IAAPA EMEA’s New Vice President Shares Vision for IAAPA Expo Europe 2022
For the first time since 2011, IAAPA Expo Europe is returning to London. The European leisure industry’s premier expo and networking event will be held from Sept. 12 to 15 at ExCeL London, bringing a boost for the tourism industry. The conference (taking place Sept. 12-15) and trade show (open Sept. 13-15) will provide attendees with insights on the latest trends and innovations shaping the fast-moving attractions industry and new technologies driving immersive, memorable experiences. IAAPA Expo Europe 2022 will be the first Expo under the leadership of Peter van der Schans, the new vice president and executive director of IAAPA Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA). Van der Schans is leading IAAPA’s efforts to grow membership and enhance member services in the EMEA region, as well as increase participation in IAAPA events, including IAAPA Expo Europe. He has a fresh and inspiring vision for this year’s experience:
Funworld: IAAPA Expo Europe was last held in London in 11 years ago. What are some changes attendees can expect at this year’s show?
Peter van der Schans: Since 2011, we have rebranded from the Euro Attractions Show to IAAPA Expo Europe. Now, we are returning with over 470 exhibitors and 15,000 square meters of trade show floor space, which has grown from around 300 exhibitors and an 8,000-square-meter floor a decade ago. This, of course, has a lot to do with the difference in setting. ExCeL London is an expansive venue, having previously hosted the Olympics in 2012.
FW: What educational opportunities are planned for IAAPA Expo 2022?
PS: We are bringing a jam-packed program, full of inspiration, top-notch education, and ideas regarding the issues that the attractions industry is facing—such as energy costs, labor shortages, revenue streams, and more. We will showcase the opportunities our members can gain from these challenges, as well as explore trends in technology, sustainability, and guest experience.
FW: What types of special events are being offered at the Expo?
PS: We are answering to the growing appetite for in-person events and organizing a variety of networking events, hosted by leading attractions in and around London, including Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Museum of London Docklands, and many more, providing a chance for insight-rich, behind-the-scenes tours. Sustainability Day will also return, covering the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social sustainability. And, of course, the Opening Ceremony will be back, and it will remain free in order to offer access and inspiration to all attendees.
FW: What is your overall hope and vision for IAAPA Expo 2022?
PS: Our mission is to create connections, and we want as many members present as possible, which is why we are continuing to offer a number of free Expo entry tickets. The London show is also a way to showcase IAAPA for potential new members. We hope that by hosting IAAPA Expo Europe in London, a world-class destination with good connections, we will see an increase in the number of first-time attendees or new exhibitors who want to learn more about IAAPA and the benefits of membership. Our objective is always to educate, inform, and inspire attendees.
Van der Schans and the rest of the IAAPA team are excited for the opportunity to showcase the European attractions industry’s brands, achievements, and facilities as it continues to rebound. The Education Conference will run from Sept. 12 to 15, and the trade show floor will be open for attendees from Sept. 13 to 15. Click here to learn more about IAAPA Expo Europe 2022 and to register.