Transworld Haunted House Tradeshow Postponed - Updates

Wed, March 18, 2020

Get all the latest Transworld postponed details.  

What we know right now?  

Currently the show is postponed due to the virus outbreak.  The convention center in St Louis has a 60 day block against gatherings which includes tradeshows.  

Transworld is actively trying to find a new dates.  The first dates available are in the middle of May.  The most logical date would be over memorial day weekend.  Our opinions here at Hauntworld is any dates into Mid-June do not work for the industry.  If dates outside of late May do not present themselves the only logical thing to do cancel the show for 2020.  We feel if the virus calms down within 30 days, and memorial day dates are open we should book the show and make it happen. 

Beyond May dates nothing really makes sense.  The question is will people attend a tradeshow over memorial day?  Personally we believe the real buyers and vendors will due to the circumstances.  So the real question should be posed to the haunted house industry will you skip your traditional family outings and attend a much needed tradeshow in St Louis over Memorial Day week?

If the show was shortened to 2 and a half days would you make the trek to the tradeshow?  In other words the show starts Thursday at 2pm and ends Saturday at 7 pm, allowing people to head back home on Sunday still able to join events on Monday.  Would this make a difference for you?  Reason for starting the show Thursday at 2pm would allow 60% of TW vendors to set up the day of, saving them time and money. 

Our personal opinion is yes the industry will be there the shows attendance might be cut in half, but it won't matter because the real buyers will be there.  At this point it doesn't matter if 10,000 people attend, because clearly 60% of everyone who traditionally attends are not serious buyers anyway.  

The Tradeshow is needed vendors are hurting and if Memorial Day is the only option then yes it should happen.  All of this is moot if the virus impact hasn't drastically decreased, and bans of public assembly aren't lifted.   Transworld is hurt by this, as is every single vendor who timed everything around being in St Louis  March 2020.  

Some vendors are asking Transworld to simply declare the show cancelled assuming then finally buyers will start making orders... this is clearly ill informed idea.  Why?  Haunted House owners right now are not seriously worried YET!   The haunted house season wouldn't start for about 6 months why would a haunted house owner buy anything right now not knowing what is going to happen?  Just because Transworld declares no tradeshow for 2020 won't change anything.  Unless you're offering discounts so unreal, haunt owners simply aren't buying at the moment.  

Vendors best hope is if the panic drops, Disney re-opens, sports go back into action, and things get somewhat normal in about 30 days.  Personally I believe that is exactly what will happen and if it does, vendors will need a tradeshow and fast.  Vendors will need to be prepared for a moments notice to get ready and again that rides on Transworld getting the date that make sense and the bans are lifted.    Let me just state that this really isn't up to Transworld, or any of us, bans have to be lifted or this entire article is worthless.  

I still strongly believe the main buyers will not miss the show for some lake side party over memorial day.  I also believe that haunt owners will buy if or when everything calms down.   So what are vendors suppose to do right now?  Let's start with this message... this is no time to give up! 

You can't give up!  This is your way of life, this is how you support your workers, your family!  The Government is giving loans, so borrow, or you just do your best until the sun comes back out and it will!   Cut your staffs hours to the bare bones, whatever it takes to weather the storm but just don't lose faith.  Everything will get better, and when it does the buyers will be there for the vendors, but vendors will need a show.   

If the show is cancelled for 2020, and the panic ends by early Summer, haunted houses might make it out alive but what about the vendors.  Our industry needs vendors now more than ever.  We will have to do everything we can to help them.  But if owners aren't willing to part with their money between now and the end of this nightmare, you need to be ready.  Can you slowly stockpile inventory?  Borrow money from the government, rent a storage unit and start stockpiling inventory for either new show dates, or for this summer when I expect buyers start making calls asking 'HEY WHAT DO YOU HAVE'?  If you're going to survive this you have to bet on your own company, and this nightmare ending with haunt owners starting to buy buy buy!  

What should haunted house owners do? 

If you're in a position to help vendors and write orders please do that and now!  If discounts are being offered take advantage betting this will all end and your haunt will open in September and do amazing.   But I understand if you want to wait and see what happens.  If things don't get better soon, I would start planning how you can operate your haunts with smaller staffs, cut back on expenses such as marketing, improvements, and even try to negotiate better leases if you don't own your property.  If this situation goes on into the Summer or even Mid-Summer many people will not have the money to attend haunts.  For the entire industries sake we need to get back to normal within the next 30 days and hope an end of May tradeshow can be pullled off. 

If that doesn't happen we'll just have to take it day by day! 

Honestly, and I'm usually right, (LOL) everything will calm down in about 14 days, and it will start with Disney re-opening its parks. 

Have faith but be prepared to make a sacrifice for the betterment of the industry, and your business.  We worked thru 911 and we'll work thru this nightmare together!   

We shall continue to post updates as we learn them.  Stay safe and stay scary! 

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