Haunted House Tradeshows
Find Haunted House Tradeshows, Haunted Conventions, Horror Conventions and Amusement Tradeshows at www.HauntWorld.com. You have found the most updated page on the entire web to help you find the biggest and best conventions and events for people who own or operate amusement attractions. If you have an event coming up please let us know.
Haunted Attraction and Halloween Tradeshows and Conventions
TransWorld’s National Halloween & Haunted Attractions Show St. Louis, Missouri March 17-20, 2016
The haunted house industry FINALLY has its own haunted house show and it will be held in the America Center in St. Louis, Missouri in March 2016. Prepare for four jam packed days of over 100,000 square feet of haunted house products, amusement products, seminars, education, and haunt tours through one of America's best haunted houses "The Darkness'. This is THE MAIN event of the year if you own or operate a haunted attraction, amusement park or any sort of amusement facilty. The show floor will showcase over 100 vendors from the Halloween and Haunted House industry! Several entertain events are held, annual meetings for the Haunted House Association, tours through several haunted houses like The Darkness and much more. This show now features a Halloween retail section as well as the haunted house section now making the show over 200,000 square feet. Learn more about this event at www.haashow.com
The Haunted House Industries Biggest Haunted House tour is The Darkness which happens each year during the biggest Haunt Show in St Louis Missouri every March. The Darkness is located in St Louis Missouri just two miles from the convention center and thousands of haunt owners and operators will buy new props by day and tour The Darkness by night. The Darkness hosts behind the scenes tours and live actor events. The Darkness is one of the best and biggest haunted houses in the World. This is the event you can't miss learn more at www.TheDarkness.com Get your tickets online each January through March. This event sells out. Watch the video of past years to see what you missed. Dates for the 2016 Tour are March 16-20, 2016. The Darkness tour this year will include a tour thru the Darkness, Zombie Laser Tag Game, Escape Games, and an all-new zombie themed haunted house. The biggest tour ever produced. Watch the video from last years tour.
Halloween Retail and Party Show - New Orleans, LA www.HalloweenPartyExpo.com - This is the biggest single Halloween retail show on the planet with the biggest vendors and suppliers in the Halloween retail industry. If you own or operate a Halloween retail store this is a very valuable tradeshow to attend. The Show takes place each January now located in New Orleans the party capital of America.
IAAPA Attractions Expo
The IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) show is the biggest amusement show on the entire planet held every year in November. The show is over 750,000 square feet and offer over 1000 vendors. On average there are about 100 haunt related vendors to choose from. Additionally IAAPA has been producing haunted house seminars each year at their event. If you are in the amusement industry and own any sort of amusement attraction including a Haunted Attraction YOU MUST attend this show!!!! Next years show in November 2016 in Orlando Florida.
For more information visit them at http://www.iaapa.org
Midwest Haunters Convention
MHC is held in Columbus, Ohio each July. Learn from many other haunted house owners, actors and more. MHC has been very aggressive with seminars for haunt owners and now offers a full tradeshow with vendors and more. MHC has become a really nice show with a pretty big tradeshow floor, the most seminars and events of any of the shows offered each year. The show somewhat leans towards the home haunts and enthusiasts more so than just the professional haunt owners however the show features a ton of vendors and events for both home and professional haunters. This show highlights both sides of the haunt industry enthusiasts and professional attraction owners. The biggest benefit of this show is tons of haunt tours.
Visit them on the web at www.midwesthauntersconvention.com
Corn Maze Conference (Corn Maize) : Each year the Corn Maize industry gathers for conference held each March. The conference consisits of meetings, seminars, education, events, tours of attractions and a small tradeshow floor that includes industry suppliers and much more. To learn more about this event visit their website at www.cornparty.com.
