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View Full Version : IAAPA Show 2011 - Review - Call to Haunt Vendors



drfrightner
11-20-2011, 12:44 AM
Okay just got back from the 2011 IAAPA Show. Let me just say that its really not that much different than last year, overall nothing really new to see here same vendors, basically the same stuff year after year now. Gone are the days of mega over the top booths that leave you out of breath, now its more of a show of guys who get one, two to four booths mostly.

However... and I guess this is the really big HOWEVER!

Going back to its a show of mostly small business owners now and not the mega booths ... what we see now is one, maybe two could be three or four new products that make the whole trip worth while. As a haunted house owner you are always looking for things that break the same old same old... personally and I've spoken about this before I'm a bit tired of our industries effort to think outside the box. What do we see at our tradeshow year in and year out? Let me think... zombies, dead bodies, and animations that lunge out at you. What else?

Yes we find someone trying to break the mold, but these days it doesn't seem any of the vendors are prepared to go ALL IN and do something radically different. I will say however that Pale Night Productions is about the only vendor that truly tried to do something 180 and he was successful. We saw the handful of vendors who tried to offer high end, very expensive costumes and masks and again success. But and again for the most part the other vendors stuck to the same old stuff making even more zombies and animations that basically do the same thing.

I thought last years TW show was horrible overall nothing really exciting, nothing really different, and nothing really mouth watering. Hence we spent nothing and furthermore it just pushes us more and more towards doing what we are already doing which is simply GOING TO VENDORS who will do custom work ONLY!

OUR IDEAS made the way WE WANT THEM!

When I visited the IAAPA show 2011 I saw some things that are hard to find in the mind field of this tradeshow spread out over 500,000 plus square feet. IAAPA has been getting smaller each year the amount of booths or overall space needed to run the show is shrinking however the overall amount of different vendors RISES! The gems are found within the field of vendors who have just a handful of booths, who offer FX that are being made HAUNT STYLE... meaning one or two guys doing thing out of a small shop opposed to in the old days those FX where only produced by huge companies.

Let me give you examples... one company is selling CO2 cannons for basically $1000.00. In the past we'd see these for sale in the thousands of dollars now just $1000.00. Is the FX awesome ... hell ya! That would be something new and exciting for your haunted house and very affordable. Universal set the WORLD on fire with this 'ACID CITY' special FX showing whole entire buildings falling apart. In the back of your mind you are thinking... no way could we ever do this, or afford this? Hmmm... well one company was selling a video mapping program to do just that for about $3,500.00. Who would have ever thought? There was another company there selling probably the best animation program system I've ever seen and its only $1000.00 for the software. You can now program multi FX driven shows with one system and program so quick nothing is impossible. We saw all sorts of vendors selling things that will help you marketing your business, produce surveys, to zip line equipment, to insurance, to all sorts of vendors selling concession stand equipment to everything between. IAAPA is now a must see show because of the small business owners who have taken over the show selling things that haunters need to go above and beyond the same old same old stuff.

I had one or two haunters come up to me and thank me... they said you keep telling us to go and finally we did and now we are glad because thanks to what we saw we can take our business to another level. I was more impressed than ever with the small finds at IAAPA this year than what I saw overall at the haunt show last year. We also noticed even more haunt vendors showing this year including Pale Night, Edge Design, Scarefactory, Fright Props, Creative Visions and several more. Furthermore I don't ever remember seeing so many haunt owners at the show than this past year... haunters are finally catching on. If your business is haunting, running and operating an attraction the best show out there for YOUR BUSINESS is IAAPA.

Here is the funny thing... haunters are crying about paying $50.00 to get into Transworld while IAAPA charges $350.00 and many owners are blinded by the cost and overlook the benefit. IAAPA proved once again that although the show was yet again mostly the same exact show as last year it continues to find small business owners who are really no different than our industries haunted house vendors SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS trying to make their dreams a year around business. IAAPA is a bigger and better think tank, and if you are one of those haunted house owners who are striving for being the best you can be you can not nor should not ever miss IAAPA. Because if you do you just might miss the one small single booth that can be a game changer for your business.

