Every year Transworld's Halloween, Costume and Party Show gives Haunters and Halloween enthusiasts the opportunity to see the best new products that vendors have to offer the Haunt Industry.
Unfortunately this year was marked with controversy, due to Transworld's new registration requirements. To ensure that only "qualified" individuals would be allowed access to the show floor, Transworld Exhibits Inc. forced all previous attendees to re-register for the show. In order to register, people were required to provide copies of their business license, five thousand dollars worth of recent receipts and other documents, to prove that they qualified as official "Buyers". Complaints from a number of large vendors spawned this new policy, which in turn caused quite an uproar in the Haunt community. Individuals without the proper credentials (referred to as "Haunters") were up in arms over this new turn of events. For a while, people who didn't meet the new requirements thought that they wouldn't even be able to get into the show. Transworld Exhibits, Inc. responded to Haunter's complaints by allowing admission to everyone; however, they restricted access to most of the show floor, allowing only those individuals with the proper credentials to see the whole show. Haunters and haunt enthusiasts were only allowed to see the first five aisles on the Halloween side of the show (called the Haunter's Section), the Dark Zone and the new Inflatable Zone. Click here to see how the show floor was divided. In a last ditch effort to appease the Haunt Industry, badges were sent out in late February to all previous attendees of the show, regardless of whether they re-registered this year or not.
I do have to say that the road to Transworld was quite a bumpy one; however, you can't overlook the importance of this show. And I'm not just speaking of the benefits that the vendors realize, through sales and increased exposure in the industry. Haunters and haunt enthusiasts also benefit. Not only were they able to see all the latest products that vendors had to offer, the networking opportunities at a show of this magnitude are invaluable. Haunters from opposite ends of the country had the opportunity to meet face-to-face and share their thoughts, ideas and experiences. The networking possibilities alone made attending the convention worthwhile.
With that in mind, Haunted Illinois is proud to present our official 2004 Transworld Overview. Be sure to click on the hyperlinks at the top of this page and navigate through all the different sections. On these pages you will find pictures of individuals in the Haunt Industry, an overview of the best new Haunt-related products for 2004, a description of Haunted Attractions that were open during the show, plus two picture galleries. Picture Gallery #2 features pictures from the restricted areas of the show floor, that haunters were not allowed to see.
Although the new registration requirements and segregation of the show floor were a result of legitimate complaints made be several vendors, I don't think it was fair that Haunters were not able to see most of the Halloween side of the show. There were many vendors on the Halloween side who were selling haunt-related products: masks, costumes, vampire fangs, make-up, latex appliances and glow sticks.
In an effort to eliminate these problems in the future, John Wolf of Transworld Exhibits Inc. has made an official announcement that the Halloween Costume and Party Show will be totally different in 2005. They have completely changed the format of the show, to eliminate some of the confusion caused by the segregation of the show floor. Haunters will have their own separate show on the second floor of the convention center, while the wholesale portion of the show will remain where it is. Haunters will have access to the upstairs section, while 'Buyers' will have access to both shows.
This will eliminate a lot of the confusion, but one question still remains. What will happen to those vendors who take wholesale orders, but still sell to individuals who don't buy in mass quantities? Will Haunters be able to visit these 'crossover companies' next year? I guess we'll just have to wait and see what develops.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the overview!
Webmaster of HauntedIllinois.com
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