National Haunters Convention (Philadelphia, Pennslvania)
This years event will be held on the last weekend of March and features a small tradeshow floor, haunt tours, and seminars. The show leans more to enthusiasts and home haunters than professional haunted house owners. The show is more focused on trying to lure in local PA and PA area haunt owners to the show. Because there are so many haunts in the area the show planners are able to offer tours through some of the best haunts in the nation. We suggest this show if you are within driving distance.
Visit them on the web at http://www.nationalhauntersconvention.com/
HauntCon travels each year to a different city so that attendees can visit haunted houses around the country. Hauntcon is held each year in the month of April. The tradeshow floor is smaller but with some really cool haunt vendors with cool products on display. These shows (MHC, HAUNTCON, etc) do not offer the sheer amount of vendors and massive tradeshow displays as the Transworld Haunt does however because of their cheaper booth prices it opens the doors to smaller up and coming vendors. Typically at these shows you will find stuff you can't find at any other shows and this goes triple for Hauntcon. The awesome aspects of Hauntcon are the show travels from city to city so the haunt tours involve different haunts each year. Most attendees to Hauntcon are usually visiting from driving distance so if you are near Orlando in late April we suggest a visit to Hauntcon. This years Hauntcon will be held in Alabama in late January early February 2016
Visit them at www.hauntcon.com
International Makeup Artist Trade Show
This is held in Los Angeles in June. Make-up artists, vendors, manufacturers and enthusiasts convene for the make-up world’s biggest gathering to discuss, display, discover and collect the best the industry has to offer.
Visit them on the web at www.makeupartistshow.com
Canadian Haunters Convention: Haunts from around Canada will visit this show to trade ideas, teach seminars and much more. www.canadahaunts.ca
West Coast Haunters Convention: Another smaller show where haunters will gather to learn new tips and trade ideas. www.westcoasthaunters.homestead.com
Face and Body Art International Convention: FABAIC is the annual Face and Body Art International Convention which takes place in May/June in Orlando, Florida. Painters from around the world gather together to experience the largest face and body painting convention in the US. For more information visit www.faceandbodyart.net
Great Lakes FrightFest: This is another small haunters gathering with a focus on Michigan hauntsevents include demos, door prizes and events for kids of all ages. Visit them on the web at www.greatlakesfrightfest.com
Ironstock: Is a large event for haunters and enthusiasts in the Indiana area with tons of fun events for those who attend including how to events, seminars and events for kids. Visit their website at http://www.theironkingdom.com/Ironstock/
HALLOWEEN RETAIL TRADESHOWS
Transworld Halloween and Party Show: This is the longest running Halloween retail show in America held in St. Louis on the last weekend of February or early March of each year. The show floor will showcase some of the biggest Halloween retail vendors, seminars, events and much more. www.hcpshow.com
Halloween and Party Expo: This show is held in late January in Houston, Texas and features the largest support from the Halloween retail vendors and showcases major league retail vendors such as Rubies and many more. This is strickly a Halloween retail show for retail masks, costumes, and more. visit them on the web at www.halloweenpartyexpo.com
HORROR and Science Fiction CONVENTIONS
Listed below are several horror conventions where you can go and find awesome Halloween toys, collecables, and meet tons of awesome celebs from some of your favorite movies. If you own a haunted house visiting this shows helps you meet celebs who can be hired to work at your haunted house!
Monsterpalooza: This show is probably a cross between a horror show and a haunt related event. You will find the best monster creators in the WORLD at this event, plus several high end collecables, all sorts of masks, monsters, and much more. Monsterpalooza has two events each year one in the spring and one in the fall. Plus this event features several horror celebs from some of your favorite moster movies. This show is in April and you can find them on the web here: http://www.monsterpalooza.com
This is the biggest horror convention on the planet. If you own a haunted house you can go here and meet celebrities who would come to your haunted house, find interesting horror stuff and more. Chiller Theatre must be the biggest horror convention of its kind anywhere... we strongly suggest you visit this one!
