PDA

View Full Version : Some thoughts on the St. Louis Trade show



Mark McDonough
07-01-2008, 07:43 PM
I started talking about this in the other show thread that is running...but I think it really needs to stand alone, so....

First, I want to say how excited I am about this new show.

As one of the longest exhibiting companies in the industry (second to Distortions and Leonard Pickle), I have see a lot of changes along the way. The most important change is that we are becoming a bonafied industry (or at least getting close).

Something that has been holding our industry back for the past few years is the lack of our own show. We had kind of stagnated as far as growth.

A bit of luck for the industry as a whole is that Rubies finally upset the apple cart and made it possible (necessary actually) to start an industry specific show.

Larry and I may have started the process, but the Vendor Community as a whole has rallied together to make this happen. Please don't underemphasize how important this is.

Everyone has to get over the 'Larry Show' thing. It's not his show.
As a matter of fact, I am the one who has been lobbying for St. Louis...blame me. Larry had other locations he liked. What this is...is a trade show, produced by Transworld Exhibits and overseen by a committee made up of the biggest vendors in the haunt industry. We now have accountability and oversight.

We have done something huge here. We have created a haunt-only show. The haunt-only show. A business to business buying show. This is something we have needed for a long time.

Take a moment to think about what is happening and what it means.

We, the top vendors in the industry, the biggest dogs on the block....have gotten together and made this happen. More than anyone else in the industry, we are putting our liveleyhoods on the line here. If this fails, a lot of us are out of business.

The smartest/most experience people in the industry have been consulted. We have put untold hours of work into making this happen....and make it happen right.

This industry has two choice....grow or die. We have chosen to grow.

This is going to be our main show.
Yes, we will continue to support Hauntcon and MHC, they serve a very important function in the industry. But this is our big show...the one that keeps us in business and we are going to do everything in our power to make that happen.

And for the record...who is on this mysterious list of vendors that are supporting the St. Louis show?

Ghost Ride Productions
Scarefactory
Unit 70
Creative Visions
Halloween Productions
Edge Design
Pale Night Productions
Ghoulish Galleries
Distortions
Haunt Visions
Scare Parts
Digital Sound and Lighting
Monster-Tronics
Rogue's Hollow
Dental Distortions
Frightprops
Spookywood FX
....plus other major vendors


I look forward to seeing you all in St. Louis, March 27-29, 2009.

Mark McDonough, president
Creative Visions
Haunt Visions

hauntedhousenut
07-01-2008, 07:47 PM
Larry made many guarantees about cost savings, I hope he's right.

Jim Warfield
07-01-2008, 07:59 PM
Smart!
From the beginning to the end of March in the midwest it can seem like two totally different "seasons".

thecreepzone
07-01-2008, 08:10 PM
Is there a link/website with more information about the St. Louis tradeshow?

Thanks,
Mike

Haunted Illinois
07-01-2008, 08:13 PM
And for the record...who is on this mysterious list of vendors that are supporting the St. Louis show?

Ghost Ride Productions
Scarefactory
Unit 70
Creative Visions
Halloween Productions
Edge Design
Pale Night Productions
Ghoulish Galleries
Distortions
Haunt Visions
Scare Parts
Digital Sound and Lighting
Monster-Tronics
Rogue's Hollow
Dental Distortions
Frightprops
Spookywood FX


All we need is 66 more vendors to sign up and the Haunt & Attractions Show will have as many vendors as MHC did this year. :P

Haunted Illinois
07-01-2008, 08:14 PM
Is there a link/website with more information about the St. Louis tradeshow?

Thanks,
Mike

Nope. No information online yet, but here is the show's web url:

http://www.hauntshow.com/

Mark McDonough
07-01-2008, 08:22 PM
If you are a vendor, you will see one of of the big reasons St. Louis is better than Los Vegas or Chicago in the cost to do the show.
It is cheaper. As a matter of fact, it hit the target costs we were aiming for.

I am not going to list those costs here because they really only apply to vendors, but if you are a vendor who is just now getting up to speed on the situation, I advise calling Transworld for pricing.

More importantly for the buyers, St. Louis is a cheaper city to attend a show.

While the social aspect isn't the real reason we do the show...it has become important. So we found a new 'Crown' hangout. It was once of the first things we did...lol
There will be tours of the Darkness and Creative Visions. Touring your peer's facilities can be a great educational experience...and fun.

Also, we are going to bring in a lot of new vendors you have not run across before.

This is not another show...this is THE show.

Regards,

Mark McDonough, president
Creative Visions
Haunt Visions

The Ghoulish Gallery
07-01-2008, 08:23 PM
The cost savings are definitely there.

