Remarkable Strength of Global Attractions Industry Featured at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015

Remarkable Strength of Global Attractions Industry

Featured at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015 

(Orlando, Florida, US) – The global attractions industry is as dynamic and strong as it has ever been. The tremendous results of IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015 reflect the industry’s overall success. More than 32,900 industry professionals from 120 countries explored the innovations on display across the 558,610-net-square-foot trade show floor. The 2015 event is the largest Expo since IAAPA began producing three trade shows around the world and second largest event in the association’s history. The weeklong trade show and conference took place Nov. 16-20 in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. 

Global attractions industry leaders gathered at IAAPA Attractions Expo to experience the future of the industry. More than 21,200 buyers, including attractions industry owners, presidents, general managers, directors, and managers joined with designers and 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 largest 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). 

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

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015 by the Numbers

  • 1,066 companies displayed innovative new products and services on 558,610 net square feet of trade show floor space.
  • 21,200 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.
  • 13,400 people participated in 114 education programs 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:
    • 780 attractions industry professionals attended the GM and Owners' Breakfast featuring keynote speaker SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment President, CEO, and Director Joel Manby.
    • Approximately 470 industry leaders enjoyed a lunch-and-learn presentation by President of Universal Creative at Universal Parks & Resorts Mark Woodbury.
  • 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 2015; and to preview new developments for 2016.
  • 1,260 participants met, socialized, and shared ideas at the Opening Reception.
  • Exhibitors held a record 34 press conferences to reveal new rides, attractions, technologies, and innovations during the Expo.
  • Expo participants raised approximately $150,000 for Give Kids The World (www.gktw.org), through a golf tournament, motorcycle ride, fun run and walk, individual and corporate donations, and a $20 for 20 campaign in recognition of IAAPA and GKTW’s 20-year partnership. Since 1995, the association has raised more than $1 million for the Village.
  • IAAPA appreciates the generous support of 54 sponsors that helped make IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015 possible.
  • The following prestigious industry awards were presented at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015:

“This was an incredible week,” said IAAPA President and CEO, Paul Noland. “Walking the trade show floor it was evident that the global attractions industry is booming in every corner of the world.” 

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Nov. 14-18. More than 200 companies have already reserved booth space for the trade show floor. Information about exhibiting in or attending the 2016 event 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 more than 4,800 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  #IAE15 

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Editor's Note: All numbers are preliminary estimates. Once numbers are audited and 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

2016 IAAPA Chairman of the Board John McReynolds, senior vice president, Universal Parks & Resorts, Orlando, Florida
“Exciting. Vibrant. The theme of the week is perfect. It’s new, now, next … where are we going? There was so much activity on the floor. We are in an industry of imagination, and the trade show floor proves that if you have the will to dare to dream, there’s opportunity out there.”

2015 IAAPA Chairman of the Board Gerardo Arteaga, general manager, Fantasilandia, Santiago, Chile
“It was awesome. There were a lot of new things to see, and the networking events and seminars were very well attended. When you have a place so full of people, it gives you energy. We accomplished things we put in motion several years ago, which is why the show was so successful.”

IAAPA First Vice Chair Greg Hale, chief safety officer, The Walt Disney Company, Orlando, Florida
“I’ve been going to these shows all over the world for 25 years, and this is one of the best I’ve ever been to. The aisles were packed, everyone was happy, they were buying and selling. I’ve never seen so many new releases of things going on around the world as I’ve seen at this show. What we saw this week confirms what I see as I travel around the world—this industry is booming, because people love having fun and making the world a happier place.”

IAAPA Second Vice Chair Andreas Andersen, president and CEO, Liseberg Group, Gothenburg, Sweden
“IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015 was one of the most vibrant shows I have attended. You could feel, by walking the show floor that the industry is in great shape right now.”

Greg Lombardo, senior vice president, global live and location based entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Los Angeles, California
“It’s clear there’s a booming marketplace here. For us it was a very successful week; we were able to bring on some best-in-class vendors for our Malaysia park. It’s a terrific sign for the industry that this show continues to be globally dominant.”

Chris Deere, chief executive, Rainbow’s End Theme Park, New Zealand
“It’s a show we always want to be a part of because everything is here that we need. It’s all under one roof. I think bringing a couple members of my team gives them a global perspective of this industry. We’re a small park in New Zealand, and we’re quite isolated, but it opens their eyes up to the greater industry. It’s motivating for them, but it also gives them a global perspective on things.” 

Quotes from Exhibitors

Phil Wilson, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Extreme Engineering, Penryn, California
“We had 1,000 brochures, because we thought that’s all we needed—they were gone on Tuesday. In four days this year, IAAPA Attractions Expo has transformed where we’re going with our product. We’re walking away with four contracts. We always joke with our colleagues that signing contracts on the show floor typically doesn’t happen anymore—those were the good ol’ days. Well those good ol’ days are back.”

Sascha Czibulka, executive vice president, Intamin, Liechtenstein, Switzerland
"Overall, from a quality point of view, this was one of the best Expos I've ever attended. You really felt the vibe—on the aisles, in the booth."

Jeff Hudson, president, Skee Ball, Chalfont, Pennsylvania
“This was phenomenal—probably the best show we’ve ever had. The traffic’s been great, the quality of buyers was fantastic, and the overall atmosphere made this a phenomenally great week.”

John Wood, chairman and CEO, Sally Corporation, Jacksonville, Florida
“This show has been the best ever. Our customers are buying more. It’s been fun and exciting.”

Michael Turner, ICAE, vice president, international business development, Neptune-Benson, Coventry, Rhode Island
“This year’s show was an absolute grand slam. The amount of people on the trade show floor was better than last year. Traffic was heavier. The floor looks bigger, and acts bigger. We know we had more people registered before the show than we did at the end of last year’s show and it certainly showed in attendance at our booth. It was a fantastic show.”

Lisa Lehr, vice president, business development and brand marketing, RWS & Associates, New York City
“We are always thrilled to come to IAAPA Attractions Expo and connect with old friends in the industry as well as cultivate new relationships. This year at the IAAPA Brass Ring Awards, it was inspiring to see the creative innovation amongst our colleagues within the entertainment space and know we are all working to raise the bar for live entertainment.”