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Dan Faupel
01-11-2008, 12:10 PM
If you want to see me agreeing with Larry Kirchner...that HE IS RIGHT!...check out the link below:

http://www.iahaweb.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52

drfrightner
01-12-2008, 12:28 AM
Dan,

Thanks for the kudos on that one! LOL

I think what this really says is that no one cares about IAHA. I think the whole thing is kinda been done for a long long long time. Of all the vendors I know I haven't had anyone tell me someone asked for an IAHA discount.

Dan you do a great job trying to put the program together. But IAHA is just not supported by this industry.

Larry

mindtumor
01-14-2008, 09:23 AM
Dan,

Thanks for the kudos on that one! LOL

I think what this really says is that no one cares about IAHA. I think the whole thing is kinda been done for a long long long time. Of all the vendors I know I haven't had anyone tell me someone asked for an IAHA discount.

Dan you do a great job trying to put the program together. But IAHA is just not supported by this industry.

Larry

I recently ran into someone that was an IAHA member and they didn't even know they received vendor discounts. I am not a member so I don't know much IAHA related but is this information pushed? Does IAHA make their members really aware of what their benefits are? I have only ever talked to a couple of members and none of them could tell me why anyone should join.

drfrightner
01-14-2008, 10:31 PM
The reason you would join any association is to contribute to a cause or a group that can accomplish things collectively that we as individuals can not.

An association works for the betterment, advancement of an entire industry. IAHA was founded based on the idea anyone could join, anyone could be a board member and well anyone has. The boards are never made up of strictly industry leaders, or knowledgeable haunted house owners and vendors.

Therefore its usually ruderless with no idea what to do, where to go, or how to get there. Associations should speak for an industry, and in our industries case IAHA does not speak for us nor will it ever. After years of watching IAHA fumble one year after another, myself and several others tried to save it. But quickly found out IAHA is a point whereby some people find themselves feeling important therefore fight to keep it from making its true destiny.

IAHA should not be about being popular it should be about helping an industry grow and prosper. IAHA has failed.

The industry does not support IAHA, out of the estimated 2,000 haunt owners IAHA can only claim 80 or so haunt owners as members, and I can assure you that number will decrease over the next 18 months.

Our industry needs leadership, and eventually a real association that is well funded and supported by the mass majority of haunt owners and vendors.

There is common good that can be accomplished through the collective efforts of many, but through IAHA that will NEVER be realized.

I personally have choosen NOT to re-join IAHA ever again, or support them with my money, idea's, or anything else. I have and continue to maintain www.hauntedhouseassociation.org, which serves as a website that helps the media find positive information about our industry, and helps them find haunted houses.

Three years ago I helped start a group called "America Haunts", which is a group that invests money into a pool to see that our industry reaches goals that where never possible. So far we've been able to reach millions of American's through a successful PR campaign.

We will continue to find ways to promote the haunted house industry now and into the future.

Larry

Dan Faupel
01-14-2008, 10:57 PM
Larry...I don't really want to get into it too much, but 300+ members disagree with you...

IAHA is definitely not for everyone! If you are a professional attraction or vendor, IAHA can help your business.

IAHA represents over 200 owners/operators of professional haunted attractions, and over three dozen professional vendors.

Mindtumor...you are right, the discount program was not effectively marketed in the past, and IAHA is trying to correct that.

For you and anyone else interested in knowing, below is the "official" list of IAHA benefits. This list does not include recent additions, such as these first four:

-Discounted admission to the recent Universal Halloween Horror Nights Tour
-Free temporary membership to IAAPA
-Discounted admission to the new Haunted Attraction safety certification program, which will be at TW and MHC
-Ability to put the IAHA logo on your website, which looks good to potential sponsors and customers

IAHA Member benefits include:

