View Full Version : Transworld Our industries main trade show.

03-14-2011, 05:50 AM
Hello Everyone,
Now that we are back I would like to get an idea from everyone who attended this year what they thought about the show.

1. What did you like about this years show? Not just vendors but as a whole.
2. What didn't you like if anything?
3. What would you like to see new for next years convention? This might seem early to talk about, but why not while it's fresh in everyone's minds.

Robert J Dudzieck
All Seasons Entertainment LLC
Fright Factory Haunted House PA

03-14-2011, 09:27 AM
I thought that this years seminars were well planned, and the speakers were highly qualified to speak about the topics they covered. As haunts become more seasoned with time, those seminars become less relevant, but they are for all audiences. I wish that I knew about transworld before I started our haunt.

Out of all three years, I thought this year's show floor was the best fit for us. There were a considerable amount of prop supplies, lighting supplies, fog and fx supplies that are all important to our haunt. Although we didn't break any bank accounts at the show, we take the information driven from the suppliers at the show and design our sets with their equipment in mind. At this time, it is hard to make orders on fx supplies w/o a final plan.

It seemed to me like the Halloween show side was a little slow. I guess there are not as many buyers on that side as the attraction side? I did like to see the extended show floor, and there were several things that the other side offered. I now understand how the two shows need to be together to be more successful and cut costs.

What I would like to see... with no disrespect to our hosts, I believe it is time to move to another city. Once we got away from the show floor and moved about the city, we had one disappointing experience after another. To us, STL seems like it needs to brush up on its customer service a bit... or a lot. Restaurants were closed within their posted hours, some restaurants posted obscene hours... another may have given a crew member food poisoning (unconfirmed)... in 2009, we went to a bar very near the conference... made reservations, and were snubbed by the wait staff for another large group. Finally, let's talk about the ren grand bar... It was a MESS! You would think that by the 3rd year a conference was in town that the bar would be prepared for thirsty haunters. The only restaurant we went to that gave a dam was Pappy's Smokehouse.

Now, aside from the local area's lack of "give-a-sh**", i DO like the location of the convention center in relation to the local hotels. St. Louis is very affordable. Although it overwhelmed the local area, it seemed like most haunters stayed close to the area. I could only imagine how insignificant this show seemed to be when it was in vegas. Also, the haunt tours are a great experience.

It was great to meet new people this year, and talk to old friends too!

03-14-2011, 09:39 AM
I thought the show floor WAS AMAZING. I didnt want to leave. That interactive haunted house was great. What a great way to display props in their intended use. My feet are killing me but... if the show was still open I would still be walking around. For a second year guy, I was able to make some great contacts and some new friends. Thanks!

I spent about $10k more then I planned but am giddy to see stuff showing up. this is going to be a great year.

Unfortunately, last year and this year I was disappointed in the seminars that I and my staff attended. I will not mention which seminars as that is not my attempt of this post. I realize that the seminars are only an hour. But the material presented in my humble opinion was a large waste of cash flow. Here are a few examples

1) I sent one of my staff to a class that the instructor was not sure what subject to teach.
2) I sent my design manager to a class that did not come close to the subject it was listed as.

The money spent on these seminars should enhance your business. For us we learned way more on the showroom floor and taking these classes took valuable time away from the floor. I was disappointed 2 years in a row on seminars. NO other complaints (except the cost of my bar tab at the hotel)

I would recommend that the seminars should be a little longer. 1 hour is not enough time to really put out the material. And if it is enough time I would say it is not a class that is going to represent a value for the dollar. I attend other tradeshows for my other business ventures and classes are usually more in depth and obviously longer.

This post is submitted respectfully and humbly in an effort to improve OUR show next year. I am sure some seminars were awesome. i am just pointing out that the majority of material that we payed for was available free on the showroom floor and more informative.



03-14-2011, 10:11 AM
Thanks guys this is the kind of info i'm talking about. I'd like to see some good banter on this thread in the hopes of maybe getting an even better trade show for 2012. We are lucky to be a part of such a fun and creative industry that I would hate to see it go stale, so I think talking about this early might help to spark the higher ups to make a better teaching program and maybe some more new vendors.


03-14-2011, 11:39 AM
I went to an all day seminar by the Bad Boys in 2008 HauntCon, and paid pretty good money for it. There, they built a 8 panel set from scratch... they started with bloody marys, ripping 2x4s for panel backing... and produced a finished set including led lighting, a skeleton fully decked out, multiple paint schemes, etc. It was worth every penny. I bet the construction of the interactive haunted house would be a great spectator event. However, I could see how people would get in the way and would slow down production with questions, but it would be a great event.
That all-day seminar was an education. I agree, some types of seminars are worth much more than $40 and 1 hours time. If the seminar was worth the extra time and money, people would pay it.

03-14-2011, 02:28 PM
I had a good time at the show, there were some new companies that I have never heard of that had some good looking stuff, so it was a chance to get a few more contacts to put in a file in case you ever need that special something. I was definately a fan of the girls in latex, and I didn't even have to pay 40 dollars to sit and look for an hour! I had to explain to my wife why every 10th picture on my camera was them again....its all busines.....RIGHT? However, I agree with the earlier posts. I took a few seminars and I enjoyed them, but 1 hour is just not long enough. I know it would require a little more upkeep of records, but I think there should be advanced classes like in college. You have to take class A and class B in order to take class C. This way if I have already taken basic makeup and basic airbrush (just making stuff up) then next year I could take advanced airbrush makeup that starts out with assuming that you know everything from the previous classes instead of wasting the first half getting everyone up to speed. I am a fire academy instructor in my state and realize that teaching all different levels of people is very hard and it makes you teach very broad topics and ideas, but I really feel like a longer seminar and something more advanced and fine tuned would really help keep people into taking the classes, and if it costs a little more to do, I think there is a need for it.


