View Full Version : Transworld Charging!!

11-06-2011, 08:27 PM
Hey Guys

Just doing some research on all the shows this year and I was shocked when I went across the Transworld Page and saw this....Again, This is DIRECTLY from the REGISTER PAGE on TRANSWORLDS Site....Not some rumor Ive heard

Welcome to Registration for the 17th Annual Halloween & Attractions Show (and 28th Annual International Halloween, Costume & Party Show)!

The cost to attend this event is $50.00 per person in advance and includes 4 day access to the show floor featuring The Dark Zone, The Interactive Haunted House, make-up demos on the show floor, Key Note Address Friday morning, opening night party on Thursday , industry expert panel discussion on Saturday night and one early bird seminar Saturday morning. Register today to take advantage of preshow pricing. On site fee is $60.00 per person. Haunt Tours, seminars and workshop tickets are available for an additional cost. Please visit our seminars and events page for dates and times.

So as you can see, they will be charging a $50 entrance fee per person. Now while some will say $50 bucks isn't bad, not everyone can afford it to go the the biggest show in the industry. Some haunts (Charity and Home Haunts) will not be able to come up with the funds to attend this show. Causing the numbers to drop off and the vendors not getting the foot traffic/orders that they've become use too. How do you guys feel as haunt owners feel about the charge? And before you say it...I know some people will argue that I shouldn't be there because I don't own a haunt, therefore making my opinion null and void. However, While I do attend Transworld every year (To get myself booked) I NEVER waste any vendors time or take a catalog that I don't plan on ordering from.

Allen H
11-06-2011, 09:09 PM
I completely see your side of it, but If they cant afford a $50 fee then do the vendors want them at their booth? If the $50 entry charge could be applied towards a class, then that would be awesome. The $50 beaks down to $12.50/day I see it as reasonable.
I think the locals who already have a very low cost to go to the show will be hit the hardest, the folks like me who already pay $150+ for a hotel each night, and $400 or so for air travel will not feel the hit as hard- but we may look to save a bit in other areas to defray the cost.
Allen H

11-06-2011, 09:35 PM
Oh No Allen I see it both sides, Im just worried about some Charity haunts that dont have the budget as the big haunts. If they bring 4 people (2 owners, Set designer, and Actor Trainer) the 50 turns into 200 really quick, which in some cases (NOT ALL) may be the difference on if they can afford a prop or not. I think its really odd that I have to spend money to figure out if I wanna spend more money.

11-06-2011, 09:57 PM
I have always wanted them to charge like Iappa does. More qualified buyers and not bus loads of unqualified buyers.

Allen H
11-06-2011, 10:15 PM
Many will not like the fact that TW is charging admission.
This blow could be softened by Vendors stating out front a dollar amount to spend with them and hen they discount the $50.
As if haunt company X says spend $600 and it will only cost $550. That might drive business to certain vendors, and it will nullify the impact the entry cost has on haunts. Its just a thought, but if it were embraced it could ease the blow to attendance, drive business to vendors who communicate well (since they need to monitor this forum to see this post), may get a buyer to spend a bit more to reach the limit, and it is early enough that the vendors have not yet set their show specials and this could be worked in.
I hate to burden the haunt vendors with the cost, but hopefully they can see the beneficial side of it.
Allen H

James Wilson
11-06-2011, 10:18 PM
Speaking as someone who does not own a haunt, I think that this is a good idea for Transworld. I personally would pay the $50 to be able to get into the show and actually meet people who are in this industry, as well as possibly be able to take a class or three from someone who has succeeded in this industry. I've been building my own props and scenery for a number of years, and would love to be able to sit down with someone in the industry and pick their brain a little bit about actually working in this industry. If I can go to Transworld, pay $50 to get in, and learn something from some of the people there, I would consider it money well spent. Including airfare and hotel costs. Of course, I'm nobody but a bystander in this industry, who one day hopes to be in a place where I can do scenic design and actor training for a pro haunt. So this is just my opinion.

freak 'n' stein
11-06-2011, 10:19 PM
It's a toss up for me. This economy probably isn't the BEST time to be adding an additional fee but I agree with Allen, cause my first thought was, I paid $600 after airfare, car and hotel for 2011...so $50 more just seems like I'm being nickeled and dimed considering the show has always been free. I know some people who planned on going simply BECAUSE the show was the "cool" and free thing to do and therefore probably won't be attending next year because of the now incurred cost. I also agree that if $50 is a make or break then you probably shouldn't be at Transworld as a BUYER. Don't take that comment as an offensive one because I've been to TW two years in a row now and have every intent on being there 2012, but we're so low budget that buying props hasn't really been much of a priority (at least while at the show). We did all of our buying post-TW (clearcut, darklight, fright props), but it was fun going to the tradeshow!! This new "fee" will definitely probably cut down on the "stragglers" of TW...it sucks cause everyone should experience it but that's business I guess. Advantage I will say, it sounds like they're trying to offer things "for your $" such as demos, party, etc. We'll see if it's worth it.

