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Thread: Hauntcon 2014

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  1. Default  
    #11
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    I would like to continue to see peoples opinions on this development but I will offer my own... keep in mind this isn't a shot at Leonard or favoritism towards Transworld this an honest to God Opinion of exactly what I think is the case and what will happen and what probably led up to this situation.

    For starters I guess they finally released the info because I kind of let the cat out of the bag... whoops! LOL

    Lets just call a spade a spade Hauntcon was failing it was in no way keeping up with Transworld or even MHC and probably wasn't going to continue without some bigger pocket help... Leonard never really did a good job of promoting Hauntcon, didn't spend the money or the time that say MHC does or Transworld does. I think sometimes that concept of build it and they will come doesn't always work. In Hauntcons case it didn't...

    Vendors tried supporting Hauntcon initially but it slowly died off to the point it was more about the tours than anything else. So teaming up with another show was probably a smart last ditch effort type of move by Hauntcon...

    As for Houston Show this show isn't doing well either... the whole entire retail industry has changed drastically. Back in the hay day of Chicago (which by the way will never again come back again) most Halloween retailers were small business owners. Halloween was still way under the Walmart Radar lets face it... now its an industry just like the amusement park industry where just a handful of people run the whole thing! Morris Costumes and Rubies are the biggest players now as for selling stuff... then for buyers you are down to just a handful like Party City, Walmart, Target, then the smaller players like Spirits, Halloween Express then the handful of online retailers. This is an industry where the main buyers know what is available without a tradeshow... the tradeshow for retail itself isn't that valuable anymore no matter who produces it meaning the hay day Transworld or the people who do it now.

    The Halloween Retail Show at least in my opinion is in a position where they have to ask themselves where do we get more people walking the isles, where can we find some excitement add some energy ... haunted houses.

    I CAN PROMISE YOU THIS... even going back to the old Chicago days 80% of every BODY walking the show was a haunted house owner or operator. Even the retailers admitted that the best part of the show was the haunt side of the show. Despite all of this the main buyers of the retail side didn't see the mix with haunts so they wanted to rid themselves of our industry. BTW... those same morons don't have a clue that haunts are the industry that drives Halloween and are the perfect marketing partners for all halloween retail stores. Either way the bottom line is I think what is happening is two shows that are struggling trying to work together to create some additional synergy. Actually I would do the same thing...

    The problem is it won't work... this will fail!

    Most haunted houses are not interested in seeing Halloween retail stuff anymore. Two haunt vendors aren't going to Houston to exhibit because they are not ready to showcase new products and honestly they would lose a lot of money trying. Even if a haunt vendor did go it would be for one booth or two booths, and the real buyers for haunt stuff know the big displays with the cool stuff won't be until March.

    Secondly most haunts vendors can't afford multiple tradeshows especially when the rates to display are as high as they are in Houston...

    Lastly as for Hauntcon itself I think this is the demise right here... the spirit of Hauntcon is haunt tours. Now you are stuck in Houston and lets be honest that is not a haunted hotbed. Houston is also very far away from the haunt industry hot bed cities... we are talking about 1088 miles from Chicago to Houston for example. This won't be a driving show... so rule that out.

    How about a real hot bed city like Philly we are talking about almost 1600 miles to Houston compared to 880 from St Louis to Philly or 756 from Columbus MHC to Philly so we are talking about HALF! So in short the location is just out of whack for the haunt industry at least in my opinion.

    I think what has hurt Hauntcon is a lack of promotions and simply put picking the wrong cities... for example the last time he went to Houston it didn't go over that well. He organized tours to 13th Gate for example maybe the best haunt in the industry and boom only 150 people attend. Why didn't you just set up in New Orleans to start with... or how about Denver a city that is almost like an island because its far from every major city.

    The best cities for a travel show would be Philly, New York, Boston, and Hauntcon never stopped at any of these cities. Why?

    So now Houston again at a slowing down retail show? Why? Honestly this makes no sense!

    I have to be honestly I would love to see the retail show in Houston I would love to check it out ... but I'm not going to it in January and I'm not making a special trip just for that show. I think Hauntcon can help some but Houston probably thinks this Hauntcon is a real true competitor to Transworld and if someone pitched them that concept they are getting sold a bag of goods there...

    I don't think Hauntcon is going to bring any more people to HPC and I don't think HPC is going to do anything for Hauntcon but finally put the nail in the coffin because no haunter is going to be interested is seeing that show in January. Just my opinion!