Transworld sent out cost comparison sheets for both locations to vedors so that we would all be fully informed when the time came to vote.

St. Louis was hands down the cheapest venue.

BOOTH SPACE --
In 2007 I spent approximately $1800 per 10x10 booth space in Chicago. In 2008 I will spend $1,200 for the same 10x10 booth space. With the money I'm now saving I could actually buy a third booth and display our latest product line without any increase in booth costs.

LODGING --
I think I paid about $179.00 per hotel room at Bally's Las Vegas last year. I'm sure the Crown Plaza in Chicago is comparable. In St. Louis, the Marriott (which is directly across the street from the convention center) has room rates staring at $99.00. In general, room rates in St. Louis start at around $99.00 and go to a high of $138.00. That is a significant savings for both Vendors and Haunts that bring in large groups.

Electrical --
St. Louis offers electrical for booths at 1000 watts / 120 volts for $128.00 each. That's a savings of approximately $22.00 per outlet over Chicago.

Union Hourly Rates --
St Louis has Union Hourly rates that are approximately $7.00 cheaper per hour over Chicago.

The list goes on and on but yes, there are significant savings to be found by doing a show in Chicago.

Tim Turner
www.theghoulishgallery

graystone
07-01-2008, 08:23 PM
First let me say I hope all the vendors make a killing and good luck to you all. I have bought from many of you. But I am afraid this may be the begining of the end for TransWorld as we know it. Had they had just let Rubies go then this could have remained a Halloween/Haunt show. The only Halloween/Haunt show of its kind. Egos have already blemished this show. I think our industry is heading to the world of internet buying. Seems like to me our major vendors can showcase new products via video and save themselves money and us buyers money. Again good luck guys but I do feel some damage has been done hopefully its just here on this sight. We will see I guess. Shane

Randy Bates
07-01-2008, 09:12 PM
I've been to shows all over the country. Chicago was expensive, Vegas was more expensive. Looking briefly at St Louis, there seems to be some deals here. I just checked flights to St Louis vs Houston, and they are $120.00 less to MO. Another post showed better prices on hotels there as well.

I will attend the show where my vendors go. I buy from all the major prop and animatronic companies and if they are showing in St Louis, I'll be there.

ghostrideproductions
07-02-2008, 03:36 AM
Ghost Ride Productions is proud to announce our full participation with the new St Louis Haunt Trade Show 2009.

This occasion will allow GRP to showcase more products then ever before and have an even larger booth then previous years.

We are currently contacting our clients to notify them of this momentous Trade Show transformation and present an enormous opportunity to buy product directly from our booth in St Louis. This is a massive benefit as the St Louis Haunt Trade Show is now even more central to our end users.

As you may already know, the Trade Show business & Haunting has changed more over the past three years then ever before. This break away Trade Show is going to be the greatest opportunity for buyers from all over the nation to see the most new products at any one time, in any one place.

The St Louis Haunt Trade Show is going to showcase a HUGE change in the way business is conducted in haunting from now on. This will become increasingly more obvious when we all get a chance to reflect how buying and selling has changed so much in the past years and that the old Transworld Show days are gone for good.
Time to look towards the new future of Haunting! That future will definitely start in St Louis in 2009 and Ghost Ride will be there!

kpolley
07-02-2008, 06:48 AM
St. Louis will definitely be a cheaper city all around and what you're going to see is bigger booths and more products from all of the vendors. If we can spend the same $ and show more stuff for it why wouldn't we? I really see some big leaps forward here. I know I am taking my business to some new heights this year. It's going to be exciting for everyone.

As far as the split goes...I know that some of us just don't like it and maybe never will but the fact is it had to happen. Rubies left and you need to understand that without Rubies there won't be a show. Sure...there will be an event in Vegas to go to...but it will be a ghost town. All the major costume vendors are pulling out and going to Houston. There couldn't be a joint show even if we still wanted it because the joint show is dead.

Here's the funny thing...The major costume vendors have pulled out of the show and moved to a retail only show in a new location with new dates to grow their industry and do what's best for their vendors. All of the retial customers have gotten behind them and are supporting the new show. The major haunt vendors have pulled out and done the exact same thing and our customers want to try to hurt us and the show. I don't get it. In fact...some of you are saying you're going to support the Houston show...now THAT'S ironic. Be mad at us for splitting the show and refuse to support our new show but support the new show being produced by the people who caused the split to begin with. Makes sense...

graystone
07-02-2008, 07:35 AM
Can you answer the question thats on everyones mind and no one will answer. Ok yall will be saving money and having bigger booths thats AWSOME! NOW PLEASE ANSWER. Its no secret the vendors are saving money. Will the VENDORS PASS ON THE SAVINGS TO US BUYERS? Will be see bigger discounts? We know you will be saving what about us? Can any Vendor say here yes the discounts will be better for the buyers so we too can feel better? Kip? anyone? its yes we will or no we won't. Let us know. Shane, And its we wanna save too Shane this time.

drfrightner
07-02-2008, 09:46 AM
Shane,

I think it would be safe to say NO... why would they? They are saving money on exhibiting not raw materials or labor. I think the money saved on booth costs will be rolled into buying more booths and bringing MORE product. I think that is what everyone is saying...more new products for the haunt industry!