11-06-2011, 10:34 PM

Transworld has always been free...you just had to meet the requirements to get in.

Oshawn buddy

If you noticed all of that stuff was included the at least the last 5 years. As far as I can tell the only thing thats diff is the early bird class on Saturday

Again, Im not against this I just wanted to point it out to people, so they know

James Wilson
11-06-2011, 11:10 PM
I appreciate you pointing this out, because I was beginning to think that I would have to find someone who would be willing to allow me to tag along if I ever wanted to go to TransWorld. Sadly, I do not yet meet the requirements to attend on my own. You have to be able to show that you have an involvement in the haunt industry, and I don't meet that requirement yet. So the money spent would be worth it to me, to help me network a little more.

11-06-2011, 11:14 PM
So Transworld did a bit of research and took a pole with a group of Haunt Owners and asked what they would pay as an entrance fee to Transworld..... The average price was $100.
So they pulled it back to $50 in the end.
I think it's always tough to swallow an entrance fee to a show that has been free forever but there are many other trade shows that do charge an entrance fee.
I went to the HAUNT X trade show and paid $40 and it was tiny!!!! I thought that was the norm!
I know this is hot potato BUT.....
As a Vendor myself I don't see it as a bad thing. Yes it will thin out the crowd a little (tiny bit).
But if it brings more qualified buyers in and less tire kickers then it's not a bad thing!
Also as a Vendor we it $$$$ costs $$$$ a lot to do this show.
5. AIR
7. HOTEL, food, etc

It's a lot in the end!

I'm just saying : )

11-07-2011, 12:17 AM
Would be interested to know what the $50 goes to? However you easily save $50 on vendor discounts.

Jim Warfield
11-07-2011, 04:32 AM
I knew a couple who made their living making custom jewlery and selling it at numerous art shows across the country. They attended such a show at The Donald Stephans Center (Chicago area Transworld building) and never went back there again simply because the booth space was so high they could not make any money.
They continued in their business for many years afterward but never even thought of returning to that location.
I have not been to Transworld for several years now (no matter what some people think! It wasn't me you met there)
Was the floor at Transworld getting too crowded?
Maybe they could charge $12.50 a day for the one-day people?
Will some people complaining about the $50 fee worried about that fee cutting into their booze money? hahahah!
It's all "relative" isn't it?
If your wife & kids have to eat pinto beans for a week so You can go there... stay home.

Bradenton Haunted Trail
11-07-2011, 05:56 AM
It will not effect me from going to TW but it may change someones mind on who was deciding to go to TW or Mid West. The change will probably help a few people make up there minds on what show to go to. For those that go to the show for ideas and maybe spend a little money but there main reason being the haunt tours and networking this will definitely have a effect on there choice on which show to go to.


11-07-2011, 06:41 AM
I agree if you can't afford the $50 entrance fee you're probably not able to afford a $5,000 animation. Its probably better to cut down on all the window shoppers.


11-07-2011, 07:57 AM
Although I will still be attending fee or no fee, I would certainly like to know where the "poll" was posted to haunt owners because I certainly didn't get one and am an owner. I am sick of the same people answering for "every haunt" in the business. I know, I know shut up but I have really been watching this forum for a number of years. It always seems to be the same people making decisions and not extended to "everyone". That should have been a poll sent to everyone registered as a haunted house owner. Just my 2 cents.

I think the requirements should be tightened as well to get in. But if an owner values you as a decision making person on their team, then they should absolutely be allowed access to the show. I don't feel just anyone off the street should be allowed entry.

Although I think that might be a great "discount offer" from vendors, I think they take enough of a hit with all their fees that they shouldn't have to offer this form of discount. They already give us "show pricing". But Transworld should give us a FREE seminar or discount off (ie 10/20% off each seminar not to exceed $50.00) for attending. Where is this money going.....good question. No different than our customers, what are we getting for our money, it's harder to make than harder to spend it in this business.

