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Aug. 18, 2022

What is the Chamber of Haunters?

What is the Chamber of Haunters?

The Chamber of Haunters held its annual member meeting last month during the Texas Haunters Convention – we’ll catch up with the president to learn about the organization’s future.

The Chamber of Haunters held its annual member meeting last month during the Texas Haunters Convention – we’ll catch up with the president to learn about the organization’s future.

Related Resources

  • Watch the Annual Meeting Video here.
  • Save 50% off your membership for 2022 with the discount code ‘HauntingU’. 

Robert: The Chamber of Haunters actually acts as a chamber of commerce for the haunted attraction industry. I make it clear to everybody, we're not out to replace any other organization, we are here to help everyone. Our motto is we're a home for all haunters.

So, our organization itself is different from everybody else. Because one, we operate as a chamber of commerce, not as an organization per se, or an association. So, we offer different types of benefits and different types of opportunities. There will be things that will obviously be the same, because all organizations are like that business wise, but a chamber of commerce has different opportunities, business wise, that we can present to our members than what associations or organizations can provide, and so we try to provide that.

Like I said, we want to work in collaboration with these other organizations, but we want to be able to help members get stuff where maybe they're not getting it somewhere else. So, we have those opportunities through being a chamber of commerce that we can do nationally and locally, not just on one scale.

Philip: Can you gimme an example of something that they can't get anywhere else?

Robert: So, one of the things that sets us apart is we have the opportunity to work with government programs, being a chamber of commerce, to help with funding. During the COVID pandemic for people to get the PPP program, that's something that many organizations can't participate in, or help, because they aren't considered governmental programs. So, ours as a chamber of commerce, being so, we operate in that manner so we can get help through the government to help our members. Now we don't get the help for ourselves, but we get it for our members.

We are very member led. We believe in leading from the bottom up. I mean, yes, we have a board, because as a chamber of commerce you need to have that, but we believe in the membership being active. So, it's not something that you just come into, you pay, and we're quiet. We want you to be active in the organization.

So, we have committees, positions, both local and national, where people can get involved. No member, especially on the executive board or advisory board, gets paid. So, these are not paid positions, we use our own money for a lot of this, and the money that comes in from our memberships. But we invest in it ourselves, because we're that dedicated to not only The Chamber, but to the industry and our members. We're a 501c3 chamber of commerce, but in the haunt industry, we want to be so much more than that.

Philip: What do you offer to members?

Robert: So, what we offer as a Chamber of Haunters to all our members is networking opportunities, discounts, education, and a members-only area, and we're grateful that we have the opportunity to present that to them.

Philip: When you join The Chamber of Haunters you get access to members-only area. What is in that member's only area?

Robert: So, as far as the members-only area, when you join The Chamber of Haunters, you get access to forms, documents, manuals, our discounts with all our partners, which you'll see on the membership only area. You get educational opportunities, webinars, seminars, and any other training opportunities, including our G.H.O.S.T. Program, which is called the Global Haunters Optimal Safety Training, which is what we're doing actually starting here at the convention. So, you'll get access to all those opportunities there through the members-only area.

So, for example, one of the forms that we provide to all our members is a safety checklist that members can go through and say, "okay, starting from the beginning attraction to the end, have I gotten this part in this room? Have I gotten this part in this room?" So, it goes through every section and helps you to align it, and it's customized for every attraction. So, you can customize it yourself to make it bigger or shorter as you need.

Philip: That G.H.O.S.T. Program sounds very beneficial, tell me about the program.

Robert: So, the G.H.O.S.T. Program, which is called our Global Haunters Optimal Safety Training starts here at the Texas Haunter's Convention. Tomorrow from two to four we'll be offering a course on CPR and first aid, which are very beneficial. All the rest of the courses are done virtually via zoom. Our members themselves teach it.

We do it in a different way, it's very formatted to where we provide members with opportunities to teach courses that they're familiar with. So, we look for members that have experience in that area, they teach the course, and then they also get opportunities to get credit since they teach it. So, if they teach it, they get the opportunity to get the credit, as well as those who are also taking the course as well. Like I said, two being done here this weekend, and the rest are all virtual online.

At the end of the program, we then provide you with a certificate saying that you've been trained in the G.H.O.S.T. Program, along with a patch, and you can use that to put up to show your customers that you have taken the steps to make your attraction safe and healthy.

Philip: So, you mentioned that you have committees that people can participate in, volunteer committees locally, tell us a little bit about the committees you have.

Robert: So, the committees we have, we have an education committee, which does exactly what we were talking about before, making our health and safety program, and other webinars, that we do. We also have our events committee, along with the Texas Haunter's Convention. We help with other events around the country that we can participate in. We also have our membership committee, which helps to market out to other people so we can grow our membership, and the other one I would talk about is our networking committee. How can we network and get our members to, to collaborate? So, we have many more, but those are just some of the ones that they can participate in.

Philip: Talk to me about the future. What are the short term and a little bit of long-term goals of The Chamber?

Robert: Short term goals include trying to bring in more people into The Chamber to help them get into the industry. Long term goals for us, we are trying to create some programs that are based, one of them is actually our Chamber University. I won't get too much into that, because that's going to be one of our babies. But we are trying to create a Chamber Universally which will help to educate them and create a school for actors, haunted attraction owners, staff, where they can get real, not just education that you get online through other websites or organizations, but something that where they can be like, "okay, this is an education." We want to educate our members, like truly educate them.

So, we're creating a new program. Like I said, it's probably five to seven years out. I'm hoping less, but that's our five-to-seven-year goal is to create what we would deem the Chamber University.

Philip: Is there anything that we didn't cover that you think is important?

Robert: In 2022, we decided we're going to offer 50% off for all new and returning members. Your individual membership, home, yard, charity haunter, small, medium, large attractions, vendors, paranormal societies, and escape rooms. So, we try to cater to pretty much everyone. You can be a Halloween enthusiast to the largest escape room or haunted attraction. But like I said, we are here to help.