View Full Version : Is it time for every haunt vendor to attend TW?

02-07-2009, 09:06 PM
This topic was inspired by a couple of other posts but I thought it was important enough to have it's own thread. If this is to be the big break out show for the Haunt industry wouldn't this be the time for every haunt vendor (Scairstructures, Little Spider, Haunt X vendors, Haunt Con vendors, ExMortis. etc) and haunt related retail vendors (Ghoulish Productions, Midnight Syndicate,Morbid , etc.) out there to make an effort to support the industry and have a booth, no matter how big or small. If not this year perhaps 2010. For those vendors out there who are not attending........"Why So.........Absent"????? As the Joker would say.

02-08-2009, 05:51 AM
I agree... and that's all I'll say! -Tyler

02-08-2009, 11:28 AM
For whats its worth, while I respect and love Unit 70, I do think a vendor better be REALLY sure of their ability to keep and maintin their customers without attending. If I am walking around a trade show and have x amount of $ to spend and I see a new vendor or a cool product, I might be tempted to buy from them. I know last year I went to TW EXPECTING to see Unit 70 and was gonna order from them. They were not there so I ended up ordering from a different company.
I LOVE RUSTY and SPFX masks. I consider Rusty aREAL friend. However, last I talked to him, he said he was not sure if he was gonna do any tradeshows. To me that is foolish cause CFX are and are doing great at the tradeshows.....

Jim Warfield
02-08-2009, 12:22 PM
So does the economic risk.
I knew a couple who made their entire living selling jewlery they made at art shows.
They saw expenses of just entering some shows (the really potentially good ones) just go up and up .
Any kind of show venue is a risk, hoping that you will see enough customers buying from you to pay all that overhead AND see a profit.
I once had it suggested to me that I have a booth at Transworld? "Selling what?"
"Tours of your house with a bus ride there."
I guess I could have done this and lost money doing it....I never figured out how I was going to be in two or three places all at the same time.
Then David Copperfield began performing across the street from Transworld....
My "Magic" would have been more impressive, if I could have figured out how to be in those three locations at once!
Closest I could manage was to phart , run to the next room, phart again, run to another location....
I would have to trust a phart to run my Transworld booth!
I'd just refer to him as "The Invisible Man"!
I'd have to keep him in a jar.
As my former employee Bob Blount used to say:"Don't breathe deeply and there will be enough for everyone!"

02-08-2009, 01:15 PM

You are totally right... and I keep telling all vendors this same point. People only have so much money to spend, they don't magically create bigger budgets just because sometime down the road you decide to do something. Fact is you are 110% correct... you go there with an open mind, you don't know what you want, and you buy many times on impulse becuase you see something you like you want and you buy it.

You might have bought something different from a vendor who you know and trust but they didn't make the show...now you are standing right in front of something you are looking at, touching, and your mind starts to think and bam you buy it.

The shows cost have been reduced for booth space down to $1200.00. Yes there are other shows who will offer booths for half that price but man o man you should get a reality check.

Those shows will not spend tens of thousands of dollars on marketing will they... most of them will rely on message boards, and emails while Transworld is spending tens of thousands on lists, not to mention their own massive data bases, plus attending IAAPA, tons of amusement park lists and ads in amusement magazines.

Any vendor who thinks they will get a better bang for the buck at another show should simply QUICK, GET OUT OF THE BUSINESS NOW, and then CHECK YOURSELF into a mental hospital. There will BE NO better bang for the buck than this show.

More qualified buyers will attend this show than all the rest COMBINED, including IAAPA when you consider IAAPA has a lower turnout of buyers who need Halloween equipment. This is a BUYING SHOW writting orders!

This is it...if you pass it by you won't get a second chance for 12 months!

Don't kid yourself this is it...

Last year I spent a TON of money with one vendor for no other reason than I liked all the stuff they had. I spent nearly every dime I had with this one vendor. Had other vendors been there with new stuff maybe it would have been different.

Missing this show is a mistake!

I myself and again just speaking for myself will not be attending any other shows... NO TIME and I'm not saying that because its in St. Louis. Last year I only attended Transworld and the year before and the year before that and so on and so forth. I am not alone in the industry of haunt owners who only attended Transworld or Transworld and IAAPA.

Not to say the other shows aren't great, or can help your business but this is the ONE show that gives you the highest percentage chance of hitting the most buyers at one time.


02-08-2009, 03:52 PM
Like I mentioned earlier, eventually a company will be forced to attend shows because word-of-mouth can only get you so far. We'll see new companies pop-up that WILL take business away from companies like Scarefactory, Distortions and Unit70... they can't survive on just a handfull of haunts!

So even if they don't attend this year, or next... they will eventually be forced too! -Tyler

Gore Galore
02-08-2009, 04:55 PM

Competition is a good thing.
The companies that make the best quality products,
have good customer service, and take care of their customers before and after the sale will always do well in this and any industry regardless of whether they are at tradeshows or not. As long as that is what the buyers want.
And I know that is what buyers in this industry need.

