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Hauntworld Magazine Back Issues
The 2021 Transworld Haunted House Convention/Tradeshow is now complete and behind us. Now Transworld looks forward to producing the annual Midwest Haunters Convention June 25, 2021 (learn more details click here)
Watch our Transworld 2021 show floor highlight videos below and subscribe to our youtube page for more updates about the haunted house industry.
Transworld 2021 was not the same show we've seen in the past due to covid related issues. Transworld was forced to cancel the 2020 show, then delay the 2021 show until May, causing a lot of headaches. Despite the event being postponed until May the convention was very successful if for no other reason than it happened. Tradeshows for nearly every industry have either been canceled all together or pushed back until late summer. Moving the haunted house show back any later than May, would have been pointless for the haunted house industry. Haunt owners need months not days to produce their attractions. Vendors need months not days or weeks to fill orders. May was never going to work for either side however just having the show was a first step back. Everything should return to normal in 2022 with Transworld hosting their convention in March 2022.
Transworld deserves a lot of praise for pulling off the show, despite all the challenges. As we predicted here at Hauntworld most vendors wouldn't be able to take a lot of orders and this was the case. Once the show was announced for May opposed to March, buyers took to the phones and placed millions of dollars in orders prior to the show happening. With that being said vendors who hadn't yet filled all of their production schedule filled those schedules by the end of the first or second day of the show. Many buyers were very disappointed when they visited a booth and exhibitors told them they're no longer taking orders for 2021. Transworld moving the show back to March in 2022 should change the dynamic for most haunted attraction owners buying habits, with more orders being placed at Transworld. Transworld also did their best to organize events for buyers such as a vampire magic show, trips to the famous City Museum and a haunted house tour of Six Flags which received mixed reviews. At the end of the day Transworld did their best despite the all the constant road blocks due to covid. Hopefully now covid is behind us.
Covid 19 situation has changed many industries including the haunted attraction industry. So what should you expect from a haunted house convention in 2022?
First lets start with a reality check, haunted attraction owners have been woke! Haunted Attraction owners now realize they can cut their marketing budgets in half thanks to digital marketing. Additionally they can cut their labor costs by almost 50% rethinking how they operate. Haunted attraction owners going forward are cutting their staff by 30 to 40%, and reducing operation days by 15 to 25% thereby cutting down labor overall by a lot! The haunted attraction industry is no longer about being open every day, or having 125 actors, or having the World record longest haunted attraction but simply giving your guests a great experience. As haunted attraction owners learned giving guests a great experience doesn't mean just making them scream, but creating photo opportunities, uncharged attractions, and more. Most haunted attraction owners have branched out to create their own escape rooms, axe throwing and other year around business, leaving their haunts with less attention.
Owning and operating a haunted attraction isn't a hobby its a JOB, and your JOB is to make money, otherwise what started as your HOBBY is now your NIGHTMARE! Wake up people, if you're having FUN operating your HAUNTED HOUSE then YOU are doing something WRONG! Operating haunted houses is hard work, and require a lot of operational skills to keep them safe and fun for your customers.
Transworld on the other hand now faces new challenges. The haunted house industry is NOT growing and neither is the escape room industry. What we've seen from the escape room show is reduction and there is a simple answer... there was too many escape rooms and now many are closed or closing. Furthermore as I predicted the haunted house industry would dive into this industry and basically take it over. Haunt owners brought more theming, animations, special fx, and proved a point that escapes aren't about the puzzles they're about the SHOW! Here is where we're at with conventions/tradeshows... most of the exhibitors know the buyers, and now understand clearly how to sells their goods directly covid forced them to learn direct marketing. I would predict many vendors will cut down booths going into the future, while turning more attention to direct marketing, a skill they honed during the pandemic.
Look at Poison Props, Unit 70 and others they sold OUT 110% without a tradeshow, while other vendors sold out 75 to 80% prior to the 2021 show. These are new realities so I have a few suggestions to keep the show going strong and grow. Originally the convention benefited the vendors more than the buyers, with Transworld finding buyers and bringing them to the vendors. Now its flipped the show is more for the entertainment and education of the buyers than the vendors. All we kept hearing was buyers want the show, buyers want the show to happen they want to get together... while vendors are like wow we're almost sold out. Tradeshows and conventions are now mostly the benefit of the buyers due to vendors knowing their customer base and access for direct marketing.