Lastly and getting back to our haunted house vendors, I wish they had all gone, because our industry has proven over and over again that we can take great big over the top idea's and dummy them down to something the common everyday haunted house owner can afford. Going forward I hope that some haunt vendors can be brave enough to do the dangerous thing, the daring thing, and think outside the box, do something radical that is what many term a 'GAME CHANGER'.

Be different this year, don't bring more zombies and pop out animations do something that leaves us floored. Yes we need more yes more costumes, more masks, more things that help our actors scare people however rather than the same old animations in different skins, or yet more things we already have or don't need, do something that we never thought we could afford, never thought we'd ever see because we are not suppose to be good enough to have those kinds of things... haunted houses need to be more like the Universal Studios or Disney multi million dollar rides, not like each other with the same things just under different names.

Its time for haunted houses to go bigger! We need haunt vendors help to help haunts who want to think big, so we need everyone to think outside the box. When I went to IAAPA 'I THOUGHT' I had a final plan for Darkness and now after visiting IAAPA I experienced a hand full of 'game changers' so now that plan has been altered.

Lets hope that most of you haunted house owners who missed this event you can experience some 'game changers' at Transworld this year. But that rests of vendors who want to be brave and bold not stale and conservative. In the end I give Transworld a TON of credit because every time I talked to one of these game changing vendors, I mention... 'YOU SHOULD GO TO TRANSWORLD SHOW'. Each time I said this to one of these guys they say yeah they told us the same thing... Transworld is on top of this, and they are now learning what we need, who we need it from, and what vendors could provide some BANG to their show. Its simply not easy to get these guys to come but TW is trying HARD! Until such time we can get all these companies to come to TW you haunt owners should put IAAPA on your calendar next year and GO TO THEM!

IAAPA show is different than Transworld... when you visit Transworld every single vendor has something you might want, could afford, while at IAAPA 75% of the vendors offer services or products you could NOT afford or WOULD NOT want, but its the last 25% that makes the difference.

So there ya have it...

To sum it up...

Transworld you are on top of industry now, you have your finger on it and you are doing your best to secure new products, services, and buyers for our industry.

Haunt Vendors... time to turn the page and do something new and exciting, and a walk around IAAPA could have inspired you. I'm betting the vendors who attend the show this year has a leg up on you! I also think that if you are smart you will NOT rely on your own idea's solely and will contact a wide range of clients for their suggestions and idea's because this year I can see a decline in sales if you don't step it up.

IAAPA Show... although it was basically the same thing as last year and the vast majority of vendors didn't sell anything I could use or ever want and even though the price was $350.00 to get in IAAPA proved again its worth. The change in the economy that has produced more small business vendors and fewer big vendors is a boom for small attraction owners and operators like haunted houses. Sad that not more haunts made the trip.

Overall stop crying about TW charging $50.00 and pony up $350.00 and visit IAAPA next year! Don't be afraid to spend $5000 with the best graphic company in the industry 'Brainstorm', don't be afraid to try new things to market your business, and really start to focus on what is most important for you to grow your business. Some of you need massive website upgrades, and while you'll spend 10,000.00 on one prop you won't spend $500 on graphics, or a website. Some of you cry about paying $50.00 for entry into TW or make a claim you'll never pay $350.00 for IAAPA yet you'll spend $5000 for one monster prop. If you want to grow your business you must realize that education, information and presentation of your event on the web are the three most important things to being successful. When you put those priorities in order and invest in them the same way you do into the props you purchase or the new sets you build, you'll come to find out that you'll have even more money to spend on sets, or props because you'll raise the revenue at your business.

Yes a rant, but a valuable one. Just my opinion and although I KNOW I'm right, and YES you might THINK or yes KNOW I'm wrong, it doesn't matter... its my opinion and its just one opinion.

