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|Texas Frightmare Weekend: Spending Recap|
|Personal Finance - Planning For Conventions|
|Written by Dave Hilton|
Another week...another convention! The weekend before last (May 4-6) Dallas (or at least the Hyatt Regency at DFW airport) was swarming with Zombies, Evil Clowns and other Creatures of the Night for the 2012 Texas Frightmare Weekend! Unfortunately, due to other professional commitments on Friday and Saturday, I was only able to attend the convention on Sunday. I have to say though, I enjoyed the smaller crowds on the final day. It made it easier to talk with the celebrity guests and vendors longer. Also, the full scale Back To The Future DeLoreon was really cool (it even had a Gray's Sports Almanac sitting on the front dash- can you see it in the pic below?)!
If you recall, many full moons ago, I posted my Financial Plan for all the 2012 Conventions I plan to attend this year. I budgeted $400 for Texas Frightmare Weekend. Let's see how the numbers actually turned out:
I consider paying a higher price than I expected my STUPID TAX for this event. I missed the online ticket purchase deadline by a couple of days, so I had to pay full price at the door. $30 per adult ticket (x2) and my kids got in free (although next year we'll also have to pay for my daughter because she turns 13...bummer.)
We were over the budgeted price mostly because of the 20% tip I left our server.
I was below my budgeted amount for autographs and photo ops because I decided I didn't want Ernest Borgnine's autograph and Sam Trammell cancelled. I was able to get autographs/photos with plenty of others to add to my collection- Anthony Michael Hall, Clint Howard, Michael Madsen, Verne Troyer, Barry Corbin, Keith David, Meg Foster, Joanna Pacula & Tom Savini.
I usually don't buy trinkets, t-shirts and other vendor items at these shows, but I spent a long time chatting with one of the guys from Midnight Syndicate (they create the Halloween music you hear at theme park rides, haunted houses and soundtracks for movies/tv shows). I ended up buying a CD of some of their best work for $10. I love Halloween- so this CD will definitely get some use this year. If I don't make at least one neighborhood kid cry...then I haven't done my job.
I thought about buying one of the official posters for this year's event to put up in my media room- but I couldn't bring myself to spend $40 to get one. They were really cool though-
It's nice to end up under budget by $22.50, despite spending more money in some areas than I planned.
I also had a great time meeting all the celebrity guests, vendors and several interesting people on Sunday. It's nice to have a place to go where I actually feel like I fit in. Here are a few random links of the vendors I had a chance to talk with:
Exotic Lenses (the coolest and creepiest contact lenses you'll ever want to buy)
Dark Shadows Haunted House- Dallas (A Dark Shadows themed haunted house in Dallas? Sign me up!)
DWN Productions (they do masks, props, special fx and other custom work)
Chuck Williams Productions (movie production company)
Deadpit.com (Horror Talk Radio)
Bob's Prop Shop (they build, sell and rent cars and props from movies like Back To The Future, Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers and more)
Next convention is this weekend- the Dallas Comic-Con (May 19-20). I have a $855 budget for that event. Hopefully, I can keep under that amount *fingers crossed*...
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