IAAPA News - Event Recap - August 2018

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The Guinness Storehouse welcomed attendees with a networking lunch.

IAAPA EMEA Spring Forum 2018 in Ireland Tackles Branding

by Juanita Chavarro Arias

Branding is more than a name or logo consumers recognize. It’s about the ideals, emotions, and memories these elements evoke. Branding concepts vary from industry to industry, so the IAAPA EMEA Spring Forum 2018—held in May in Dublin, Ireland, and Belfast, Northern Ireland—focused on teaching attractions professionals from the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region about how brand experiences speak, inspire, and attract visitors. 

The two-day forum, with an optional third day, brought together 120 attendees from 16 countries—including Austria, Italy, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and Sweden—for a series of facility tours, presentations, and networking opportunities.

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Tour stops included Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Distillery, Tayto Park, and popular Dublin sites led by Viking Splash Tours on an amphibious vehicle. Inspired by the theme of IAAPA’s 100th anniversary—“Celebrate the Past. Build the Future.”—facilities gave in-depth presentations centered on their histories and visions for the future. One of the Spring Forum’s standout moments was Tayto Park’s networking dinner with its live music and Irish dance performances.

The second day’s conference program featured a morning branding seminar followed by a panel discussion. Erlebniskontor’s Silke Petzold led the seminar, which explored forms of brand communication and elaborated on the differences between a product and a brand. Continuum Attractions CEO Juliana Delaney moderated a panel discussion about brands with experts from the facilities visited during the Spring Forum. Speakers included Colette Coughlan, brand manager at Guinness Storehouse; Laura Hogan, senior brand manager at Jameson Brand Homes; Yvonne Rogers, business development manager at City Splash Tours; and Cian O’Callaghan, marketing assistant at Tayto Park.

The forum’s optional third day traveled to Belfast for an afternoon tour and presentation at Titanic Belfast, known as the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience.

For more information about upcoming IAAPA events in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, visit www.IAAPA.org/EMEA.