It’s A Holly Jolly Transworld!
By Noah Wullkotte
The 2019 Halloween & Attractions Show was bigger and better than ever. This year was a massive improvement because of the brand new Christmas Show. Yes, you heard me right. There was a Christmas Show. Nearly 80 vendors were setup in the back of the trade show floor showing off amazing decorations that will make you feel like a kid again. A Giant teddy bear was decorated with twinkling lights, the Tin Man came to life, huge trees towered over spectators and there was just about any type of Christmas decoration you could think of. These aren’t your standard consumer decorations that you can find at your local Wal-Mart. Some were over 30 feet tall and there were numerous animated light tunnels and plenty of flashing lights. If you were an operator of a Christmas event then you were in Heaven. There were things that I’ve never seen before and the craftsmanship was on another level.
You might have guessed it by now that the highlight for me was the Christmas Show and rightfully so. I have an award winning Christmas Lights display in Cincinnati, OH and I felt like a kid in a candy store at Transworld. Christmas decoration sales alone are nearly 10 billion dollars a year and this doesn’t include ticket sales for various Christmas events around the country. The Halloween & Attractions Show was bigger than ever, but seemed less crowded compared to previous years. The crowd was spread out more because of the addition of the Christmas Show. Virtual Reality took up lots of space at this year’s Transworld and there weren’t as many Escape Room vendors. I still believe that the Escape Room is a fad, but time will only tell.
This year’s Transworld was a big one for City Blood. I was given the president’s award at the annual HAA Oscares Awards for my contributions to the haunt industry over the years. City Blood is officially the first and only Haunt Review website to be given an award by the Haunted Attraction Association and I couldn’t be prouder. There were plenty of events taking place over the weekend from haunt tours like Lemp Brewery Haunted House and parties like the Venetian Vampire Ball. Who can forget the tons of seminars, workshops and more that took place at the world’s largest Halloween show simply known as Transworld. It was a sensory overload.
No, there wasn’t anything truly innovative at the show, but it was more organized and there was a much more relaxed atmosphere compared to previous years. You had masks, costumes, animatronic monsters, fog and everything else that you would expect at a haunt trade show. This year I was wasn’t constantly hearing a screaming animatronic coming from the Halloween Productions booth. I felt sorry for the booths that had to deal with that in 2018.
“WOW is all I could say about some of the decorations at Transworld’s Christmas Show.”
My prediction is that the Christmas Show will be as large as the Halloween & Attractions Show in five years or possibly more. There are currently less than 50 vendors at this year’s MHC as of April and hopefully this changes. I’m sure it will. At one time Midwest Haunters Convention had well over 100 exhibitors. It’s in a transition period moving to the Chicago area. Transworld’s Halloween & Attractions Show is at a point where it’s making some of the other conventions and trade shows obsolete in my humble opinion. There’s still need for some smaller shows, but it’s not as vital as it used to be years ago. Transworld offers just about everything you could want.
It would make more sense to have the trade show named Transworld’s Halloween & Christmas Show since it covers much more than just the Haunt Industry. Extending the hours the trade show was open would help since it’s much larger. It takes a long time to take in all the sights. The Christmas section needs to be closer to the front of the trade show floor as well. Right now, you have to walk far to experience the best part of Transworld. Christmas is no longer treated like a second class citizen and I couldn’t be happier. Transworld 2020 will be City Blood’s 13th year attending the show and we hope to see you soon. See you next year!