Buyers should be willing to pay up to $250.00 per person for entry to help offset programs to keep vendors buying more booth spaces. Transworld should raise their prices for entry, thereby creating more revenue to offer venders discounts to keep current booth sizes. Buyers don't need vendors cutting their booths in half, we need vendors to spend all winter making new products, and bring everything including the kitchen sink. In order to make this happen buyers will need to spend a lot more to help offset other costs for vendors benefit. Transworld should also look to add another industry to the mix such as bringing back what's left of Halloween retail or adding a family fun center show (amusement expo). Transworld should take advantage of bringing so many small amusement business owners to one show, by adding an entire new section with a focus on family entertainment. Furthermore Transworld could grow the food/beverage vendors by creating an entire section just for them. The bottom line Transworld SHOULD NOT put their focus on trying to grow the show with haunt vendors, but vendors who would benefit from all the theme parks to small amusement operators who already attend. The haunt vendor side might shrink but there is plenty of room to grow the show for the benefit of all the buyers. We need more insurance companies, digital marketing, business to business services, food and beverage all the way to amusement attractions, games and vending. Look at ticketing, once all the entertainment ticketing companies found out about the industry they flooded the show floor, the same will happen with other digital marketing companies, food service, insurance and everything between. Most haunts must realize you don't grow revenue by buying another monster, its from finding better business to business services. Haunters need to be shown the way especially with seminars and education opportunties.
Can we just be honest for one second, haunt owners are moving away from haunts every day when they venture off opening a bar with axe throwing, escape rooms or even a family entertainment center. Successful haunted house owners are already TELLING this industry... we're looking to start new business which create revenue every single day! Transworld should pounce, they have buyers, now find new industries to fill the space from wall to wall! FOCUS on growing this into a mega amusement show, and please move away from things like Haunters Hangout. Vendors are at your show to MAKE MONEY, not to talk to enthusiasts about how to paint or mold something. Let's focus on real buyers, and making this show a tradeshow not a haunt fan convention, time is better spent growing the show and reaching out to all ends of the amusement industry. This show can make a complete transition from convention to tradeshow if we raise addmission, focus on real buyers needs which is adding more business to business and amusement vendors. Transworld has an opportunity to create a show to rival IAAPA and I hope to see this happen.
In closing let me say once again KUDOS to Transworld for pulling off what seemed impossible but now the real work begins as the landscape has changed. What will happen next no matter what we'll be here to report it! Good luck in 2021.
PS: Sorry we didn't open our haunted houses. We'll reconsider opening in 2021.
|Posted by Larry 5.48 PM Read Comments (
The Midwest Haunters Convention is the largest Halloween show of its kind in the US, dedicated to ALL Haunters; actors, enthusiasts, home/pro haunters and Halloween enthusiasts. Open to the public the MHC features a haunted house, horror and Halloween trade show, educational seminars & workshops, a chartered haunted house bus tour on Friday, contests, family-friendly activities and much more! The show happens Wisconsin Center - June 26-27, 2021. Pre-convention Haunt Tours happen June 25, 2021. The show includes a smaller tradeshow filled with haunt vendors, seminars and much more.
PRE-CONVENTION HAUNTED HOUSE BUS TOUR
|Posted by Larry 12.45 AM Read Comments (
What: Transworld Halloween - Haunted House - Christmas Lights - Escape Room tradeshow.
Where: St Louis Missouri America's Center
When: May 6-9, 2021
What to Expect: The annual tradeshow will feature hundreds of vendors selling haunted house props, costumes, masks, animations and busines to business services. Additionally the show has morphed into a Christmas Light and Display tradeshow with a massive section of vendors to help you build a Christmas attraction. The show also feature a large section dedicated to escape rooms, virtual reality and much more.
Events: Transworld is offering tons of educational seminars, vampire ball, trips to City Museum and Six Flags. The Darkness haunted house will not feature a tour in 2021.
