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The spookiest day of the year is just around the corner – why not spice up your next conference, trade show, or expo with a bit of Halloween flair? Seasonal events are always pretty fun, and everybody likes a good costume party.

Today, we’re going to go over a few cool ideas to spark your imagination. After reading this piece, you should be able to put together an awesome, memorable, and – perhaps most importantly – frightful event that’ll keep attendees talking about it for months to come. Let’s get started, shall we?

Bring People Somewhere Scary

No matter what city you’re based out of, I can all but guarantee that there are at least one or two places where people simply don’t go – and not because they’re located in a bad neighborhood. An old Insane Asylum, that abandoned steel mill, the manor up the street that used to belong to a hateful old miser; all of these are potentially great locations to host a rocking Halloween party. Do a bit of research, and see what haunted sites are near you.

Just…make sure you get the proper permits and safety waivers to do so.

Run A Costume Contest (Or Two)

Although plenty of folks would never admit it, the majority of people love getting dressed up for special occasions – even if said ‘special occasion’ involves putting on a gorilla suit. Why not run a competition where everyone (or just a panel of experienced judges) votes on the best costume in attendance? Everyone who’s there gets to see some of the awesome concepts their fellow guests have come up with, and the winners get a sweet prize – and bragging rights, of course.

Plan A Themed Party

A themed party is always an excellent choice, no matter the season. Think of something related to Halloween – a type of monster, a type of horror genre, or a particularly unnerving book, game, or movie you saw recently – and put together an event based on that. To that end, I’ve got one suggestion:

You can never go wrong with zombies. Seriously, most people absolutely love them. Done right, a zombie apocalypse party is bound to be a hit.

Offer Seasonal Meals

Your event doesn’t necessarily need to be terribly complex or over-the-top. If you’re celebrating Halloween within a company, something as simple as hosting a breakfast or luncheon might be all employees need to enjoy the season. As for what food you should offer; anything with pumpkins in it is a popular choice (I know up here in Canada, Pumpkin Spice everything is an absolute craze), while cider and doughnuts are always a decent offering.

Try Hosting A Haunted House

In my city, there’s a haunted house that runs every year, about a half hour outside of town. It’s widely known for being one of the most terrifying events in the province, and features an abandoned warehouse and a creepy corn maze. If you’ve got a flair for frightening people, why not try your hand at running a haunted house or “fright night” event? People love being scared, and Halloween is one of the best times of year to get them really freaked out.

Just make sure you know what scares people and what doesn’t, or your event’s going to end up being a dud.

Get Ready To Scare

None of the events suggested here necessarily have to be run on their own. You could easily incorporate all five into one awesome festival of fear. The ideas in this piece are simply intended to get the creative juices flowing – it’s up to you to design a Halloween event that’ll leave people breathless.