    When its all said and done I like Hauntcon and wish it would succeed and I've told Leonard this many times... however in order for it to succeed it needs to pick better cities and do better promotions.

    Until that happens this move is probably the death of Hauntcon once and for all.

    Larry
     

  2. Default Here's a Prediction 
    #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by drfrightner View Post

    Anyone have a prediction?

    Larry
    I have one! HAuNTcon will be in Houston January 25-27, 2014 - in the same building, the George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, TX 77010 and at the same time as the Halloween & Party Expo.

    Prediction: It will be the largest attended and largest trade show floor HAuNTcon has ever had.

    See a prediction is something that you have a hunch will come true and you gamble your reputation and stand behind the hunch. A prediction is not sharing something you got wind of just before it is announced.

    I was surprised our 2014 location stayed a secret as long as it did. We have been talking to vendors and industry leaders about it for over a year now. We even had a false start on a scheduled Wednesday announced that was premature.

    Larry always asks me why I don't post on Hauntworld, and it is because you people make me sad. If I hated someone, as you seem to me, and I saw them making a huge mistake, I would sit back, get the popcorn and watch the train wreck. You people cannot seem to help but slam everything people do, trying to damage them before they even have a chance, so your predictions will come true.
     

  3. Default Who's irrelevant? 
    #13
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    Apr 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkangel View Post
    I mean, hasn't everyone already attended Leonards "how to get started in the haunted house industry" seminar at least 3 or 4 times already? And if he does a "how to be successful in the haunted house industry" seminar I expect every hand to go up and ask him if he's such an expert, then why has EVERY haunt he's ever done failed miserably?

    DA
    What did I do to upset you DarkAngel. Have we even met? I see you want to own a haunt someday. Maybe taking my seminar would help. As soon as people stop packing the rooms to hear a seminar, I stop offering that particular topic. As long as people are paying $160 a head to hear what I have to say, then I will keep saying it (by the way, the seminar changes almost every time I give it. And I do have a How to Succeed in the Haunt Business Seminar)

    As for being relevant to the industry, I don't really get up every morning with that goal in mind... but if I was as irrelevant as you say, then I don't think you would be typing my name so much.

    I'll let you industry experts get back to shaping the Haunt World,
     

  4. Default  
    #14
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    Lenard I know you and Larry don't always see eye to eye, but you don't get on Hauntworld much and some of the people may hold that against you. As far as Dark goes don't take it personal he is that way with everyone, how someone feels that their opinion is relevant when he has not been to any trade show in modern history nor has owned a haunt I really can't understand. But I am questioning the move to the Houston retail show in my own mind. I was at Hauntcon this year and will say that I enjoyed it very much, like I said earlier the trade show floor was not expressive, class were good, haunt tours were very good, and the best part is the socialization between the other haunters. Your show was more relaxed than TW and it was nice, lets face it by the time your show date came around if your a serious haunter your big expenditures have already been done and the trade show floor is not the most important part. Now the truth is I am still on the fence about attending your show this year and it will be heavily determined by tour pre show tour and how many of my Dallas friends will be coming. I wish you luck and hope this works out for all my friends at Hauntcon.
    Phatman
     

  5. Default  
    #15
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    Leonard we've met on at least three occasions. I met you up in Baltimore at Horrorfind in the early 2000's and you were doing the how to get started seminar in the industry that was two consecutive years if I remember correctly and it was free also if I remember correctly. I also attended several of your Transworld seminars and spoke to you afterwards where you had a smug attitude towards me and saying I'd be better off leaving Virginia to open a haunt.

    I asked around and at every turn people said the same thing and that while you act like an expert haunts you have a hand in always fail. From Salem to Atlanta to New Jersey to everywhere else. I heard of your PIZZA PIZZA scare tactic and saw your terribly dated haunt you worked on in Orlando. You may have been in to something in the 70's and 80's but your style is too old school if you opened in any market with your haunt and had to go up against a lets say House of Torment or Pennhurst, you'd lose as you always have. You try to promote yourself as an expert but if you really knew how to be a successful haunter then you'd be just that, a successful haunter you'd have an elite haunt and you never have.

    DA



    Quote Originally Posted by Leonard Pickel View Post
    What did I do to upset you DarkAngel. Have we even met? I see you want to own a haunt someday. Maybe taking my seminar would help. As soon as people stop packing the rooms to hear a seminar, I stop offering that particular topic. As long as people are paying $160 a head to hear what I have to say, then I will keep saying it (by the way, the seminar changes almost every time I give it. And I do have a How to Succeed in the Haunt Business Seminar)

    As for being relevant to the industry, I don't really get up every morning with that goal in mind... but if I was as irrelevant as you say, then I don't think you would be typing my name so much.

