View Full Version : is it season-suicide NOT to attend transworld?

03-04-2011, 11:18 PM
Hey everyone,
With my makeup effects studio making a jump from indy films and custom fabrication to being a haunt vendor as well, I have to wonder just how deep a grave we hwve dug ourselves by choosing to wait a year to go to transworld. I realize the importance of this trade show to a lot of haunters but timing just didn't work out for us here this year.

How many of you plan your seasons buying purely around the show and how many people use this as just an oportunity to browse what the market has to offer up this year?

Jim Warfield
03-04-2011, 11:38 PM
To sneek into all the empty haunts left behind when everyone else is at Transworld!
(Insert evil laugh here~)

03-04-2011, 11:43 PM
Lol! GOOD strategy.... far less costly I'm sure.

03-05-2011, 12:12 AM
We buy about 90% of what we need at Transworld...sometimes, we'll find things we weren't even looking for that will work in one of our haunts and decide to get that too. -Tyler

Allen H
03-05-2011, 06:18 AM
That depends on how much business you want to do. If you were wanting $50,000 in orders then yes, once transworld is over you wont get that. MHC is a Good show to attend in june, but it depends on your products and who its aimed at. Budgets are decided yes, but so many haunters stray from their budgets its scary. If you have $100 or less products you still can do well, if you sell bigger ticket items then you most likely will not move to many.

Twin Locusts
03-05-2011, 07:53 AM
The issue isn't whether you'd be exposed to more of the overall haunt owner budget, that's pretty obvious.

If I were you my concern would be that attending before you're ready could do you more harm than good.

If you're line isn't robust or you don't have enough offerings to make a substantial presence you could position yourself
in the buyer's mind as fly-by-night, or small time. The only person that knows if your line is ready for the floor is you.
And part of that measurement must be how you'll be perceived by the entire market not just how much you may sell
to a subset of the market.

There is also the side of start small, build a base, and add customers as you grow. There's nothing wrong with that
angle either. However, the biggest budgets will mostly ignore you if you 'appear' thrown together or small time.
I used to own a line of stationary and greeting cards and there were always a dozen or so upstarts at the Atlanta
and Chicago, they took orders but most were launched under-capitalized and never showed up at shows again.

No matter when you enter the market if you have a great product you'll find a niche.

chuck weber
03-05-2011, 09:36 AM
REMEMBER, NATIONAL HAUNTERS CONVENTION in Valley Forge, Pa (philly area) is also coming up. This is also a great show that gets bigger and better every year. Don't worry... you're covered.

Greg Chrise
03-05-2011, 10:50 AM
Even if you find that one big seasonal source of income that hits every year, it won't hit every year and you will find you have to diversify and have many ways of marketing. If you have to branch out why not do it from the beginning. Many networks developed and then the phone seems to ring just in time and in a managable production level without advertising and extensive travel. The product or service just has to be good, something of quality. Existing customers will slowly pass the word and you become THE source for products instead of on out of 15 possible suppliers.

There are a lot of successful haunts that have been a community for more than 20 years and never heard of Transworld or Hauntworld and could care less. They have kind of figured out how to do it themselves and find products on the interwebs. Once they find a supplier they are very loyal. There are also now so many regional shows that are so much cheaper to attend if you are starting a line. You might work up to Transworld at the other shows but I find only on this forum is it the be all to end all. Of course the most excited that say that are vendors themselves making the event into something great. It doesn't mean instant success for someone coming in from the outside that hadn't already sort of personally invited hundreds of people to their booth or business and gotten postitive feedback to that effect. In fact it is more like that. Transworld is a meeting place to collect your already qualified and intrested customers, it isn't where you just show up after spending 5 grand to be there and hope for the best. It is more like you should hear your customers demand you are there. Not demand customers to support you.

It may be kind of brutal but it is like the old line, if you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it. If you already knew where your customers were you wouldn't be asking. Chances are several times at Transworld might just break even or be a flop and be considered a learning experience to go in blind. Kind of an expensive education.

More stable sales take years of subtle exposure rather than hard selling, hard closing possible buyer remorse from clients. Do you want people that buy every year or are you looking for that one time only dumping of $300,000 of products.

At the smaller conventions you can do an hour long seminar, not even have a booth and walk out with all the customers you need or can attend to in a quality fashion. No big fanfair, no being there for a week working a glorified flea market table. It all pays the same. Maybe I'm giving away too many secrets.

03-05-2011, 11:52 AM
You Also have Hauntcon coming in April!!!!!!

03-05-2011, 12:07 PM
THANK YOU for all the great feedback. We are making a jump into a new market here and the mindset on the boards has sort of made transworld out to being the only shot a vendor has to grab any sales. I've received a few pms asking if we would be there as well.

My largest concern was getting enough of a product line together by show time that lived up to my quality expectations... I decided in december to hault our "rush to get it ready in time" development pipeline because the projects weren't coming along at the quality level I want to present. As of now, we are working with web designers on our storefront and will be using the year as a soft opening. I have made myself very clear to my other effects artists and shop assistants that we will NOT allow ourselves to fall into the industry issue of bad vendor relationships and rediculius production times. This year will give us the oportunity to face issues on a smaller scale and learn how to resolve and prevent them in future years. I just wanted to weigh in with everyone and see if that was the wise route to go.

03-05-2011, 01:13 PM
Wish I could go but it's just not in the cards or budget for me this year. Another time... :cool: