Sunday, September 19, 2021

HAA drafts plan for haunted attractions industry support

The Haunted Attraction Association (HAA) unveiled their three-year strategic plan which includes a board of directors leadership shuffle, increased network and learning efforts, new online platforms, and more.

“While 2020 caused many in the entertainment world to pivot and re-think their business models, the collective input of our board of directors, association membership, and those throughout the industry was telling in how we needed to shift our own focus to prioritize issues that benefit our members and greater industry,” said Spencer Terry of Fear Factory SLC in Utah, the newly elected president who is helping lead the shift in direction.

Terry and other members of the board of directors surveyed hundreds of people throughout the haunted house attraction industry. Through a steering committee, the board drafted the extensive 70-point initiative plan that outlined a new direction to evolve over the next 3 years. 

“Parts of this plan are ideas the board has had for years but weren’t certain it was the right time to initiate. Other ideas simply weren’t achievable with the current bandwidth, and the rest are outcomes of what our members are asking for,” said Terry. “However, with new leadership, newly revitalized board members, and member-led advisory groups, we’re shifting how we can better share resources, learn from each other quickly and efficiently, support our creative vendors, and strengthen the overall haunted attraction industry.”

Initiatives include an in-depth resource guide for attraction operators to include Homeland Security guidance and training, HR policies and procedures for newly operating professional attractions, and more. “We saw the data for a growing need of resources available at members’ fingertips, and we plan to deliver a robust network of resources, sharing opportunities, learning, and overall growth to our members,” said newly elected Vice President, Cody Bailey of Hush Haunted House in Michigan.

Other strategies include:

  • utilizing social media groups for more efficient ways of communicating
  • monthly online learning and networking opportunities
  • greater industry-wide vendor support
  • a nation-wide actor training program
  • the continuation of the award winning safety program CHAOS (Certified Haunted Attraction Operator Safety)
  • legal
  • marketing
  • safety training for members

Members, who range from creative (e.g., makeup artists, actors, builders and designers) to operational (e.g., attraction managers, operators and owners) all call HAA home. 

“Many of our members already recognize the value of collective resources and knowledge while leveraging these tools to better their attractions, thus raising the bar.  Our three-year plan — also known as HAA v2.0 — goals include growing memberships even further, annual data surveys to capture trends and evaluate strategies, increased satisfaction scores from members and increased access to resources, all while increasing bottom lines that benefit not just singular attractions but a global industry” said Terry.

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