02-08-2009, 05:15 PM
I totally agree. I think Tyler means well and thinks his way of thinking is correct. If in 5 years hes still in this Industry he will see his way of thinking was just off base. Gore Galore, Unit70, Scare Factory, Distortions, all you big hard working guys will be around and everyone thats been in this Industry 5 or 10 years all know that. If your honest, hard working, have good work ethics show or no show you will be around a long time. Tyler word of mouth will never die! Did I mention its been 10 years since I showed at a show and I am still going strong.

Heck as times change and evolves even Tradeshows will start to die off. And we will start to see more virtual shows on line. Collages are already doing this. Want to see a collage? Thousands of virtual tours on line you can visit a collage without ever stepping foot on the property! Shane and its Hang In There Guys! Tyler means well. Shane this time.

Haunted Illinois
02-08-2009, 07:02 PM
I agree that there is a “hands-on” feel that can only be achieved by exhibiting / attending a trade show; however, don’t discount the power of the internet. I personally think that the “Age of the Internet” has changed things irreversibly… in a good way in most cases. People can get most everything they want via the internet now. Just type it in, in a search engine, and you will find it.

As Jim W stated, there is also the factor of getting ripped off. Any jacka@@ can take pictures/measurements of your latest creation at a trade show and have a knock-off on the market faster than you can say “rip-off”. I work in the cell phone industry and a competing company can have a knock-off on the market in only a few months after you show it publically. The same goes for the Haunt Industry.

Please consider that if Unit 70 or some other company has created a large customer base, that would make it unnecessary for them to attend further conventions. If that is the case, which it seems to be in Unit 70’s case, then GOOD FOR THEM. I wish the same success upon all other Haunt vendors.

Just because a vendor does not attend Transworld St Louis, it doesn’t mean they don’t support the industry. I’m really sick of that BS rhetoric being spewed on this website. It isn’t as cut and dried as all of that. There are many other factors involved. A vendor may choose NOT to exhibit for a number of reasons:

1) This new Haunt Show is UNPROVEN. This is the first year the Halloween wholesale side of the show won’t be there. This means that there won’t be nearly as many attendees/customers.

2) Size of the show. Last I checked, this show didn’t has as many registered vendors as MHC had last year. If the Haunt Show is supposed to be the “end all, be all” show for the Industry, shouldn’t it have twice as many companies exhibiting? With that being said, I don’t blame ANY vendor for not attending. People naturally want to wait and find out how the show went the first year before committing their company resources.

3) Rumors that the show will be combined next year. If you were a vendor and heard this, wouldn’t you wait until next year to see if the Halloween show would be combined with the haunt show again? More attendees = more potential business.

Perhaps a company like Unit 70 can’t attend the convention circuit because they need to focus on current customer commitments. What is wrong with that? I think they need to focus on customer service and if not attending the TW St Louis show (or any other Industry convention) is what they need to do, then more power to them. Would you rather them satisfy their customer base or sacrifice all of that to add one more vendor to the Tranworld vendor list just to help satisfy someone's personal agenda?

Whether or not vendors attend… that is a business decision made by them and them only. If they choose not to exhibit, they shouldn’t be belittled on this website or pressured to attend. Most vendors don’t have bottomless pockets.

I’m all for supporting the Industry, but it seems to me that companies are being slammed on this message board for not signing up for Transworld and that isn’t right!

Jim Warfield
02-08-2009, 07:23 PM
Ever heard of this company?
They exhibited at Transworld SOOO many years ago. Then quit it. And they are still around selling costumes all these years later.
They moved to Savanna, Ill. 10 miles from me about 28 years ago and employ alot of people sewing, using fiberglass and doing electrical work inside of the costumes.
They sell college mascot costumes but they also sold a guerilla costume to a Hollywood celebrity we all know. The former Mayor of Mount Carroll was sitting next to the one owner when she called needing them to re-do her costume so she could wear it without messing up her hair!
Just like a haunted house the haunted venders also know this:"Whatever works for you..."Works".

General ideas and commonly known practises, methods to use and follow are all right but you can't bet the farm and know they are 100% correct for all , all the time.

02-08-2009, 07:42 PM
Well said man well said!!! And I hope and pray we can get back with the Halloween Show! Halloween and Haunts just go hand in hand! SOme will moan and grown we need our own show. What we need is for both shows to combine and I think it will happen! Well I am hopeful it will happen anyway!

Jim yes I do alot of business with facemakers they are an excellent company!! Shane and its cut the BS. Shane this time

02-08-2009, 10:09 PM
Transworld already has more vendors, and more booths sold than any haunt only show ever produced. But again this is not what its about.

This is about vendors bringing the most new products and making sales.

This is about buyers finding themselves in a very creative environment and finding products and services that will help their business.

From today forward if you have or anyone has anything negative to say about Transworld, putting down the show, or taking subjects way off course they will be removed.

Some of you are being very very selfish trying to stir up doubt when vendors have their whole entire lives as stake.

Lastly let me say this is why there is a difference between people who own attractions and those who do not. Adam you do not and your opinions are based strickly from a different point of view.

The show will be great and lets leave it at that. If you own a haunt, plan to own a haunt, or somehow are invovled in the amusement business you will be there and if not you missed a great opportunity.


