View Full Version : I want to hear some reviews of Halloween Extreme.

05-27-2013, 08:04 PM
I heard one review from a vendor but I want to hear more about what people thought.

05-27-2013, 08:08 PM
I'm looking forward to hearing more as well. I couldn't make it this year but from the videos I've seen on YouTube, it resembled a horror convention by its size.


George Maser
05-27-2013, 11:12 PM
I have now been in the haunt business for 17 years and like new trade shows. The following is a critique, not criticism. I arrived Thursday afternoon and left at 1pm saturday afternoon. Things may have picked up after I left.
The good stuff first:
Nice new clean hotel. Big exhibit spaces and a new giant beautiful exhibit complex across the street by sky walk. This is where Transworld should be held. Great weather and it felt safe. The hotel had enough unobtrusive security to take down an army of zombies without reloading. Good food with a prime rib buffet and a tequila bar with 40 premium tequilas in the lobby.
The zombie prom was well attended but not crowded and a lot of fun. Good job Zombie Army.
A zombie make-up booth was set up in the lobbie, it did a great business at $10 a face until 5 or 6 pm. It could have keep busy until 9 or 10.
The not so good stuff:
The hotel intimated that you catch their shuttle from the airport. No shuttle, it's a $50 van ride each way for 2 people. The front desk will just blow you off if you mention their oversight like it happens with every checkin.
Lots of zombies/wanna be zombies wandering around (this accounts for the great pictures) but few haunted house buyers and fewer zombies spending $20 to see the halloween portion.
The show was divided into sub shows. your $35 3 day ticket only got you into the Halloween tradeshow portion. This could have been explained by the staff to avoid pissing off the patrons who were denied entrance or shown to the door if they wandered into the wrong area.
CONCLUSION: A few fixable bugs, but a good time and I'll probably return next year.


Joe P
05-28-2013, 12:35 PM
I agree with George, they could have been more clear on the shows being split. Especially since they were advertised as two shows on place. I can see the confusion. It was smaller than expected, and since we were hoping for some cash and carry I was very bummed that the couple GOOD vendors that did show didn't not bring very much. I just worry that the vendors wont want to come back because the buyers weren't out in force. It is a new show of course. I was there to buy, not much to buy though. Don't trust the shipping this late in the year

05-28-2013, 01:38 PM
I never expected one buyer to be there ... I was asked to go but reality is reality. People who go to those shows are not looking for haunted house stuff they are looking for horror toys and collectables nothing more. I doubt anyone sold much of anything. We don't need more shows period ... we need less and make the ones we have better.


05-28-2013, 02:16 PM
The real question is was this a show for haunters or horror movie guys. I think the haunter wanting to make big purchases is always going to go to Trans World. If you were to by the bigger props at one of the other shows the manufacture would have a hard time getting it to you before the season starts. As far as the other shows go I see them as more of a regional show for the areas they are in. The only one that don't fit this mold is MHC has become a more national show. But then again TW and MHC are the largest show that are done just for haunters. I do agree with Larry there should be less shows and that the other shows should find a identity that fits there attendees and focus on that, you can't be everything to everyone and I think a lot of the shows are getting lost in that. I did not go to Extreme and can not say what the show floor was like but NHC, Hauntcon, Canadian, and West Coast do not offer the show floors vendor that TW and even MHC has. Now we have ScareLA, is it another regional show?

05-28-2013, 07:27 PM
I had fun seen some good friends, had dinner with many of those friends. I think Ben and everyone did a great job for a first time show. Yes there are things that could be changed but again this was the first time out of the gate. I agree I told several TransWorld should be held there the convention center across the street is 2 times bigger than the one in St. Louis and 85.00 for the rooms was a steal they were great rooms! There was at least 5 or 6 bars in the hotel all located in same area and several restaurants and tons of eating places within walking distance! The weather was nice, people were nice, and the friends and fun was worth it all. I love going to different places that's why I say the shows should all move around! Shane and it was good time were had by all!

05-29-2013, 12:20 AM
I've said all along that Orlando is and always be the #1 place in America for conventions... yes hotels are cheap and yes the weather is nice, and yes lots of things to do there. All positives. The second best place in America for conventions is Las Vegas, again nice weather, lots of things to do, and cheap hotels. Again all positives.

The problem with Vegas is there are no haunts there or anywhere near there... the problem with Orlando is the same exact thing no haunt owners live anywhere close to the place. There is almost NO HAUNTS in the whole entire STATE! Its one of the lowest states in America for haunted house owners.

