Transworld producer of both The Midwest Haunters Convention and the St Louis Haunted House Tradeshow announced the MHC will move to Chicago Illinois starting 2019. MHC was a regional haunt gathering started years ago and took a life of its own. The show was sold by the private producers to Transworld a couple years ago and now the show is moving after a long stay in Columbus, Ohio. Is MHC moving to Chicago a good idea? Does the industry even need MHC what so ever? Good and fair questions.
Let me answer both. NO!
MHC is known mostly for parties, free seminars, and tons of haunt tours. Understanding that after over 10 years in Columbus they've more or less run out of haunted house tours to attract buyers to the show. So sure the show should move. Agreed. But Chicago? No offense to Chicago but it's not a haunted hot bed, and furthermore if you're going to branch out from Chicago Transworld will find that to be very difficult. Furthmore they should already know that from the retail show trying Haunt tours from Chicago. Granted there are more haunted houses in Chicago today than 10 years ago but still not much to tour. So where should hte show have moved? Philly because Philly is close to New York, Baltimore, DC, New Jersey, and Boston actually isn't that far away. There is probably 70 million people living within a 3 hour drive of Philadelphia. There are more haunts to tour in or around Philly than anywhere in the nation.
Some will say oh wait another show tried and failed in Philly... yeah but they never had any promotion, no experience, and never had the money or experience that Transworld has. Chicago also is very close to St Louis so why Chicago. My view HUGE MISTAKE!
Secondly, MHC isn't even needed at all. Vendors do not want to support two tradeshows in fact if a haunt vendor was going to support two shows then IAAPA would be the natural second show. It really doesn't matter where you move this show, vendors are knee deep into production by the time MHC comes around. Going to MHC as a vendor not only costs you money but it costs you production time from your shop. No haunts need to leave their shop in the middle of production.
As it stands the main show located in St Louis is already at the end of the rope for taking orders and producing products. There is a lot of proof of this... talk to any major haunt they've already placed a lot of orders in the Winter long before the main show in St Louis happens. Honestly March is right in the middle of where most haunts want to order, and giving vendors enough time to produce new products. Given those facts the haunt tradeshow could probably move up at least 30 days but it can be argued both ways. Bottom line you don't need two shows a few weeks apart, 4 hours apart, for an industry that honestly only needs ONE SHOW!