More Details: You can find more details at www.HaaShow.com
Watch Promo Video Below
Health and Safety: The health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors and staff is of the utmost importance to us. TransWorld is working closely with the America’s Center, Explore St. Louis, and other show partners on multiple health and safety measures. Detailed health and safety plans will be communicated closer to the show. Please review our health and safety page for more details: https://haashow.com/health-and-safety/
|Posted by Larry 10.31 AM Read Comments (
Transworld Halloween Haunt and Escape Tradeshow is finally happening after more than a year of waiting. Due to Covid the 2020 annual tradeshow was canceled which sent an entire industry into a spiral. Many haunted houses and escape rooms closed their doors forever, while most powered thru and are ready for the annual tradeshow to return. The tradeshow was originally scheduled for early March 2021 but due to ongoing covid restrictions it was pushed back until May 6-9, 2021 in St Louis Missouri. You can get more details at www.HAASHOW.com
So what should you expect at the 2021 tradeshow? Most vendors will still exhibit because their 2020 money was rolled over to 2021. Some vendors however will not exhibit despite losing deposits like Unit 70. Some vendors are choosing not to exhibit because they're already totally sold out and can't take anymore orders for 2021. A tradeshow for the haunted house industry in May is basically only worth about 25% of its original value. About 25% of all vendors orders come between November and January taking advantage or winter sales. Another 50% of orders are placed right around the Transworld show and the balance about 25% are placed through out the summer months. Once Transworld announced the show was moving to May buyers started placing orders and now most vendors are nearly sold out. Our guess is most vendors have about 25% or less capacity for new orders! Our advice DO NOT wait until the Transworld Show call your favorite vendors and BUY NOW otherwise you may not get the opportunity to order.
We also do NOT expect you can buy as many products off the show floor as vendors are bringing products already sold and using Transworld for pick up! AGAIN ORDER NOW! Most vendors we've spoken to have stated they're already SOLD OUT for 2021 or taking orders for late Summer early September. If you wait for Transworld show which is another full month away you might be disappointed.
A tradeshow in May doesn't work for the haunted house industry but Transworld had no choice it was May or nothing. The haunted house industry wants to get together, and try to get back on a path of normalcy. Vendors need the bulk of orders to be placed long before May and haunt owners know better than to wait until May. Even though many vendors will have limited capacity to take orders at this years show, there is still plenty of reasons to attend. All the seminars and educations opportunities are still available with very few changes from what you signed up for in 2020. The communication with other haunters is invaluable, and honestly walking the tradeshow gives you creative energy to take back to your business. Transworld should be back on track in 2022 with dates in early March and hopefully by this Halloween season there are no more covid related issues. We do however want to stress that many vendors if not most will still have some product on the show floor to sell, or ability to take some orders but do NOT take that chance... ORDER NOW.
Escape rooms have been drastically impacted by covid, losing corporate parties, single bookings into unsold games, and having to close for a period. Many haunted houses made the early call NOT to open for 2020 Halloween fearing a lack of interest, which turned out to be the exact opposite. Haunted Houses that opened got overwhelming demand for customers. No word yet if all the Christmas vendors will return because no tradeshow floor map has been updated to Transworld website. With that being said the Christmas industry had a RECORD YEAR... keep in mind people were looking for something to do and most Christmas shows are drive thru!
Overall i believe the show despite every curve ball thrown in its direction,will be overwhelming successfull. You should attend the show and absorb some of that creative energy, talk to vendors, place some orders, take in some education and feel great about the future! Owning and operating Christmas, Escape or haunted house attractions is a passion based industry and the passion is there to be together surrounded by what makes them motivated to get back to work. Even though I'm strongly advicing you to PLACE ORDERS NOW, the show floor will be FLUSH with products to see, touch and experience. This coming Transworld show is for the now and the future of getting all these industries back on track! Support Transworld and support the vendors!
Despite all the hurdles the show will be a success just because it happened. Have fun and have a great time.
We will not be doing behind the scenes tours of our escape rooms in 2021 however they're open for bookings at www.StLouisEscape.com
A word of warning if you don't book NOW, our escape rooms are basically sold out just from local business every single weekend. Since last Transworld St Louis Escape has added Frankenstein Escape, Dracula Escape, and Wonderful Wizard of Oz plus a blacklight mini golf and arcade. Book today!
