The annual Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Conference (HAuNTcon) is coming to the Orlando area next week, bringing people together who love haunted houses and Halloween. The show offers three days and nights of “haunter” education (for those who run their own haunted house attractions), tours of local haunted houses, a unique trade show floor, hearse show and even a costume ball.
HAuNTcon “Haunt Tours” begin on Wednesday, April 28 with a pre-show overnight bus trip that includes lights on and lights off tours of the Grimm House, Grey Manor, Terror of Tallahassee, Castle Dread and Warehouse 31. Attendees will get a chance to meet the design team of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights during the Thursday Night Kick-off Tour and get a behind the scenes look at this spectacular event now in its 20th year. The Friday Night Spotlight Tour is of two haunted attractions at Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream event.
Once the tours wrap up, HAuNTcon will host three days (April 30 – May 2) of creepy convention fun at the Ramada Orlando Celebration Resort in Kissimmee, Fla. It all kicks off with a keynote session on Friday, April 30, at 5:00pm where T.J. Mannarino, Director of Art & Design at Universal Orlando Resort, will present an overview of Halloween Horror Nights.
The next day, Saturday, May 1, at 3:00pm, Robbi Lepre and Scott Swenson, Entertainment Directors at Busch Gardens Tampa Howl-O-Scream, will present Monsters for the Masses: How Theme Parks Scare Thousands.
Over the course of the weekend, HAuNTcon features more than 40 hours worth of seminars, “make-n-takes,” workshops and demonstrations will teach attendees new tips and tricks about Halloween-style makeup and effects.
In addition, the HAuNTcon trade show floor will be packed with fright services and equipment for the professional Haunted House owner and Halloween enthusiast alike. From horror makeup and highly detailed masks to static props and large animatronic creatures, everything a haunter needs will be for sale and many at wholesale prices.
I will personally be attending HAuNTcon not only to take in the frightful festivities but also as an exhibitor/sponsor. My company, Lanyard Lab, is the official lanyard sponsor of HAuNTcon, so every attendee and exhibitor will walk away with one of our killer glow-in-the-dark lanyards, pictured here.
The Haunted Attraction Magazine Costume Ball takes place on Saturday, May 1 followed by the Hearse and Parade Car Rally on May 2.
Attendee and exhibitor registrations are available at hauntcon.com, as is a full schedule of events for the weekend.