Expo Location
Orange County Convention Center (OCCC)
North and South Buildings
9899 International Drive
Orlando, FL, US

2019 Dates
Conference: Nov. 18 - 22
Trade Show: Nov. 19 - 22

IAAPA Zoo & Aquarium Day 2013: Monday, Nov. 18, 2013

Join your zoo and aquarium colleagues for a full day of education, networking, food, and fun. The day will kick off at 10:30 a.m. and offer a full slate of educational programs at the convention center, followed by a private event at Discovery Cove, where our group will enjoy guided tours, a full dinner buffet, and a chance to unwind and network during a festive reception “on the beach.” The morning session will be headlined by Jackie Ogden of Disney's Animal Kingdom. After the education sessions wrap up, Discovery Cove will open its gates exclusively to Zoo and Aquarium Day participants for dinner, drinks, tours, and a fun reception concluding at 9:30 p.m.

Zoo and Aquarium Day includes education sessions that delve into award-winning innovations, examine the latest trends in zoos and aquariums that have resulted from experiences in the field, and offer an opportunity for you to bring your questions and ideas to share with other industry professionals in a roundtable format. 
Discovery Cove Logo

Education Program Slate for Zoo & Aquarium Day 2013

Executive Leadership Perspectives for Zoos and Aquariums
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Leaders from all areas of the attractions industry will discuss how their leadership skills have sparked innovation that helped lead their organizations to outstanding performance within their respective industries. The Leaders will also explain how their lessons learned can benefit all organizations, both big and small.
Speakers: Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Thom Stork, President & CEO, The Florida Aquarium
Keith Winsten, Executive Director, Brevard Zoo
John Hallenbeck VP Attractions, Resorts World Sentosa

Lunch & Learn with George Kalogridis, President, Walt Disney World
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Your ticket to this luncheon event is included with Zoo & Aquarium Day registration.

Departing with Expertise and Returning with Passion
2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Enjoy a panel discussion on how sending zoo personnel and other team members to partner organizations around the world results in a ripple effect that motivates, re-energizes, and inspires staff. Zoos of all sizes have experts in a wide variety of areas ranging from animal care to operations, food service to IT, and basic maintenance to education. Sending employees to remote locations where they use their expertise to provide much-needed assistance is a win-win for both organizations. Staff return inspired to make important contributions to their home organization, ready to encourage and collaborate with coworkers and enhance employee morale. SeaWorld's Brad Andrews will be joined by panelists who will share their stories on how their experiences throughout the world influenced their careers. The session also will include a few live animal surprises.
Speakers: Brad Andrews, Chief Zoological Officer, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Sharon Jarvis, Senior 1 Aviculturist, SeaWorld Orlando
Timothy Ng, Director of Operations, Ocean Park

Award-Winning Innovations at Zoos and Aquariums
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Throughout IAAPA’s prestigious Brass Ring Awards, zoos and aquariums have consistently shown they often lead the industry through creative and innovative thinking in the areas of entertainment, retail, and marketing. Learn about successful ideas and initiatives that have earned acclaim and boosted the bottom line at facilities around the world. This panel includes zoos and aquariums known for their out-of-the-box thinking and recent Brass Ring Award winners.
Speakers: Bill Von Bank, Marketing Director, Minnesota Zoo
Todd Hougland, Executive Director- Operations & Entertainment, Ocean Park Hong Kong

Zoo and Aquarium Operations Roundtable
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Join fellow leaders in the zoo and aquarium industry as they conduct roundtable discussions about hot topics impacting the industry. Each moderated discussion will focus on individual topics critical to zoo and aquarium operations.

Dinner, Tours, and Networking Reception at Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove is a unique reservations-only, all-inclusive park. The park restricts attendance to about 1,300 guests per day and so is able to provide a more intimate, resort-like experience unlike any park in the world today. Daytime guests are able to participate in the park’s signature 30-minute Dolphin Interaction, snorkel with tropical fish and rays in The Grand Reef®, wade beside marmosets and otters in the Freshwater Oasis™, hand-feed parrots, toucans, and other exotic birds in the free flight Explorer’s Aviary, and relax in the large resort pool and swim along a tropical river.

For Zoo & Aquarium Day, we’ll arrive just as daytime guests depart, and then our group will enjoy an exclusive evening at the resort complete with private tours tailored specifically for fellow zoo and aquarium operators. A full dinner buffet and a drink ticket are included, then enjoy a networking reception by the beach with music, live animal guests, and a cash bar.

All activities will be land-based – no swim attire is needed, but sandals are welcome. Each guest must present their Expo registration badge and event ticket at the gate to gain access into Discovery Cove between 6:30p.m. - 9:30p.m..

Zoo & Aquarium Day Ticket Information

Separate ticket and Expo registration required. Must be 18 or older to attend.
Your ticket includes a ticket to Lunch & Learn featuring George Kalogridis, President, Walt Disney World, (hot plated lunch provided), Zoo & Aquarium Day education sessions, and an evening event and reception at Discovery Cove (dinner buffet and 1 drink ticket included; cash bar open until 9:30 p.m.). Dinner buffet will be available 7:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m..

Ticket includes transportation from the Orange County Convention Center to Discovery Cove. When the event wraps up at 9:30 p.m., buses will offer service back to the Convention Center, or to the Peabody and Hilton Orlando hotels. Guests may provide their own transportation. Each guest must present their Expo registration badge and event ticket at the gate to gain access into Discovery Cove. Ticket is not valid for daytime Discovery Cove admission.

Ticket Price: US$125 IAAPA members; US$175 nonmembers. Tickets are limited and may sell out.
Event takes place rain or shine.  Event details subject to change.

Reception Silver Sponsor: The Nassal Company
Reception Supporting Organization: Billings Productions, Inc.

Education Programs

IAAPA offers numerous educational programs throughout the week of IAAPA Attractions Expo.

 Sessions with content tailored to the specifics of operating particular facility types will be offered for the following constituencies:

  • Family Entertainment Centers
  • Museums & Science Centers
  • Parks & Attractions
  • Water Parks
  • Zoos & Aquariums (Separate registration required.)

Additional education seminars addressing a variety of operational areas are being developed by IAAPA's Program Planning committees. These committees have put together a slate of sessions to specifically address topics faced by our industry in the following areas:
Photo of a recent IAAPA Attractions Expo seminar

  • Communications & Public Relations
  • Entertainment
  • Facility Operations and Emergency Preparedness
  • Finance & Information Technology
  • Food & Beverage
  • Games
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Retail Merchandising
  • Safety & Advocacy

The majority of these education seminars are 'General Interest Sessions.' IAAPA members who register and attend IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 may attend General Interest Sessions at no additional cost. Nonmembers may purchase the Education Program to gain access to those sessions.

Special programs such as luncheons, receptions, full-day and multi-day IAAPA Institutes, Zoo & Aquarium Day, and Museum & Science Center Day, and tours require a separate ticket. Advance registration is required for all ticketed events.

Register Here

Imagine More Possibilities

Return to the IAAPA Attraction Expo Conference Pages for further education and networking opportunities.