Haunted House and Halloween Tradeshow Review

Thu, April 03, 2014

Its been a long lead up to the biggest Haunted House and Halloween show in the WORLD... St Louis Missouri was the home again to the national haunted house industry tradeshow.  If I was being totally honestly the last couple of years this show has been a serious letdown simply from the standpoint of vendors not bringing cool new products to buy.  Overall I would say that vendors for the past several years have been copying each other, offering animations that seemed almost the same each and every single year.  Nothing new, nothing exciting more or less the thing just different wrapper.  However much to our shock and surprise the vendors blew away every expectation anyone could have ever hoped for!  Vendors are finally listening to the end users, they brought products that haunters wanted and needed.  Many years ago we made a call for less animations and more costumes and masks well... that happened in a major way. 

On this years tradeshow floor there were not many animation companies, but rather multiple mask and costume companies.  We can't even begin to count how many companies sold masks and costumes or tools for actors to use to scare guests.  It was simply in one word ... overwhelming.

I think the biggest reason for the change is due to the commitment that Transworld put into the show.  Many years ago when we stepped up and called for a haunt only show based on the premise that if you build it they will come Transworld did just that.  Yes Transworld did a show but the first show didn't have the effort, didn't have the scope the vision or the potential that the show will ultimately become.  We said if you build a haunt only show buyers will show up from other countries and what happened... this year they had buyers from over 30 different countries!  We said if you do a haunt only show more unique vendors would come wanting to sell to the OVER ONE BILLION dollar Halloween Attraction industry... what happened?  Well Transworld Show is now become more like IAAPA where the majority of the vendors are small with unique products and services rather than the handful of mega companies who bring the same thing every year.

Now you walk the show you don't know what to expect, who new product you might discover from a flashlight that records video, to a paranormal investigation device to a zip line to yes and I couldn't believe an entire military truck with paint ball guns.  The haunt industry now offers so many surprises you need to spend an entire day fishing through all the smaller booths to ensure you didn't miss anything.  Before you could walk this show in one hour tops and know and fully understand everything about it. Transworld now sees the light, they know the potential and they totally exploited it to the fullest... this was hands down the best show they have ever had!

Nearly 10,000 people attended this years show, the tradeshow floor was nearly sold out from one end to the other making it over double from the first year. 

So who were the big winners? 


There was at least not in my opinion any one single vendor who did any better than the next, no one company really stood out hands down more than the others it was the overall combination of everything that wins the award.  Why was the haunt industry owners the big winners?  Because haunt industry owner for the first time had every single type of vendor they could ever want from business to business companies, maks, costume to animation it was all there.  Running and operating a haunted house isn't about just making people scared its about marketing, operations, staffing, and so much more.  The haunted house owners won this year because the show delivered more than they could have asked or hoped for!  The vendors stepped up and delivered with so many new products it was hard to choose what new products you might want for your attraction.

Vendors feared more vendors new vendors taking their business, however that was more than overset with the new flux of buyers from oversears so VENDORS WIN AS WELL!

The biggest question mark... Transworld Exhibits themselves!  Why?  Well they have set the bar so high now they might not be able to top themselves, and haunters are notorious for wanting more for less.  Transworld started this show and took about half the hall now they got the whole entire hall and they got within 1/4 of filling it.  Can they reach bigger heights with this show, can they reach even more oversees buyers, new markets, and new industries?   At least based on what I saw this year I would have to say YES!

Other highlights of the show included The Darkness Haunted House tour which had their biggest attendance yet with over 1,500 people attending, and the City Museum event hosted over 1000 guests.   The seminars seemed really slow it seemed more people leaned on the early bid seminars and during the show had more interest in seeing the show then sitting through a seminar. 

If you missed this years Transworld Show you missed out big time!

Dates for the 2015 show are already posted.  See you in St Louis in 2015.

If you are not already create an account for the Hauntworld Forums or simply log in and view this thread to view hundreds of photos of the show! 


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