IAAPA News - Expo Preview - July 2018

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Open the Door to New Connections, Perspectives, and Innovations in Amsterdam

With expanded exhibition space, Euro Attractions Show 2018 is set to be the largest show in event history

by Juanita Chavarro Arias

Euro Attractions Show (EAS) 2018 returns to Amsterdam, Netherlands, in September to empower professionals in the tourism, leisure, attractions, and entertainment industry to expand their network and build their knowledge.

The largest international conference and trade show for the industry in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region makes its third appearance in the Netherlands’ capital after successful expos held in 2009 and 2014.

This year, from Sept. 23 to 27, the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre will welcome more than 12,000 industry professionals from more than 100 countries, including 500 exhibiting manufacturer and supplier companies. 

EAS 2018 will highlight the theme of IAAPA’s 100th anniversary—“Celebrate the Past. Build the Future.”—through events hosted at theme parks with long histories and traditions, such as Efteling, and through a growing trade show floor, diverse seminar program, and unique tour offerings new for this year. The momentum created by the rapid development of the Dutch leisure industry will help lead EAS 2018 into a record-breaking, landmark experience in Amsterdam.

1807_news_eas_2An Expanded Trade Show Floor

With more than 14,000 net square meters of exhibition space, the trade show floor at EAS 2018 will be the largest in the event’s history with a fifth exhibit hall added to support continued exhibitor interest and growth. The trade show floor is the place to discover the latest industry innovations in rides, food and beverage, technology, products, and services. More than 8,000 influential buyers from amusement parks, aquariums, attractions, family entertainment centers, museums, music festivals, resorts, science centers, water parks, and zoos from around the world are expected to explore the trade show floor. 

1807_news_eas_3Special Events Forge Connections

EAS 2018 will host several exciting special events that bring attendees together with industry colleagues, experts, and leaders for valuable networking experiences and memorable presentations.

Leading into the first day of trade show floor exploration is the Opening Ceremony on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 25, where attendees will get a look at what’s going on in the EMEA region. During the Opening Reception* in the evening, EAS participants will socialize and recap their first-day experiences from the trade show floor while enjoying food, drinks, and entertainment at Strand Zuid, located behind the convention center.

Wednesday, Sept. 26 offers numerous opportunities for connection and learning for attendees representing a variety of backgrounds and constituencies, beginning with Leadership Breakfast* in the morning and ending with evening forums and receptions* geared toward young professionals and students. 

Young professionals will gather to discuss career success in the industry, receive advice on being a successful leader, and learn how to stay up-to-date on industry trends from special guests and a panel of young professionals. Through a collaboration with the IAAPA Foundation, EAS will host for the first time an educational forum and reception organized exclusively for students in the field of leisure and attractions management. There, students will learn about their career options and hear from established industry professionals.

Tours to Dutch Theme Parks

Through exclusive tours* at EAS 2018, attendees will get behind-the-scenes access to three popular theme parks in the Netherlands: Walibi Holland, Toverland, and Efteling.

On Thursday, Sept. 27, the Halloween & Haunted Events Forum at Walibi Holland will feature a backstage tour during the preparation of the park’s award-winning “Halloween Fright Nights.” Participants will learn about the development, design, and marketing of a Halloween event for facilities of all sizes and enjoy a networking lunch and reception.

After-show tours at Toverland and Efteling will explore the two parks’ newest additions. Toverland this year presented its new magic-themed entrance area, Port Laguna, which features shops, dining, shows, games, and a lighthouse. Guests can use wands and maps to interact with magical elements. Also new is Avalon, a themed area inspired by Celtic legends, which includes “Fēnix” wing coaster and “Merlin’s Quest” boat ride.

The tour at Efteling will focus on two of the park’s rides, “Symbolica” and “Baron 1898.” “Symbolica” is a family dark ride that takes guests through an enchanting palace, and “Baron 1898” is a dive coaster that plunges riders down 37.5 meters into a mineshaft at
90 km/h.

1807_news_eas_4In-Depth Learning Experiences

This year, attendees can take advantage of many in-depth learning experiences presented at EAS 2018, starting with the IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers*, a three-day course directed toward emerging industry professionals looking to learn about attractions management. The program will be held at Efteling from Friday, Sept. 21 to Monday, Sept. 24, and it will combine classroom instruction, presentations, case studies, classwork, and fieldwork to dive deeper into the business of running an attraction.

IAAPA Safety Institute* on Monday will present the latest information on safety standards, ride protocols, accessibility issues, employee safety concerns, and other compliance-related matters.