11-07-2011, 08:34 AM
the seminars are my complaint. i paid $60 PER seminar last year and i was not happy with them. the ones that i went to were just around an hour and during one of them we just watched a video the whole time that is available online anyway to watch for free. charge for the showfloor and let the seminars be free.

11-07-2011, 10:04 AM
"Growing pains" I suppose.

Some of the trade shows I attend for my "other job" have fees to attend UNLESS you are an association member- then its free (but that is an ugly can of worms in itself). Still others charge as much 5-600 for association + 200 for show entrance.

In both instances, members are getting some other benefit for what they pay, besides admission.

The TW? Not aware of any other perks, and I too would like to know what the money goes to- in fact in an association ALL of the fees- vendor and buyer- are usually published somewhere. The lack of this transparency does make you wonder- just a bit.

Anyway- I'm certain the vendors will like and benefit from this arrangement for the most part, but I do know for a fact that I had actors expressing real interest in attending in order to select silicone masks and catch a show discount. I like the fact that my actors want to involve themselves even more! But I'm pretty sure the additional cost will throw cold water on their enthusiasm. We'll see.

I'll still be there either way, but the scale has just tipped a bit to the sketchy side- until TW makes me feel like I'm still getting value.

Allen H
11-07-2011, 10:48 AM
Im Sure the money "goes to" transworld, they are a for profit company. Im sure they are charging in order to increase the profitability of the show- thats their right. Damn its starting to sound like "Occupy Transworld" in here.
They are hurting because the party/costume side is being eaten up by the January Houston show- they need to make up that loss of revenue- makes sense to me. Im sympathetic to both sides, but it is their business to run how they want- we can help alter their policies by using the power we have- to attend or not to attend. I will be there, the $50 is a drop in my tax write off bucket and it helps ensure a good tradeshow for my industry in the future.
Allen H

11-07-2011, 11:21 AM
Also $50 a ticket keeps out the mister and misses "I'll be back" who waste the vendors short time and allows qualified buyers to get that time and make a big purchase.

Matt Marich
11-07-2011, 12:17 PM
So you all know, it cost our company, Edge Designs, roughly $ 25,000.00 to do the show from Phoenix. Thats for 4 booths. Trucking, Labor, Hotels, Travel, Food, Printing, show costs. But it costs about another $ 30,000.00 to build a new product line every year, materials, overhead, labor. So you can see it's quite expensive to do this every year. But it's worth it, I for one supported this cost, but will give you back the $ 50.00 if you spend $ 500.00 or above with us. You can see that we all, us vendors, have real cost issues, If I make a large animation, and sell none, I loose that money.

We are all in this together, and I do agree this might eliminate some of the looky lous, this is our #1 marketing tool for the year. Transworld truly cares about us, we would be in deep trouble trying to do a show this spectacular with out them!

Matt and Ann Marich
Edge Designs

Gore Galore
11-07-2011, 01:05 PM
Believe it or not. Transworld has been considering this for a couple years now.
But they waited till this year to do so.
They were also needing to raise the Vendor booth cost but it is already $1200 per booth, and an additional $100 per corner booth.
We will be doing 8 booth this year. So that is alot of dough.
I would think a percentage of the $50 admission partly goes to help keep vendor booth costs down.
And it was discussed that some vendors would refund that admission when orders of fair amount were placed.

So as Matt said, Gore Galore will also discount your $50 admission fee for an order of $500 or more.

11-07-2011, 01:07 PM
My question on charging to get in...what took so long?

I know there was some debate about charging last year and some surveying done. They decided not to charge last year. I for one was in favor of charging. They are adding in a seminar, so you could more think about it as "forcing you to buy one seminar" instead of charging to get in if that makes you feel better.

I wonder what the seminar topic will be, or if there will be choices of seminars in that early bird slot.

Side note: Having gone to Hauntcon last year, and Transworld for 3 years now, I have to say, I loved the model of paying to get into the show, and then having free seminars. Doing cost/benefit analysis on individual seminars leaves me disappointed in the costs of many of the seminars at TW. (Others, are more than worth their price. however, so it's hit and miss.)

