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View Full Version : 1st Impressions Of St Louis Show



Mike Bizub
03-27-2009, 12:40 PM
Not to rub it in but it looks like a sucess. The show floor is packed and the vendors really stepped up with some great new stuff

jason
03-28-2009, 08:56 AM
the floor can be filled with many who people..who are not buying.

i was never much for a show that had a bigger ratio of haunt actors (or anyone whom just looks and "hopes" the person(s) with the check book will buy a "cool product") to haunt owners so i'm interested in seeing how the sales go.

Will all those be people bring in a high percentage of buying a few sales items?

Kevin Dells
03-28-2009, 09:02 AM
And the weather looks phenominal !!

Heavy rains turning to freezing rain and then a snowstorm to follow!!

Sorry couldn't resist !!

damon carson
03-28-2009, 10:55 AM
Well I attended the show yesterday. Alot of new things to get adjusted to. Still in the old Chicago mode. Okay here we go. The weather was very windy. So it felt like we were still in Chicago. I never attended Vegas so thats why Im referring to Chicago. And it was there alot longer than it has been in Vegas. Temperatures at a ball park figure mid 50's maybe even mid 60's after leaving in the afternoon. Registration isnt set up as good as I thought it was in Chicago. Even though we got there before the show opened and we got right in without having to wait very long. No lanyards for the badges I wasnt to happy about that. But there was no legs avenue at this show so I wish I had brought one from years past. Alot of new products, alot of cool stuff for sure. Nothing really knock out the ballpark far as new items. Scarefactory again always pleases the senses. Although the Darkzone seemed smaller than usual but the more I think about it I dont think it was. Distortions had a nice booth and a few new items. Alot of the booths were surprisingly very small. Morris was the worst. I mean comeon they cant be hurting can they? Im used to about 4 or 5 booths from them theres was the size of Gag studios and I looked and talked to Dave more than I did Morris. I just blew them off like they have always done me in the past. Long story. But anyway there is really too much at this show to post and Im really tired so Im gonna wrap this one up as a success! The show was not super crowded at the beginning but by 11 or 12 the aisles were packed! Hopefully vendors will do good and the show will return to St. louis!
Damon

NightmareAftershockLLC
03-28-2009, 11:48 AM
You missed the memo? It's already been decided to go back to
Chicago.

damon carson
03-28-2009, 12:08 PM
No Keegan I know the retail side has already said its returning to Chicago. Im talking about the Haunted Attractions show. They are two seperate shows now. Im aware of the retail side being batted back and forth from Chicago to Vegas ect. Who cares and who really needs them?! The Haunt and Attractions show wants us back. They fell on there face this year so did Rubies attempt in Houston. Im saying the show in St. Louis will do good enough to return to St. louis. Everyone got spoiled in Chicago because they had everything under the sun under one roof. Now things are split up and it just takes a little reajusting to the changes thats all. But for the most part I really enjoyed the St. Louis show. We came back mainly because of the weather. I wanted to stay but there was one or two in our group that had to leave and we took one vehicle. I may go back Sunday as long as the weather stays within reason. No fyi's here. No memos needed.
Thanks,
Damon

toothtwister
03-28-2009, 05:11 PM
No Keegan I know the retail side has already said its returning to Chicago. Im talking about the Haunted Attractions show. They are two seperate shows now. Im aware of the retail side being batted back and forth from Chicago to Vegas ect.

I think Keegan is talking about the Haunt Show.

The TW folks may be committed to have the Haunt Show again in St. Louis next year in 2010, but when I spoke to Joe T. and Co. during the end of the Vegas show, he was very adamant about moving BOTH the Halloween/Party and Haunt shows back to Rosemont in 2011.

If the haunt vendors do booming business this weekend there at the Haunt show (and I certainly hope they do), they will be in a good position to call the shots because TW will see them as a true force to be reckoned with.

But if the buyers don't show up like they normally would because of the economy (which is still spiraling downward), we could see a real 'pissing contest' between TW and Rubies that could take a few years to play out as these three shows struggle for many of the same buyers.

If the later happens, the whole industry will be effected and not in a good way.

But heck what do I know?

