Haunted House Tradeshows
FIND HAUNTED HOUSE AND AMUSEMENT CONVENTIONS 2022-23
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 February 2-5, 2023
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 Darkness Haunted House and St Louis Escape Room Tour - 2023 February 2-4, 2023 - The Darkness is one of America's best haunted houses along with the St Louis Escape Room offer tours to the industry during the Transworld Haunt Tradeshow. Learn More about these tours at www.HauntTours.com
Halloween Retail and Party Show - Las Vegas, NV 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. January 10-13, 2023
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!!!! Show Dates November 15-18, 2022 in Orlando Florida.
For more information visit them at http://www.iaapa.org
Midwest Haunters Convention
MHC is held in Rosemont, Illinios June 10-12, 2022 . 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.
Amusement Expo: A really big amusement tradeshow with video games, insurance companies, ticketing, everything vending and companies who build amusement attractions. Each year this show is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. https://www.amusementexpo.org/2022/Public/Enter.aspx
International Makeup Artist Trade Show
This is held in Los Angeles in January. 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
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
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. This is a MAJOR SHOW which focus on horror and make up! This is a must see for any haunted house industry member. 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: 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
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/
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.