View Full Version : Transworld for a New Haunt

01-02-2013, 07:48 AM
2013 will be our first year in the pro sector. Are the deals at Transworld good enough for us to justify a trip from Dallas? I appreciate any feedback.

The Dark Path

01-02-2013, 07:55 AM

You really need to be at Transworld if you're in this business. The education, networking, and seeing product first hand are very important for as you're getting started. You will find its worth the cost to attend.


01-02-2013, 09:29 AM
Hey Man,

I'm vending at Transworld this year! It's a GREAT place to network, and networking is one of the largest things you can do in this industry. There is a TON of knowledge to be gained, and you can definitely find some great products to bring back!

If you need an invite or help of any kind, just ask, I along with a ton of others on here would gladly lend a hand!

01-02-2013, 10:31 AM
Spend your time in classes, it's one of the few times a year you can get the information you need from people who have Been there. The other time is Midwest Haunters convention. Look at your business see what you are strong at doing and where you are weak. Take every class you can on your week subjects, because you are only as good as your weakest link. It does not mater if you are the best makeup artist out there if your actors can't act and just walk up and say boo to your customer. I would recommend taking every how to class on starting a haunt, I have done 6 classes on starting a haunt and learned something from everyone I have taken. I don't know if Bad Boys will be doing an all day build this year but they were my favorite class last year and as a bonus Allen took the class and did a part in it too. Waiting to see list of classes but would say go to as many as you can and ask questions. The guys from Forsaken in Mentor, OH gave me answers on everything I asked and some would have been trade secrets in my book. As far as buying at the show I don't buy a lot there because I get all amped up on the new stuff and want to buy it all. I come home and sit back with a calm mind and make my decisions that way. I do buy a lot of cash and carry, like the guys from Shot in the Dark, that's the only way to make sure you get your stuff from them by halloween. I also buy display stuff that vendor are willing to deal on, buy I want it for at least 15 to 20% off show pricing. This save the the hassle of hauling it back.


01-02-2013, 06:20 PM
It's worth its weight in contacts.

Allen H
01-02-2013, 07:15 PM
You do not need to go to transworld. You can open a haunt and have a successful season without it. I think the majority of haunt owners have never been. The con is that it will cost you money in two ways- travel and lodging is one way, and buying stuff is the other way. If you are bad at budgeting yourself, then dont go to the show because you can rack up some major debt that makes you need major butts in seats in order to break even. The only con is money out of your budget. $3000 is 50 wall panels so it is not insignificant. On the other side if you know you are spending $12,000 on props this year based on website prices, then you will save almost that much by buying show specials. The vendors have selling fever and really give good prices at the show, it can even out if you are smart about it.
Dont waste you time while you are there, talk haunt with every owner and actor manager you can, find out what promos worked for them find out what they spend on radio. take classes- every haunted house owner is an expert at everything, that is a trap we can fall into if we are not careful. Education is what sets you above the rest and you are entering a very stiff market. I learn as much in the bar as I do at classes because I try to steer conversation towards haunting and even if they give me half of a good idea I can finish it on my own. Focus on what you want for your show. What makes you unique? work on emphasizing that, and focus on putting butts in seats because that allows you to do what you love. Go there with a plan and knowing what you need,as well as a small budget for surprises.
Oh, and buy lots of deranged masks from me.
Allen H

01-02-2013, 08:39 PM
Allen you are right about the spending fever and selling fever, you need to walk in the doors with a budget and stick to it. I get a lot out of the classes but I don't have any where near the experience that Allen has. I am thinking of adding a trailer haunt in a couple of years so I will be taking a class on trailer haunts this year, it will cost me $50 for the class but if it turns out to be something I don't want to be involed in then that $50 just saved me thousands. Allen gets a lot out of the bar because he is a very popular figure in the industry and people always want his opinion on there ideas. I know i value what he says, becuase i know theres no bull shit with him and he will give you good advice based on years of haunting. I get more contacts at the bar and the networking pays off later when I run across something I need help with and i have a acquaintance that I feel I can call. Get names and numbers of people you will find that most people are willing to give advice freely and some times do more. I will say that at the conventions you learn that the people in the haunt industry are the only businesses that I have found willing to tell you their trade secrets and almost brag about them. I don't want to be the smartest person in the room I just want to be smart enough to copy the best ideas I come across. Guys like Larry, Shane, Allen, and Ben have so much experience that it would be tough not to take what work for them and use it too. I take all the haunt tours also because you get a feel for what others are doing and what you want to achieve in your own haunt. I have alway been about cool animatronics, high tech cgi, and great decor. I went on a tour of a first year haunt and walked out thinking it was a great haunt, it did not have the things that I valued but it had the best actor I have ever seen. That made me to start getting more serious about haunt actors and training. That's why I am going to invest a lot of money in a free haunt actor training day in my area to try to teach and find actor that wow my socks off. I have ramble on to much. Go have fun and good luck.


01-02-2013, 09:36 PM
I love the input. Thanks for being so helpful guys. I will see you this weekend Allen!