-Participation with an ongoing exchange of ideas and information with members worldwide via IAHA’s E-list
-Special IAHA discounts from numerous haunt industry vendors through the Vendor Discount Program
-Credit Card Processing discounts
-The official IAHA bi-monthly newsletter, The ScreamZine, and other mailings
-Opportunity to participate in National Haunted Attraction Industry PR through our network of media contacts
-Discounts on haunter activities at the Transworld’s National Haunt & Attractions Show in Las Vegas and other tradeshows
-The printed IAHA Member Directory, which is a very useful book full of great reference information
-A free subscription to Tourist Attractions and Parks Magazine, which is the official magazine of IAHA, with a special IAHA section every issue
-The IAHA Safety Reference Manual and the IAHA Haunted Handbook on CD
-Access to the exclusive members-only area of this website, which is loaded with important business information
-Opportunity to serve on a variety of special interest committees
-The JB Corn book series on CD
-IAHA Window Decal
-IAHA membership ID card
-Participation in member surveys
-Assistance in publicizing your haunted attraction via press releases
-Shared “Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics” with other haunters

mindtumor
01-15-2008, 07:52 AM
What is this Haunted House certification program?

Barry
01-15-2008, 08:05 AM
There are a lot more details coming out very soon but a synopsis can be found at:

http://www.midwesthauntersconvention.com/workshops.htm

Speculo
01-15-2008, 09:06 AM
I know this program has good intentions, but "certification program" verbage is not wise.

Does IAHA want responsiblity when a "certified" haunt has a problem?

Does IAHA want someone with a plastic "certification" badge suddenly being an expert, and declaring haunts he visits "unsafe?" Barney Fife comes to mind.

Does IAHA want its program to be recognized, or even noticed by local officals, possibly resulting in MORE hurdles for haunts to open? Do any of you who are not in PA want their rules added to yours?


Do any of the existing board remember the firestorm over a similar issue causing IAHA to delay in forming for almost 2 years? Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

Almost NOTHING is as important, critical or scary to a haunt owner as their relationship with local fire and building officials.

ANY existing haunt wants to keep the status quo exactly how it is - by hard work. years of trust, etc you know what it takes to open, and you don't rock the boat.

By all means teach safety! Expose new folks to best practices, it helps us all.

But "certification"?

No sir, I don't like it one bit.


Thanks!

Ben Armstrong
NETHERWORLD

mindtumor
01-15-2008, 10:07 AM
I agree with Speculo. Exactly what would the certification be? I think a safety training/seminar is a good idea, but is IAHA going to try and make getting chaos certified mean something? Is it going to mean something to my local fire dept, building dept, or city its self? Also in saying certified who are the qualified people saying now you are certified? I believe in safety first and believe in experienced haunt owners talking about stuff they have done over the years to make their haunts safe but how are they going to certify other haunt owners? We already work with our fire dept, building inspectors, and city to insure our customers safety. What do I care or my city officials care if I can pass a test some haunt owner in another state gives me if I pass all of their requirements and tests? I think 8 hours of safety training and advice could me a good idea. However, IAHA or CHAOS giving a certification test is not unless it means something to every city across the country. I know it probably sounds like I am being negative and I am not. I may have totally missed the boat on what this is. I am just trying to get more information on what this is.

Barry
01-15-2008, 11:47 AM
Here is an excerpt from an email on the IAHA list:


This is a voluntary certification program and IAHA members are not required to attend. However, similar voluntary certification program in the inflatable and go cart industries has resulted in insurance advantages. We hope the same will happen in our industry.

I keep hearing Larry and others talk about how IAHA should be like other industry associations however when something like this is attempted it gets all kinds of negative comments from those same people. Potentially lower insurance rates seems like a good thing to me.

drfrightner
01-15-2008, 01:06 PM
Barry,

The biggest difference is when IAAPA does something, they have REAL industry experts, leaders and spend tens of thousands of dollars researching issues. IAAPA did a study on the causes of rollar coasters on the brain or something like that so they could defend their positions and their members.

When IAHA tries to do something you have people, and most don't even own a haunt come up with these plans. They are not thought out, they're not kicked around the industry, no experts are hired to consult, they just do it because it sounds like a great idea.

