IAAPA News - Expo Preview - April 2018


The trade show floor at Asian Attractions Expo 2018 will offer attendees the chance to see and experience the latest innovations in the industry. 

An Unequaled Attractions Industry Experience in Asia

Joining a dynamic trade show floor with in-depth education sessions and special events, Asian Attractions Expo 2018 offers a comprehensive experience in Hong Kong

by Juanita Chavarro Arias

When more than 8,000 attractions industry professionals from around the world gather for four days of learning, networking, and exploring, it’s sure to inspire innovative ideas, forge new connections, and create memorable experiences. Produced by IAAPA and taking place June 5-8, Asian Attractions Expo 2018—the largest, most comprehensive conference and trade show in Asia for the industry—has everything to elevate a business, from game-changing ideas and operations best practices to a grand marketplace of products and services specifically geared toward the global attractions industry. The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre will be the place to learn from industry leaders and experts while experiencing the latest in state-of-the-art rides, virtual reality (VR), water park attractions, video and skill games, design and theming, food and beverage, and more. 

Connections and Discoveries on the Trade Show Floor

The trade show floor at Asian Attractions Expo 2018 spans 10,000 net square meters and features more than 300 exhibiting companies ready to showcase their latest innovations. High-level executives and decision-makers will roam the trade show floor, looking to meet with manufacturers and suppliers, and discover the industry’s “next best thing.” A First-Time Exhibitor Pavilion will showcase exhibiting companies new to the Expo. The trade show floor is open June 6-8.

Can’t-Miss Special Events

The Opening Ceremony on June 6 will jumpstart the Asian Attractions Expo 2018 experience with entertainment, updates on what’s happening in the Asia-Pacific region, and a preview of what’s ahead for the global attractions industry and IAAPA. After a day full of education sessions and trade show floor exploration, the “Opening Night Reception: IAAPA 100th Year Celebration at Ocean Park Hong Kong”* will be an opportunity for attendees to socialize with industry peers from around the world while enjoying specialty food and beverages. The event will also feature a celebration of IAAPA’s 100th Anniversary.


 Among the Expo’s special events are Thursday’s Leadership Breakfast and Lunch and Learn, where participants will hear from guest speakers and connect with industry colleagues.

Thursday morning’s Leadership Breakfast* will feature a keynote address from Dr. Allan Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group, focusing on emerging trends, new developments, and hot topics affecting the industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Attendees will connect with owners and executives representing a variety of constituencies over a buffet breakfast.

The Lunch and Learn* event on June 7 will focus on developing successful ride and show entertainment using VR technology and projection mapping. Spurred by the continuous and fast-paced evolution of attraction technology, the event’s program will consider how industry leaders are working to stay on top of the latest trends. Through a variety of case studies, attendees will survey the development of VR and projection mapping systems in the attractions industry. They will also learn about key design considerations for creating a successful experience. Session speakers include Dr. Vincent Taehyun Park, director of strategy and planning, Everland Resorts, Samsung C&T Corporation; Daniel Perez, creative manager at Universal Studios Japan; and Beomjoon Jung, CEO of Sangwha South Korea.

Following the Young Professionals Forum, students and industry professionals under 35 are invited to participate in the Young Professionals Reception,* where they will interact with other young professionals of varying backgrounds and levels of experience and start building an industry network of colleagues and friends.

In-Depth Learning

IAAPA Institute programs will take place during Asian Attractions Expo 2018, starting with the attractions industry’s premier development program for mid-level managers, the IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers, June 3-5. The intensive program teaches key disciplines and processes required to manage a successful attraction through a combination of classroom instruction led by industry experts, case study examinations, and small group presentations. The Institute will cover five core subject areas: finance, marketing, leadership, facility operations and safety, and revenue operations. Participants in the IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers will earn 16 credit hours toward IAAPA Certification.

On June 5, the IAAPA Safety Institute will bring together attraction operators and owners, safety experts, industry consultants, and manufacturers to examine processes that ensure guest and employee safety as well as the safe operation and maintenance of facilities and equipment. Attendees will also learn about the latest developments and best practices in ride standards, loss prevention, risk management, ride design, and safety compliance. Participants in the IAAPA Safety Institute will earn four credit hours toward IAAPA Certification.


 The EDUTour of Ocean Park Hong Kong will give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at how the park maintains its world famous cable car attraction. (Credit: Ocean Park Hong Kong)

EDUTours with Exclusive Access

Asian Attractions Expo 2018 will offer two EDUTours,* where attendees will have exclusive access to popular Hong Kong attractions to see their operations in action and observe best practices. The first EDUTour will travel to Ocean Park Hong Kong on June 7 for a behind-the-scenes look at how Ocean Park maintains its world-famous cable car attraction, which combines a transportation system with breathtaking scenic views. A tour of the VR “Mine Train” maintenance area will demonstrate the planning, production, operations, and maintenance involved in keeping the attraction operating safely and efficiently. 

The Expo’s second EDU­Tour will visit Hong Kong ­Disneyland on June 8. Participants will tour different themed restaurants in the park and hear from Manfred Wong, director of food and beverage at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, who will share how the resort’s creative food and beverage team prepares and delivers memorable dining experiences at the park and three resort hotels. 