The haunt show is a driving show not a flying show... vendors would have to in some cases drive over 2500 miles to get there. Most of the haunts in our industry are Kansas City or St Louis EAST and most are populated in the Midwest or North East of the nation. Almost none southeast or west of KC.

The other issue with Orlando is IAAPA is already there and many haunters already go to Orlando and I can tell you honestly... vendors DO NOT WANT THIS SHOW IN ORLANDO!

Here is what happens... people walk the show for ONE DAY and disappear! People bring the wife, the kids, and everyone else and make a vacation out of the thing... trust me!

That is EXACTLY what would happen if this show was in Orlando... you'd see people ONE day and boom they'd all be gone! If this show was on LA, Orlando, Las Vegas, anywhere along the Florida beach area, any tourist town, blah, blah the focus would NOT be on haunting but rather a vacation.


05-29-2013, 05:45 AM
Larry I agree with most of your points, but the fact that if TW was in Orlando the vendors would do fine. More haunters would be able to justify going to the show by combining vacation time with convention time. I know of at least 3 vendors that were out doing tourist things this last week and a few haunters. It is hard for haunters that have full time jobs to get away for a convention when you have to take time of work for your real job. And as far as no haunts you are correct, I searched for them last spring and there was only this little crapy one in Old Town, that is going to change now that a group of experienced haunters are in that location. It won't be a Darkness, but will be at least a well made haunt. I do not go to TW for haunt tours, I say every year that I'm not going to the Darkness but do just because I see all the photo of changes that you make here on the forum then I decide that I have to go see them in person. Yes you sucker me in every year but I would be just as happy with a behind the scenes of the Haunted Mansion too. St Louis is a great place for TW and if they do move it some where they will need to move some where that can equal what is in St Louis and then some. For me personally I think it should stay in St Louis, but I am one of those people that don't combine work with play well, but that's just me.

05-29-2013, 06:32 AM
Why does Transworld have to be a driving show? There are airports in every town and multiple ones in every city. The driving show mentality proves this is not a fully fledged industry it makes us sound unprofessional and too cheap to spring for a flight. I can understand driving if you live under 5 hours away but any further you can catch a flight, why wouldn't you? St Louis is about a 2-3 hour flight from anywhere in the US. If its not going to stay in St. Louis I think Orlando is a great place for Transworld it's perfect! No one really needs a haunt tour anyway isn't that what nearly everyone here already does or is a part of, a haunt?


05-29-2013, 06:54 AM
I guess it's just me and me getting older. I see Disturbia all the time and actually I can see any haunt anytime ( with a call and heads up ) I want other than when I am open but then again I have to ask myself what's keeping me from going then too? But I dunno I enjoyed seeing other things than haunts. I mean that's one reason I have not been to MHC in a while I have seen Columbus several times so it's not enough to make the trip again for a while for me. With St. Louis I have to attend TW pretty much but there is nothing there I have not already seen. I am different than everyone else I guess. I am more old fashion I don't drink so no need for me to sit in a bar all night, I don't play as I am to old to crawl around at that museum, I have seen the arch and zoo, and so on and ate at most of the good places, and have been to the Darkness a few times so I have seen all I can see. So with me it's not about walking the show floor from 10 to 5 but instead spend about half my time there and the other half exploring and I love new towns. I have not been to Orlando in years since I stopped doing IAAPA but it was a nice change since I have not been in a while.

I guess that's why I am such a supporter of TW moving around and making it's surroundings a part of the show as well. I mean after all they have did that with St. Louis pretty much and I just don't see why it can't be done in another city. It don't have to be Orlando either it could be Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, New York, LA, I mean yes some would have to travel far but hey many are doing that now and every year so it would be a fair trade off for the ones who have the luxury of living close to the show now so they could have to see how it feels to the ones who travel far now. It's about a even trade off. I would never want it in Huntsville because I live here that would be a bummer for me well I would love to sleep in my own bed lol but that would be all. Anyway just my opinion not opting to change the opinions of anyone else. Shane and it's just give me more of the world!

05-29-2013, 12:53 PM
As a vendor who didn't have a specific product to sell, I went to Halloween Extreme both because it was in Orlando and I could take the family, AND because it was a new convention that sounded intriguing. I had a blast and promoted the radio show to many people who had never heard of us. We've experienced a spike in DL's for the show so I know that our trip was a success in that aspect. I know there were some bumps and miscommunications between the two shows but they were ironed out pretty quickly.

It was interesting to talk with so many people who did work in home, small, and charity haunts. They are the future of this industry and several of them told me they were there because they were going to open a 'professional' haunt in the next 1-2 years. Some of them had attended HAuNTcon in 2010 and were glad that there was another con here. I saw a LOT of crossover with May-Hem and many of those attendees were blown away with the products the HE vendors offered. I was across from the Creature Revenge booth and Carter had constant crowds admiring his Alien Splitter and Nosteratu Racer. This was his first tradeshow and I put him in touch with Barry at MHC so hopefully he can vend there. He did sell his human fly animatronic so I know that there were some big sales going on. The crowds seemed to increase on Saturday and even Sunday appeared to have good numbers before I left the booth in the capable hands of the Unknown Scare Actor.

The hotel was stellar. The local restaurants were good, and you have Disney, Seaworld, and Universal within a 10 minute drive. I took the kids to Florida for the first time and was able to stay at Disney on Friday until 4:30am (I think Tater made it even later) and a good chunk of Sunday at Universal. It was a working vacation for me and I took advantage of it. Sitting in the hot tub with Naomi Grossman, Kathleen from Fright Props, and Allen Hopps talking shop on Sunday night was also fun.

Will I be back? Absolutely. I have heard several vendors say that they weren't pleased with their sales outcomes, but I've heard that from vendors at every tradeshow and convention I've ever been to. Now that people sort of know how the two shows play out together I hope vendors will give Halloween Extreme another chance as I think it's a unique show that does have some very nice selling points.

Overall grade - B+

05-30-2013, 11:28 AM
I will get more info up when I can but a few snapshots.. Approx 2000 people went to Halloween Extreme...

Here are a few Photos ..

Universal Panel


Face Off Panel


Haunter Build Off


Zombie Prom


So many people worked so hard to pull this off... Thanks to come....


05-30-2013, 11:34 AM
BTW there are lots of You Tube videos and photos on Facebook...

Lots and lots of galleries posts and videos... If you want to see more it is all right there!

05-30-2013, 12:59 PM

Its not about seeing haunted houses, that is not really that important to Transworld however it is very very very very vitally important to MHC or Hauntcon. If they couldn't tour haunts their attendance would cease to exist. With the TW show if I didn't open my haunt and the show stayed here the show would go on as normal ... if the show moved to say Ten Buck Two and no haunts opened the people wouldn't care... the show is about education and finding new products for your haunt.

I think everyone sort of hit the nail on the head with Orlando... lots of stuff to do and one person said he brought his family. BINGO!

Vendors make the Transworld show bottom line end of story... the buyers come because of the vendors. The Vendors stop coming if the shows attendance goes down or buying stops. In Orlando buying would decrease because if you moved the show to middle of no where Iowa they'd have nothing to do but stay the show all day long... and do what? Talk to vendors, other haunt owners, do seminars, hang out together... blah, blah. In Orlando you hit up Universal or Disney or do 100 other million things.

My point is Orlando is awesome but not good for this show and not only because of the location is deep south east.

This show should be and always should be in one location in the central part of the country because most haunts DRIVE! Most vendors DRIVE and the fewer the distractions the better off for the vendors and TW.

I think there are many good locations in the central part of the US Dallas maybe, Nashville maybe, Indy sure, KC hmmm not so much... KC and CHicago are five hours more for anyone south of St. Louis or East of St Louis. Indy is very very close to St. Louis as is Memphis.

Just my observation of doing shows for more than anyone I know.

As for the Darkness sorry son you haven't seen nothing... it was changed SO DRAMATICALLY that you wouldn't even believe it. If you didn't go each year then yes you missed a lot of stuff. We are NOT buying ANYTHING from the show floor everything we had was custom made by us or for us and the changes are DRAMATIC! But again its NOT about my haunt or any haunt where the show might go... as pointed out on top.

Lastly I wanted to mention that I already have BO working on a TOP SECRET Animation for Darkness 2014... its so awesome we had to discuss it nearly one year in advance. So when I do these tours I plan BIG... but as I've already stated I don't care if the show moves but don't move it to a city like Orlando that would hurt the vendors big time. Me personally the last five years of doing these tours has taught me something new... I appreciate that actually. I would NOT attend the show if it changed cities, only because I now enjoy more than ANYTHING not relying on buying what I see but rather doing what I want my idea's working with vendors I trust. I'm so much now into doing new things so I'm just not interested in buying what every other haunt might have. Looking back its been a blast for me to do these tours and last year I had more fun than all the other 4 years combined... I can honestly say I'm totally looking forward to the next one.


05-30-2013, 05:41 PM
A few online stories and such...




Scenic Art Productions
06-02-2013, 08:20 AM
I had attended on Saturday all day and late into the night. I was thrown off being that they did not have a one day joint ticket into both Halloween Extreme and Spooky Empire's Mayhem. The show floor was small but diverse with products. I knowing this was a first time convention thought it was better than I had expected. Yes, living a few hours from Orlando, I do go to IAAPA every year (I do projects for non haunted attractions too). They set the bar on all conventions very high but I am realistic too. I have never been to the St Louis show. For the past two years I have donated to the Insane Shane party and never have been. It is not because I do not want to. It just always manages to hit when the theme parks and attraction industry want their stuff built for a summer opening. It ends up being that I am to swamped with work and the fact it is so far that it takes about a week out of my schedule. I was hoping the Universal Halloween Horror Nights panel was more on the building and design topic butů. that is just me. Over all I had a great time and I am happy to have heard they are doing this again next year. The one BIG problem I had was they sold out on the Halloween Extreme shirts Friday. I really wanted one bad. Lol Please make more. Lol I am looking forward to a bigger and better show next year.

Thank You for a great time,

Robert Travis
Scenic Art Productions

06-02-2013, 07:43 PM
I live in middle TN and wonder how many people have heard of the HUGE new convention center that Nashville built downtown? Over a million sq. ft. with plenty of space and things to do in walking distance!! Most haunt owners work great with each other here and would be happy to open a haunt for haunt owners to enjoy. I feel that many attendees love love love seeing other haunts that they would never see other wise. People are constantly looking for things to replicate and bring back to their city that has not been seen in their region yet. Nashville would also be an easy distance for a bus tour down to Disturbia! My 2nd vote would be Atlanta as Netherworld is so so top notch and would possibly be able to also do a bus tour to Atrox! I feel there are more mid range size haunts than big boys at TW and being centrally located makes for easier travel cost and ability to haul items bought as oppose to fit them in a carry on!! Just 1 persons opinion here but I like some variety! Im not a huge country person but there really is only 1 Nashville! Now its gotten big time prepared for conventions to take advantage of it!

06-02-2013, 10:36 PM
Couple things I would be totally opposed to Atlanta because I hated that city for a convention. IAAPA was there twice is was the two worst attended shows they ever did, the buyers and exhibitors complained like crazy. Its hard to get around very few hotels near the convention center I 110% hated Atlanta along with everyone else from IAAPA. Don't get me wrong I don't hate the city and I don't hate Netherworld but I hated the city for a convention for 1000 million reasons... so no way Jose.

Nashville I've never really been there... I've been through it but never really stayed there long. Don't know much about the city.

One thing you have to look for for this industry is a very cheap space, the city must be drivable and it needs to stay central because as we all know haunters as a whole are CHEAP! They show needs to stay as cheap as possible to keep it growing. Again I could care less if the show moved, in fact I hope it does... I won't attend anymore I think I've just think overall I'm done with tradeshows. I'm seriously thinking for the first time of NOT attending IAAPA... so don't worry about what I think other than the fact that I KNOW tradeshows. Atlanta no way, Orlando no no way, Vegas out of the question anywhere west of St Louis is a bad idea totally, one of extreme of the country like east coast another bad idea... it must stay central.

So any advice I give will be good for the industry as a whole. Anyway what does this conversation about a review of Halloween Extreme have to do with moving TW main show. I think its because its simply admitting that all these little shows don't work and we'd as a whole would rather see one show work and where that show should be, and what should happen, and this and that... is in the end what we all care about most.


06-03-2013, 06:26 AM
Nashville has tons to offer and the Opryland hotel is one of the largest hotels in the world everyone could stay at the hotel without worrying about it selling out ( I would think) now if it were during the summer that's a different story they have tons of places to eat in the hotel and places to shop in there as well or tons within walking distance! I don't know though I want to see it move I just don't know where because there is so many cool places to put the show and so many cool city's to explore. To me St. Louis is not the cheapest anymore I mean the Ren Grand is nice but in Orlando we stayed at a 4 star hotel that blowed the the Ren out of the water and it was $79.00 per night! And I mean now TW charges to get in where it NEVER did before EVER so I feel the Americas Center has a hold on them now and pretty much can do what they want knowing they are going to be there so they can charge whatever so this is another reason I say move it there is plenty of places that would love to host this show. Again it's not the little $50.00 but this is a sign that there is more to come because they can do it. Memphis may be cheap as well also Louisville KY, Dallas, shoot it's exciting to think of the places out there. Shane and it's just my opinions, thoughts and how I see it.