    I'll let you industry experts get back to shaping the Haunt World,
     

  6. Default  
    #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by austind View Post
    Lenard I know you and Larry don't always see eye to eye, but you don't get on Hauntworld much and some of the people may hold that against you. As far as Dark goes don't take it personal he is that way with everyone, how someone feels that their opinion is relevant when he has not been to any trade show in modern history nor has owned a haunt I really can't understand. But I am questioning the move to the Houston retail show in my own mind. I was at Hauntcon this year and will say that I enjoyed it very much, like I said earlier the trade show floor was not expressive, class were good, haunt tours were very good, and the best part is the socialization between the other haunters. Your show was more relaxed than TW and it was nice, lets face it by the time your show date came around if your a serious haunter your big expenditures have already been done and the trade show floor is not the most important part. Now the truth is I am still on the fence about attending your show this year and it will be heavily determined by tour pre show tour and how many of my Dallas friends will be coming. I wish you luck and hope this works out for all my friends at Hauntcon.
    Phatman why the negativity towards me you and I have not met? I don't have a haunt and no one knows of yours. And why do you say I have been to trade shows you know that to be fact? I've never been to hauntcon but in the last 10 years I've gone to Transworld 8 times, iaapa a couple and a few MHC cons. I've been to NHC once as well so chances are I've been to as many as you so learn the facts before you assume.

    DA
     

  7. Default  
    #17
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    I did an interview with Leonard earlier this week that will be on the new Big Scary Show (out later today) where he explains his reasons. I would invite you to tune in and listen...
     

  8. Default  
    #18
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    Leonard,

    No one is against you or hates you in fact for the past several years we have tried very hard to alert people about Hauntcon ... I've even called you multiple times asking you to get on here the same way MHC does or the way people do about Transworld and let people know about your show. We have put blogs up on our front page about your show multiple times. I've spent my time trying to reach out to you about how to help you and your show...

    In fact I put up a facebook and link to your show yesterday on our facebook...

    I don't think you get it Leonard you got it backwards ... this is a place for discussion, communication and sometimes debate. This isn't some wide open forum, unlike many other forums I hardly approve ANYONE to be a member, if you are not a member you can't post, you can't see photos, blah, blah. The point of this place is to express your opinions.

    But just for a moment lets look at what I've read on facebook or seen come through Yahoo email groups ... overwhelming against what you are doing. People are saying things like aren't those the people who forced the split, they didn't want us now they want us back because things aren't going well for them. You know nothing can compare to racism of the 50's and 60's nothing... but a haunter got to feel a bit of that when we were forced to wear colored coded bracelets, or we couldn't even walk into that section if we couldn't prove we spent X amount with a retailer.

    Yeah I remember that... we aren't good enough we have to go to the back of the bus. I remember ONE PERSON ME telling Transworld which at that time was run by the Passis family to go F*CK THEMSELVES... and I rounded up every single major vendor at the time and we told them we'd all leave. They changed the policy but the policy was created by the Halloween Retail people... bottom line is this their show struggles and they want the haunt industry back.

    Now that is RICH my friend... hey I'm not against them, and I hold no grudges and as they say time can heal all wounds but honestly you really think this is what is best for your show? Almost everyone I've seen make a comment about it ANYWHERE is negative about it...

    BULLET POINT FACTS:

    1) IAAPA is 100 times bigger than Transworld and way more valuable than the HPC show or Hauntcon or MHC or anything else and because of its show dates (NOVEMBER) maybe only 1 or 2% of vendors and buyers go. So you are going to somehow break that trend? Doubt it!

    2) January Show Dates... that is going to inspire haunt vendors who are DEEP in production on new equipment they are just going to fly away to a new show? Doubt it! Wrong time a year once again.

    3) Location: Its to far away... you shouldn't have gone there the first time. Its not really a haunted house hotbed #1 and its as far south as south gets. I suggested St. Louis to TW for two reasons... one is location because most people in this industry want a city that is fair for driving and two cost St Louis is cheap the convention center is cheap and TW has kept the prices low for booths really low. Houston is not cheap and its not centrally located by any means.
    For this industry and you should already know this LOCATION and CHEAP... two key words every haunter knows. LOL

    4) Hauntcon: The spirit of your show is the opposite of what you are doing so this also confuses me totally. I thought it was about haunt tours not Halloween retail. And now that you are going head to head against TW some people may now choose to not work with you at all ... just all around bad move.

