View Full Version : I am really concerned

03-10-2009, 10:34 AM
As I have been digesting the news from Vegas, I am REALLY worried about the future of the shows. If you were a vendor, why would you want to EVER exhibit with TW again in association with the costume show? Some, like Larry are saying we do not need the costume show, that we can survive on our own, and that might be true, but I will really miss the good old days of the big ass convention we all grew to love. It was a one stop shop for me and many others that ran ahaunt and a retail side. :(

03-10-2009, 10:58 AM
I agree with you Dirk, I miss miss the big ass atmosphere too.

But we can't keep being pushed around and nobody caring about the Haunt show. TW might finally realize this year that we are a force to be reckoned with. We deserve a good quality show. They're gonna see after this coming show, that we can survive on our own, and they're gonna try to pull us in again, and combine the shows in Chicago.

But after this years TW, peoply are gonna be going to Houston.

We need to branch out on our own, and have our own haunt show.

Hopefully the HHA can pull something together and get the ball rolling.

03-10-2009, 11:06 AM
I don't see why we can't say F**k transworld and just make MHC.. THE SHOW!!! That would be much better! -Tyler

03-10-2009, 11:37 AM
I love MHC and if I was Barry I would be EALLY tempted to go head to head with TW if TW is going to keep the events seperate. TW is a really screwed up company and I am sure Barry could put on a much better show. Hell, they already do!! Barry and his crew are a great bunch of people and put on a great show. The one bad thing about their convention is it takes place in JUNE, which is way too late for many vendors and buyers to be placing huge orders. If Barry move the convention to late March, like St louis this year, then he might have a chance, but that is Barry and his teams decision

03-10-2009, 11:49 AM
Thank you for the vote of confidence gentlemen. It is much appreciated.

Without going into all of the details, the idea has been discussed with many people in the industry prior to the St Louis show even being finalized. However, without advance commitments from the vendors it would be hard to go head to head with any existing show.

If anyone follows the industry from my perspective you know we will be doing the same thing again this year as we have done for the past number of years. Wait and see how the TW show does and then wait and see what they decide to do next. By that time I will once again have signed contracts and the cycle will continue...

03-10-2009, 12:32 PM
1ST I agree with RON %100 about bringing the shows back together. There are many buyers that have to hit 2 shows because of the split.
But........Transworld DOES NOT DECIDE if the shows will be together or apart.
ITS RUBIES!!! RUBIES split the show this year not transworld.
Just remember who 800lb GORILLA really is!

03-10-2009, 08:43 PM
Who the hell is RUBIES? I prefer MHC anyways. I've noticed that most of you talked up TW as being the best thing to ever happen to the industry until Vegas happened and now most of you want to down it. The first show I heard of was MHC you guys introduced me to TW so I have a special place for MHC. Anywho I'm sure if Ben made MHC the "exclusive" haunt show then the guys at MHC could work on moving the show into March. Just a comment. But seriously who the hell is rubies? Vincent This Time!

03-10-2009, 08:50 PM
Who the hell is RUBIES?


Rubies is probably the largest costume manufacturer ouy there.

When you walk through a partyt supply store at halloween time, probly 75% or more of the costumes are made by Rubies.

When they were at TW, they usually took up 4 or 5 full aisle setions.

They are by far the largest vendor to display at TW.

03-10-2009, 08:52 PM
Oh cool thanks for the info B-RAd. Vincent This Time!

03-10-2009, 11:09 PM
Next thing people will be asking is who is David Bertilino.

03-10-2009, 11:10 PM
It takes a lot of money and a professional company to produce a TRADESHOW and well you must make it a full time job. I think the guys at MHC and these other shows have full time jobs. I myself have the means to promote and produce a haunt only show, I could raise the money, I know what needs to be done, and without a doubt I can do it.

But I have a full time job also...

I will help someone produce a haunt and attraction show but it wouldn't be one of these hearse rally, make up war shows, nothing wrong with those but that doesn't attract qualified buyers.

Yes I know tradeshows are not as much fun as a convention but they are not intended to be they are intended to be a business to business show.

Shows are needed especially for the haunt industry because most of us are still ma and pa operations. I will go as far as to say that the Halloween retail show has changed so much it doesn't need Houston or Transworld. Its just an evolution and I do think maybe Transworld should cancel Chicago and throw in the towel.

It will be worse next year in Chicago than it was this year in Vegas...its over and done. Its not just Rubies who did this because look Houston wasn't much better...