Larry

The Nightmare Factory
11-21-2011, 02:15 AM
Okay just got back from the 2011 IAAPA Show. Let me just say that its really not that much different than last year, overall nothing really new to see here same vendors, basically the same stuff year after year now. Gone are the days of mega over the top booths that leave you out of breath, now its more of a show of guys who get one, two to four booths mostly.

However... and I guess this is the really big HOWEVER!

Going back to its a show of mostly small business owners now and not the mega booths ... what we see now is one, maybe two could be three or four new products that make the whole trip worth while. As a haunted house owner you are always looking for things that break the same old same old... personally and I've spoken about this before I'm a bit tired of our industries effort to think outside the box. What do we see at our tradeshow year in and year out? Let me think... zombies, dead bodies, and animations that lunge out at you. What else?

Yes we find someone trying to break the mold, but these days it doesn't seem any of the vendors are prepared to go ALL IN and do something radically different. I will say however that Pale Night Productions is about the only vendor that truly tried to do something 180 and he was successful. We saw the handful of vendors who tried to offer high end, very expensive costumes and masks and again success. But and again for the most part the other vendors stuck to the same old stuff making even more zombies and animations that basically do the same thing.

I thought last years TW show was horrible overall nothing really exciting, nothing really different, and nothing really mouth watering. Hence we spent nothing and furthermore it just pushes us more and more towards doing what we are already doing which is simply GOING TO VENDORS who will do custom work ONLY!

OUR IDEAS made the way WE WANT THEM!

When I visited the IAAPA show 2011 I saw some things that are hard to find in the mind field of this tradeshow spread out over 500,000 plus square feet. IAAPA has been getting smaller each year the amount of booths or overall space needed to run the show is shrinking however the overall amount of different vendors RISES! The gems are found within the field of vendors who have just a handful of booths, who offer FX that are being made HAUNT STYLE... meaning one or two guys doing thing out of a small shop opposed to in the old days those FX where only produced by huge companies.

Let me give you examples... one company is selling CO2 cannons for basically $1000.00. In the past we'd see these for sale in the thousands of dollars now just $1000.00. Is the FX awesome ... hell ya! That would be something new and exciting for your haunted house and very affordable. Universal set the WORLD on fire with this 'ACID CITY' special FX showing whole entire buildings falling apart. In the back of your mind you are thinking... no way could we ever do this, or afford this? Hmmm... well one company was selling a video mapping program to do just that for about $3,500.00. Who would have ever thought? There was another company there selling probably the best animation program system I've ever seen and its only $1000.00 for the software. You can now program multi FX driven shows with one system and program so quick nothing is impossible. We saw all sorts of vendors selling things that will help you marketing your business, produce surveys, to zip line equipment, to insurance, to all sorts of vendors selling concession stand equipment to everything between. IAAPA is now a must see show because of the small business owners who have taken over the show selling things that haunters need to go above and beyond the same old same old stuff.

I had one or two haunters come up to me and thank me... they said you keep telling us to go and finally we did and now we are glad because thanks to what we saw we can take our business to another level. I was more impressed than ever with the small finds at IAAPA this year than what I saw overall at the haunt show last year. We also noticed even more haunt vendors showing this year including Pale Night, Edge Design, Scarefactory, Fright Props, Creative Visions and several more. Furthermore I don't ever remember seeing so many haunt owners at the show than this past year... haunters are finally catching on. If your business is haunting, running and operating an attraction the best show out there for YOUR BUSINESS is IAAPA.

Here is the funny thing... haunters are crying about paying $50.00 to get into Transworld while IAAPA charges $350.00 and many owners are blinded by the cost and overlook the benefit. IAAPA proved once again that although the show was yet again mostly the same exact show as last year it continues to find small business owners who are really no different than our industries haunted house vendors SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS trying to make their dreams a year around business. IAAPA is a bigger and better think tank, and if you are one of those haunted house owners who are striving for being the best you can be you can not nor should not ever miss IAAPA. Because if you do you just might miss the one small single booth that can be a game changer for your business.

