Innovation and Connections Shine at IAAPA Expo
Photos by Nelson Photography, PB & J Studios, AND Steven Miller Photography
Ten miles of aisles could not contain the excitement, connections, education, and opportunities generated at IAAPA Expo. From the 10th Annual IAAPA Motorcycle Ride to IAAPA Celebrates at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, more attendees than ever visited Orlando to take part in the global attractions industry’s premier event. Approximately 42,600 people—from international leaders and decision-makers to visionaries—came together to buy, learn, and network from Nov. 18 to 22 at the Orange County Convention Center.
“It was an incredible week bringing together this vibrant and diverse community that continues to evolve in ways we’ve yet to imagine,” said Hal McEvoy, president and CEO of IAAPA. “With the largest attendance in IAAPA Expo history, this year’s event is a testament to the continued growth and strength of the attractions industry worldwide.”
Of those in attendance, 27,800 were qualified buyers from amusement parks, attractions, water parks, family entertainment centers (FECs), zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, and resorts from around the world.
Back for a second year, Exploration Station extended the trade show floor into a climate-controlled outdoor structure holding additional exhibitors displaying new products and technologies. In all, exhibitors representing 125 product categories—from ride engineering and virtual reality to attraction design and food and beverage—could be found on the trade show floor. Over four days, 38 companies made new product announcements directly from the trade show floor, including Legoland New York Resort, Holovis, ETF Ride Systems, Zamperla, Luna Park in Coney Island, New York, and all three SeaWorld parks in California, Florida, and Texas, just to name a few.
“We’ve had an amazing show. From the innovations lining the trade show floor to wisdom provided in education sessions, the momentum from the best-attended Expo ever will carry into the new year,” said 2020 IAAPA Chairman of the Board Amanda Thompson OBE. “Expo’s strength reflects the strength of the global attractions industry as a whole.”
Other highlights of the week included lessons from leading industry experts including George Walker, creative director, Universal Creative Studio, who presented during “Lunch and Learn: The Emergence of Authentic Reality,” and Nely Galán, entrepreneur and author, during “Coca-Cola Presents: How to Become Self Made and Have a Rich Life in Every Way.” With more than 100 educational experiences, attendees also participated in classroom sessions and behind-the-scenes tours throughout the week.
New in 2019: IAAPA TV provided a vibrant and colorful look at Expo as it happened. From the Kickoff Event to EDUTours, and the IAAPA Brass Ring Awards ceremony to basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal making a surprise visit on the trade show floor to unveil Carnival Cruise Line’s new “Bolt: Ultimate Sea Coaster” with Maurer Rides, IAAPA TV captured the excitement. Watch a collection of videos at IAAPA.org/IAAPATV.
Celebrating 25 years of partnership, Expo attendees raised approximately $155,000 for Give Kids The World Village through corporate
donations and an annual series of events, including a golf tournament, motorcycle ride, and fun run and walk. Since first partnering with the Village, IAAPA has raised more than $1 million, helping make magical memories for children with critical illnesses and their families.