Furthermore IAAPA has no certification program that I am aware of.

Do you see or understand the difference? Over half or around half of the current IAHA board doesn't even own an attraction in this industry. If you ask me that is a problem.

As for Dan's accounts... IAHA does NOT represent over 300 haunt owners. Go back and check your records you're flat out WRONG! Either way doesn't matter...everyone has to decide for themselves if they want to support something that does not benefit this industry or not. I know for myself I choose NOT to support IAHA now or anytime into the future.

Larry

mindtumor
01-15-2008, 02:28 PM
Here is an excerpt from an email on the IAHA list:



I keep hearing Larry and others talk about how IAHA should be like other industry associations however when something like this is attempted it gets all kinds of negative comments from those same people. Potentially lower insurance rates seems like a good thing to me.

Lower insurance is a good thing, but until this post it wasn't stated that lower insurance was the goal of the certification program. I don't think the comments were negative I think it was more of a fact finding thing.

Barry
01-15-2008, 03:26 PM
Mindtumor,

What you have to realize is that Larry and I have discussed this topic at length already and we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. In my opinion Larry has become not "non-supportive" but more anti-IAHA.

That being said, here is where the two of us part ways:

Larry - Thinks an industry association should be solely for haunted attraction owners and to use his words "real haunted attractions". He also believe that such an association should not try to help new haunts get started. Larry please correct me if I misunderstand your positions.

Barry - Thinks the the haunted attraction "industry" encompasses much more than just haunted attraction owners. It includes vendors, event producers, and, yes, even home haunters. I also think that an association should be about growing the industry in any way that it can.

So as you can see, we come at these topics from two very different directions. But then again, who am I? I don't own an attraction either so my opinion doesn't matter to some...

Barry

Speculo
01-15-2008, 05:47 PM
There is nothing wrong with having different opinions. Everyone in this industry has a different take "on what they want" or what an association should do based on what part of the industry they come from.

Its not unreasonable for someone to start a new haunt - they would be thrilled to get help from IAHA

Its not unresonable for an existing Haunt not to want new haunts spring up around them.

It would not be unreasonable for the Midwest Haunters Convention ( I plan to try get there this year!) to be concerned if someone wanted to start a competing convention in its back yard.

We all share certain things, a love for the craft, a delight at scaring people, a desire to excel in our area of haunting.

But you cannot expect everyone to be on the same page, especially when it affects their paycheck.

This makes it very difficult for IAHA to do anything major without tipping someones apple cart.

The choices are tough - Run the orgainization with a light touch, and be accused of not doing anything, or do something dramatic that part of the industry may dislike.


If you want to run IAHA with an angle squewed towards new haunts thats fine.

Just don't expect a lot of support from existing ones.

Thanks

Ben Armstrong
NETHERWORLD

drfrightner
01-15-2008, 06:19 PM
Barry,

No you're not correct on how I feel on the subject, but don't mind telling you what I think to clear it up.

You said:

Larry - Thinks an industry association should be solely for haunted attraction owners and to use his words "real haunted attractions". He also believe that such an association should not try to help new haunts get started. Larry please correct me if I misunderstand your positions.

Larry says:

I've NEVER said that or even implied that. I've said only about 2000 times, everytime I use IAAPA as the example, that anyone can join IAAPA, just like anyone should be allowed to join an industry haunted house association (notice I don't say IAHA, because I do not reconize them as OUR industries association).

Everyone in fact starts somewhere be it working as an actor at a haunted house, working for an amusement park, or working as a garbage man with a dream of having your own production. Everyone should be given access to an industry association because if a new haunted house is going to open as an association we should be prepared to help them in a way that keeps them from hurting the rest of us. I do not feel that an association for any industry on any level job is to help new people get into business, its not. The role of an association is to do things in a collective manor, to accomplish things as a group that you can't accomplish by yourself. As it stands IAHA does not do these things, and due to their lack of organization, lack of support, lack of money, and so forth they probably never will. IAHA is something that most haunters feel is not worth the paper its printed on.