Face it retail for Halloween is now dominated by less than 10 buying groups and they don't need tradeshows. Ma and Pa costume stores is nearly extiction and with it goes these shows both of them. I think Houston back by Rubies has a better chance of holding on but sadly Transworld is probably done.

They had a great run, they made a lot of people a lot of money, and they deserve credit but now its time to move on... St. Louis will be a success for the vendors and the buyers. We didn't sell out the floor space but we can in fact we can double it I know it for a fact.

We have room to grow a lot of room to grow... I hope we can work with transworld on this and bring their retail experience to the haunt show, meaning bring retail buyers here, bring retail vendors here, to us, while bringing in 5 times the amusement vendors, food vendors, insurance companies and the like.

We need to bring in pumpkin patches, corn mazes, amusement parks, ren fairs, fec's and more...

we could have a show so big within 3 years you'll never even remember there was ever a retail show you missed.

We have to act professional, reasonable, use our brains not our hearts.

We will be successful!


Jim Warfield
03-11-2009, 05:25 AM
People will wonder since they gave me the wrong middle initial on that grave marker on the "Hill", I died in 1953!
Death doesn't stop some people. It doesn't stop my "Special Helpers" here in my haunted, haunted house.
That "Invisibility" thing could be very usefull if I could figure that one out.

03-11-2009, 11:53 AM
Larry, I am sure that you are not saying all you want from a tradeshow are a bunch of people lined up at your booth with a suitcase of money ready to spend and once they are done at the booths, you want them to leave>?. Tthat's not what the majority of buyers that go to these tradeshows want. To us, "normal" people, a convention is a chance to learn, to visit other haunts, to hang out and meet new people, to see some people wearing crazy costumes, to get drunk, to get away from the family etc. If you put on a trade show, or help produce a tradeshow without fun things for people to do after they have spent their money, I think you will find it will die a VERY quick death...

Killer Katie
03-11-2009, 12:01 PM
I can't see why there can't be a Tradeshow with a convention feel.

Attract the big buisnesses by getting the buyers there, but have the atmosphere of the classes, make up wars, novelty stuff etc.

Why would that be so wrong? It would have something for everyone and be a juggernaut - THE place to go.

Haunt Owners could get not only product, but have access to guest actors, consultants, people to teach their people.

03-11-2009, 12:03 PM

It's not about getting drunk at the conventions, aren't we all supposed to be adults here? We wonder why we have been looked down upon by some Halloween vendors. When we act like fools and instead of learning and networking we use our time together and get drunk and be like that nasty chick who was walking around in the pasties last year and the others walking around in questionable costumes, we only prove we are not an industry of professionals but pretenders.

Remember, when you go to the conventions you not only represent yourself, and your attraction, you also represent the WHOLE industry...


03-11-2009, 12:07 PM
Actually, I have been to plenty of "boring" tradeshows for other industries that are not entertainment related, and they are even worse with getting drunk and acting unprofessional. I just think many people treat the tradeshow as a vacation and act accordingly. They just lack the blood and nudity.

03-11-2009, 12:09 PM
You might be right, other professionas do it too but they are not under the microscope like haunters are. It's expected from us by many people outside the industry, why feed into the sterotypes? You are a professional if you act like a professional...


The Doctor
03-11-2009, 12:30 PM
I again do not see the problem with a combined Halloween show. Our businesses can benefit from both sets of traffic. And I believe there are still enough costume shops that the model for retail is still viable, it is not dead by any means. Of course for retail to work Rubies does need to get on board. A separate show for retail and haunt does not help either business. A combined show with the buyers and vendors of both taken into account can do nothing but benefit everyone involved.

Sure a costume shop may never buy a large scale prop but a talking skull or some other haunt props might just be something they would. Prosthetic, costumes, fangs, makeup are all things in common. We keep looking at the differences with out taking into account the similarities. More traffic is never a bad thing for anyone.

In fact I would say if this was going to be the "business" show that more traffic, more vendors and more buyers is a great thing. Now can all the parties involved get together iron out their differences that remains to be seen. But I do know that excluding or making any part of the Halloween business feel unwelcome is just bad business for TW and anyone putting on a show. This is not US against THEM, it should just be all of us. Can it happen? Again that remains to be seen but I for one loved the retail part of the show almost as much as the haunt part.