06-03-2013, 09:21 AM

I can tell you this for sure... it will never move to Orlando. The venders would throw a fit and for good reason. The vendors and the show organizer would want the focus of the show to be on the show not Disneyworld, not Universal, not the beach, not the nightlife they have there, blah, blah...

As I said at IAAPA people go to that show for one day them BAM out the door never to be seen again. Vendors in this industry want your attention on the show, during the show, at the show until the end of the show... won't happen in Orlando. Everything about Orlando is better than St Louis, Houston, Nashville, to Little Rock Arkansas and every single thing between. If you want a vacation slash tradeshow you go to Orlando, if you want a tradeshow where everything that leads up the show is the tradeshow to your entire time at the show is the tradeshow you don't go to LA, Vegas, and especially Orlando.

Getting back to Atlanta for a sec... when IAAPA was there that was actually one of the positives. There was nothing to do there so people stayed at the show but the downside was the attendance went rock bottom... people hated it so much they didn't want to come back. I remember in Atlanta having to stay 10 miles away from the convention center... hard to get around in that city.


06-03-2013, 10:57 AM
I don't think it will ever go to Orlando either. The reason I mentioned Orlando was the fact we got nice rooms for a lot cheaper than in St. Louis I actually don't think it's ever going to leave St. Louis but its cool to see others thoughts and opinions and explore options. I will say this if another major trade show promoter was to get involved and compete things may get different ;) as a vendor I can see you like it being close to you as well as others that's close to St. Louis I get that part totally. For me myself I would never want it in my front door that would be no fun or excitement for me I want to go somewhere. LOL I think it's safe to say St. Louis it is and there is no need for anyone to get offended or preach as to "why" but again it's fun to explore other possibilities and cities you know. Shane and it's I still say wherever it is people will still go no matter what.

06-04-2013, 12:08 AM
I talked to a vendor today who went to this show and they told me it wasn't good ... not many buyers and not many buyers for haunted house equipment. I think most of the people came over from the horror show ... these horror fan shows are everywhere now.

Shane I'm right there with ya... in fact while we are exploring cities lets throw something in the mix like Bahamas or Hawaii or something like that. LOL And again I'm all for the show moving to a different city lets just make sure it works for our industries benefit, problems, issues, etc, etc.


06-04-2013, 06:12 AM
LOL lets move it to the Rain Forest or the African Plains now that would be exciting! LOL Shane and it's watch out for the running of the water buffalo's!

06-04-2013, 03:51 PM
In all honesty getting to St. Louis from the west coast is a pain in the @#$. Chicago was always a lot easier on travel logistics and pocketbook in general. By the way somewhere in Texas wouldn't be bad and they have more haunts than anywhere else. Just sayin'.

06-04-2013, 07:01 PM
I'm from the west coast also, So I vote for Austin Texas!


06-04-2013, 08:13 PM
I decided at the last minute to bring my wife and 6 year old girl and make it a long weekend trip and hit Disney for one day, since my daughter has never been. The floor was like a mini scale model of TransWorld....much smaller than expected. And when vendors like GhostRide are there without one full length body on display....I figured out pretty quickly this was not going to live up to the hype. The hotel was very nice, and we checked in and were told that everyone in the convention is booked on the same floors. WOW!! Big mistake. Now I understand it was my decision to bring my 6 year old, but come on. Was it the constant screaming and mother f*ckers from everyone coming off the elevator until 3 am that I'm pissed off about, or was it the slamming on the walls at 4 am from the room next to us that sounded like they were trying to collapse the wall? Either way we had to switch rooms for the next two nights. Hey I'm all about the party, but come on...have some respect

06-04-2013, 08:53 PM
In all honesty getting to St. Louis from the west coast is a pain in the @#$. Chicago was always a lot easier on travel logistics and pocketbook in general. By the way somewhere in Texas wouldn't be bad and they have more haunts than anywhere else. Just sayin'.

Isn't it about the same travel time from the west coast to St Louis and Chicago? It's about 2 hours to either city from the east coast.


06-05-2013, 05:50 PM
Isn't it about the same travel time from the west coast to St Louis and Chicago? It's about 2 hours to either city from the east coast.


The prices and lack of connections (or direct flights) to St. Louis make scheduling and travel tougher.