This March, the staff of HauntedIllinois.com attended
Transworld's 17th Annual Halloween and Attractions Show (featuring the Haunt
Show). The convention seemed to have a different feel, for some reason, compared to previous years. Perhaps
Transworld's registration fee was a contributing factor. For the first time in the history of the show, Transworld Exhibits Inc. added a mandatory $60 entry fee to the existing registration requirements ($50 if you paid in advance, online). I'm not 100% sure why they did it, but one could surmise that this was done in order to increase the ratio of serious buyers on the show floor and to reduce the number of attractions that brought
their entire crews. If that was indeed the reason, I can understand Transworld’s rationale; however, this
could also work against them, in the long run. I'm not sure if overall show attendance was affected by this policy change, but I do know of at least three lower-budget Illinois haunted attractions that decided not to attend the Haunt Show, as a result.
Because the convention was no longer free to attend, they beefed up security, to ensure that only qualified individuals made it onto the show floor. Not only were attendees required to wear their badges, but they also had to wear non-removable plastic security wristbands the entire weekend. I was told that this added security measure was necessary, in order to prevent people from passing their badges to other individuals who hadn’t paid the entry fee.
As for dynamic of the show floor itself, the ratio of Haunt Vendors vs. Wholesale Vendors was quite different from last year. While there was a significant increase in the size of the haunt section of the show, there seemed to be a drastic reduction in the number of wholesale vendors that were present. This really wasn't an issue for me personally, since the haunt vendors were the ones I was really interested in seeing, anyway.
This year, the show didn't have nearly as many revolutionary products, as it did clever adaptations of existing concepts. Even so, there were
a lot of great products to see on the show floor. The following vendor booths
really caught my eye: Creepy
Collection, Dead House
Galore, Midnight Studios
Props, Scarefactory and
Paintball. All of these vendors, and many more, are featured in the
picture gallery and video sections of this review.
Throughout the next several pages you will
find more than 400 pictures taken at the Insane Shane
Party, on the show floor, at the Renaissance
Grand bar and more! The pictures taken
on the show floor are labeled with company names, with hyperlinks to their
websites, so you can find out more information about the products &
services that they have to offer. There are also 30 video
clips of some great animatronics and visual effects that were seen at
Transworld. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the write-up!
Webmaster of HauntedIllinois.com