Celebration and Inspiration at IAAPA EMEA Spring Summit
Under glorious spring sunshine, Swedish parks Liseberg and Gröna Lund welcomed the attendees of a sold-out IAAPA EMEA Spring Summit. More than 150 participants from more than 20 countries gathered in Scandinavia to connect, gain insight on dynamic new business conditions, achieve creative excellence, and learn how seasonal celebrations can create a distinctive reason to visit a park.
“We are delighted to facilitate knowledge sharing and connections for the attractions industry. Our goal is to offer inspiration but also create memories. For this Summit, we printed our event badges on a biodegradable paper so post-event memories might even be sprinkled among flowers,” shared Peter van der Schans, vice president and executive director of IAAPA EMEA.
Eight industry experts from Liseberg, Lund Gruppen, Parks & Resorts Scandinavia, ParkProfs, Särkänniemi, and Toverland took to the stage delivering keynotes, case studies, and panels. EDUSessions touched on several timely topics for the industry, such as business adaptation, operational innovation, changing seasonality, and taking advantage of new event formats. Key themes that dominated onstage discussions included agility, creativity, entrepreneurial employees, and guest experience.
Attendees had an exclusive opportunity to visit and stay in the newly opened Liseberg Grand Curiosa Hotel, which delighted with magical interior design and demonstrated seamless implementation of sustainable practices, from waste segregation bins in hotel rooms to recycled paper pens. They also attended a hard hat tour of new water world Liseberg Oceana and World of Volvo, both opening next year.
The evening celebrations were attended by 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Mats Wedin from Liseberg, who was unable to be honored at a ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year presented the opportunity for IAAPA to officially hand Wedin the award and commend him for his accomplishments.
An optional post-tour to Gröna Lund was attended by over 30 attendees who were invited to peek behind the scenes of the park, learn about its rich history, and celebrate its 140th anniversary.
The event was also a monumental first for some participants. “It is a first Summit for me being a young professional. Prior to it I attended an [IAAPA] Safety Subcommittee meeting to brainstorm and discuss this priority topic for our industry. The rest of the time was filled with talks from park experts, educational tours, and experiencing the beautiful grounds of Liseberg. It was great to have the opportunity to be in a smaller group, meeting people with the same passion for this amazing industry,” shares Isabel Fletcher, Project Manager at Neuman Aqua.
“This event is not about sales. It is about new ideas and a wider perspective. I am returning feeling inspired and with new contacts who can help me make my vision happen,” adds Uta Worbes of Jelly Belly Candy Company.
Following the summit, IAAPA EMEA will welcome industry professionals to the Netherlands in June for IAAPA Presents: Inspiratiedag Noord-Brabant, which will be conducted in Dutch. Members of the industry can also prepare for the highly anticipated IAAPA Expo Europe to be hosted in Vienna this September. Learn more about IAAPA Connections Events here.