03-11-2009, 12:42 PM
I remember the first Transword show we attended about 6 years ago. We would go to some Free seminars early in the morning which were very good. We would then spend all day at the show and the evening going to Dreamreapers. It was a tradeshow with everything a convention had.

03-11-2009, 01:25 PM
I know for a fact that there are large groups who are attending St Louis BECAUSE of the split. It was because of the reputation the earlier shows had gotten: we had actually been advised to NOT go in the past because some of it was, shall we say "unprofessional" -- We attend conferences, trade shows and conventions each year because our goal is to learn and network -- hopefully become better business owners, and create incredible experiences for our customers. And, we like to buy cool stuff :)

I think Killer Katie is right -- surely we can have the best of both worlds!

Kevin Dells
03-11-2009, 05:07 PM
You might be right, other professionas do it too but they are not under the microscope like haunters are. It's expected from us by many people outside the industry, why feed into the sterotypes? You are a professional if you act like a professional...


How are haunters under anybody's microscope? Please name 1 person or group at a convention thats sitting back saying "These haunters are unproffesional because of what they wear and oh geez their drunk too!" I have sat amongst the drunks and i hate to say it it's owners, their Crews, Celeb's and Vendors!!
Angel in your post before this one you rant about somebody in panty's, youv'e ripped on me a time or two about my characters, iv'e seen you rip on Sheldon for his antics and you summed it up if i remember correctly that they weren't good characters because a good character is like a Reaper type.

Give me a freggin Break! BORING!!!!!!

Iv'e meet and worked a LOT of haunts and haunters and everyone iv'e worked for uses every tactic in the book and beyond to get into our patrons heads, and that goes for characters, and haunt themes.

So please don't come here and say during conventions we need to put on our sunday best and act like were not who we really are. Our haunts depict darkness,gloom, insanity,chaos and even death! Give me a break, if your haunt is all about old school boring ass reapers and the such and you pull a good audience from that then more power to you, but ours draws Major crowds and they want all out insane, to be insane we must think insane and act insane.

My parents have owned a Honda Motorcycle fanchise for 30 years and iv'e gone to that show in Vegas to order motorcyles before and their some of the rowdiest drunks you'll ever meet, far wilder then the haunters thats for dam sure.

Are they under a microscope? yeah from the bartenders wondering when their coming up for their next drink!!

In the famous words of my 16 year old daughter "WHATEVER!"

03-11-2009, 05:29 PM
Thanks for the vote of confidence Larry. If I can be an integral part of putting on an event like MHC, while holding down another full time job, imagine what I could do if I worked at it full time! ;)

Seriously though, I think it has been proven that our industry does not want a "tradeshow". Why do you think TW has embraced all of the extra events? Why do you think the Darkness tours are selling out? Why do you think people are willing to take a 2 hour bus ride to Columbia?

That is why MHC does what it does. Because that is what people want. We cater to our audience just as TW, and everyone else is doing.

I will restate what I have have written many times before. MHC has developed a niche. We like doing what we do and people seem to enjoy coming here. We are going to continue doing it until the industry tells us they want/need something else. Until that time presents itself, plan on coming to Columbus in June and having a great time!

03-11-2009, 05:35 PM
This is only my second transworld. But, finding out that its not going to be like the first one I went to I was kinda bummed. I have this image from my first transworld where it was one BIG show. I loved all the options under one roof!
herbalaire (http://www.vaporshop.com/herbalaire-vaporizer.html)

03-11-2009, 06:32 PM
I happened to pop one of my Huanted Media DVD's in today cause nothing was on TV and it was the one that featured TW in Chicago in 2006. How VERY sad to see how the mighty have fallen. And Larry, if you still insist that Chicago sucked or was a bust, take a look at that DVD if you own it. Packed aisles and lots of happy vendors with tons of customers.

I really think TW is gonna have to do major damage control to try to get back to what they had. Regardless if they go back to Chicago or if the go back to St Louis, if they are smart they will drop their booth rates way down to attract a lot of vendors back.....

03-11-2009, 07:01 PM
So, because our haunts depict gloom and doom we should all act like a bunch retards embarrassing ourselves then? Most people who own a haunt see it as a business, if they don't they don't last. When you actually run YOUR own haunt and not work for someone else's then you'd see the point I'm trying to make about conducting yourself as a business person which in any situation means not getting drunk, getting loud and rowdy not caring how you're perceived by your piers, dressing in disgusting low-brow costumes that make people feel more uncomfortable then scared, etc. etc.
You bring up Motorcycle conventions, bad example. Have you ever been to IAAPA? I'm guessing not? People act like intelligent, successful business minded people which is the entertainment industry, closely related to our own. It's not boring putting your best foot forward, stay home and get drunk. I think too many "haunters" look more forward to hanging out getting drunk then taking care of business and having coherent networking sessions.