Thad
Dental Distortions

Jim Warfield
03-28-2009, 05:37 PM
"Smelling like ass" always a bad thing?
Depends upon your mood..and libido? Who's ass? The care they take of it?
Personally, mine has never been bleached, still the same ominous shadow round that corner.
Butt then we all like a good mystery don't we?
Stevie King called it "The dark at the top of the stairs", that unnamed horror we anticipate...
Bleach-free.

Mike Bizub
03-29-2009, 11:36 AM
Most vendors I talked to have done very well. It will be their call as far as what they want to do

Haunting Copy
03-29-2009, 11:43 AM
I'm aware of one vendor who said his booth was paid for by Saturday morning.

And I didn't notice any ass smell, LOL.

SomeThingInTheIce
03-29-2009, 03:02 PM
I talked to a vendor that said that he has never sold so much on a opening and another that when his buddy called over to him "How was it going?" he held up his invoice book and said "It's already filled up". My first show and it was a blast!

shawnc
03-29-2009, 03:36 PM
So for those of us who weren't able to go, what were the new big things this year?

SteveR
03-29-2009, 06:21 PM
I spoke with many vendors late Saturday and all but one (puppet guy) were very happy with the results. Most had fat invoice books to show off. Overall the mood was very upbeat.

Oh, and I really enjoyed all three haunts - it was a great mix this year!

Jordan24
03-29-2009, 07:48 PM
I thought the show went pretty good. The floor was packed Friday and Saturday, and I really have no complaints. Although there were a few vendors I was expecting to see that didn't show I guess?

I enjoyed both tours as well. Aside from the fact our bus got back from Columbia at 4 in the morning, I had a good time.

I'm looking forward to seeing the show grow next year.

Grimley
03-29-2009, 07:56 PM
The show was packed and had that atmosphere that it had years ago. The vendors I talked to were mixed about the results as three said it was great and the other two said it was ok. I am glad the show was well attended but I would still like them back together again. Just not in Chicago. They need to go somewhere warm dammit. Blizzards and snow suck.

Haunting Copy
03-29-2009, 11:35 PM
The show was packed and had that atmosphere that it had years ago. The vendors I talked to were mixed about the results as three said it was great and the other two said it was ok. I am glad the show was well attended but I would still like them back together again. Just not in Chicago. They need to go somewhere warm dammit. Blizzards and snow suck.


I would like to see them in Dallas or Austin - and not just because I live in Texas!

When I got back to Texas from St. Louis, it was chilly, but sunny. Mahvelous!

drfrightner
03-30-2009, 06:05 AM
My view...

I loved the fact that more vendors than ever showed up for the show. There was just so many different vendors to choose from it made it harder to figure out what you wanted to buy. It was a bit overwhelming to be honest. I thought for the most part the vendors knocked the ball right out of the park with new products and services!

So from that end it was a success!

I also have it with good report that drayage a big beef in Vegas was CHEAPER for vendors, and the unions where nice to work with and tried to be reasonable on fees.

Overall I feel this was the best haunted show EVER!

Now on the negative... there was too many buyers and the floor wasn't big enough to handle them. On one side I'm saying the floor had to many vendors but on the other there wasn't enough booths bought to stretch it all out for the amount of buyers.

Sometimes it was hard to walk up and down the rows because there was just way too many people! The show needs more booths or at the very least wider lanes or something.

Secondly because there was so many people at the show it made it hard to place orders because the owners where always busy.

I have a couple suggestions...

1) Start the show on Thursday rather than Friday and make the show on Sunday end at noon. We see this time and time again people leave on Sunday, so start the show on Thursday and end at noon on Sunday.

2) I was pretty busy at the show so I didn't get to walk the floor until Sunday. Once I went out about or almost 2 hours before the show ended many vendors packed up, and that snowballed before I knew it seemed like half the vendors where boxing up at least 1 hour before the show actually ended.

So go back to point one here and start the show on Thursday end it on Sunday at noon to avoid these problems!

With all that being said this show was just unreal... who could have EVER expecte all those people to show up? I know many vendors where nervous about the event, worried after seeing the reports about Vegas and Houston but let me tell you the retail vendors heard about all this and are already planning on coming next year!

