Welcome to the june 2018 edition of the celebration
Here's what you'll find inside:
BEHIND THE BRAND
Featuring Scarecrow Vampire Fangs
Featuring Farmaphobia/Causey Farms
5 Ways to Appreciate & Accelerate Your Retail Business During the Summer
HIA NEWS & NOTES
HIA's new consumer website launching soon
HALLOWEEN & PARTY EXPO SHOW UPDATES
The Halloween & Party Expo website got a face lift!
BEHIND THE BRAND
Halloween & Party Expo (HPE): Tell us about the history of your brand?
Scarecrow Vampire Fangs (SFV): Scarecrow Vampire Fangs (SFV) was founded in 1993 by Arthur Goldiner, Technical Director, and, Linda Camplese, Creative Director, after several years making custom vampire fangs for individuals and several stores in New York City. Following the extremely positive response to the custom fangs, it was a natural extension to engineer a specific fang cap and easy-to-use fitting method that anyone could apply, as a business for the costume market. They moved to California, via Colorado, and, founded Scarecrow, Inc.
HPE: How has Scarecrow Vampire Fangs evolved over the years to become what it is today?
SFV: For the past 25 years, SVF has benefited from the original ideas of founders, Arthur and Linda, coupled with market needs and a firm commitment to staying current on style, fashion, art and media trends. Their well of creativity seems endless, from adding unusually shaped fangs to doubles, extra long fangs, spirals, mirror metallics, glow, and many other shapes and sizes which all start out as hand-sculpted originals. Their interest in film, television, theatre, art, pop-culture and media have provided a wealth of creative ideas over time because they are so personally involved.
Arthurs attention to detail in engineering the highest quality fang caps and fitting methods by staying current on the near-constant changes in technology, including digital applications, mold-making, materials, and modern plastics injection techniques has continued to yield the very best product, number one in the Halloween Industry, each year for 25 years in a row.
Linda's Creative Direction extends from her life as a working fine artist and photographer. Her creative hobbies, including Cirque Aerial, a love of the animal world and reading is apparent, such as her use of aerial artistes and a live boa in photo shoots, catalogs and packaging. The artistry she brings to every aspect of the company, including the fanged UPC symbol on the packages and the hand-sculpted skull box that the fangs are packaged in, have established SVF as a creatively cutting edge company year after year.
HPE: What product are you most excited about for the 2018/2019 season?
SFV: 2018 rings in the 25th Anniversary of Scarecrow Vampire Fangs, a huge accomplishment for any company, especially one still run by the original founders and a staff that has remained near-consistent for most of those years. There are always exciting new products and designs in the works.
HPE: How does the Halloween & Party Expo bring value to you, your brand and your customers?
SFV: Scarecrow Vampire Fangs continues to partner with HPE, which provides the main forum for important retailers and manufacturers like SVF to get together and celebrate the opening of the Halloween ordering season. The same members of the SVF team attend the show year after year, providing excellent customer service, show specials and a commitment to staying up-to-date on clients’ needs in the ever-changing landscape of the Halloween/Costume consumer products industry. SVF staff meet face to face at HPE with hundreds of retailers to showcase the very highest quality products from our consumer-centered, Made in the USA Scarecrow product line. Retailers and consumers alike look forward to each new product debut, packaging, photography and design beginning early in the season with a solid showing at HPE.
HPE: What trends do you anticipate to be popular for this upcoming Halloween season?
SFV: Consumers are more savvy and knowledgeable about the look they want than ever. And, branded properties from television and film are attractive to many Halloween enthusiasts. In addition, classic looks and characters continue to have appeal. The rise of make-up tutorials has opened up whole new possibilities for a new generation.
HPE: What does the new co-location with HAuNTcon mean to you and your business? What are you most excited for next year’s show?
SFV: We appreciate the co-location with HAUNTcon which allows for increased enthusiasm and promotion of the Halloween industry as a whole.
It's your haunt
As you know, the Halloween & Party Expo is co-located with HAuNTcon, Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow & Convention. For this month's issue of the Celebration, we want to introduce you to our friends over at HAuNTcon, Farmaphobia/Causey Farm, an Irish haunt attracting over 25,000 visitors annually.
HAuNTcon (H): Tell us what inspired you to get involved in haunting.
Causey Farm (CF): Halloween is an ancient Celtic Festival that marks the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. Historically the main spiritual place that it was celebrated was called Tlachtga (nowadays the Hill of Ward) and this in only three miles from our farm. Because of this Samhain or Halloween has a very special place in our hearts and in 2005, we decided to run a Halloween Experience for families to mark this link. Gradually we realised that people actually wanted to be scared more than anything so we rethought our event and we have a family event called Pooka Spooka in the afternoons and the very successful Farmaphobia for teens and adults in the evening.