Visit them on the web at www.chillertheatre.com
Horrorfind will takes place in Baltimore, MD. There are some haunted house seminars, but mostly meet tons of horror celebrities & find interesting horror toys. Visit them at http://www.horrorfindweekend.com/state/maryland/
Weekend of Horrors: In conjunction with Fangoria magazine Creation Entertain produces several events usually in New York, Los Angles, or Chicago. Visit their website to learn more details: www.creationent.com
Mask Fest: Meet tons of celebs and some of the best monster creators in the World. Show is held in Indianapolis in late March. http://www.maskfest.com/
Dragon Con: Dragon Con is a huge event in the Atlanta area with tons of science fiction and fantasy movies, gaming, comics and more. www.dragoncon.org
Comic Con: The biggest horror, science fiction and comic book celebration in the World. Comic Con is held in San Diego, California. http://www.comic-con.org/
Other Tradeshows and Events
Theme Parks and Fun Centres Show: Dubie, UAE www.themeparksdubai.com
International Gaming & Entertainment Expo Macau www.gaming-exhibition.com
AAM & Museum Expo, late April 2008, Denver, CO www.aam-us.org
E3 Electronic Entertainment Exposition LA www.e3expo.com
AIA, Las Vegas www.aia.org
infocomm, Las Vegas infocomm05.expoexchange.com
IAAPA Asia Show www.iaapaasianexpo.com
Trade Shows or Conventions-Who is What???
When I first started looking into the Haunted House business in 1998 it was a much simpler time. We didn’t have the vastness of the internet to find information. After a long hard search, there was but one choice, the Transworld Halloween and Party Show. It really wasn’t a Haunted House show per se, but a retail show that had a small section dedicated to Haunted House related products. The good thing was they had a pre-show seminar series that dealt with the business aspects of haunts!
We attended for an eye opening experience! Seasoned Haunters shared information on how to successfully create a haunt. There were even some vendors that actually had Haunt related props! I was in “Halloween Heaven”. While the show was enormous, I learned quickly that the focus of the show was for retailers. There were some interesting costumes and props available, if you wanted to buy a dozen with a three dozen minimum. But even that didn’t deter the faithful from attending, and attend we did! The Haunt Section began to grow quickly. More attendees created more vendors. But since the focus of the TW show is retail, the Haunters always felt they were treated like the “red headed step child”. So others decided to tap into that market and perhaps cater to this foundling industry.
Fast forward ten years…. Now we have more choices than ever and easier access to find them; TW, IAAPA, Fun Expo, Midwest Haunters, HauntCon, National Haunters Convention, Ironstock and the list grows…. . So where do you go to experience that “Halloween Heaven” I had experienced so long ago? Some will claim that they are THE convention or show for the industry. Is one better than another? Which should you attend? How do we sort through the confusion to unearth the facts? Foremost it is YOUR focus and needs that should dictate the show or shows you attend.
While most all are referred to as conventions, there are actually differences. In reality there are two basic types, trade shows and conventions. A trade show is an industry gathering whose purpose is to put products and services in front of prospective clients. A convention is a gathering of individuals to discuss or engage in a common interest. Over time the line between them has blurred. Trade shows saw a need to provide additional content and sometimes entertainment to entice their attendees. Vendors looked at the conventions and saw an opportunity to present their products to these like minded individuals. So which is best for you?
You must decide, “…what is my purpose?” Is it business, personal growth, or just entertainment? Are you the owner, manager, an actor, a promoter, a technician? Relatively speaking, those with business related functions will attend trade shows; fan and personal related functions attend conventions. The trade shows focus on business aspects, ways to develop and grow your business. They draw from the owner/operators. Conventions tend to entertain more. They will draw more peripheral people. Individuals who work for haunts or hobbyists with more of a fan interest in the business. It’s easy to tell the difference, in a group, the enthusiast asks what new scare you use, the owner/operator asks what new promotion or advertising you use. The trade show motivates you to build the business; the convention motivates you to enjoy the business.