Larry

JamBam
03-30-2009, 06:53 AM
The show location was good. The hotel across the street was nice, and thanks to Steve from hauntedhouse.com for giving me the scoop about $ 55 room before it ever hit the blogs. The floor was crowded. The vendors put out a good mix of new products. There is room for expansion if needed for next year. The TW staff was visible, in fact their office was opposite the registration similar to MWH so they could be found if needed.

Spent a decent amount of money with some of my key people. They got some neat stuff they are eager to build and install. We had a seven hour meeting (in the van ride home) that put a ton of ideas to paper for our 2009 saeson and beyond based on our pruchases. The floor plan is done and after our Spring Break Ghouls Gone Wild, we are ready to redo several rooms and detail, detail, detail our haunt. That was the plan, but they now have seen it and understand.

There were great networking opportunities. The hotel next year should open up their lower court area with a bar downstairs so it could be more friendly to hanging out. Made several key contacts with some cross promotion prospects.

The seminars I attended included one of my heros, Randy Bates, sharing his ideas and sucesses.

The HHA meeting went well. Now that Ben is President and a board is in place, Larry can get back to his own business and can be assured good people have taken it over. The membership levels do seem to appeal to all like the other group that started ten some years ago. I renewed and will continue dual membership for many reasons.

Met many from this board including Shane, Kelly Allen, Sarah, Ben, and many other new ones as well.

Went to the IAHA meeting/dinner and the Creative Visions party. Thanks all around there. Neat old buildings and atmosphere.

Missed Shane's unmentionable dinner for a highly detailed Darkness tour. Two of my staff got to then go to the Sat tour.

Went to Jake's for steaks with my crew and RY on Saturday and was not disappointed!


Drum roll please..................

And I will put my claim in now for the MILLION CHICKEN BUCKS as I got the one and only SHANE next to the one and only LARRY and got a picture of it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

drfrightner
03-30-2009, 06:55 AM
Brett,

Share your photo!!! C'mon now SHARE THE PHOTO!

I want to see it!

Larry

PS: What are chicken bucks?

JamBam
03-30-2009, 07:42 AM
He will be emailing it to me today and I will post it.

Motograter
03-30-2009, 09:19 AM
I loved the show from when I first arrived all the way until check-out time. The vendors had some really cool stuff and I met a lot of really nice people which I made new friends with and I also learned some stuff while I was down there. The Ren Hotel was awesome too! Very very clean and very nice staff. I couldn't have even asked for better staff. I even tipped the house keeping lady as we left. The bar at the Ren seemed to be a great hang out for all the haunters and vendors to hang out after hours. That place was packed every night. I got sooo drunk Friday night lol. The Darkness tour was out of this world! Very nice haunt larry I liked it a lot. I already look forward to next years Transworld.

Haunting Copy
03-30-2009, 12:29 PM
I agree that the floor was crowded. I'm getting pictures from others of things that I never even saw at the show. There must be a whole row I missed!

The weakest link, to me, was the bar (go figure). The Ren needed to be a little more prepared with enough staff and alcohol (they ran out of amaretto).

The poor guy who told me they were out of amaretto offered me an apple martini at the amaretto sour price - and he said he wasn't even a bartender. That was one very, very strong apple martini!

They also needed more chairs.

That (the bar) would be my only "complaint," if you can call it that at all. :)

PsychoMania
03-30-2009, 01:39 PM
We had a really good time and the show was pretty much as big and as crowded as those I have seen in Chicago. St. Louis is a little closer to us so that's nice.

We went and ended up buying from some of the vendors.

I would have bought more except some of the vendors had minimum purchase amounts (names removed). This caused me to not buy more (and we are haunters, we are not buying for resale) I wanted to spend $175 on something and they wanted a minimum of $300.

Well, a sale is a sale to me. I don't bar people from a haunt if they don't buy
$300 in tickets at a time. I could understand if this stuff was for resale. They told me to go on their website to purchase items. Well, we wont be going to the website. This represents lost sales at the show.

I wonder how many other lost sales?

brad
03-30-2009, 03:20 PM
I wonder how many other lost sales?