H: What's the history of your haunt?
CF: Farmaphobia first opened in 2010 with a mixed bag of outdoor and indoor haunts and over 3,000 visitors came that first year. Since then we have come a long way, both in confidence and ability and we attracted over 25,000 visitors last year.
H: What's the most exciting new concept or area you're adding or incorporating in your haunt this year?
CF: We have two new haunts this year - one is called The Facility - a medical concern, which should make the patrons very concerned indeed! The other is called Evilution - where a very nasty collection of creatures have evolved to terrify the guests. These two new haunts will join the three returning ones - The House of Dolls, a nasty dolls house themed creation which we launched last year, The Mutation Morgue, our oldest haunt which never fails to deliver along with the Field of Screams, an 8 acre corn maze which will be completely updated this year.
H: Are there any concepts or trends you are hoping to see this coming season?
CF: While I come from a tech background, I find that the more raw and low-tech the actors and sets are, the more real they are and I suppose realness is what impresses me most when I visit haunts.
H: Why do you attend HAuNTcon?
CF: It is great for getting new ideas and networking with great people. Because we are from Ireland, it is easy to chat to everyone without anyone feeling that we would be competing or being too inquisitive! I particularly love the haunt tours.
5 Ways to Appreciate & Accelerate Your Retail Business During the summer
Summer days are known for sunshine and fun – and fortunately, for retailers this can translate to customers and sales. The catch? You need to optimize the long days and summer expectations that customers have. To help? Consider the below 5 ways to strengthen store visibility, customer appreciation and your retail sales this summer.
#1: Incorporate Mother Nature’s Summer Colors into Your Displays
Summer introduces blue skies, green grounds and as a result, more foot traffic in and out of stores. Extend these colors into your merchandising strategies to help bring the outside inside – while also helping to bring the warmth of the season into your store environment. From window displays to in-store merchandising to seasonal inventory assortment and more, let Mother Nature influence your store this Summer.
#2: Refresh Cabin Fever Customers by Hosting Summer Inspired Events
Long winters and rainy springs can make customers stir crazy… and ready to have some fun! Embrace customer’s readiness for new things by hosting some in-store events this Summer. Some themes to consider when planning an in-store event include “Bites & Browsing”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Mom’s Night Out”, “Summer Sales That Sizzle” and many more. The key is to make it more than just an opportunity to shop but also an opportunity to get social. This is a great way for existing customers to invite friends to join them at your store – as well as keep existing customers loyal to your business.
#3: Introduce Fresh Air Into Your Store
Say hello to Summer with propped open doors and open windows – welcoming fresh air and sunshine into your store experience. An added bonus? Propped doors make it easier for customers to stroll more casually in and out of your store – ultimately helping you to increase foot traffic and sales. When doing this, also consider how bringing your inventory onto your outdoor space can help encourage customers to stroll in and out of your store. Incorporating your front entrance sidewalk as part of your store footprint not only expands the space for you to sell inventory – but also welcomes customers more boldly as they pass by your store.
#4: Welcome New Items Into Your Inventory Assortment
A change of seasons means more than a change of temperature. It also means new inventory. Don’t overlook this valuable asset to your store this Summer and make each arrival of new goods a big deal. Through in-store events, social media updates, email marketing campaigns and strong customer care, make every delivery one that sells, sells, sells. Incorporating frequent window display changes and embracing quick turn-around can help your retail store have its best-selling season yet.
#5: Partner Up With Neighboring Businesses
Let’s face it… as retailers it’s easy to work within a silo-inspired environment that doesn’t welcome outside businesses into your marketing strategies. Summer, however, is the perfect time of year to mix this up and embrace ways to partner with like-minded yet non-competitive businesses. Reach out to nearby community businesses that have a similar audience of customers, and then determine how you can work together to help BOTH your stores this Summer. Whether it’s hosting a pop-up shop in a neighboring business or co-hosting an evening event that you each cross-promote, the ideas are endless. The catch? You need to get the conversations going now to effectively bring these realities to life.
Finally, as you prepare for an exciting Summer of fun and sales, don’t overlook the value in training employees on store procedures, inventory and of course, customer care. The best retailers are only as strong as those that represent them – so incorporate team training into your Summer plans to truly ensure this will be your best Summer sales season yet.
hia news & notes
Coming Soon! HIA's New Consumer Website
We have been hard at work to develop a new consumer website to promote costuming and Halloween. While the new website will feature costume trends and products, safety information, other "cool" stories and videos will be a draw to the site as well. The website will be eye-catching, interactive and fun for both consumers and the media. Please look for our launch later this summer.