Trumbull, CT (January 4, 2018) – With over 350 exhibitors, a new hosted buyer appointment program, daily retail panels and afternoon roundtables, live fashion shows and the industry costume ball, Halloween & Party Expo 2018 is providing Halloween & Party Professionals access to the products, ideas and connections that will set their business apart in the coming year. The event will open to the trade next week in New Orleans, January 12-15 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The Halloween & Party Expo exhibit floor will be home to more than 70 new Halloween brands debuting their products for the upcoming season. In addition, the co-location with HAuNTcon, the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow & Convention, offers Halloween & Party Expo attendees the opportunity to explore an expanded product offering with over 55 companies showcasing their product lines including props & décor, make-up, and accessories.

The show also debuts a new Buyers Club Appointment Setting Program. The program this year includes 400 hand-selected retailers and is expected to generate hundreds of new appointments taking place on the exhibit floor. Senior Vice President, Mike Carlucci commented, “The Buyers Club Program was developed through our partnership with HIA, and we are delighted at the results that we have seen leading into the show. Allowing our team to further customize a buyers’ experience and match them with exhibitors who meet their needs through appointment setting provides a positive business result for both our buyers and exhibitors”.

Education this year has been reformatted to include more expert panels and provide opportunities for in-depth peer-to-peer discussions at the daily roundtables. Retail Minded’s Nicole Reyhle will moderate daily panels which include; Brick & Mortar In Store Experiences: Best Practices to Strengthen Customer Loyalty Sales & More; Tech, Retail & Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid: Welcoming Technology into Your Retail Business; Realistic Omni-channel Strategies for Brick & Mortar Retailers: An Industry Expert Panel; Across the Generations: Understanding the Woman Shopper. Newly added to the education program includes an afternoon panel discussion on Saturday, January 13th at 3:00pm - "The Halloween Ecosystem: First Impressions in the Consumer Experience” moderated by Philip Hernandez. This exclusive and incredibly unique panel brings together experts from all different points in the Halloween ecosystem to discuss First Impression Best Practices. This panel created in conjunction with the Haunted Attraction Leadership Symposium, Southern California’s premier education event for the industry, features panelists from Six Flags Entertainment, Eastern State Penitentiary, Knott’s Farms, EPIC Entertainment group and more. The Education Program at Halloween & Party Expo is open to all badge-holders.

Returning to the show this year is the Haunted Trends Runway, where brands showcase their latest styles and new product releases during live fashion shows. During each runway show buyers in the audience have an opportunity to receive a $300 merchandise credit good towards a purchase from the brand they are seeing on the runway. This year’s line-up includes: Dreamgirl, Hot Pink/HPI Apparel, Northstar Artisans, Peaberry Maternity, Rubies and Scared of My Shadow.

With the growth of the make-up category at this year’s event, Halloween & Party Expo is launching the event’s first make-up competition – The Artist Battleground. Participants in this year competition, Cinema Secrets, Kryolan and Moon Creations will be transforming their models with this year’s surprise theme to be revealed on Saturday, January 12th at 12:00pm. The industry panel of judges including Kyle Vest, Blast Effects & Skin Wars, Nick Wolfe, Evil Twin FX and Bethany Lemanski from Gwendolyn Events & Entertainment will judge the transformations on technical skills, creativity and use of multiple applications, ultimately crowing the award of the Best Brush Stroke at 4:00pm on Saturday.

For additional information and full event details for Halloween & Party Expo and to register visit halloweenpartyexpo.com.

About Halloween & Party Expo
The Halloween & Party Expo, the leading event for Halloween, Party and Celebration, is a trade-only event that brings industry professionals together each year. Co-owned by Urban Expositions and the Halloween Industry Association, the event provides a platform for sourcing, learning, and networking. Proceeds from the Halloween & Party Expo are used by the Halloween Industry Association to promote and grow the safe celebration of Halloween and year-round costumed events throughout North America. The next event will be held in New Orleans, January 12-15, 2018.  For more information visit www.halloweenpartyexpo.com

About HIA
The Halloween Industry Association (HIA) was formally incorporated in 2005 as a 501(c)(6) trade organization to promote and build the celebration of Halloween in the United States. HIA represents businesses involved in the manufacture, importation or distribution of Halloween products including costumes, décor, novelty items and party supplies. HIA has grown to become the preeminent authority on Halloween and serves as a non-profit voice of the industry.

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