11-08-2011, 09:17 AM

I appreciate everyone taking the time to write in to this forum and give your thoughts. This was a very hard decision for TransWorld to make. I spoke to numerous vendors and buyers about this topic. Here is the realty…. Our expenses in St. Louis have gone up. Unions continue to raise their prices. This is an issue across the country, even in these tough economic times. TransWorld did not want to cut back on the quality of show we produce. We feel we owe it to our buyers and exhibitors to produce the best show we can and give the best show experience!!! We take our jobs very seriously. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Jen Braverman. I work 365 days a year on this show. I eat, drink and breathe haunt. I would never want to do anything to hurt this show. We just needed to add this charge to cover our raising costs. I tried to add additional value by making the opening night party bigger and better. We also added 2 free seminars - one Saturday morning that is an early bird class and one industry expert panel discussion, moderated by Ben Armstrong, which will take place after the show hours on Saturday. I hope everyone appreciates our position. We look forward to seeing you in St. Louis.

Thanks for taking the time to read this e-mail. If you have any further questions please feel free to e-mail me at jen@tweshows.com.

11-08-2011, 09:57 AM
Couple things... and let me say upfront just trying to type this post is giving me a headache. I don't want to debate such topics anymore. However I'm going to try because I've been the biggest advocate of TW charging in the first place. Its really no different than people telling me we couldn't have our own show because we are to small not big enough... guess what they all got it wrong. We are!

The issue here is that this is what is best for the buyers believe it or not... in fact it would be better for you to pay even more like $100 maybe even eventually $200 per person. When you go to IAAPA you pay like $300 or more dollars to go to the show... this merely off sets the show producers costs so they don't have to push everything onto the vendors.

If costs go UP for vendors they will spend LESS on booth space which is the same thing as spending LESS on new products for you see. Do you want that? Trust me that is how it works... if vendor costs go UP they spend LESS, and as a buy you want the vendors to spend MORE so you can see more, or have more options for your business.

Someone has to pay the vendors or the buyers... you want to contribute so the show continues to grow, which makes it more worth your trip to see the show. There are many costs on your part to see any show... travel, hotels, food, it really doesn't change much no matter what show you go to unless its like Rosemont where they rape you blind. LOL.

I agree $50.00 is a small price to pay to see a show like this, and it adds to TW's ability to throw parties, events, and more. I wouldn't be surprised to see this charge go up over the years maybe eventually hitting $100 and still its not much when you think about what a date to the movies cost... or better yet one of your haunted houses. LOL.

Trust me as buyers you want your vendors to be encourage to purchase MORE booths and SPEND MORE on product development NOT less because the costs to attend shows go UP!. What is shocking to me is TW was able to not charge this long... I think what they wanted to do was make sure the show could get established first. Kudos to them!


11-08-2011, 10:01 AM
Thanks Jen. All that for $50? Sounds like a steal to me. I personally think the entrance fee is within reason. I've been to other horror/haunt shows who charge far more than that for less perks. I'm looking forward to the 2 seminars as well. I drive from Texas to this show and $50 is just not an issue to me. The quality of show Transworld provides is very much worth the entrance fee. Thanks Jen and all who are involved in providing a convenient and educational show. It's wonderful to have everything in one place. It's the only way we shop. All our purchases for the year are done at Transworld.

11-08-2011, 10:18 AM
I'm sorry but stop the bitch'in about charging it's $12.50 a day. If you can't afford that how are you running a haunt? It's like 5 patrons. As Kevin said he'll refund your ticket price if you spend over $500 too. It's an excuse to buy gore-galore which you probably were already planning to do anyhow. Heck if you buy 10 things each vendor might refund you $50 so you make out even more!

Though I wouldn't mind seeing a sales point where if you spend X amount Transworld refunds your travel expenses as most are roughly $1000 for 2 people. I suppose if your a good talker you can save much more then $1000 with the vendor anyways.

