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IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 a Success; Attendance Up 3 Percent from 2010

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 a Success; Attendance Up 3 Percent from 2010


Largest Conference and Trade Show for the Global Attractions Industry Raises $81,000 for Give Kids The World 

(Nov. 18, 2011) – Approximately 25,800 amusement park and attractions industry professionals from 118 nations gathered in Orlando, Fla., for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 Nov. 14-18, and raised $81,000 for Give Kids The World, a resort for children with life threatening illnesses in Kissimmee, Florida.

IAAPA Attractions Expo is the world’s largest conference and trade show for the $24 billion global attractions industry and serves as the primary marketplace event for leaders, decision makers, and visionaries, who gather to learn, discuss the current trends and hot topics, test the latest innovations, and dream up new experiences for the future. The event is owned and produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). The five-day Expo took place at the Orange County Convention Center and had an estimated $47.7 million economic impact on the Orlando area.

“The results for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 surpassed our expectations on several fronts,” said IAAPA President and CEO Chip Cleary. “Exhibit sales, buyer attendance, education program participation, and total registration are all up from 2010, which speaks volumes about the strength of the industry and the Expo’s role as a global can’t-miss event. The buying, learning, and sharing of ideas that takes place here is simply phenomenal.”

Buyer Attendance Up 5 Percent

Approximately 15,300 executives and buyers from 6,975 amusement parks, waterparks, family entertainment centers (FECs), zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and roadside attractions from around the world participated in IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011. In 2010, 14,600 buyers participated in the event.

Conference Program Offers Range of Education Topics and Experiences for Industry Professionals

Attendance at the Expo’s 123 education programs was 8,850. Highlights of this year’s conference included presentations from industry CEOs, a panel discussion featuring some of the brightest young designers in the business, a pre-dawn behind-the-scenes tour at Walt Disney World Resort, tours of Legoland Florida and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and a half-day symposium on mobile marketing and communications in the industry.

1,106 Companies Showcase Innovations, Products, and Services

The North/South building of the Orange County Convention Center was packed with exhibits from 1,106 companies that displayed their innovative new products and services on 477,474 net square feet of space on the trade show floor. The outdoor exhibit area measured 49,074 net square feet, the largest at the Expo in almost a decade. The exhibitors hailed from 32 countries and displayed everything an attraction owner may need to successfully entertain guests, including immersive and interactive rides and attractions, innovative water rides and slides, stage productions, mobile ticketing systems, new food and beverage treats, inflatable devices, arcade games, and much more.

Prestigious Industry Awards Presented at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011

The following awards were presented at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011:

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 by the Numbers

  • 1,400 people attended the Kickoff Event for an update on IAAPA; to see the exciting new attractions introduced around the world in 2011; and to preview new developments for 2012.
  • 1,000 Expo participants met, socialized, and shared ideas at the Opening Reception.
  • 440 industry leaders enjoyed the keynote address by Jim Atchison, CEO SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, at the GM and Owners’ Breakfast.
  • 1,650 people enjoyed the newly reimagined “Star Tours” attraction and “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights” during IAAPA Celebrates at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • 200 young professionals attended a reception at B.B. King’s Blues Club at Pointe Orlando.
  • Fundraising events held in conjunction with the Expo raised $81,455 for Give Kids The World, the Kissimmee, Fla., resort for children with life-threatening illnesses. (www.GKTW.org)
    • 152 golfers, 29 riders, and sponsors raised $66,215 in the 9th Annual IAAPA International Charity Golf Tournament and the 2nd Annual Motorcycle Run.
    • 135 runners and walkers raised $8,670 in the IAAPA 5K Fun Run & 1K Walk.
    • Expo participants donated $6,570 through a raffle for a 7-night Royal Caribbean International cruise for two. Tom Sheehan of The Sheehan Firm won the cruise.

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Nov. 12-16. More than 130 companies have already reserved their booths on the trade show floor. Information about exhibiting or attending is available athttp://www.IAAPA.org/expos/attractions/2012/.

"Building on the success of the 2011 Expo and based on the strong advance exhibit sales for the 2012 show, we look forward to creating an even more spectacular event for next year," said Roland Mack, 2012 IAAPA Chairman and Managing Partner of Europa-Park in Rust/Baden, Germany.


The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,000 facility, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. Member facilities include amusement/theme parks, water parks, attractions, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and casinos. IAAPA is a nonprofit organization. Revenue generated for the association by its involvement in trade shows and other activities are returned to the association to fund services for its members and the industry. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States. The association maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong.www.IAAPA.org


Editors Note: All numbers are preliminary estimates. Once numbers are audited and verified, the online version of this press release will be updated.

Contact Information: IAAPA Press Office: +1 703/299-5127, pressoffice@IAAPA.org
Colleen Mangone: cmangone@IAAPA.org
David Mandt: dmandt@IAAPA.org
Nicholas Wolaver: nicholas.wolaver@edelman.com

Quotes from Attendees

“This year we brought four people, and next year I intend to bring more. In Brazil we don’t have the same industry as established here [in the United States]. To be here and see what the industry can be [in Brazil], this is very important.” Murilo Pascoal, Beach Park, Aquiraz, Ceara, Brazil

“[The Expo] is full of a lot of imagination and creativity. It’s always great to see there’s a positive outlook toward the future of the industry—there’s a lot of new things coming through here.” John Chidester, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana, United States

“It’s amazing—very overwhelming, tiring, and informative. I’ve taken a lot of classes and gotten a lot out of them, so that makes me happy. It’s nice to connect faces to names of people I’ve done business with for years on the phone.” First-time attendee and female winner of GKTW 5K: Jessica Bodoh, Thunder Island family entertainment center, Syracuse, New York, United States

"My notepad's full, which is indicative of how great the programs were." Ron Gustafson, Quassy Amusement Park, Middlebury, Connecticut, United States

“It’s a great way to keep up with the new trends; to catch up with some people; [to find out] what experiences they had with the new rides; [find out] where the business is going. It’s the perfect place to network.” Viviane Paturel, Senior Manager, Leisure and Hospitality Standards, TDIC, United Arab Emirates

Quotes from Exhibitors

“It’s a fantastic show. Prior to the show, we already had every timeslot booked, which says a lot about the state of the industry; it’s very strong. We had a number of timeslots where we were booked for multiple meetings—that’s the first time we’ve ever had that. We’re coming out of this trade show busier than Premier has ever been. I also see and hear from people there’s tremendous investment going into the industry right now. So the show delivered and that’s what we needed. Jim Seay, Premier Rides, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

“In two and a half days we’ve probably given out about 3,500 samples, so it’s been phenomenal.” Scott Colwell, fruktsnö, a fruit-based frozen treat, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

“This year’s been just phenomenal. It seems like people have more money to spend—apparently access to money must be getting a bit better. In the past I think people had the want-to but couldn’t get the banks to agree to it. This year I hear a lot more big projects coming into play.” E.K. “Dutch” Magrath III, Amusement Products LLC, Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States

“It’s a great show. We can see different exhibitors here and meet more buyers, getting more business opportunities.” Billy Liu, Dalian Pony Toy Co. Ltd, Dalian, China

“I always enjoy the show, but this year, especially, there’s a certain buzz. There are definitely projects out there. It sounds like everyone’s quite busy and it’s exciting to see. People are happy and excited about the future.”  D. Cale Heit, Forrec, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“Attendance is good, we have a lot of great people coming to the booth, and hopefully we’ll get a lot of sales once it’s over.” Frank Cosentino, Namco America, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, United States