I'm sure we'd both agree that most people have a sour opinion of the group.

IAHA has been used and abused by many people, and in the process never did what it should have been intended to do. Now we have private individuals who have taken up the roles that associations typically play for an industry.

Let me explain: You for one are doing a convention, so is Leonard, and so is Transworld. Typically its the associations that fill this role not the private business. Typically the assocaitions print the industry magazines, again in this industry that is being done by private individuals. Associations also are at the forefront of seminars, educations, and the organizations of gatherings, and again IAHA does not fill these needs rather private business people do.

The three main things an association do IAHA does none of the above, which in most business owners minds makes the group irrevelent. MHC is more imporant to more people than IAHA will ever be, and that is backwards of how it should be.

I for the record think anyone should be able to join an industry association, however should be at the forefront of running an association that truely represents an industry, and in this case an industry that reported does 3 to 5 hundred million dollars in revenue???

You tell me???

You see in this industry, many people have taken it up as a hobby, and some people think you should do this because you love to do it... most of those peopel who say that have never owned a haunt and dealt with the problems that come along with it. I pay my electric bill, my kids get new shoes, my house payment all of that including all the staff that I employ count on us being successful, with no rain, no major accidents, no terrorist attacks that distrub our entires nation train of thinking, blah, blah.

There is a very big difference between someone who does it just for fun and someone who's trying to pay their bills, trying to make money in a very short window. When IAAPA comes calling for new board members, they have a very rigid list of qualifications you must meet before you can even be considered.

In IAHA anyone off the street can become a board member, and lay claim to being an expert to the media, or inspectors, that could cause harm to the rest of us when they do something stupid, say something backwards, or whatever.

A board of a 300 to 500 million dollar industry should not be made up of insurance salesman, workers at a vendor, actors from our haunts, or people who run haunted houses out of their garage and the list goes on.

We as an industry want and demand on leadership that can help take our industry from XXX amount of national awareness to XXXXXXX amount of national awareness, a group that leads us, that looks out for us, that helps protect everything we've earned.

IAHA does none of that! It takes true leadership, it takes true insight, it takes real idea's to help guide us into the future to do that. No handbook they offer, no broken promises, no award show or whatever other crazy idea they want to do will make me believe that is what our industry really wants or needs.

IAHA is a failure in every sense of the word, and even the strongest supporters know it and to some degree admit so. IAHA is not and never will be supported by an industry that craves leadership that can help them advance what they already have.

If you have proof that it has done these things...remember I'm from Missouri so 'SHOW ME'.

Larry

Barry
01-15-2008, 06:29 PM
Yep, you pretty much summed up your opinions Larry. I think Ben hit it right on the head as he usually does, a difference of opinions. I'm going to miss our discussions on the IAHA list though. Good luck with whatever you decide to do in this area.

mindtumor
01-15-2008, 06:50 PM
Mindtumor,

What you have to realize is that Larry and I have discussed this topic at length already and we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. In my opinion Larry has become not "non-supportive" but more anti-IAHA.

That being said, here is where the two of us part ways:

Larry - Thinks an industry association should be solely for haunted attraction owners and to use his words "real haunted attractions". He also believe that such an association should not try to help new haunts get started. Larry please correct me if I misunderstand your positions.

Barry - Thinks the the haunted attraction "industry" encompasses much more than just haunted attraction owners. It includes vendors, event producers, and, yes, even home haunters. I also think that an association should be about growing the industry in any way that it can.

So as you can see, we come at these topics from two very different directions. But then again, who am I? I don't own an attraction either so my opinion doesn't matter to some...

Barry

When I said I didn't think the comments were negative, I was speaking only about my comments on the Safety Certification program. I realize this thread topic didn't start out talking about the program but mention was made about it. I must have misunderstood your reply thinking you were talking about the program. I wasn't talking about IAHA and peoples opinion on it.