Trumbull, CT (January 18, 2018) – As Halloween & Party Expo closes its doors on the 2018 event, the feedback from both buyers and sellers has indicated an increase in buying activity across the show. The event was held January 12-15 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

This year’s event brought together the global industry for four-days for buying, selling, networking and celebration. The event reports that an impressive 30% of show attendance was comprised of new buyers. The first year co-location with HAuNTcon the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow & Convention further expanded the show floor with a focus on props and décor, masks and make-up for the Halloween buyers to source.

“We are thrilled with the conversations we have had with exhibitors so far,” said Mike Carlucci, senior vice president of Urban Expositions. “Talk on the show floor has indicated strong buying and a substantial increase in face-to-face appointments taking place at the booth.”

Continued Michelle Biordi, Executive Director of the Halloween Industry Association, “The Halloween & Party Expo continues to be the leading resource for retailers and vendors to come together and this year was no exception. With the introduction of new buyer programs, we were able to grow the amount of specialty, online and international buyers at the show. The co-location of HAuNTcon was also a great addition – not only bring more buyers, but a new excitement, especially at the industry costume party. We look forward to seeing what 2019 brings!”

Halloween & Party Expo has long been the destination for trend spotting and product releases for Halloween season and everyday party needs. The event features including the Haunted Trends Runway and Lounge are where buyers saw the latest trends live on stage. The Buyers Choice Featured Product Showcases lined the aisles further calling attention the new and unique products that will be the most asked for by consumers. Each year the Featured Product Award highlights the products and companies that buyers unanimously award as the top product of the show. The 2018 winner was Pumpkin Pulp and Sweet Midnight and Balloon It! placed second and third respectively.

“I found the Halloween and Party Expo and HAuNTcon very helpful in growing my business in the upcoming year,” said D Nachnani of Harygul’s Halloween in Virginia Beach, VA – an attendee of this year’s event. “The variety of vendors in each of our Halloween categories gives our buying team the opportunity to efficiently review a ton of vendor offerings within a very short amount of time. I appreciate this efficiency and look forward to next year’s show.”

This year’s show brought together exhibitors, attendees and media for more events than ever before. New this year, the highly anticipated Artist Battleground provided make-up companies, including Cinema Secrets, Moon Creations and Kryolan, the platform to showcase their products, techniques and artist talents. The theme, creatures, revealed the diversity of the products and judges Kyle Vest from Skin Wars, Nick Wolfe from Evil Twin FX and Bethany Lemanski of Gwendolyn Entertainment ultimately awarded the Best Brushstroke award to artist Jeff West of Cinema Secrets. 

Commented Jon Stein of Cinema Secrets, “The Artist Battleground brought makeup front and center on Saturday. Our Woochie team was excited to participate with such talented artists from Kryolan and Moon Creations and the event was an overwhelming success. Thank you to Halloween & Party Expo for giving makeup a unique forum at this year's show.”

Educational panels moderated by Nicole Reyhle of Retail Minded and Philip Hernandez of Gantom Lighting & Controls provided unique perspectives in the areas of generational marketing, vendor relations and creating first impressions, and featured panelists from Sunstaches, Refund Retriever, Halloween & Party Retailer, Shark Tank, Main Street Hub, Knott’s Scary Farm, Universal Halloween Horror Nights, Terror Behind the Walls, and more. The redesigned education allowed attendees to listen to peer best practices and insights.

Philip Hernandez of Gantom Lighting & Controls added, "Halloween & Party Expo co-located with HAuNTcon provides a unique opportunity to both haunters and retail stores. Haunters get insight into what trends their customers will see and build partnerships with local shops. Retail outlets learn how to enhance their in-store experience to drive sales. Imagine an ecosystem where retail and attractions work together to raise mutual awareness and revenue! Halloween & Party Expo and HAuNTcon are critical to our company development moving forward."

Concluded Carlucci, "Thank you to all our participating vendors, speakers, retailers and our industry supporters for making Halloween & Party Expo 2018 a success. We are looking forward to 2019."

Halloween & Party Expo along with HAuNTcon returns to New Orleans in 2019 – January 25 – 27. For more information visit http://info.urban-expo.com/e/338151/2018-01-18/44lg5/158497606

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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