As a new haunter I expected a convention fee anyways,

11-08-2011, 02:01 PM
Jen called me this morning and I encouraged her to come and make a statement and she did just that. As I made mention what's $50.00 a good meal, a night in a cheap ass motel, some beers and smokes at the bars. I don't see this is a make or break thing for anyone. As I said to Jen I don't think it would have been an issue at all had she posted it and made mention of the events that lead up to the decision before someone see it. Now we know and now we can move on to the cool things at TransWorld and what it has to offer like Larry's tours, my party, the city museum, hanging out at the bars telling stories and seeing old friends and making new ones! I still think it would be so cool to offer this show in a different city each year but that's just my opinion. Shane and it's oh hell come on you know you don't want to miss out on the fun! Shane

11-08-2011, 02:13 PM
If the price is too high for Transworld to put on the show then let MHC take over or just move it to Nashville or somewhere where all will win..
I do realize it is all about the $$$$$.. If there is a 1000 haunters that come to the show that is $50,000.00 dollars extra...
I have never heard of anyone going to a trade show and paying an entrance fee to buy stuff..
Giving a "FREE" party for the haunters with some cheap beer and some chips is pretty sad..
I'm like the others If I bring 10 people to the show ($500) I'd like that kind of a discount from the vendors..

11-08-2011, 02:37 PM
Transworld is the only professional tradeshow I know of that has been totally free in the past. I echo the comments that most trade shows cost upwards in the hundreads of dollars. 50 bucks really is a small price to pay to keep a really great show going... and Allen is right, it's a business expense which can be written off on taxes anyway.

Thanks to the vendors who have offered to give a discuont, that is extremely generous. Your value for customer services is noted and appreciated. :)

Haunt 2013, LLC
Dallas, TX

Front Yard Fright
11-08-2011, 02:55 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Transworld charging people last year to sign up? But they ended up ditching the idea shortly after and made the show free?

11-08-2011, 03:32 PM
If the show is weeded out to some degree from people who really don't buy a thing, you'll find as a buyer an easier time to communicate with vendors. There are many positive effects from charging an entry fee. I think I've heard a lot of people complain about there being to many people walking the halls so maybe this helps cure those issues while at the same time keeping the show affordable for vendors. It can't be anything but a good thing. Larry

11-08-2011, 03:40 PM
I agree with it I think it is a lot nicer with weeding out people who won't buy anything and once again like Allen said just write it off at the end of the year it is a business expense. We are staying from Tuesday to Sunday and driving from green bay so just in gas and hotel 50 isn't much compared to those two

11-08-2011, 06:16 PM
would not change my mind just the # of peps i invite with. more elbo room. and with all the new droid this iphony that i can send my excitment for something over the air to get fed back. bottom line its my money any way so less i wants fro others and more me me me me oh got to have.lol. gosh i love halloween.

11-09-2011, 09:02 AM
I can say that I am not all that worried about having to pay the $50. I know for a fact that it is not going to change the amount of people that are coming with me to the show! I know for myself I just love being a part of the haunt industry so much and look forward to going to Transworld that the fee will not stop me from enjoying my vacation in haunters’ paradise! Although it was not necessary, thank you to the companies that are going to offer the $50 back if you spend money with them! I am gladly going to be making the trip from Green Bay to St. Louis for TransWorld!

11-09-2011, 09:10 AM
If the show is weeded out to some degree from people who really don't buy a thing, you'll find as a buyer an easier time to communicate with vendors. There are many positive effects from charging an entry fee. I think I've heard a lot of people complain about there being to many people walking the halls so maybe this helps cure those issues while at the same time keeping the show affordable for vendors. It can't be anything but a good thing. Larry

I want to be able to get a personal demo of anything over 3k I plan to buy.

11-09-2011, 09:27 AM
I am going to side with the vendors on this one. I do tradeshows and they cost HUGE $$$. I have a few shows that I will not do because they are free. All I do is get a bunch of tire kickers that waste my time and want to know what is free. As a vendor you need to have qualified buyers to make it worth your time.
When i first saw this thread I was a little thrown back because I am a haunt owner and I was not asked about any increase. But it is a good thing. $50 is nothing. But it will dictate how many staff I bring with. Im going to go take a nap now until about feb. This was a long season.


11-09-2011, 10:00 AM
Serious buyers will pay.

chuck weber
11-09-2011, 03:58 PM
TATER just provided more proof...........................add the ripoff vendors who have enough money to show up and book booth space every year, and then RIP people off for products never delivered or just disappear.......ya, let's all go and have a good time !!!!! thank you for hurting me...................

Jim Warfield
11-09-2011, 04:45 PM
$75 next year? $25 extra for a speed pass, $30 extra if you want to arrive a day early and brouse, $5.00 extra if you need a rest room with softer toilet paper. Maybe this unspoken feeling is what might be bothering some who have not posted yet?

