, operate or work for a Halloween event, Haunted Attraction, Home Haunt, or even just the dream of having one someday; if you’re a haunt actor, makeup artist, prop builder or just love Halloween, attending HAuNTcon is THE best investment you can make towards fulfilling your Haunting dreams.
Start the fright year off right and join other like minded Haunters from around the world for an unparalleled not to be missed off-season Halloween experience. If it’s scary, educational, exciting, thought-provoking and festive all at once, it can only be “HAuNTcon.”
See – almost 30 Haunt Tours in the area.
Learn – over 50 hours of Haunter Education
Buy – the newest products and services
Celebrate – your love for Haunting at the Costume Ball
Join – like minded haunters at HAuNTcon 2014, Houston Texas January 23-18
Additional details and registration options are available at www.hauntcon.com or by calling 972-951-5100. Tradeshow, Education and Costume Ball are at the George Brown Convention Center. Hospitality room and all Haunt Tour Transportation leaves from the Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown.