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How To Get Started in the Haunted Attraction Industry

Halloween has become a phenomenon, and “darkly themed” Haunted Attractions are cashing in. Record breaking attendance at October seasonal haunts across the country, has not been overlooked by Entertainment Industry either. Family Fun Centers and Amusement Parks now use Halloween to lengthen their operating season with relatively little or no additional costs.

A Haunted Attraction is a business! And what you don’t know about this specialized field can kill you! Learn from industry veteran, Leonard Pickel, the in’s and out’s of making your first Haunted Attraction successful in this invaluable 2 part seminar. Chocked full do’s and don’ts and tips and tricks on the getting the attraction open, keeping it open and maximizing the money making potential of a for profit or charity Halloween Event.

This session is a comprehensive overview of the various concerns relating to a “first time” October seasonal production, but even a well established Halloween event will learn a thing or two on how better to maximize profits while minimizing costs and effort. In these two sessions Leonard details for you his vision of a profitable event from over 30 years of professional Haunting design and consulting, and lays out for you a plan for success. Topics include, location requirements, safety and code compliance, attraction style, advertising, operations, and it answers the most frequently asked questions. “How big should the attraction be, how much should I charge, and how much will it cost?”

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How To Get Started in the Haunted Attraction Industry

  1. 1. “How to Get Started inthe Haunted Attraction Industry” Presented by Leonard PickelHauntrepreneurs® Haunt Design and Consulting 972-951-5100
  2. 2. Congratulations & Condolences A Haunting History Haunting is NOT for Everyone!
  3. 3. How Much Will It Cost? “A haunted house is never finished, you just have to know when to stop!” – Leonard Pickel
  4. 4. Set a budget, and stick to that budget! Type of construction  Build in place  Panels Actors vs. Animatronics New vs. Used Attraction Taxes Fed/State/Local Insurance
  5. 5. Location, Location, Location What makes a good  Types of Facilities location:  Buildings  High visibility and  Tent appearance of size  Outdoor  Ample Parking  Haunted Hayride  Available Facilities  Haunted Trail  Open Maze  Ghost Walk
  6. 6. Location, Location, Location What Locations to avoid:  Existing Residence  Inside Mall/Shopping Center  Historical Building
  7. 7. Haunt Design What makes a good Haunt  Consistent Theme  Creativity  Do the Unexpected  Scare ‘um
  8. 8. Code Compliance Talk to the Fire Marshal and Building Inspector NOW! Do Your Homework!  Zoned for Entertainment  Assembly Occupancy “A” Flame-spread Rating  No Spray Foam  No Visquene  No Cardboard  No Paper Meche’
  9. 9. Code Compliance 2 Means of Egress No flammable Liquids  Chainsaw? Special Amusement Building  Fire Suppression  Fire Alarm System  Smoke Detection  Strobes  Pull Stations  “Confusing Lights and Sound”
  10. 10. Code Compliance Electrical Code  Power Distribution  No Extension Cords Emergency Lighting with Battery Back up Licensed Electrician Perimeter egress corridor
  11. 11. The Permit Process Submit Complete Drawings Plan Review Building Permit Inspections Inspection Day Crew Certificate Of Occupancy
  12. 12. Terror By Design - Size of Attraction  Mega-Show (stand alone)  Multiple Element (total event)
  13. 13. Multi-Element: 2,000 SF Haunts 3 Or More Attractions Side By Side More to Promote Greater Perceived Value Combo Ticket
  14. 14. Story Line - “A House Cannot Be Haunted, Unless It Has a History!” Steven King  Themed or Un-themed  Licensed Characters  Masks or. Makeup
  15. 15. Story Line - “A House Cannot Be Haunted, Unless It Has a History!” Steven King Themed or Un-themed Licensed Characters Masks or. Makeup
  16. 16. Theme Story Line  Consistency is the Key Gothic  House  Castle  Vampire Modern  Sci-Fi  Toxic Waste  Slasher Licensed Characters  Create Your Own
  17. 17. Room Designs Do the unexpected Clichés to avoid:  Boo Around the Corner  Autopsy/Operation/Butcher table  Sheet Maze  Baked Potato Room  Monster sits up in a  Mattress on the Floor Coffin/ Grave  Chainsaw
  18. 18. Scares Visible Scare Invisible Scare Visible-Invisible Scare
  19. 19. How Much To Charge? Competition’s Prices Theater Prices Discounts Be the Biggest, and Most Expensive
  20. 20. Advertising  Web Page  Social Media  Radio  Billboards  Print  Fliers
  21. 21. Operations Ticket Sales & Accounting  Numbered Tickets  Money Drops Where to Find Actors/Production Staff  Colleges  High Schools Employee vs. Volunteer Crew  Contract Labor Individual Employment Temporary Agencies
  22. 22. How Do We Scare?  A cold Touch …  In the mists on the familiar…  Applied with a sudden pressure… Steven King
  23. 23. Make It Fun Enjoying what your doing Be wild and crazy  Experience other shows
  24. 24. Conclusion - Haunting Smart Create a Budget through a Workable Business Plan Start Big, but Light Phase in Detail and Reuse What You Have Advertise
  25. 25. Haunting Resources Hauntrepreneurs® - Haunt Design and Consulting Firm972-951-5100 www.hauntrepreneurs.comHaunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Convention (HAuNTcon)972-951-5100 Find A - Nationwide listing service for Haunted Events813-444-2868 Sinister Visions - Haunting Web Design312-952-1832 Haunted Attraction Magazine – Trade Publication for the Industry513-898-1569