Memento #5: Transworld 2022 Badge

I was excited about the opportunity to go to Transworld. Primarily known as a haunted house convention, Transworld also branches out into other interactive entertainment, most notably escape rooms.

In 2022, Transworld just so happened to fall at a time when I needed to visit my brother in southwest Missouri. Transworld is hosted in St. Louis, meaning the event was directly on my route.

All in all, I found the event disappointing, at least when it came to the escape room section. Transworld put the escape room section in a far corner of the exhibit hall, meaning that it didn’t get a lot of foot traffic. The promised “lounge” consisted only of a handful of tall tables in an otherwise empty cordoned off area near a vendor selling water bottles and canned liquor out of a cooler. The exhibits that came were neat, but there were fewer than I had hoped, and the escape room area was a bit too quiet.

It was a cool surprise to see a few familiar faces, including one all the way from Klamath Falls, OR (the team from Monster Mac’s Escape Room). The Monster Mac team had driven all the way from Oregon to St. Louis- a 29 hour drive!

The highlight of the event for me was the evening mixer. It was nice to meet a large mix of people in the business in a casual setting, including people from brand new startups, established franchises, and product vendors. The mixer alone was worth the price of admission.

The next year, Transworld pulled back on having a dedicated escape room section, opting instead to lump escape rooms in with a generic “interactive entertainment” category. I haven’t returned since- hopefully the change will result in a more prominent placement at the convention, but with the reduction of planned content around escape rooms, I’m not as interested in attending.

A few notes about the memento itself. “Froggy’s Fog” – the company represented on the lanyard, is a vendor producing the tools needed for smoke and fog machines. Until I looked it up, I assumed it was a restaurant, but this makes more sense!

I was surprised by the inclusion of the Enthusiast label on the badge. As far as I’m aware, I was the only person there using that label. I was always a bit self conscious about taking up time and attention from people at the booths. Especially with how sparse foot traffic was, I didn’t want to be occupying anyone when a potential buyer walked past!

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