Now granted, I didnt buy from every single vendor, but every one that I talked to said there was no minimum purchase amount. I'm surprised you had this problem. But hopefully they learned their lesson.

Haunting Copy
03-30-2009, 03:41 PM
We had a really good time and the show was pretty much as big and as crowded as those I have seen in Chicago. St. Louis is a little closer to us so that's nice.

We went and ended up buying from some of the vendors.

I would have bought more except some of the vendors had minimum purchase amounts (names removed). This caused me to not buy more (and we are haunters, we are not buying for resale) I wanted to spend $175 on something and they wanted a minimum of $300.

Well, a sale is a sale to me. I don't bar people from a haunt if they don't buy
$300 in tickets at a time. I could understand if this stuff was for resale. They told me to go on their website to purchase items. Well, we wont be going to the website. This represents lost sales at the show.

I wonder how many other lost sales?


No one I talked to mentioned this problem. I'm surprised vendors were doing that, especially considering most of them were offering discounts for purchasing at the show.

Maybe this is why they wanted a minimum purchase?? When shipping products, some businesses mark up the shipping costs to make a small profit. I hope that is not what they were trying to do. :(

PsychoMania
03-30-2009, 04:29 PM
I don't see what difference it makes.
You would end up paying for shipping either way (inflated or not).

I was really surprised they turned down business at the show. My partners were equally shocked. I certainly will not turn around and buy after the fact.

damon carson
03-30-2009, 05:27 PM
What was the total attendance for the 2009 St. Louis Haunt Show Larry? Did you hear the final stats? And I read in another post of yours its a given it will return next year that is great!
Damon

SteveR
03-30-2009, 05:37 PM
I didn't run into minimums either. Even Morris dropped their usual 500 minimum.

Oh well, too bad for that vendor, they lost sales, and I hope they will learn.

damon carson
03-30-2009, 06:01 PM
So what is there minimum now? They make you go through more red tape than anyone Ive ever dealt with.
Damon

Kevin Dells
03-30-2009, 06:13 PM
TW of past 2004-2006 the make up vendors were doing minimum sales, not going to name names.

The problem with that was we don't run a make up store yet we still spend a pretty good buck on enough make up for 100+ actors for the month of October as most haunts do. 2500-3000 dollars and part of that is usually towards a new airbrush system and paint supply for the month so there goes 500 easily on that.

Now one can consider that 500 for make up in expenditure is easily covered, it is if you are buying from just one company, we mix it up quite a bit with different brands as most haunts do.

I can easily think of five different company's that have what we need yet not one exceeds 500 dollar minimums. Cinema Secrets we probably spend the most on and they are really good about open amount minimums and decent priced shipping.

As the make up manager at our haunt walking into TW with my list of goodies i found it very frustrating! Trying to order the months worth of supply's i just couldn't pull off.

Graftobian for example sells a lot of pretty make up for modeling agencys and the such but i still HAVE TO HAVE their blood powder and thats usually all i need from them. Thats the best blood powder in the bussiness hands down! Yet i have to order it online from an aftermarket company.

I think it would be much easier to send in your make up department heads with their list and what they can spend and knock it out in one weekend, this is not the case.

Seeing that i wasn't at this years show i am wondering if make up companys were even present? And im really interested in how other haunts do this every year?? Any advice gang?

PsychoMania
03-30-2009, 06:31 PM
I wasn't looking for makeup. But, I noticed very little in that category.
I actually saw little in the variety in what I was looking for. I bet if there were
numerous vendors selling the types of masks I was looking for, the minimum would be a different story as well.

I'd order offline, but I hate it because you can never judge what you are getting.

Jolly Pumpkin
03-30-2009, 06:35 PM
I really enjoyed St. Louis. The downtown was great, it seemed very safe and I didn't mind the weather at all. I'm used to it being from Ohio.

Kevin Dells
03-30-2009, 06:47 PM
I wasn't looking for makeup. But, I noticed very little in that category.
I actually saw little in the variety in what I was looking for. I bet if there were
numerous vendors selling the types of masks I was looking for, the minimum would be a different story as well.