03-14-2011, 04:04 PM
Patrick I don't think it was the hotel who was a mess it's all the drunk, rowdy haunters there, 90% of whom looked to be non owners as well....


KaoTic Entertainment
03-14-2011, 04:29 PM
Yep agreed

Allen H
03-14-2011, 06:20 PM
1. What did you like about this years show? Not just vendors but as a whole.
I think the show was well laid out, aside from how far the "interactive" haunt was from the haunt section. I liked the simpler registration process (it seemed that way to me). I also liked the general size of the show. I liked that the shows were together again.

2. What didn't you like if anything?
While the sets were good and the props were nice what made the interactive haunt interactive? There were not any actors in it, so in many ways it was less interactive thaqn a regular haunted house. I did learn alot inside set wise and the sets were amazing considering the time they had. I just dont understand the marketing calling it "interactive".
I really didnt like hearing the guys who worked at Morphsuits trashing haunters. That got me ticked wnough to withdraw a 15 suit order.
I didnt like all the empty booths.

3. What would you like to see new for next years convention? This might seem early to talk about, but why not while it's fresh in everyone's minds.
Longer and advanced classes. I want an advanced airbrush class- I will even offer to teach it if I need to. I know what double action means already its time for advanced techniques. Im in full agree,ment with those who asked for advanced classes.
I want more classes on set decoration theories behind it and a materials list.
I also would like to see them have tables, for small vendors who simply cant sell enough to pay for a $1200- $1400 booth. Id love to have a table option for like $500 or so. It would open the door for alot of smaller vendors who can produce enough for the haunt crowd, but cqant make enough product to sell to the retail stores.

03-14-2011, 09:59 PM
Our whole crew thoroughly enjoyed the show, from the interactive haunted house to the vendor booths and tours. All of our crew came home fully inspired, if not with empty pockets ;) It was a pleasant surprise to see the retail side there, even if it was small. Each year I order a lot of generic props (body parts, snakes, bats, etc) from retail vendors, and it is very convenient to be able to do this at the Transworld.

The only thing I would like to see change next year is location. I have seen The Darkness a few times now and, as glorious as it is, I am ready to move on to new tours. Unfortunately, I am too busy to visit HauntCon or MidWest, so I don't get to visit other haunted houses much.

Thanks goes out to everyone who worked so hard to put this on! Mission successful in my books.


03-15-2011, 05:35 AM
I think alot of good ideas are coming out already even in just these few post. A few people here and alot of people I talked to at the show feel that this show should be moving from city to city. I like the idea of transworld hitting different city's every year too, I think this would help to highlight a larger part of the really good haunts we have in our industry and how the styles very from region to region. Also it would help some of the smaller haunt owners that maybe can't travel as far to get involved and reap some of the befits of a transworld show / classes and HAA meetings and socials. I think most every haunter would agree alot of what they learn happens from the non-formal talks over a drink or 8 in the bar or in the lobby at the hotel when your up till 4 AM.

I also love the idea of the classes being held more like collage classes where you have clear levels of a specific subject like Airbrush makeup , Set design , Set detailing and Costuming. I do feel that the classes should be handled more by the HAA and not transworld so that they can be better planned out. Also with classes some hands on stuff, i've been to a few show where they offer more hands on classes and they seem to be a big hit, sometimes it's just easier to learn when your getting your hands dirty.

Again I'm so thankful for all this great input and please keep it coming.

Robert J Dudzieck
All Seasons Entertainment LLC
Fright Factory Haunted House PA

RJ Productions
03-15-2011, 12:02 PM
Good ideas and responses. But we need to take the time and present them to TW directly. There are good comments that are spread out over several threads.

03-15-2011, 01:12 PM
I don't know about moving to a new city every year...if you want that go to Hauntcon.

I say, every 4-5 years...move. Look at IAAPA, that show is primarily in Orlando...but sometimes it goes to Vegas!

Just a thought. -Tyler

03-15-2011, 02:56 PM
I attend IAAPA every year because I own an amusement company with rides and inflatables. The move to Vegas according to most vendors almost doomed the show and they signed a 10 year lease with the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando to hold the show there for the next 10 years. It locked the prices in and they got a little discount for the vendors. I enjoy Orlando because there is always good weather, but then again I am on the east coast....St. Louis is a little more "central" but I think the show moving each year makes the people who are on the edge about coming go ahead and come because they are getting to see a new city or place and do new things outside of the show. Just my opinion.

RJ Productions
03-15-2011, 04:15 PM
But the reality of it is...how much of St. Louis do you actually see???
Walking to dinner...walking back to the hotel for the social events...
Riding over to the tour....riding back.... then back to the social gatherings.
If you don't book in the Ren, most don't even remember the walk back to
their own hotel after the bar shuts down!!!

If it stays in St. Louis I would even recomend that they only do the haunt
tour every other year. Absolutely NO disrespect to Larry & Jim. It is just a lot
of work to do year after year. And Larry keeps wanting to change things for
the show and spends WAY too much money for what? Impress a bunch of haunters
that will STILL try and find some fault??? They never get a chance to actually participant
in the show!!

Again the bottom line is it has to be cost effective for the vendors and the buyers
to attend. If the costs rise, they get passed on to us, simple business. If a long term
arrangement in St. Louis keeps the costs down and we don't get raped to get a
room, I'm happy with that.

I agree with the comment, if you want to travel around, go do Hauntcon. That is the main
purpose of that show. Go see the Legendary Tour in November.. Pennhurst, Baby!!!...

Keep the show cost effective for the vendors and we win with lower product costs.
If the St. Louis weather gets like Chicago was, then move it!!!