IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 Largest in 98-year History

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 Largest in 98-year History Event Sets New Records for Attendance and Trade Show Floor Size as Global Attractions Industry Business Booms

(Orlando, Florida, US) – IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 broke all records as an all-time high 35,100 attractions industry professionals gathered in Orlando this week to experience the future of the industry across the largest trade show floor in the event's 98-year history. The attractions industry business is booming around the world and the success of IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 rounds out a record-breaking year for all three of IAAPA's Expos, including the events in Asia and Europe. The weeklong trade show and conference in Orlando took place Nov. 14-18 in the Orange County Convention Center.

More than 22,600 buyers, including attractions industry owners, presidents, general managers, directors, and managers joined creative innovators throughout the week to announce new products, test the latest technologies, discuss trends and hot topics, taste new food and beverage options, and learn from leading experts. IAAPA Attractions Expo is the premier conference and trade show for the $39.5 billion global attractions industry and serves as the marketplace of innovation for the industry. The event is owned and produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).  

"What an amazing week and year. This record-setting show caps off a record year for IAAPA Expos around the world," said Paul Noland, IAAPA president and CEO. "With the largest gathering in nearly 20 years, the success of IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 is an indication of sustained growth in the industry." 

The five-day Expo pumped an estimated $51.3 million into the Orlando-area economy.  

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 by the Numbers

  • 1,136 companies displayed innovative new products and services on 578,460 net square feet of trade show floor space.
  • 22,600 qualified buyers from around the world, including executives from amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centers (FECs), zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and attractions participated in the Expo.
  • 11,850 people participated in 99 education experiences which included multiple-day institutes and symposia, behind-the-scenes EDUTours at area attractions, panel and roundtable discussions, and constituency lunches. The education figure includes:
    • 670 attractions industry professionals who attended the GM and Owners' Breakfast featuring keynote speaker Steve Van den Kerhkoff, CEO, Plopsa Group.
    • And, approximately 460 industry leaders who enjoyed a lunch-and-learn presentation by Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president, Disney Springs, ESPN Wide World of Sports, Water Parks, and Mini-Golf and Jeffrey Abraham, art director, Walt Disney Imagineering.
  • 2,000 people attended the Kickoff Event, the Expo's official opening session, for an update on the state of the industry; to see the exciting new attractions introduced around the world in 2016; and to preview new developments for 2017.
  • 1,270 participants met, socialized, and shared ideas at the Opening Reception.
  • Exhibitors held a record 36 press conferences to unveil new rides, attractions, technologies, and innovations during the Expo.
  • Expo participants raised approximately $125,000 for Give Kids The World (www.gktw.org), through a golf tournament, motorcycle ride, fun run and walk, individual and corporate donations, and hole-in-one challenge.  
  •  IAAPA appreciates the generous support of 63 sponsors that helped to make IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 possible.

The following prestigious industry awards were presented at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016:

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 takes place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Nov. 13-17. More than249 companies have already reserved booth space for the trade show floor. Information about exhibiting in or attending the 2017event will be available at www.IAAPA.org/IAAPAAttractionsExpo.

About IAAPA
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 located amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents 5,000 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, and resorts. 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, Hong Kong, and Orlando. www.IAAPA.org  @IAAPAHQ  #IAAPA  #IAE16

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Editor's Note: All numbers are preliminary estimates. Once numbers are verified, the online version of this press release will be updated.

Contact Information
pressoffice@IAAPA.org or +1 703/299-5127
Colleen Mangone: cmangone@IAAPA.org
David Mandt: dmandt@IAAPA.org

 Quotes from Attendees and Exhibitors

Richard Sanfilippo, president, Sam's Fun City, Pensacola, Florida
"The folks on the showroom floor are very excited. They had consistent and high-quality visitation. The floor was busy all four days. There was a lot of excitement. The industry has stayed healthy for enough time that people are feeling good about expanding and doing new things."

Wuthichai Luangamornlert, managing director, Siam Park Bangkok, Thailand
"I think it's one of the best shows ever. It brought me up to speed on what's happening in the industry. We see it on display here at the trade show, and then we see it in action in locations around Orlando. People are excited. The industry's growing. There are new people coming to the industry, and IAAPA provides the education that they need."

Patrick Severn Lamb, managing director, Severn Lamb, United Kingdom
"The feedback from around the show floor has been very positive. Yet again, IAAPA delivered on a fantastic Expo. It's very buoyant. People are buying, and it's a good time. Long may it continue!"

Hank Salemi, president, Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, Illinois, United States
"This show was unprecedented. It was a record show in terms of square footage and attendance, and from what I hear talking to some of our members, it was a great show from a sales perspective, as well. Our exhibitors were incredibly excited about the quality of the visitors. The educational programs were terrific, as well. This show hit a home run."

Michael Turner, vice president international business development, Neptune-Benson, Coventry, Rhode Island, United States
"The show was fantastic. Every time I was in my booth it was full, and the aisle in front of my booth was full. We saw record numbers everywhere we went—every educational session I was in was packed. Lots of quality buyers in addition to quantity this year. All around, this was a perfect and excellent show."

Andres Andersen, president and CEO, Liseberg Group, Gothenburg, Sweden
"This show was truly global. It's a diverse group of attendees, and it had the feel that this is where the whole world gathers."

Greg Hale, chief safety officer, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Orlando, Florida, United States
"Wow, it's been such an incredible show all week. The weather's been gorgeous, the show floor's been packed, and this is more visitors than we've ever seen before. People seemed thrilled and excited about all the new products being shown. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 demonstrated the health of our industry is continuing to grow around the world."

Denise Beckson, director of operations and human resources, Morey's Piers & Beachfront Water Parks, Wildwood, New Jersey, United States
"Education seminars have been fantastic this week. We've had great participation in sessions, in the EDUTours, and in our special events. I hope attendees take away things they're able to take back and implement in their business, to have an experience here that matters and they're able to take home."

Chris Deere, chief executive, Rainbow's End Theme Parks, Auckland, New Zealand
"I love the balance between the education sessions and trade show floor—getting the insights from the seminars, but also finding out what's new in the industry."

Rene Aziz, President, Grupo Divertido, Mexico City, Mexico
"The week was great as always. This is the biggest show and the people who are coming are a high quality of buyers. Now that we have the three shows in Europe, the United States, and Asia, it's interesting to learn that it's not just Latin Americans and Americans who are coming to this show."

Philip Wilson, executive vice president, Extreme Engineering, Sacramento, California, United States
"IAAPA does a phenomenal job of connecting the media from multiple outlets throughout the globe, bringing them to one place, and funneling them to your booth so you can get that exposure. I don't care if you're on social media or you're e-mailing everyone and doing campaigns, IAAPA has the means to get the press to you—it's a service to all members. They have a phenomenal team that does it, and the results are great. Two years in a row the press conferences we've held were massive. IAAPA drove press to the booth and you're not going to get that in every industry."