I'd order offline, but I hate it because you can never judge what you are getting.

Exactly Phsyco!

You can look at the little thumbnail all you want of each product but calculating that times 100 is just a joke!

Thats why im very curious and i think it's an awesome question of how haunts that have huge numbers of actors do all their ordering and still get a show price. Paying retail for that much make up is crazy and i know thats a huge expenditure for all haunts every year. These products should be readily available to us for show prices just as the props are. It's part of our bussiness why not!

PsychoMania
03-30-2009, 06:51 PM
Perhaps you could try a "group buy" if you had enough people wanting the products.

wickedfarmer
03-30-2009, 07:31 PM
Been in Chicago & St. Louis. Liked St. Louis better for location even though Chicago closer for me. But as a trade show exhibitor for fishing/hunting shows I pass on nominating a place to vendors who had to deal with move in and move out issues...I want to go where vendors want to go.

Who ever you are who beat me to buying the Distortions Gargoyle Shock off the floor; I will come get it and store it for you till the end of the year...no storage charges.

If it goes back to St. Louis check out the restraunt a few blocks west of Ren. Hotel (on a north east corner of that block...south side of street) Reasonable prices and generous portions....meatloaf even better than my moms!! Hotels burger was good; but a real meal down street for same price. Then come back to Rens. bar.

Kevin Dells
03-30-2009, 07:53 PM
Perhaps you could try a "group buy" if you had enough people wanting the products.

I would think that would be a logistical nightmare! I already pull my hair out buying just what we need.LOL

The Parker House
03-30-2009, 08:38 PM
My two cents. Short and sweet.

Loved the show over all.
The booths should have been a little more spread out.
Vendors were very nice and had great product.
The HHA seams to be going in a positive direction.
Great social opportunities at the bar and the Darkness.
The city was clean and nice people.
The columbia tours were pretty good. VERY FRIENDLY OWNERS, hint hint Larry. Although a bit to long of a drive.
The Darkness was a very pretty haunt. Although a little over priced. Thursday night I thought I was paying for a chance to see how things were built & video tape (lights on ???). Only the show lights were on so videoing was no good. If I have people in my haunt for a lights on tour, the house lights are on. what is it called when your open for business???? Lights off tour? I didnt see a difference. We were not allowed to go behind the scenes at all. O' well, you live and you learn.
I spent more money then was planning on. (thanks to great items at the HHA auction)...LOL Thanks to all the generous vendors.
The weather was fine. Never unbearable. (It was cold everywhere). Even back home in Texas.

I think we have finally found a great combination for our industries growth. I see-many more vendors and buyers coming on board next year.

See every one then,
Marc

Speculo
03-31-2009, 08:47 AM
I have to say, I thought it was great! The vendors really blew it out with lots of new amazing products. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the more established vendors were feeling some heat from the new guys, such was the level of quality from some of them. Tons of well done full figure zombies, lots of folks with costume stuff, and several new animation companies with really cool stuff.

The hotel/food situation was great, and we have a new bar to hang out in! I don't know about buyer/non buyer percentages - I do know there were TONS of Haunted house owners there, and most of them seemed to be buying. (I know we were!) Most of the vendors I spoke with at least did OK, and many were thrilled. I heard there were a few that did not do well, primarily those with small/unusual lines of product.

Once again I have to thank the haunt owners who opened haunts to everyone. It is a very difficult thing both logistically and mentally to let it "all hang out" . While most of us who attend can understand what it is like to open a show, and have a "first night" some can be not so kind. I remember years ago when we opened for IAAPA to find folks in our backstage area taking pictures of our actual "dirty Laundry" in the costume room ( We had requested NO PHOTOS) I want to thank these haunts for being so open and sharing with us all.

Overall the feeling at the show was great, of success and new beginnings.
To everyone who attended, the vendors, the buyers, the haunts who opened their doors, the seminar speakers, and all the folks who spent so much time and effort to make this show great I say thank you!

mindtumor
03-31-2009, 10:30 AM
I enjoyed the show a lot this year. But I have enjoyed it every year no matter where it was. The only bummer about the show this year was I didn't bring my kids with me for the first time. 5 days away from them was too long! I did the Darkness tour both nights and had a great time. Larry was friendly to us.