Following this article is a HauntWorld Event Calendar. It contains info and links to the major shows. If we look at what is available for the Haunt industry and use our basic classifications we see that: TransWorld Vegas, TransWorld St. Louis, IAAPA, and Fun Expo are trade shows. Midwest Haunters, HauntCon, National Haunters, Ironstock and the remainder are conventions.
We see that the major vendors usually attend the trade shows and start up or smaller vendors attend the conventions. Trade shows cost thousands of dollars per booth, conventions cost hundreds of dollars. Trade show sales are in the thousands per transaction which justify the costs, conventions in the hundreds. This may explain why the major vendors focus on the trade shows. A convention may highlight a new company, but can they survive till next year? If they do, chances are they end up at the trade shows.
Let’s highlight some of the shows and what they have to offer.
TransWorld Halloween and Party ShowVegas: Halloween retail. Great for your gift shops, costume shops, high end make up, and a great place to find unique products.
TransWorld Haunted Attraction Tradeshow St. Louis: biggest selection of Halloween props, animations, and high tech equipment. Special tours, top notch education, highest turn out of haunt owners and operators. Venders typically work all winter to develop new product exclusively for this show. This year is the first time TW has separated the Haunters from the Party Show. Haunt tours are offered however they are not the focus rather bringing buyers and sellers together.
IAAPA: Biggest amusement show in the world. Products cover the gambit from haunters to major amusement parks. IAAPA show offers suppliers for products you may not find anywhere else on the planet and vendors from nearly every nation around the World. Business related education including some haunted house seminars are offered. Show moves to Las Vegas in 2009.
Fun Expo: A smaller version of IAAPA. Focus is towards the smaller family fun centers or small amusement business owner. Wide variety of products, services and suppliers that can be utilized by haunt owners to expand their businesses such as concession suppliers, insurance companies, theming supplies to high tech equipment. Business oriented education is offered. Haunt vendors are starting to attend this show as they reach out to FEC industry.
Midwest Haunters, HauntCon, National Haunters Convention: These shows focus on the attendees with activities such as parties, haunt tours, hearse rallies, make up wars, actor training and a vast array of seminars. Midwest is the oldest and biggest with probably the second highest amount of haunt vendors after Transworld. MHC has more actor activities than any other convention in addition to the biggest lineup of haunt tours. HauntCon is the only convention that changes locations so you have a different variety of haunts to tour each year. Hauntcon also offers a great deal of affordable education programs, hearse rallies, costume ball, and garage sale tables for used equipment. Hauntcon also features a tradeshow floor with a variety of vendors. National Haunters is the newest convention located in Philadelphia area but is developing a good reputation. They have attracted some name presenters for their seminars and a host of exciting events plus haunt tours. The strong point of these three is the variety of haunt tours available.
Chiller Theatre: Biggest horror show on the planet. Best option to meet and contract celebrities for publicity appearances at your haunt.
Mask Association Horrorhound Weekend: Specialized for the mask making and collector industry, meet celebrities, good place to send your specific personnel and or find niche companies who make masks and costumes.
Ironstock: Started out as a Haunter Gathering. While the focus is a social gathering they have some education and smaller vendors. This event is about passion and going strong all these years later!
Whether attending a trade show or a convention, there is no reason NOT to have a good time! (Why do you think there are so many conventions in Vegas?) See what each has to offer. Attending Haunt tours can be fun AND educational. Speaking of education, just because there are a ton of seminars available does not mean they will all be beneficial. If you have free seminars it is usually because the speakers are not paid. Fee oriented seminars usually must provide a higher value to justify the charge. Again, this is a basic rule of thumb. Obviously there have been awesome free seminars, but inadequate paid seminars are seldom repeated.
The important fact remains that the best avenue to continued success is education and exposure to cutting edge trends and technology. To that end, attending trade shows and conventions can be the single most important thing you do for your business.