Industry Connections Abound at IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit
The outstanding level of participation and interest experienced during IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit is a clear demonstration of the importance and the high potential of the attractions industry in Saudi Arabia. “We are happy to host IAAPA in Riyadh for the first time; and hope our partnership continues and benefits the members and other investors in the industry,” shares Ali Alamri, chief of strategy at the General Entertainment Authority (GEA). IAAPA is thankful for GEA’s partnership and is looking forward to continuing the collaboration in the future.
More than 700 participants from 40 countries attended the two-day event with 10 education sessions, more than 30 international speakers, and a trade connections area where 24 companies presented their products and services for the entertainment industry.
The EDUSessions touched on several areas of interest for locals and international attendees. Sessions detailed new developments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as best practices regarding safety, operations, HR skills, revenue management, and supply chain challenges.
Local attendees were eager to connect with reliable suppliers to elevate their business to the next level. Many new connections were established and business ventures will likely materialize from it.
What do participants say about the event?
“The Middle East is one of our hubs. This event is a great opportunity to develop our network,” shares Alexander Voelkel, CEO of VIP Coatings.
Chief Attractions Officer at SEVEN Damien Latham participated as an attendee and says: “[It’s] great to see IAAPA organizing an event in Riyadh. It is critical for the growth of the entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia.”
During the event, IAAPA announced the organization will open a dedicated office in the Middle East to grow membership and be closer to regional members. This is a strategic decision to support a blossoming area of the attractions industry.
Full Summit ticket holders visited two new local attractions, Boulevard Riyadh City and Boulevard World. Both sites use state-of-the-art in technology and spectacular theming, offering inspiration to attendees.
This event was a first of many to come in the rapidly growing entertainment hub of Saudi Arabia. The next opportunity to connect and grow in the region is IAAPA EMEA Spring Summit 2023 at Liseberg, in Gothenburg, Sweden.