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What content, events, activities, or structure makes for a fun, fulfilling Halloween convention for haunters and scareseekers alike?

I'm toying with putting together a regional SoCal haunt convention in Spring of 2013, and wanted to find out from people who've been to Transworld, Hauntcon, and other haunter conventions what they liked about these most, and maybe what sorts of things there didn't quite work.

I've been to horror conventions, and my favorite part always tends to be the vendor alleys or halls, especially artists who show off their work and other artisans with handmade crafts.

DIY workshops -- what kind of makeup panels, if any, are useful and fun? Or prop and set building?

Panels -- is there value in watching people speak about local haunts 6 months before Halloween, and if so, what topics work?

Parties -- I see a lot of cons having parties attached with different themes -- what makes these most appealing, and do expectations meet up with what attendees were hoping for?

Any input would be appreciated.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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Never been to one....but if I went, it would be from the DIYer perspective...what can I afford and what can I make and how complicated is the technology to learn. On the flip side, I imagine you don't make much off the DIYer at a convention, so it would be all about the pro haunts...so big props that cost big $$$$ would be the main draw to get vendors to show up

Just my $0.02
 

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I have been to Transworld a dozen times when it was in illinois, just 2 hrs, from me.The displays are impressive and creative , too bad way too many people and other venders are so busy copying the guys with the original stuff.
"Panels" give some a audience to brag to, which gets very old very quickly if that is all it will be. I was not there but everyone was talking about one Mr. Big's first time at the microphone telling everyone else in that room that his show was so much better, bigger, more profitable than anybody else's show in the room! OF course as we learned more about him,(eventually) he had some tremendous flops too (not all his just fault) but still?...
Sometimes the people paying for a seminar will not be happy if they are really paying attention when Mr, speaker "A" is diametrically contradicted by Mr. speaker "B" ???? and Now what useful information do YOU have from this?
"Always do" versus "Never Do' does not make for happy audiences who just paid the fees to hear such things.
A convention planner should consider there will be some booths that speacialize in making a lot of ear-beating noises, while other venders need to be able to actually communicate with potentual customers and hearing what is said remains viably important. Separate these types of venders with heavy, thick curtains or real top to floor walls, don't do the Titanic half-way up walls, look what happened to them!
Decide who the con. is really for and keep it that way or have certain days just for the gaukers versus the serious haunt builders, and don't book a "Gawd-I-Gotta See HER celeb". on a Saturday, plugging the business conducting aisles with mere fans, IF selling product is why venders paid for a booth.
Some of the most fun will be had from meeting people in-person, other haunters, haunt actors and having talks with one another ("War-Stories"?)
I realize this page of rant might seem very negative, but if it was just that, would I have invested so much time and mileage to keep going back?
Fun- Insight-New things, interesting people and ideas....
 

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livin Halloween every day
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I have been to the Midwest Haunters Convention for the past six years or so, and would not even think of not going. The number one thing I like the most is the vendor trade floor. I also really enjoy the costume party and fantasy body art show. They also have precon bus tours that are alot of fun. The only thing I would really like to see them do that they don't do currently is to have some celebrities there. Also very fun and cool to meet other haunters, even met some forum members there, as well as people who are in the business.
 

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CreepyLA, if you do, count me and a few of my L.A. haunters in! There was a California haunter convention some years ago, but I would absolutely love to help out with a L.A. based convention.

P.S. I love the work you guys do!
 

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I'd be in. I've always put out a variety of items over the years but this coming year I want to raise the bar through the use of pneumatics and other effects. I looked at the available conventions, but they're all out of state.

I'd be interested in seminars and shop talk as well as vendors with various products such as you see listed on frightprops and monsterguts. I've been trolling those sites looking at various goods, but I haven't pulled the trigger on any purchases just yet as I'm trying to figure out what I want to do as well from a theme/functional perspective. I'd come with money to spend, but it would be with the intention of trying to stretch the dollar. So while the Distortions props look pretty cool, I'd be one of those looking to spread the $$ across multiple props and parts rather than put into one completed item.
 
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