In addition, attendees will get a comprehensive look at “Iron Man Experience: Calling All Super Heroes” and can ride on the Expo Edition Iron Wing flight vehicle, where they’ll fly alongside Iron Man on an aerial tour of the Hong Kong skyline. Kelly Willis, director of creative development and show quality standards at Walt Disney Imagineering, will present how more than 70 Walt Disney Imagineers from Hong Kong shared their innovative talents with the international Walt Disney Imagineering team and the Marvel team to create the first immersive, interactive Marvel-themed ride in a Disney park. 

EDUTours are only open to IAAPA members, and participants will earn two credit hours toward their IAAPA Certification for participating in each EDUTour.

 The Expo’s education sessions will be simultaneously translated in English and Mandarin Chinese, and cover a variety of topics, including facility operations, human resources, and communications.

Invigorating Education Sessions

Asian Attractions Expo 2018 will offer 15 general education sessions led by industry leaders to help attendees grow their businesses, provoke new ways of thinking, and encourage career advancement. Covering topics from facility operations and human resources to communications and government relations, the Expo’s education sessions are designed to inspire all levels of industry professionals. 

All education sessions will be simultaneously translated in English and Mandarin Chinese, and education session attendees are eligible to receive IAAPA Certification credit hours.

Here’s a look at what to expect at the Expo’s education sessions:

Asia-Pacific Spotlights

The Asia-Pacific region has one of the fastest growing economies sustained by an expanding middle class and rising investments. Learn about the newest trends and most exciting attractions topics from a panel of industry veterans. 

Quality Show Management 

Learn from some of the industry’s most talented entertainment management professionals as they share best practices and strategies for managing consistent show experiences that keep guests entertained.

Two-Part Session: Maintenance – Operators Only/Select a Ride?
Buy a New Ride? Questions to Ask

In the first part of this two-part session, ride operators will learn about amusement ride maintenance and best operational practices to ensure safety. Industry leaders will also delve into the philosophy of exceeding guest expectations through excellence in park safety management. Immediately following “Maintenance – Operators Only,” the session’s second part, “Select a Ride? Buy a New Ride? Questions to Ask,” will present case studies that tackle common questions from park operators and owners.

Family-Owned Attraction Challenges, Opportunities, and Benefits

Discover new ideas for family-owned attractions businesses, and connect with owners and operators from around the world. Leaders in the industry will explore how the next generation defines success, deals with challenges, and makes changes for the future. 

The Greg Hale Story 

2017 IAAPA Chairman Greg Hale, ICAE, chief safety officer and vice president of worldwide safety and health for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, will share inspiring stories, challenges, and memorable moments from his 30-year career in the attractions industry. Hale will also discuss how he leads a global team of ride design, operations, maintenance, and safety professionals, keeping Disney on the leading edge of theme park safety and technology advancements.

The Human Resources Learning Lab: Developing Organizational Culture

Join an interactive session where three members of Scenic World’s leadership team will discuss the company’s strategic shift focused on building a rewarding culture that organically drives innovation in all areas of the business. Scenic World’s presentation will touch on the realities of organizational change while celebrating the positive impacts for individuals and the business and revealing what inspires the team to stay focused on continuing to build its culture.

In Case of Emergency: How to Prepare

This case study-focused session will take attendees through a series of events involved in an incident that occurred at an organization, how each element was handled, and key takeaways based on firsthand experience. Attendees will discover the ramifications of an incident and the processes that can be adopted to ensure an attraction is prepared for the unexpected.

The Supervisors Learning Lab: Inspirational Best Practices from a Water Park

Learn practical tools and identify unique supervisory and leadership best practices through a case study in water parks. This facilitated interactive session will add a fun twist to further developing an attraction’s leadership and management program.

TEA Panel: Theme Park Development 101 –
An Asia Perspective

A panel of experts will illustrate the steps involved in designing, building, and operating a world-class theme park in Asia, including concept and master planning, schematic design, detail design, integration, fabrication, media production, installation, programming, and operations.

The Food and Beverage Learning Lab

Discover ways to ensure food and beverage safety, quality, and design are right for today’s consumers. Learn how to design effective guest opportunities that will generate additional revenue.

Young Professionals Forum

Professionals 35 and younger will learn tips for successful networking and career advancement and gain peer-to-peer advice.

Learning from the World’s Best – IAAPA Brass Ring Award Winners 2017

An award-winning panel of attractions industry operators from across the Asia-Pacific region will discuss the impact and effectiveness of their human resources, marketing, and sales programs.

Utilizing the Power of Big Data to
Make Your Attraction Shine

Learn about the potential big data brings to companies and practical approaches to collect and analyze findings in various settings. Discover ways to apply this valuable tool to help customers, make strategic decisions, and remain ahead of the competition.

Successful Water Park Development and Operations

Learn about Asia’s leading water parks, strategies for operating a successful facility, the history of water parks in Asia, and the subsequent growth and challenges the industry faced in the 1990s and early 2000s. Case studies will show how leading Asian water parks entered the market along with examples of achievements, expansions, and marketing initiatives that fueled their success and positioned them as current industry leaders.

For more information about Asian Attractions Expo 2018, visit www.IAAPA.org/AsianAttractionsExpo.