02-08-2009, 11:04 PM
Please don't say the Halloween vendors and Haunt vendors have nothing in common as it kills your creditability. Don't tell me for even one second that you have never purchased from a Halloween vendor at one of these shows. You may use only custom costumes now but I would bet everything that you have used Rubies, Funworld, Fearscape or some other Halloween vendor in the past. The fact is they do go hand in hand.

02-08-2009, 11:58 PM

Let me say again then... they have nothing in common. I run AN ATTRACTION not a retail store. RETAIL and ATTRACTIONS are not the same thing. Now if you run a small retail store out of your haunted house you probably sell t-shirts and stuff like that not Rubies costumes.

I sell tickets, I manage actors, parking lots, ticket booths, I don't keep inventory of how many Wolverine costumes we've sold.

99% of haunt owners could NOT run a retail store like a Spirits if their life depended on it. It is a total different animal all together.

I know haunters who have tried in the past to run a retail store and they lost so much money it made them vomit. I also know several people who ran retail and tried a haunted house and they went out of business, had auctions and everything else.

There are a few that can and have done both but very few, and many times one or the other tried the opposite and 99 times out of 100 failed.

People who come to haunted houses don't buy pumpkins, they go to a pumpkin patch, they don't buy costumes, they go to a costume store.

As an attraction owner you have as much in common with a Halloween retail show as a Dentist convention. If you run a haunted attraction you have more in common with an amusement show even if it dominated by major players than you do a retail show.

There is VERY LITTLE cross over now... the retail industry is now dominated by people who have no interest in haunts like Party City, Walmart, Target, Spirits, Halloween Express. The retail side of Halloween has pushed out most of the ma and pa shops.

What you are saying is the same thing as saying... Christmas Light Show "ATTRACTION" shoud go to a convention for Christmas retail instead of a LIGHT SHOW!!!!

I hope you see what I'm saying.


02-09-2009, 07:12 AM
Unit 70 for exmple has built up their own customer base, they do not NEED the shows at this point. From what I hear, they have several loyal haunters who place big orders with them every year and they stay busy already on those orders as it is. They can simply send an email out to those customers after the season, and soon orders will come in...

Seeing it in person is great, but haunters have already seen their quality and already know its good without having to touch it and get up close in person. Also, as lng as they are thriving we should be happy. If they show at the show, you run the risk of your competitor in YOUR market seeing it and buying the same thing as you and then the effect is not as cool. The people in the know will go to them on their own and have unique things for their show and the people who buy at the show can do that as well but your competitor might have the same thing too...

The internet is so strong now and sending out emails with "whats new" info and sale offers can work wonders, without leaving home and most likely talking to a huge number of people who won't end up buying anything anyway but want to talk or buy one piece. I would rather have 30 customers buying larger orders than 100 buying one piece or so. It's more work, more to sort out and set up shipping, more emails and questions, etc...


Ken Spriggs
02-09-2009, 07:56 AM
Ok maybe I sniffed too much glue this weekend working on our stuff for TW......BUT...

Larry? I have been saying this for years and EVERYONE....if you want I can find old posts unless you beat me to them and delete them....... I mean everyone in the business of running a haunted house...unless you have a gift.....HAD NO REASON TO BE AT TW to begin with.

Just because you use costumes you should have access to a wholesale market?
Sorry that is called.....a retail market......end user blah blah blah

Larry.....I do think the koolaid has gotten a little strong though!

I started to make this post last week.........a little slice of Ken if you don't mind.....just to show you how close the $$$$$$$ situation is to us all.

Some of you know, I lost a few things in life that....were very important
Divorce has it's way with people I guess
From there things were ok...kind of living in a fog figuring out things as I went

Well here I am almost 2 years later....had surgery to remove my head from my ass
My home.....bless the kindling bombfire anyone?.....has been for sale for 2 years now.
There isn't enough money or time to make enough money, for me to be able to keep up.
Now seeing I have a real job, a haunt, a new costume thing and a pretty strange personal life (what time I have left), how can I make MORE money to dig out of the hole?
Oh wait not to mention I work for a company that has seen better days.........Y?
Cause I work in transportation.....if ya'll ain't buying it.....I am not shipping it.
Now I am not complaining....cause I sure do have a much funner and much more exciting life than the average JOE......but damn how is anyone supposed to keep a bright outlook?

I know there are people out there that are worse than me.......so I don't complain anymore.

I guess what I am trying to say?
Quit the complaining and bitchin..........

If TW is going to be a great show......then Larry.....I will say you told me so.
If TW is a bad show.....and I take more orders at Hauntcon....MHC.....or any other show that we do.........WHO IS GOING TO TAKE THE HEAT? ME!
So......I don't care what Larry or anyone else in the industry is going to do!
We or at least me (hard to run 2 booths though) will be trying to make a go of a business that I really need in my life. People ask me what I want to do for a living? I say play because creating the things we create.....is not work to me.
I put in 6 hours on friday and almost 12 on saturday at the haunt
Yes it's February there is work to be done.......and it wouldn't be getting done if I was crying about life or worring about everyone else all the time.

Ok sorry for the rant.....back to the cave I go