Kevin you can do whatever you want to do you're a grown man, (I'm willing to look past the diapers in your costume) but it is or should be about putting your best foot forward even if it means a few less beers....


03-11-2009, 07:14 PM
Dark angel, I own my own haunt, have for 6 years. I do not get fall down drunk but still like to enjoy myself and most likely would fail a sobriety test at 3am at the conventions which is why I get a room at the closest hotel. I go toa lot of seminars and network an aweful lot. I take it you are going to walk around the tradeshow in a business suit and then go back to your room at 5PM?

03-11-2009, 07:24 PM
Dirk, I was aiming my response at Kevin, I know you own a great haunt.
No, I will not wear a business suit and go to my room at 5pm. I'll be networking over a couple dinners over the weekend, doings haunt tours, and if we have time enjoying St Louis some.


03-11-2009, 07:31 PM
I want to make one part of this topic clear from a Transworld vendor's perspective because I disagree with comments that last years Transworld (2008) was "a bad show" or that the isles were empty.

The show in Vegas last year was GREAT GREAT GREAT for my company. And I know that it was for many, many other vendors. Why? Plain and simple: QUALIFIED buyers and far less riff raff to deal with.

Do not get me wrong!!! I LOVE the haunter crowd (heck. I am one), I am speaking purely from a tradeshow vendor perspective... NOT convention NOT fan show perspective.

We spend BIG money to display at Transworld. We expect QUALIFIED buyers and NOT fans or haunt lovers who come only to look and have a fun time. AWESOME if the qualified buyers also fall into that category.

I will not divulge my sales figures here but I can tell you that the larger vendors do upwards of $100,000 in sales at this show (I know a few who do triple or even more than that!) These types of sales figures can't be touched at the other "CONS" or "FAN" shows. Not even close… not even close!

This is a TRADESHOW for professionals in the BUSINESS TRADE of haunting.

At this show I expect, and cater to the professional haunt community. The entire rest of the year I cater to the other great people that love Halloween (home haunters are the greatest!)

I hope I didn't ruffle any feathers! But thems are the facts Jack!


Haunted Illinois
03-11-2009, 08:28 PM

Technically, I am not a "Qualified Buyer", yet I have selflessly promoted the show and its vendors for several years now. This is an overview I posted about last year's Transworld show:


I will freely admit I am definitely not a "big spender" or even what most people would consider "a professional" in the industry. By those strict standards, apparently I shouldn't be allowed to attend the show?!?! Do I count as part of the "riff raff" you speak of?

03-11-2009, 08:45 PM
This topic is a hard topic to decide on. The vendor to be side of me agrees with Fright props and the haunter to be side of me agrees with illinois. It sucks that we as hombres in the haunt industry don't have an event specifically just to get together and shoot the breeze. I mean what two places do we all see eachother in the same location? Hauntworld and Transworld. So we have very little time NOT to be professional. But we as haunters being skilled at turning anything into a HELL of a time should be able to mix the professional side of Transworld with the non professional bonding time side of just hanging out as collegues. So once again I don't know if it should be strictly professional or just plain ole fun. But whatever it is remember that you can't make everyone happy so don't try.

Alos I like the idea of Larry and Ben getting together and making something offical. COME ON lets get our own show and stick to it no matter what! Vincent This Time!

Ken Spriggs
03-12-2009, 06:58 AM
WHOA.........look at this for lovely vegas


03-12-2009, 07:04 AM
Hey oakhillshaunterTHEFEAR (http://hauntworld.com/haunted_house_forums/member.php?u=7735):

There are TONS of shows you long for in your post; Midwest Haunters, HauntCon, National Haunters Convention to name a few!

Do you not know about these show? You might want to look into them.


03-12-2009, 07:20 AM
Yes, Ben also posted that link last night.

I seriously considered not doing any tradeshows this year. Then I seriously considered scaling back to 1 booth. The economy is just so scary right now! But we are in the business of scaring people so what the heck!!!

In the end I just decided to support this show 100%. I honestly believe that Haunts will do really well this season for a number of reasons.


Gore Galore
03-12-2009, 07:49 AM
I think Doug is right in his projections.