In Monday’s “conference within a conference,” owners, operators, and those interested in the indoor-play and family entertainment center (FEC) business can take part in the FEC / Small Park / Indoor Playground Day*, a full day of seminars, discussions, and sharing of ideas tailored to this audience.

Two Lunch and Learn events will touch on attractions industry trends and refreshing human resources strategies. On Tuesday, Sept. 25, Lunch and Learn: Let’s Talk Trends!* will look to the future of the industry by analyzing its current state and trends. Through a hands-on workshop and collaborations with team members, Lunch and Learn: Train and Motivate Your Staff to Deliver Outstanding Guest Experiences* on Wednesday, Sept. 26 will focus on refreshed insights related to staffing responsibilities and ways to interact with colleagues.

Water Park Forum on Thursday, Sept. 27 will combine an information-packed seminar with an educational networking event designed specifically for water park owners, operators, designers, and manufacturers. The forum will explore new water park developments across the EMEA region and showcase ideas to increase revenues, combine safety and design, and fulfill customers’ operations expectations.

A Specialized Education Program

EAS 2018 will offer 17 education sessions divided into seven specialized tracks, ranging from guest experiences to marketing. More than 100 speakers will be engaging with attendees throughout the conference program, and with two to three sessions per track, participants will be able to personalize their experiences to fit their interests and areas of business. IAAPA members with an EAS 2018 badge receive free admission into the program’s education sessions. Nonmembers are required to purchase a conference program add-on to attend.

Here’s a look at the conference program’s seven tracks:

1. Guest Experience Track

This track explores how facilities can create great experiences for all guests. Sessions will discuss developing a culture of accessibility, promoting inclusivity, and implementing technology to enhance services and increase profitability.

Tuesday, Sept. 25

11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. — Every Guest Has Special Needs

12:30–1:45 p.m. — How New Technologies Help to Wow Your Guest

2. Digital Track

This digital-focused track examines the best ways to use collected data in a General Data Protection Regulation-compliant landscape and install evolving technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, to add value to attractions and their operations.

Tuesday, Sept. 25

2–3:15 p.m. — When It Gets Personal… How to Use Your Collected Data Smartly

3:30–4:45 p.m. — VR, AR, MR, XR, RR… What’s Your Reality of the Future?

3. Revenue Track

Inspiration is at the heart of the revenue track’s sessions. Attendees will evaluate food trends and discuss best practices and creative approaches to increase profits.

Tuesday, Sept. 25

11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. — #foodie: How Attractions Can Incorporate Food Trends from All Over the World to Exceed Guests’ Expectations and Increase Profits

12:30–1:45 p.m. — 51 Ways to Increase Secondary Spending

4. Global Challenges Track

This track tackles universal issues facilities of all sizes have to consider, including sustainability, ticketing, marketing, food and beverage, and security.

Tuesday, Sept. 25

2–3:15 p.m. — Sustainable Profits? The Green and Social Road to Effective and Sustainable Success.

3:30–4:45 p.m. — Mega Solutions: Takeaways from Expos and Sports Facilities for Your Facility

5. Local Challenges Track

Attendees will hear about keeping up with the growing number of visitors at popular tourist destinations and study the growth of the Dutch leisure industry through a panel discussion.

Tuesday, Sept. 25

2:30–3:45 p.m. — No More Room for Growth? Overtourism and Its Lessons for the Wider Attractions Industry

5–6 p.m. — CEO Talk: Going Dutch? What Can the Wider Industry Learn from the Netherlands?

6. Marketing Track

This track is curated with sessions to help attendees use effective marketing techniques and tools to drive attendance, respond to guest feedback, and develop successful brand messages.

Wednesday, Sept. 26

12:30–1:45 p.m. — How to Increase Attendance During Slow Days by Inviting Schools

2–3:15 p.m. — Crazy About You? How to Activate Your Fanbase to Deal with Ugly Rumors, Bad Reviews, and Good Advice

3:30–5 p.m. — The Big LOUD Marketing Debate

7. Design Track

This track brings together different design-related disciplines to help attractions discover new avenues for innovation in retail, safety, and security.

Wednesday, Sept. 26

12:30–1:45 p.m. — TEA Presents: Safety and Security Design

2–3:15 p.m. — TEA Presents: Design for Secondary Use

3:30–4:45 p.m. — Retailtainment: Where Retail Meets Leisure


Wednesday, Sept. 26

5–6 p.m. — CEO Talk: Inspirational Leadership, Words of Wisdom Shared

Join a panel of industry leaders as they discuss and share career and business lessons.


For more information about Euro Attractions Show 2018, visit www.IAAPA.org/EuroAttractionsShow.