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Halloween & Haunted Events Forum


Thursday 27 Sept. 2018
09:00 - 17:00


Walibi Holland (by bus from RAI)

How to develop, market and manage a successful scary event

There was a time when the traditional summer season was the only peak moment for attendance and revenue. The introduction of new types of events lead to multiple high performing moments in the year, with Halloween of course as one of the most popular and successful ways to extend the season, deliver new guest and drive profits.

Join industry professionals for this Halloween Forum at Walibi Holland and get inspired by the backstage tour during the preparation of Walibi Holland’s award-winning “Halloween Fright Nights”, one of the best Halloween events in Europe. Learn more about the development, design and marketing of a Halloween event for facilities of all sizes and enjoy the networking lunch and reception (with a small touch of horror).


09:00 - 10:30 | Bus leaves and transfer to Walibi Holland

10:30 - 10:50 | Arrival & Welcome Coffee

10:50 - 11:00 | Welcome & Introduction

11:00 - 12:15 | Conference - How to market your event

12:15 - 13:00 | Conference - How to design a great haunted attraction

13:00 - 13:30 | Lunch & Learn Roundtables

13:30 - 15:30 | Guided backstage tour Halloween Fright Nights

15:30 - 16:00 | Goodbye networking reception

16:00 - 17:00 | Bus leaves and transfer to RAI Amsterdam



Host - Steven Putzeys, Operations Manager Leisure and Entertainment, M.H. Alshaya

Steven has been working for more than 20 years in the Leisure and Entertainment industry, covering various management positions and departments from attractions, guest relations to entertainment. He expanded his career in Disneyland Paris and Compagnie des Alpes ,through Walibi Belgium and Aqualibi, developing teams and projects. In 2014 he relocated from Europe to the Middle East, where he has been working in Kuwait. Initially taking care of the operations of Kidzania, later as Operations Manager Leisure and Entertainment developing a brand new Family Entertainment Center concept: Tekzone.

John Ruisch
John Ruisch, Creative Director, Leisure Expert Group

Johnny Ruisch is Creative Director of the Leisure Expert Group. He was one of the pioneers at the start of the year 2002 working on developing the Halloween event business in Europe.

He was the creative founder of the Halloween Fright Nights in Walibi World and rapidly started sharing his Halloween expertise to Belgium, Germany, French, Germany and China.

He joint forces with CEO Marjolein van de Stolpe and they founded the Leisure Expert Group that is based in Amsterdam. The Leisure Expert Group is a boutique design firm that is renowned for their scenic stage design, operational feasible masterplanning and creating immersive environments for the leisure industry.

Bianca Leemrijse, Manager Events & Entertainment, Walibi Holland

Bianca is the Manager of the Event and Entertainment team of Walibi Holland since 2011. But she has been working in the leisure industry for 15 years now. She started out as a ride operator during the Six Flags Holland period and with passion and devotion made her way to becoming the Event Manager she is today.

Thanks to every step from operator to manager, Bianca knows the ins and outs of every position in her team. She still spends a good amount of time on the work floor. This way she not only knows her colleagues very well, but also the needs of the guests. She and her team are dedicated to deliver the best possible guest experience all the time!

Lotta Carlsbogard, Project Leader, Liseberg

“Our guests expect the highest level of escapism - a fantasy world with anchoring in reality. It is my job to lead the process of the concept work - thinking about the guest experience. From ideas and storytelling to conceptual images and marketing backgrounds. In addition to this work, I am project manager for the Halloween and Christmas seasons to plan - implement and develop. After 10 years in this industry, I still find things every day that make me say WOW!”

Filip De Witte
Filip De Witte, International Project Director Leisure, Compagnie des Alpes

Filip de Witte, 54 years old, is graduated in Finance and Human Resources. Filip owns a strong international experience in Finance, Human Resources, Operational Management, Sales and General Direction. Filip benefits from a 25 years-experience in Management in different leisure parks of distinct sizes (from 300 000 to 1.8 million visitors). In France and in Belgium, he achieved the position of Head Management of leisure parks and animal’s parks. He is the former General Manager of Bellewaerde Park (Belgium), Parc Astérix (France) and Walibi Sud-Ouest (France). Through those different functions, he had been in charge of brand new events and activities which had been very successful (winter season, Halloween, summer events…). At this time, he managed large teams (200 permanents employees and 700 seasonal workers) and deeply contributed to increase the number of visits while reinforcing the profitability and the visitor satisfaction. In Parc Asterix, he has been in charge of 10M€/ an investment. At last, Filip is deeply integrated in several professional Belgian, French and international organizations. Today, He has joined International Development Department of Compagnie des Alpes.

Manuel Prossotowicz
Manuel Prossotowicz, Director Marketing, Sales & Brand Development, Movie Park Germany

Manuel Prossotowicz is Director Marketing & Sales and also Director Brand Development at Movie Park Germany, one of the five biggest theme-parks in Germany. Manuel is member of the board of directors and his key-responsibilities includes marketing, sales, IP development, the brand strategy, project management for all new attractions and the general park development with focus on quality and creative. He is working now for more than 18 years in the leisure and entertainment industry. Manuel is specialist in developing IP related attractions like his latest projects “Star Trek: Operation Enterprise (MACK Multi-Launch Coaster), “The Walking Dead Breakout” (permanent horror maze) and also “Hostel” and “Insidious” (temporarily Halloween mazes). Manuel is project leader for Movie Park Germany’s “Halloween Horror Festival”, one of the biggest Halloween Events in Europe.

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Practical summary

Date: Thursday 27 September 2018
09:00 - 17:00
Location:   Walibi Holland (by bus from RAI)

€ 90,-  (IAAPA Members)
€ 115,-  (Non-members)
Fee includes:    Transportation to and from Walibi Holland
Halloween Seminar
Networking Lunch
Halloween Backstage Tour in Walibi Holland
Networking reception
Notes: The buses will leave from and return to the RAI Amsterdam Expo. Walibi Holland is closed to the general public during the visit. It won't be possible to explore rides or other experiences, apart from those mentioned in the schedule. Must be 18 or older to attend. Separate ticket and Expo badge required to attend.