Lastly and getting back to our haunted house vendors, I wish they had all gone, because our industry has proven over and over again that we can take great big over the top idea's and dummy them down to something the common everyday haunted house owner can afford. Going forward I hope that some haunt vendors can be brave enough to do the dangerous thing, the daring thing, and think outside the box, do something radical that is what many term a 'GAME CHANGER'.

Be different this year, don't bring more zombies and pop out animations do something that leaves us floored. Yes we need more yes more costumes, more masks, more things that help our actors scare people however rather than the same old animations in different skins, or yet more things we already have or don't need, do something that we never thought we could afford, never thought we'd ever see because we are not suppose to be good enough to have those kinds of things... haunted houses need to be more like the Universal Studios or Disney multi million dollar rides, not like each other with the same things just under different names.

Its time for haunted houses to go bigger! We need haunt vendors help to help haunts who want to think big, so we need everyone to think outside the box. When I went to IAAPA 'I THOUGHT' I had a final plan for Darkness and now after visiting IAAPA I experienced a hand full of 'game changers' so now that plan has been altered.

Lets hope that most of you haunted house owners who missed this event you can experience some 'game changers' at Transworld this year. But that rests of vendors who want to be brave and bold not stale and conservative. In the end I give Transworld a TON of credit because every time I talked to one of these game changing vendors, I mention... 'YOU SHOULD GO TO TRANSWORLD SHOW'. Each time I said this to one of these guys they say yeah they told us the same thing... Transworld is on top of this, and they are now learning what we need, who we need it from, and what vendors could provide some BANG to their show. Its simply not easy to get these guys to come but TW is trying HARD! Until such time we can get all these companies to come to TW you haunt owners should put IAAPA on your calendar next year and GO TO THEM!

IAAPA show is different than Transworld... when you visit Transworld every single vendor has something you might want, could afford, while at IAAPA 75% of the vendors offer services or products you could NOT afford or WOULD NOT want, but its the last 25% that makes the difference.

So there ya have it...

To sum it up...

Transworld you are on top of industry now, you have your finger on it and you are doing your best to secure new products, services, and buyers for our industry.

Haunt Vendors... time to turn the page and do something new and exciting, and a walk around IAAPA could have inspired you. I'm betting the vendors who attend the show this year has a leg up on you! I also think that if you are smart you will NOT rely on your own idea's solely and will contact a wide range of clients for their suggestions and idea's because this year I can see a decline in sales if you don't step it up.

IAAPA Show... although it was basically the same thing as last year and the vast majority of vendors didn't sell anything I could use or ever want and even though the price was $350.00 to get in IAAPA proved again its worth. The change in the economy that has produced more small business vendors and fewer big vendors is a boom for small attraction owners and operators like haunted houses. Sad that not more haunts made the trip.

Overall stop crying about TW charging $50.00 and pony up $350.00 and visit IAAPA next year! Don't be afraid to spend $5000 with the best graphic company in the industry 'Brainstorm', don't be afraid to try new things to market your business, and really start to focus on what is most important for you to grow your business. Some of you need massive website upgrades, and while you'll spend 10,000.00 on one prop you won't spend $500 on graphics, or a website. Some of you cry about paying $50.00 for entry into TW or make a claim you'll never pay $350.00 for IAAPA yet you'll spend $5000 for one monster prop. If you want to grow your business you must realize that education, information and presentation of your event on the web are the three most important things to being successful. When you put those priorities in order and invest in them the same way you do into the props you purchase or the new sets you build, you'll come to find out that you'll have even more money to spend on sets, or props because you'll raise the revenue at your business.

Yes a rant, but a valuable one. Just my opinion and although I KNOW I'm right, and YES you might THINK or yes KNOW I'm wrong, it doesn't matter... its my opinion and its just one opinion.

Larry

Larry,

The Acid City Vendor, would you share the name? We are going to be celebrating our 25th year in 2012 and I am going for some big effects, even bigger than we have now and this is one of those things I really want to do.