Larry

spookhaven
07-02-2008, 11:52 AM
You know from a little person in this business trying to "Make it Big(ha, ha)" and on both ends of the tradeshow floor starting a seasonal store this year and only on my second year in the haunt business, this is going to cost me even more money to travel to all three shows plus time down from business. I deal with change all the time and it is good, but I must say to fly 2 people minimum to the tradeshows in Houston/Las Vegas and then 4 or so to St Louis to see all the haunt vendors it's getting pretty costly.

Although I know most everyone here is all about the haunts, some of us wanting to expand into the store side are going to suffer with additional costs. I first said months ago before attending Transworld for the first time (after reading threads here) that if you can't afford to travel to Vegas then you shouldn't be in the business. I am still in agreement with that but for the first year and to not miss any vendors someone like me will have to attend every show to see who is where and not miss out on anything which is going to cost me about 4x more.

I can't wait on the other hand to see the Darkness, tour, etc plus visit a city I have never been to.

Just a thought from someone smaller and wanting to move into this business for a living. I guess I won't quite my day job yet hun.......LOL

drfrightner
07-02-2008, 12:00 PM
Hey we look forward to giving you the tour... we have already planned out the changes for The Darkness 2009 Transworld show. One scene we're going to build will be breath taking...so elaborate that we couldn't even consider doing it this year. Trust me I already thought about it... why doesn't money grow on trees?

As for going to all these tradeshows let me tell you...as a company we go to ...

Fun Expo
IAAPA
Transworld
Bowl Expo

That is just a part of doing business.

It sucks I know but something we have to do!

Larry

kpolley
07-02-2008, 12:57 PM
Shane, Larry's right. My production costs aren't changing so it would be hard for me to cut prices...but I will be bringing a bigger booth with more products this year than ever before. That's the advantage for buyers: More products to choose from. That...and flights and hotels will be less expensive. I won't actually be spending less this year...I'll just be getting more. I think most vendors will be in the same boat. Spend the same amount of money on the show but get to bring more things and have a bigger space.

Infoamtek
07-02-2008, 12:59 PM
What are you worried about discounts for? You always make your own discounts. LOL

graystone
07-02-2008, 01:38 PM
Same money spent+more booth space=more product
More product+ more people=more sales
More sales+more volume=more profit
Something is not adding up here. Yall are being able to have more booths and more product but will offer no additional discounts?
So lets say you rather sell Acme Larry Prop for 1000.00 to 100 people at the big traditional 5% discount ( which has always been if anything an insult to me esp when i am spending several thousand dollars) or had you rather sell Acme Larry prop for 800.00 to 150 people? You rather sell less than offer a bigger discount and make an additional 20.000.00. Remember the vendors are saving money and having more booths with more product. So again why aint we as buyers important enough to save like the vendors did. Kip again the vendors are also going to get the cheaper rooms, air fairs ect too. So lets make it fair and appealing to the buyers too. Was that not part of the reason for the move? Or was it for the vendors to save money but yet make more product and sell more and make bigger profits but leave the buyers who keep you in business out in the cold? Or was this for more products and better prices and bigger volume? Also to me more companies means more competition which should mean more discounts. You should be fighting for the additional sales. Am I wrong here? Shane

kpolley
07-02-2008, 02:06 PM
Shane,

all of that is true but your math isn't fair. You are acting as though it costs me nothing to produce a product. Let's say that it costs me $500 to make the product you're talking about. If I sell 100 at $1000 each that's a profit of $50,000. If I sell 150 at $800 each that's a profit of $45,000. It's worse...not better. The problem is that most vendors (myself included) really try to give the best price we can for the items we sell. Taking huge disacounts off the prices isn't something that we can do and stay in business. You act like you are offended at being offered 5% off on products because you spend so much but what do you want from us? I offer 15% off on nearly everything at TW and I still get people trying to cut hundreds if not thousands off what they pay me. It's crazy. Asking vendors to cut their prices by 20% (per your example) is an outrageous request. Do you routinely raise or lower the cost of tickets for your haunt? I'd be willing to bet they have never come down...only gone up. Let's be reasonable about this.

shawnc
07-02-2008, 02:21 PM
I keep seeing the same thing over and over on these threads....well, I see a lot of the same stuff over and over, but I'm talking about people not talking about the same thing.