The Dark Path

01-03-2013, 05:35 AM
I will ad one more note that if you want to see products then TW is the best place but classes I like Midwest haunters. Haunt tours I like Haunt Con and Midwest. Tours have really helped me know what level of a haunt I want to have. It is great to show up at a haunt and look at the outside and think to yourself that this looks like the local JC haunt and walk out thinking it was one of the best of the 10 haunts on the tour. You really learn not to judge a book by its cover. The the best way to have a profitable haunt is have a business plan and stick with it. I am a impulsive person and have a habit of doing things just because they look cool. I have some very cool stuff that I may never use because the just don't fit in with what I am doing. Have a list and most guys will give show pricing for a month or so. I buy most of my stuff from November to January because that's when it is cheapest and I can find it used.


01-03-2013, 08:36 PM
You should save your money and just go too hauntcon especially sence its in the Dallas area this year
It has just as many good seminars, not as many vendors but more than enough for any first year haunt to get what they need
Plus at hauntcon people seen to be alittle more friendly and willing to talk and share ideas

01-04-2013, 02:17 PM
I found several seminars helpful last year unfortunately my town fell through.

01-04-2013, 03:44 PM
The people are just as friendly at all the shows. I tend to find that I have more fun a Midwest, but that is because its closest to where I live and I know more people. Go and enjoy the show the way you like to and don't be critical of the way others do. I go and enjoy the company of other haunters and get great ideas. Some times you find stuff in the strangest places. Just last year my legs were tired (becuase im fat) and I was out Side TW smoking (tobacco, couldn't get the good stuff) and sat next to this guy and we started talking. He said he was from Michigan, me too. I asked what haunt he was with and he said he wasn't with a haunt he was a 3D artist and he was working a booth, very cool. The mans name was Stuart Smith. I now have Stuart making two 3d haunts for me and consider him a good friend. TW is not alway about what you do while there it is what you come away with after the show is over. I have a great 3D artist now, 2 new haunts, and a friend, just because I went out to have a smoke when my legs were tired. You cant plan some things in life you just have to live it. So go live TW and hopefully you will come away inspired and have a few new friend too.


Fairbanks Asylum
01-06-2013, 11:25 PM
Were going into our second year here in Fairbanks. And I have to say that we are not planning on going to the shows this year. We would rather keep our cash on hand for the props we want and need. But with that said, I think our heading out to the MHC last year was invaluable to us. The contacts and seeing the stuff in motion really gave us some great ideas and good directions to go.

The one thing that drove me nuts at the MHC was going to the Pnuematics for Begginers class and the guy sitting behind me second guessed our instructor on everything to the point where I just left because he was so annoying. but I digress....

I would highly reccommend going to a show your first year at least to gather info and ideas and make some great contacts. The haunt community is a great place to be part of.

Fairbanks Asylum

01-09-2013, 11:53 PM
Man, go if you can. It's a good time and I've always enjoyed myself! DFW is a tough market, learn all you can.

01-22-2013, 09:05 AM
Been crazy for the last few weeks but We are going! Thanks for all of the tips. do I need an official invite for my partner and I?


Dr Spooktakular
01-22-2013, 11:20 AM
Hey Dan,
Scott from Terrorplex. You need to go to the hauntshow.com website to see all the info about the show. You will need to buy $50 passes to get into the show. Typically if you can send TW a copy of a receipt from a haunt vendor, or flyer, or poster, or DBA document, that will allow you to buy passes. There's a place to register on the website.

01-22-2013, 10:07 PM
. I go and enjoy the company of other haunters and get great ideas. Some times you find stuff in the strangest places. Just last year my legs were tired (becuase im fat) and I was out Side TW smoking (tobacco, couldn't get the good stuff)


Good stuff? Really? That's a line that earns us the disrespect of being labeled as "carnies" instead of legitimate business people. Smh


02-01-2013, 12:47 PM
Big T Productions Inc will not be attending TW this year, although we have always enjoyed the show. We will miss it this year, but we made a grave mistake last year. We spent a fair amount of money last year traveling to TW and purchasing some really cool stuff. I dont regret what we bought, but we ended up over budget in the end, and I had to make some hard sacrifices in the end to make sure we could open the doors. By hard sacrifices, I mean ponying up several thousands of dollars for things like fencing and other logistical stuff we needed the month before opening.

This year I am tightening the budget and the money I would have spent in lodging, food, gas, and other expenses I will spend with the vendors I have used in the past for specific items, as well as training and actor enhancements.

I think these shows do provide a lot of value, if it is in your budget, but I have to remind myself what that money could have been used for. It forces a different perspective on your budgeting, and you quickly learn about priorities! Hope to be there next year!

02-10-2013, 08:37 PM
If you can afford to go, I would say go. The networking is huge and honestly priceless. You can learn so much from other more seasoned people in the haunt community. The props on the floor might inspire a design or a set. I would get all of the information you can, take notes on things you love, and see what fits into your budget and provides the most bang for your buck. Also what might offer great versatility as well. An example is a static prop might look aweome, but a similar costume might provide someone starting out with a bigger bang for your buck as you could wear it in cue lines, parades, etc. The classes are great too. Allen Hopps has one that sounds perfect for new/tight budget haunters that I would LOVE to take.

And the experience alone is amazing!!!