I also think Haunts are up for a good year, and I know many did well last year.
You still have to take into consideration many haunts are for the love of haunting or the second job, so even if they did well the day job may not be doing well.

But regardless, I think the Haunt show is going to be great. I just have this exciting gut feeling so we went all out and designed a ton of new stuff. We actually had to make a new Catalog just for the 2009 product we made so much.

I hope the buyers will feel the same way.

All that we have left to do is take video footage and drop it into the DVD catalog and burn 'em.

Greg Chrise
03-12-2009, 12:25 PM
The funny part is that with the world wide market having all sorts of lay offs and bankruptcys to announce, the whole haunt culture is made up of people that from long ago figured out not to put all their eggs in one basket. We all use the term day job but, in a lot of cases it is the day business that for years has actually been businesses all run at the same time.

As such Larry's desire to see the tradeshow exactly how cool the retail shows work is not a proper match. That only works as a culture if everyone involved is in fact making a living 100% from haunted house doings. All the noise, the meeting up, the vacation atmosphere and such are culture. The fact that some of these things needed to spring up elsewhere is that the main show originally did not fit all the needs of the culture oreinted.

The go getters are not the proper customers. At least not for a long term tradeshow to thrive on. You have to continue to cultivate who the future customers will be with what ever silliness will engage them. eep them engaged until they are involved in the routine. Some things will temporarily simply go by the way side. I'm never going to pay $25 for a trophy to show off my hearse again. That was pretty clever as far as making maybe $15 per hearse or something.

And over a great number of years the bottom line to other events I have seen fail came down to the fundamanetal wrong of for example giving $10 to stand in someone's large yard while they operate their shop selling things. On a normal day you can go buy things and it costs nothing. When it gets right down to it, how great is it to just stand in a room or out in a field with thousands of other people and nothing is going on. There has to be something entertaining rather than expecting people to pay to entertain themelves.

Many people will have no choice but to hold back on making the scene as even with multiple business intrests they are all tugging at each other. People that truely have jobs that get weekly paychecks have no idea how to spend money to make money and won't. These same people might figure it out though when there is no more regular paycheck and they have figured out this industry over some time. Again, customers of the future.

I've been seeing lots of articles on the dates the economy has gone through some serious cycles and they seem to be exactly at the times when I was hopelessly unemployed. Once self employed I have never had a day off for the past 16 years. People are poor because they don't go to work whether that is acepting a 20 hour a week job or being unemployed so many months ever year.

People with there string of own businesses will support the show and spend what ever to come support the show. It has always been tight for everyone to elect to do this. Nothing has changed at all.

This economic scouring will weed out a few haunts too as the customers buying tickets is where all this theoretical cash flow comes from. If the haunt wasn't great, they might not come out. Still, they weren't great because they weren't spending any money to be great so again nothing different in the haunt market.

Unfortunately logic would say to only deal with the qualified buyers and somehow make the business engaged in not cost any money or be a drag on what has to be done to make money in a positive way. It is going to be like that with out having to make up any new rules. The tight rope is that the real work and income will come from those who could care less what the economy is doing. They are going about business as usual and the work they are doing to make the money to begin with are somewhat diversified over a range essencial services without so many great big contract jobs. Survivor level. They have been around for years and there is somewhat of a routine to not disrupt in order to have business as usual.

Right now the big opportunity is that having a dedication to actually having an inventory of stuff to work from will rule. Those that will be making things off of a deposit only are going to fail or really weren't serious enough to be involved in what ever business.

Even if it appears that 50% was chopped out attendance wise, it is still probably what it really was anyhow with dedicated buyers. It was a success anyhow! There may not have been the out of control fluff of the past but, it was still happening. Because the financial structure came from many people with multiple incomes it simply illustrates who showed up are the geniuses that have figured out how the economy works long term. The whole customer base is people that have figured out how to network themselves out to many sectors of "jobs" to keep doing what they want to do.

The illusions of activity might be taken away but the core business will still be there in St. Louis. It is simply a total reset of what is crap, what is so much noise and not. Nothing to worry about. In fact even being judged from outside, because the money to support this tradeshow comes from the wide common ground, it will maybe out produce so many other shows it could be compared to and prove once and for all that it is a stand alone asset to Transworld. Not something some Trends research can predetermine.

This is the perfect time for everyone to support the show to the best of their capabilities because, it will be noticed as a steadfast industry in good times and bad.