The Nightmare Factory
11-09-2011, 07:10 PM
Oh No Allen I see it both sides, Im just worried about some Charity haunts that dont have the budget as the big haunts. If they bring 4 people (2 owners, Set designer, and Actor Trainer) the 50 turns into 200 really quick, which in some cases (NOT ALL) may be the difference on if they can afford a prop or not. I think its really odd that I have to spend money to figure out if I wanna spend more money.

It turns into $600 or more.

11-13-2011, 12:51 AM
Like Transworld it's $12.50 a day too.

11-13-2011, 07:33 AM
Also it's not likely companies like Ghost Ride, CFX, Scarefactory, Distortions, Creature Corps and probably Gore Galore to vend at National Haunters convention. If they could get those vendors they could do really well. Maybe they should move it to a winter convention before transworld even?


11-13-2011, 06:18 PM
I attended NHC and was not very impressed. Creepy Collection and Minions Web were the only vendors that come to mind. There was one booth that was selling left-over merchandise from Kmart (they even left the price tages on the items). Its ok for a Home Haunter but if youre looking for the big-name vendors Im afraid you wont see them there....

11-13-2011, 06:21 PM
If A Charity Haunt cannot afford a $50.00 fee perhaps they should take out money from their previous years event so they can go....

Jim Warfield
11-13-2011, 07:03 PM
Should be smart enough to not kill the goose laying their golden eggs. Realise who really needs to be there and finance them to make it happen= more $uce$$!
Like , "DUH?"

11-14-2011, 09:27 PM
even though we are a small haunt the $50.00 we will pay to go will save us in the long run because of the TW vendor deals. I'll even pay my $50.00 out of pocket so we don't use haunt money. not the first time we have used our own money for the haunt and Im sure it wont be the last ...:D

11-15-2011, 06:42 AM
The TW show has been free for customers for many years. Thank you. In the early days (before 2000), we would have to qualify for entrance or get an invite from a vendor. The show had two other shows, Halloween Costume & Party, going under the same roof and entrance badge. The Haunt show grew into its own as the industry did. The haunters caused many headaches for the vendors of all three shows. First, by wasting their time talking about products and not being interested or qualified to buy the minumums. Secondly, the haunters caused problems by grabbing all the catalogs, flyers, and other printed material up in huge quantities. The haunters grabbed way too many as well. The first couple of shows we went to, each person would grab printed material. With time and problems that were highlighted on internet boards, we made it a policy of our haunt team to only take one copy for the group and share it to help the vendors. We now have a pre-show meeting with our team to give them an orientation about show etiquette and our policy regarding the shows. In time the Halloween Costume and Paarty shows have been split off for various reasons mainly to get better qualified buyers attending.

Like some of the rest of you, I have been to IAAPA, TW, MWH, Hauntcon, and others. The cost of attend these shows is free to moderate to possibly high and to be a vendor at these shows can be steep. The Transworld HAUNT show is unique in that there are many vendors that are small custom shops providing exactly what we want in respect to that. There are no quantity minimums, but there are costs. I think it is great for vendors to offer to reimburse the $ 50 for an order, but I don't think it is needed. Keep your money vendors, it is yours.

It doesn't matter if attendees are from a charity haunt or one of those million dollar gross big city shows. Paying $ 50 or even $100 to attend is a small price to pay to get access to all the buying oppotunities that are there. By the way, some of those charity shows send some large groups to shows and other conventions. I have seen them and talked to them. Our haunt started as one as well.

The fee is peanuts folks. Jen has upgraded the admission with a great package, too. If you have attended a seminary that was subpar, tell her, Ben, or the Gavinskis. Be constructive and specific to help improvements be implemented. They are very willing to listen and work hard to get the topics and speakers that appeal to the attendees. Ben has even asked on many sites for ideas.

While many have said they weren't surveyed for the fee, you now have Jen's email as posted in an earlier post. So if the location of St Louis is not what you want. then give her your feedback NOW. I personally feel that St Louis has been good for many inlcuding those local to it that have used the opportunity they helped create, but it is time to go to another location for a few years. I have and will again suggest Indianapolis, IN. They just hosted 50,000 FFA members, have hosted the NCAA Final Four, Indy 500, Brickyard 400, and have the Super Bowl (with my Packers looking like they will be in it again) coming up in Feb. The city can handle TW. Nashville is another city I have on my list. Both cities are even more central to the haunted houses in America and have good airport prices and other reasonable costs.