Monster-Tronics
03-31-2009, 10:37 AM
The short answer: we had record sales compared to any other single tradeshow, so it was a huge success in that respect!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to check us out and thanks to all of our new customers that purchased products. A big special thanks to all of our returning customers, which tells me we are doing something right with both products and customer support.

My thoughts about the facilities is that it was very easy to drive into the city and unload. We stayed at the Ren and the walk from the Ren to the center was very close and fast. Found lots of good restaurants within walking distance.

The only downside would be that the utilities rentals were very high and maybe Vegas and Chicago are the same now, but those prices were a rip off. Since TW gets a cut of the hotel sales, my guess is that we won't be getting to stay at the Ren for $55 a night next year so hotel costs will be as much as Chicago next year.



1) Start the show on Thursday rather than Friday and make the show on Sunday end at noon. We see this time and time again people leave on Sunday, so start the show on Thursday and end at noon on Sunday.
Larry

Larry, I think adding another day to the show is not necessary. Every vendor that I spoke to liked the fact that this show is shorter than the Halloween show. All it would do is add more costs to everyone. Itís a no brainer that when you add more cost to the vendors, the price of their products go up.

The Halloween show was longer because it was much bigger and the Halloween buyers needed more time to get to all of the booths. This show does not have as many vendors so I really donít think many people needed more than three days to see it all. Folks will just need to make an effort to get up before 4:00pm to check out the show! Closing the show maybe at 3:00 or 4:00 pm on Sunday would be ideal since the showroom floor starts to empty out early afternoon as folks start their travels home.

I'm guessing the Darkness would be the only one to really benefit from an extra night allowing for extra tours!

If vendors only had one person working their booth to take orders shame on them. We added three additional helpers this show so attendees could be serviced properly. I hope everyone got their questions answered and orders taken, if not please contact me.

Overall it was a great show, We enjoyed hanging out with old friends and meeting a lot of new ones too!

Thanks all,
Jeff Londos
Monster-Tronics
Innovators in Haunt Technologies
www.Monster-Tronics.com
Proud Member of the Halloween and Haunt Vendor Association
www.halloweenhauntvendors.com
www.youtube.com/MonsterTronics

xxxdirk
03-31-2009, 11:08 AM
Yeah, having it 4 days would not be needed. 1 day to walk the floor several times and start thinking about possibilities . Day 2, do the same and start to firm up decisions and making some purchases. Day 3 final decisions and purchases. That is the way I did it this year. In reality, I could have done it all in one day if I needed, two for sure, but I have a very small budget and have to make sure I am making the right choice....

Auburn Haunted Theater
03-31-2009, 03:56 PM
I would have to agree with the shorter format. I have been going to the show for a few years, including Chicago (3x), Vegas and now St. Louis. I was there on Friday morning at 10:00 and Saturday at 9:30. It only comes once a year get there early and a good start on the day. I saw most of the vendors on Friday, made some decisions Friday night, and bought some items on Saturday while visiting other vendors. I have to agree a little disappointed in the lack of make-up there but some vendors probably took a wait and see attitude. There were some booths that were packed most of the day on Saturday. Sunday is a day when everyone wants to go home, if you are a vendor. You have been pounding it hard for two days and now it is time to get out of Dodge. I work as a vendor during Car Events and I do the same thing. Sunday is a day to leave so I would close at noon on that day as well.

What would be nice to see is a "fair" price on things like soda, water, and sandwiches. The machines in the lobby were $2.00 and the bottles inside were $3.75. That is just ridiculous as far as I am concerned. You will have people leave the show to go get something to eat and some will not come back after they do eat.

Darkangel
03-31-2009, 04:01 PM
It was fun but it's too small still. The good thing about the Halloween vendors is it was more booths with more to look at. The haunt show could be done in one day easily, 2 tops.
I noticed some of those IAAPA vendors had no traffic any day I walked by...I'm assuming they won't be back. There was one guy there with one costume he was selling, a tree costume, that he was selling for almost $20k!!! Was he nuts?

Darkangel