The Future of Halloween Arrives in Houston With HAuNTcon and the Halloween Expo
Halloween is a $7 billion industry. With that much money involved in the world of scares and dressing up, it should come as no surprise that the industries associated with the holiday have their own yearly conventions where people come together to swap ideas and merchandise.
Photos by Cory Garcia One of the many amazing masks from HAuNTcon.
This year HAuNTcon (The Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Convention) and The Halloween and Party Expo combined forces, holding both conventions under the roof of the George R. Brown convention center. Imagine a Spirit Halloween Store the size of a mall and on steroids and you'll have a pretty good idea of what it was like inside.
Although I've never run a haunted house or had the chance to spend my yearly salary on costumes and novelties, I still found spending time at both conventions to be quite the learning experience. I may not be able to build a haunted attraction of my own, but the peek behind the curtain gave me some insight in to Halloweens to come.
5. Someone specializes in something, no matter how big or small.
Gotta love a convention that teaches how to make convincing tombstones.
A haunted attraction is more than just people in scary outfits jumping out of the dark. There are a lot of pieces that add to the experience and each one of those pieces has someone that specializes in it. There are companies that focus on lighting. Others focus on props and costumes. There are techniques to building a great fake tombstone or a suitably dirty wall. The folks at When Hinges Creek focus on making doorknobs and other decorative pieces because depending on your theme sometimes you need 20 doorknobs that all look the same. You may not "notice" these details, but it's the little things that add to the overall experience.
4. Three costumes you'll probably run in to this Halloween.
Judging by what I saw on the floor of the Halloween and Party Expo, the three big franchises that should have a real good Halloween are Doctor Who, Orange is the New Black, and Duck Dynasty. If your goal during the Halloween season is to avoid that awkward moment where you show up at a party in the same costume as someone else, now you know what to avoid.
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