Let me address the union blaming. There are some who have in the past bashed unions, but have yet to show the cahunas to advertise to their customers their anti-union sentiment because it would affect their sales. While I can understand that prices increase, the unions have in most cases the last several years taken concessions in money and work rules. The following link and verbage comes directly from the St Louis Americas Center website. As you will read, the union in April 2008 before the TW show, agreed to be more flexible and reasonable for vendors. In the case of TW, the costs paid are to Americas Center, which probably has blamed the unions for their price increases, and she is reiterating that info without knowing otherwise.
"The Good News about Labor Relations at America’s Center®

Convention and tradeshow industry magazines – and their readers – have taken notice of positive changes at the America’s Center convention complex in St. Louis. Today, customers and labor unions are working together to create win-win situations that are making the flexible facility in the heart of the downtown St. Louis hospitality district an example for other venues.
Significant changes have taken place for the benefit of customers at America’s Center. Exhibitors now have the freedom to set up their own booths of 300 square feet or less using hand tools. Exhibitor company employees can also hang signs and graphics in their booths.
Materials unloaded from a privately-owned vehicle may be brought into the facility through a designated door and exhibitors may move their materials through the building with handcarts. Exhibitors also may pack and unpack their own computers and overtime rules have been modified to step up to time and a half rather than double time in most situations.
America’s Center’s labor relations manager, Melanie Donnelly, is responsible for the positive changes that are winning rave reviews from clients. Donnelly works to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the convention center’s clients and the trade unions at America’s Center® before the customer arrives in St. Louis and acts as a liaison between customers and unions in a variety of ways."

Lastly, I will disclose a conflict of interest in that I am a member of the UAW and IBEW unions. Interesting that so many never disclose conflicts of interest, isn't it?

11-15-2011, 10:29 AM
...This may have already been said by someone else but I didn't take the time to read EVERY single post regarding this issue. The way I see it is as long as the $50 is going towards a good cause, whether it be to improve upon the show somehow or whatever I'm fine with that. I don't mind paying the extra $50 then.

11-15-2011, 07:33 PM
I'll throw my two cents in. I used to attend Transworld before the big split with Houston. When the split happened, as a retailer I stopped going to TW since all the vendors I needed to see were in Houston, while many of them were no longer at TW. My business partner and I also attend another show each year - Rubies own show which has been in Vegas for years. Last year we went to TW to see what we've been missing for the last few years. It was great to see all the haunt products and to hit Larry's haunt for a great night out. I knew this would not really be a buying show for us... so few vendors sell at wholesale pricing. Any vendors at TW we do business with, we had already placed orders with them in Houston. We placed only one order at TW for about $4,000 with Fearscape Studios who doesn't exhibit in Houston. Needless to say, they never delivered the merchandise, but we did finally get a refund of our deposit in October. So the show was really a total bust for us (besides the good time).

I have to look at it as we're already paying to fly out to two other shows, pay for hotels, and then spend well into six figures on buying costumes, masks, and props. We don't HAVE TO attend Transworld, so to me the fee is just one more reason to skip the show. I totally understand that this is primarily a haunt show and you want to weed out the lookie loos, but at the same time I keep hearing that TW wants to get the costume side of the show back. I don't see this as a way to do it. If we can attend the other show, which is huge in comparison, and do all of our buying there with no admission fee, why would we pay for more flights, more hotel rooms, and now a fee just to walk in the door of a show we'll only do a fraction of our business at? It's not about the $50 itself, but like someone else said I feel like I'm being nickeled and dimed here. I think if every attendee was spending thousands of dollars, this wouldn't be an issue. But you've got such a mix up people there for different reasons. One of the ways to qualify to attend the show is to send copies of invoices from companies within the industry... why couldn't this also be a measure of whether you have to pay to enter? If I can prove that I spend at least $10,000 (or some set number) with companies that exhibit at this show, then why not waive the fee? If you're just a lookie loo and want to pick up catalogs and go to free parties, then you should pay $50 to help defray the costs.

It takes us 5 days at the Houston show to see the whole show and place all of our orders. We were able to see all of TW in one day and place our one order. We're not going for the seminars or the opening party. So from the viewpoint of a retailer, I'll probably go back to skipping Transworld.

