Halloween is the second-largest American moneymaking holiday after Christmas, so Halloween trade show industry is growing at a frightening pace.
So what are some ways to begin planning to host a Halloween trade show? Hauntworld Magazine is an excellent source for reaching the Halloween vendors across America. Get a copy and you’ll have an easy way of contacting potential vendors- or advertising to potential event attendees.
Learn the Trade
Visit other Halloween trade shows to see who is attending, get their contact information, meet people, and learn the industry. Take notes. Ask people what they’d like to see in a new trade show. Find out what the pricing structure is, and speak with the organizers of the existing trade shows to see if you can do some cross-marketing of the events.
Choose a Time and Location
You will want to choose a time when Halloween enthusiasts are not busy planning for their main holiday. Hosting a Halloween trade show between July and November would result in poor attendance as this is the main ‘season’ for the industry. Most Halloween trade shows are held between December and March. The International Halloween Trade Show is put on by the Halloween Industry Association (yes, join) and is held in December; you won’t want your trade show to conflict with this or any other established Halloween trade show. Visit hauntedhousetradeshows.com for more info. For a location, you are going to need a large civic or convention center, which you will probably need to book a year in advance for such a large show.
Spread the Word
You are going to need a huge marketing push to promote a brand new event. Visit all the Halloween blogs and websites and post comments making people aware of your new event. Many sites have calendars to which you can add your event. Get email addresses of the owners of Halloween-related business and contact them directly, inviting them to the show. Advertise for visitors to the event in local newspapers and online. Such a major event will be hard to get off the ground; be patient as it will grow over time. Send an evite invitation reminder to all the contacts you have collected.
Halloween industry retailers and haunted attraction operators are a very close knit community- and all the retail world loves Halloween. Do your homework and research, and a Halloween trade show in your community could be just what the doctor (or mad scientist) ordered!
Check out more Halloween ideas at Creative Halloween.