I see that there are several groups of people who have a different idea of what the haunt industry is, or more specifically what it means to them. There are some actors on here who are all about the scare. There are some employees/builders who want to see the latest props and design the best scares. There are haunt owners who look at all aspects, from buying props to running the business. There are vendors/manufacturers who see the industry from a new innovation/production/sales point of view. Then you have the home haunters. And a few people like Shane who also have a retail part of the industry.

I agree with Larry and the others and their reasons that this will be a good thing for everyone. The problem arose, I think, when vendors were talking about saving money and how that would help everyone. Many buyers obviously thought it meant there would be some savings passed on to them while the buyers were thinking along the lines of what has already been mentioned.

I know it's asking too much to put in every response how something will affect you in particular, but then we have what we have now. So everyone please keep in mind that someone who just posted is probably not in exactly the same situation as you and may be seeing things differently. And before everyone starts flaming everyone else in the next thread, at least be sure you are talking about the same thing. Shane, remember when you and someone were arguing about a person at the auction in Vegas and everyone else could see that the two of you were talking about two different people? One of you meant the auctioneer and the other meant the owner of a haunt in Illinois that was coming up for auction.

graystone
07-02-2008, 02:55 PM
Look I am in business too and the more I sell the more I make. Kip the more I buy from my suppliers the less I pay. Now if your in good standings with the companies you buy from then you are going to save too. Again its about volume. So with more buyers buying more of your products you should be able to get more discounts from your suppliers thus passing the savings on to us. Thats how America works. So you see what I am saying still holds true. Kip the 20% was just an example. I think its safe to say when it comes to the Tradeshow its really more about the vendors and whats best for them and hey everyone does what they have to do its understandable. ALWAYS REMEMBER this Kip its a Vendors show BUT a Buyers market, I am for whatever at this point. But its wrong to say its whats best for the Industry because the Industry is made up of buyers and sellers. Just come clean and say its best for the Vendors and we all can move on in a positive direction knowing we were told the truth and not a made up fairy tail that this was for everyone. Just say this move was best for the vendors only and the buyers won't see much in the way of savings as the vendor will. Thats not much to ask for just some honesty. I myself do want to see more Vendors at this show because if there is more competition then I feel the vendors will be fighting harder for our dollar. Shane

kpolley
07-02-2008, 04:11 PM
Of course you won't see the same savings that the vendors do. You aren't investing thousands of dollars into the show like we are. The buyers were taken into consideration...but in the long run the vendors are the ones that spend the major money and they are the ones who have the most pull. Competition will pull many of the vendors' prices down some...but 20% or so is going overboard. This is a very difficult industry to survive in. Think about this...there are only a couple prop companies that actually survive doing this work full time. Our profit margins aren't as high as some people want to think. And, you didn't answer my question. Have you ever once lowered the ticket price for admission to your haunt? I'd bet not. You could sell more if you did...but I bet the only changes in price are increases.

In the end, this show WILL benefit everyone. Will it benefit the vendors more...ABSOLUTELY! We have more at stake. We are more invested. Of course we will reap bigger rewards. Buyers will see benefits in airfares and hotel stays as well as more vendors and more products. Those are benefits. Some monetary some not. But not all my benefits are monetary either.

People always think that haunt props cost too much but remember this...before Scarefactory a multimotion animation would cost $5000. Now you can get a Slayer for that. Prices have fallen through the floor. If you want good quality pieces made of high quality parts you'll have to pay for that. I try to keep a balance between price and qulaity. If I lower my price the only way I can make money is to build junk and I don't want to do that to my customers. We may just have to agree to disagree on this one.

graystone
07-02-2008, 05:31 PM
Never have had a price increase. Why with the price of gas ect why would we? Our goal is not as much to make a living. Remember we are something outside the Haunt World just like the Atrox bunch. We do it for the fun and not the almighty $$$$$ dollar, buck, mula... its a stress reliever a big play house for us. So in all honestly Kip your question really don't pertain to our haunt. But I think we should both drop it because were both at a point where one will not win over the other. But I will say this 15% I am impressed maybe I need to pay a little more attention to your company. Larry get your ass on the phone and get all kinds of new vendors in this show. But Vendors beware don't ever come back and say there are way to many vendors thereand everyones cutting everyones throat. Again this will force better prices! Shane