11-15-2011, 09:38 PM
As a designer and actor for a small 2nd year haunt, the new fee definitely affects me and my group. It won't deter me from attending by any means, but it will force me to drop a seminar that I would have attended. I guess I'll just spend some extra time picking peoples' brains at the hotel.

11-15-2011, 11:30 PM
Couple things... I am at the IAAPA show and seeing a lot of haunt owners.

Two... I wanted to say that we will probably NOT exhibit at TW outside of just grabbing a booth for HW. I think we might be done for a while. As of right now we have no plans to sell anything to haunt owners right now. I know I said I bought a vac form machine, and we did but I mostly bought it to use for my own projects. We are so busy we don't have the time to make anything for sale.00 So I don't have a huge dog in the fight perse because we are not the guys buying big booths and more.

Additionally I can say honestly I'm considering getting out of the haunt business all together in terms of owning and operating haunts. I'm looking at something else all together. So again as for myself I'm actually in the middle ... but I've been in this business long enough to know that when the price for booths goes up vendors buy fewer booths which means less new products.

I also know that TW is planning parties, events and more... you paying $50.00 just isn't that big of a deal. Its not really worth discussing it for another 4 months... just pony up and pay it if you plan on going. Nothing is going to change its $50.00 so its $50.00... some haunts out there are charging MORE than that for ONE ticket so it is what it is.

These funds are needed to keep the show growing and that is best for everyone.


11-16-2011, 05:48 AM
No one wants to pay for something they get for free. In this case however the charge is nominal and totally justified. This show has been choosen by our vendors as the place they will be and they are totally behind this. Heck it seems like several of them are willing to cover the fee if you make a purchase from them. You might even make money on this if you purchase from multiple vendors! What vendors don't like is when people come to the show, take catalogs and peek behind the gags to see how they are made to knock them off. Just like we depend on ticket sales to put food on the table or pay for our charities, these guys need to SELL products to survive and to be able to create new cool stuff for us each year. Buying from vendors is not only getting you props and effects to improve your business, it is letting them grow and innovate every year to push us all forward.

Just my thoughts...

11-16-2011, 07:51 AM
Tater, you said "However, While I do attend Transworld every year (To get myself booked)". You are benefiting from the event as well as numerous others that act, train, etc as secondary vendors who are a part of the whole picture and come to network and book business/appearances. As I see it, you can either work/help a vendor dressed as granny, get TW to hire you to entertain, or pay the $ 50. Not bad options. Good luck!

11-16-2011, 10:34 AM
Just deal with it. If the fee is the worse thing that happens next year we are in for a good year.

11-16-2011, 03:49 PM
I just wanted to chime in and say, while some don't like the idea of paying the $50 ticket price when it use to be free, I say if it helps the show to continue while keeping cost for vendors down, then it's only a good thing. If Jen and the TW crew are providing access to some more free seminars and other activities, then your just getting more benefit from it.

Just to put things in perspective, in my other professional work life in the game industry, I attend 2 - 3 other professional conventions yearly that tickets costs anywhere from $450 - $1,250 per show depending on how close to the opening of the show I get them! So in a single year, I can end up spend $2,500 - $4,500 just to get in the show! While those tickets provide access to all parties, seminars, and tradeshow access, it can still cost $400 - $650 just to get regular access to the show. I haven't even added hotel and travel cost yet. So compared to that, $50 for TW to me is really not that bad in the scope of things. Yeah it sucks paying for something that you didn't have to before, but if it helps the shows continue to grow, then I'm for it. I would love to see the haunt shows grow to be as big as the other conventions I attend!

11-17-2011, 03:10 PM
The entrance fee really isn't bad. I mean we know we would all gladly spend a $50 bar tab at the Renaissance bar without even thinking about it.

11-18-2011, 05:03 PM
We will gladly pay the $50 to have the privilage to see what amazing things the vendors have to offer this March. I don't, however, want to pay the fee and then have them change their mind and then have to request a refund. The only one who made any money on that last year was PayPal. That's my 2 cents, no, I mean my $50...inflation gets us everywhere!


Scenic Art Productions
11-19-2011, 11:45 PM
$50.00 is nothing. Just be glad it is not like IAAPA. It is around $350.00 to get into that trade show. I wish it was only $50.00.

11-20-2011, 12:10 AM
The entrance fee really isn't bad. I mean we know we would all gladly spend a $50 bar tab at the Renaissance bar without even thinking about it.

Dan that is so true! GOOD GAME buddy..