As for haunted house tours, we initially thought about opening Creepyworld and started overhauling it the minute we closed for the 2020 Halloween season. We have already spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to get Creepyworld ready for Transworld but over the winter temp dropped below zero and stopped us cold. We continue to work on Creepyworld building a new pumpkin barn, funeral home haunted house, and a video mapping attraction. Its not likely that we could get Creepyworld done in time for Transworld, even though we're currently working on it everyday. As we speak we have 4 to 6 people working on Creepyworld every single day. If something changes we'll let you know. We decided not to attempt opening Lemp because we didn't even open Lemp for the Halloween season. Lemp is located inside a cave and needs a lot of cleaning and repair we just didn't have time. As for The Darkness we renovated the Darkness as if we would open for Transworld and just completed the total 2021 renovation in time for a local special event called Scream Break. We added several new scenes including a haunted conservatory, haunted pumpkin barn, new gift store, thousands dollars in upgrades, this on top of overthink we did leading up to 2020 Transworld.
The Darkness can open however we have yet to decide if we want to attempt opening for Transworld 2021. If something changes it would be very last minute. If any tour is added it will be a behind the scenes tour only.
Again have a great time at Transworld 2021!
PS: If you see Rich and Jen walking around the Tradeshow floor give them a HUGE THANK YOU! Trying to get this show back on track has been an overwhelming acheivement. Thank you Jen and Rich from Hauntworld!
|Posted by Larry 8.52 PM Read Comments (
It's hard to believe during these challenging times that the holiday season is here already! As we all scramble to come up with creative ways to safely celebrate with family and friends, we want to update you on the status of our 2021 show. Due to the spike in numbers regarding COVID-19 we have made the difficult decision to push back our show dates from March to May. Our new dates are May 6-9, 2021.
Please know that TransWorld is very committed to producing the best show we can in 2021. To deliver on that promise, we are working hard to run the show in accordance with the current COVID guidelines from the CDC, the State of Missouri, the City of St. Louis, America's Center, and our hotel and vendor partners. Guidelines may change and we recommend that you frequently review the "Health and Safety" page on our sites for updates. The health and safety of our exhibitors, buyers and staff is of the utmost importance to us.
We understand that this has been a very frustrating process for everyone. We truly appreciate everyone's support for our shows in such uncertain times. We are looking forward to seeing all of you in St. Louis May 6-9, 2021 for an exciting event that will bring you products, seminars and networking opportunities to jump start your business for the 2021 season!
Regarding booked hotel rooms:
We are currently working with the hotels on a smooth transition of room reservations. It will take a few weeks for the reservations departments to move the reservations as well as send emails to you, if appropriate. In addition, it will take the hotels a few weeks to send TransWorld updated information for our travel page (new deposit dates, cut off date, booking links, etc.) Please give the hotels a few weeks to implement the changes in your reservations as outlined below.
All current hotel reservations for the 2021 March show dates will either be rebooked or rolled over to the new May 2021 dates by the hotels. Hotel procedures differ at each property. If your hotel reservation has been cancelled and rebooked you will receive a new confirmation number via email. If your reservation has been rolled over, you may not receive a new confirmation number. If you have any questions please contact the hotel directly.
Please review the list below to determine whether your reservation is being rebooked or rolled over.
Hotels Hotels that will roll over your reservations for you:
- Holiday Inn
- Hampton Inn
- Hotel St. Louis
Hotels Hotels that will rebook your reservations for you
- Four Seasons (or they will call you)
- Embassy Suites
Hotels: Hotels that will either rebook or roll over your reservations for you.
- Drury Arch
- Drury Convention Center
If you need to make a change to your reservation or cancel it entirely, please contact the hotel directly. Hotel information can be found at https://haashow.com/travel/hotels/
We wish you the happiest of holidays and we look forward to seeing you in St. Louis in May, 2021! As always, please feel free to call us with any questions you may have,
The TranWorld Team
For information about TransWorld's shows visit
|Posted by Larry 8.01 PM Read Comments (