    Leonard let me say for the record that your show was failing because all conventions should have large vendor space... it had shrunk almost every year since the first couple of years. That isn't taking a shot its pointing out a reality. I called you multiple times with suggestions trying to point you in the right direction... this isn't it.

    Hauntcon could get all its steam back if you went to New York, Boston, Philly area, Baltimore (close to philly and New York and Boston btw), or how about Atlanta home to Netherworld. Sometimes I think you don't want the haunt in a city to be bigger than the show, but that is exactly how it should have been and should be... that helps your show.

    You could have done a lot better for yourself and your show and salvaged this show by picking the RIGHT CITIES where there is a haunt everyone wnats to see that is near 100's of haunted houses... but now you are going back to Houston again! Hey you can take these comments as not liking you but actually its the opposite!

    Larry
     

  9. Default  
    #19
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    Leonard,

    This post will be shorter and to the point... I am for anything that helps the haunted house industry. I've been the biggest advocate we've ever had pouring tens of thousands of dollars trying to help promote this industry. I will take on anyone who even thinks about trying to take advantage of people in this industry. Do I think you are doing that? Just so you know I think it was a mistake that TW would not allow you into their show last year because of some rude email blasts you put out about their show... I wasn't in favor of that. I told them that is just part of business everyone else plays up their products and or haunts play up their haunts over their competition as well... that was nothing new. I was like who cares what Leonard emailed everyone... you agreed with them you wouldn't do that but you did it anyone so they kicked you out. I think it was wrong they did that... I saw this link up with Houston coming a mile away after that happened.

    I think in your mind you are doing what you think is best for YOUR SHOW and YOU PERSONALLY... and no one can fault you for that! I would do what I think is best for my business as well. I just want you to know that I myself and many others do not feel this is in your shows best interest ... on your website you claim you are listening to the people who attend your show, you want to change because of comments people make. So don't be offended by someone offering their opinion that is what the forums are for. Seems like you did... but again you claim you want to know peoples opinions but maybe you really don't.

    Bottom line is this... I think this is going to destroy the spirit of your show, I think just like IAAPA, this industry is no longer interested in Halloween retail, and lastly no one is interested in going to a show in Houston in January where as before haunts are second fiddle to retail. Haunted House industry has come a long long long way here... doing what you are doing is going backwards.

    Why would we run to them... they should be running back to us. But at the end of the day your show won't save their show and their show won't save your show. Just so you know you are MORE than welcome to promote your show here, and give details all you want and I encourage you to do just that. INFORM PEOPLE... I've told you this many times before.

    I'm for the haunt industry so I'm for your show, and all the other shows as well... but that doesn't mean I'm not going to share my opinions with you about what I or others would think would help the show. I have nothing against Halloween retail show... in fact I'd love to attend if it wasn't in January so far away. TW wasn't happy we put an ad in the last magazine about the Houston show... but I told them the same as we will tell you all of these shows should have the same opportunity to promote themselves on our website or that website or this email blast or magazine or whatever. You are more than welcome here...

    Just remember there is a difference between not liking you and offering advice and opinions... don't confuse the two.

    Lastly let me say this... if you get 1 million people thru your show great for you! I'm not cheering against you again just pointing out I don't think this is going to work out the way you think it is. Take my advice go to Boston, New York, Philly, Baltimore, Atlanta and you will quickly learn your show will triple in attendance and your vendors will come back. Houston we have a problem and it has nothing to do with Halloween Retail... its the wrong city for your show.

    Period!

    Larry
     

  10. Default  
    #20
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    Lenard I would have to agree with Larry on quite a few points. He has put post about Hauntcon on here, I do believe that you do over look input from other people, even people that you should be trusting and listening to. ( you own group that put on Hauntcon with you ). As I told you and your wife at MHC that I did not want to go back to TX for the next show and most that attended Dallas that I talked to said the same. ( let me correct that, the ones that did not live in TX.) I think you put on a good show and you really do care about this industry so that is why I came to your defense on here when some people post things just be jerks, but if you were on here more you would have a bit more insight into what people are looking for.

    As for you Dark all you need to look back at your post over the last year and see who is negative and has even had his post remove before. I try to be constructive on the forum not destructive. I am not even a Lenard fan and won't go to classes he teaches, but you make statements like you are on the middle school play ground. Please try to conduct your self civility on the forums and not make it personal. And if you do make statement you should let the man know your true identity, that's only fair so he can know when he met yoo And as far as I am I guess I am just a nobody.
    Phatman
     

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