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IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 Breaks New Records


IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 Breaks New Records

Centennial Celebration Concludes with Largest-Ever Trade Show Floor and Record Attendance

ORLANDO, Fla., US (Nov. 16, 2018) – The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) shattered records this week at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 with the highest attendance and largest trade show floor in the event’s history. A record 41,100 registered attractions industry professionals gathered in Orlando to learn, buy, and network during the association’s 100th anniversary celebration. The premier conference and trade show for the global attractions industry took place Nov. 12-16 at the Orange County Convention Center.

Attractions industry professionals from around the world came together to discover the latest products and technologies on the trade show floor, learn from world-renowned industry experts during the education conference, and build connections with attractions industry colleagues. The largest trade show floor in Expo history also featured the new Exploration Station, a custom-built outdoor structure with more than 140 exhibitors. The five-day Expo pumped an estimated $77.2 million into the Orlando-area economy.  

"There is no better way to celebrate IAAPA’s centennial anniversary than with a remarkable and record-breaking Expo,” said Hal McEvoy, IAAPA president and CEO. “IAAPA’s mission is to connect attractions professionals with each other and with new and innovative ideas. All that and much more happened here in Orlando. It’s been an incredible week!”

At this year’s Kickoff Event, IAAPA also revealed its new logo and brand that will officially debut on Jan. 1, 2019.

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 by the Numbers

  • 1,151 companies displayed innovative new products and services on 600,375 net square feet of trade show floor space, including the new Exploration Station outdoor structure.
  • 26,000 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.
  • 15,128 people participated in 149 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:
    • 713 attractions industry professionals attended the GM and Owners' Breakfast featuring Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products
    • And, approximately 364 industry leaders who enjoyed a lunch-and-learn presentation by Mohamed Al Zaabi, Developer of Yas Island and CEO of Miral in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • More than 1,800 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 2018; and to preview IAAPA’s new global brand.
  • 1,152 participants met, socialized, and shared ideas at the Opening Reception.
  • More than 3,600 people attended IAAPA Celebrates: IAAPA's Centennial Celebration at Universal Studios Florida.
  • Expo participants raised approximately $120,000 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.
  • Expo participants and IAAPA members raised approximately $50,000 for the IAAPA Foundation (www.IAAPAFoundation.org) through a Silent Auction at Opening Reception benefiting programs that support tomorrow’s attractions industry leaders and the Al Weber Scholarship Fund.
  • IAAPA appreciates the generous support of 76 sponsors that helped to make IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 possible.

The following industry awards were presented at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018:

About IAAPA Expo 2019
IAAPA Expo 2019 takes place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Nov. 18-22, 2019. More than 260 companies have already reserved booth space for the trade show floor. Information about exhibiting in or attending the 2019 event will be available at www.IAAPA.org/IAAPAExpo.

About IAAPA 
Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) began as an advocacy office in 1918. Since that time, IAAPA has become the largest international trade association for permanently located attractions. The organization is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the global attractions industry. As a non-profit entity, IAAPA represents more than 6,000 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 100 countries. Members include professionals from amusement parks, theme parks, attractions, water parks, resorts, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, science centers, museums, manufacturers, and suppliers. 

IAAPA helps members improve their efficiency, marketing, safety, and profitability while maintaining the highest possible professional standards in the industry worldwide. 

The association's global headquarters is in Orlando, Florida, US. IAAPA also maintains offices in Brussels, Belgium; Hong Kong, China; Shanghai, China; Mexico City, Mexico; and Alexandria, Virginia, US. To learn more, visit www.IAAPA.org or connect through social media channels: @IAAPAHQ #IAAPA100

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Editor's Note: Total number registered (41,100) and total number of buyers (26,000) were updated based on a final review of the 2018 registration data. Online release revised 12/13/18.

Download photos of IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 at http://bit.ly/2TkiFr1.  

Media Contacts:
PressOffice@IAAPA.org or +1 703/299-5127
Susan Storey: SStorey@IAAPA.org or +1 321/319-7615
Lesley Harris: LHarris@IAAPA.org or +1 321/319-7616

Quotes from Attendees and Exhibitors:

“It’s been a great show this year. The floor, the education, the record-breaking attendance: it’s representative of the industry and the direction we’re heading in. This week is setting the groundwork for the next hundred years, and to see a show like this, that sets the bar as high as it is, couldn’t be more exciting.” — David Rosenberg, ICAE, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California, US

“It’s been a great week. All the people I’ve talked to, the other exhibitors and attendees, have been saying what a great show it’s been. Lots of value, lots of fun, lots of business to be done.” — Ken Whiting, ICAE, Whiting Foods, Santa Cruz, California, US

“As usual, the show was non-stop. We got relevant education that we can actually apply to operations and made valuable connections on the floor with manufacturers. We’re in a growth period as a company, and the timing of the show aligned perfectly.” — Bob Williams, ICAE, Calaway Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

“We’re finding that a lot of our clients are here at the show with budgets, looking to have things built, installed and do big things. We’re really excited about that. Anybody who’s anybody is here.” — Ron Daniels, Daniels Wood Land, Paso Robles, California, US  

“I found new technologies that can potentially open new experiences in the entertainment world. Many of these technologies you find in theme parks also open new possibilities in retail. It’s really exciting.” — Alexandre Simionescu, Float4, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

“It’s been an extremely good show. We’ve talked to so many people and made a number of leads. We’ve had many new customers express interest in our products, including our controllers and sound systems. I haven’t had a chance to leave the booth!” — Douglas Mobley, Gilderfluke & Co., Burbank, California, US

“It’s a great opportunity for the market players to come together and exchange experiences. This Expo was rich in content. We made many connections, and I think this is the right forum for us to come and explore many options for growth.” — Bader Anwahi, Global Village, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“Expo is really informative. It gave me an opportunity to learn about emerging technologies and how we can move forward with plans for attractions around the world.” — Stu Johnson, ITEC Entertainment, Orlando, Florida, US

“It’s been an incredibly successful week for us from the opportunities presented to me to the amazing people I’ve met. Everyone has been supportive and this will help take me to the next level.” — Gabby Stein, Luboo, Wahroonga, Australia

“I never see enough while I am here. I had some great conversations that will move some projects forward in the future.” — Will B. Morey, Morey’s Piers, Wildwood, New Jersey, US

“This year we had more prearranged meetings than ever. We had meetings with the right people, and we met new people every day. This is our 40th year at IAAPA Attractions Expo. We are 41 this year, so it only took us a year to join this industry and figure out that this is the place that we needed to be.” — Lauren Wood Weaver, Sally Corporation, Jacksonville, Florida, US

“This was my first time. While we’ve been members for a while, we’ve never made the leap to come to Orlando. I learned so much.” — Jamie Frumusa, APR, Tipping Point Communications, Buffalo, New York, US

“This week has been really exciting. We’ve had a ton to share. For us, it’s been the best show ever. Big volume, great quality, lots of business being done. The industry is in a very good place.” — Paul Chutter, WhiteWater, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada