H&LA’s David Sangree weighed in for an insightful Funworld Magazine (an IAAPA Publication) article that highlighted the ‘bigger is better’ trend in the waterpark market.
Published by: Prasana William/Funworld Magazine
Publised Date: October 2017
The positive buzz of a thriving industry could be felt everywhere you turned at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014. The largest annual industry event in the world drew a crowd of 30,500 attractions professionals with innovative new products on the trade show floor and insight from the best in the business during keynote addresses, -in-depth tours, and other valuable educational opportunities.
“The success of this Expo bodes well for the future of IAAPA and the industry. Everything has been positive—both from attendees and exhibitors. Everywhere I go there are smiles. We’ve had a great show,” said Mario Mamon, chairman and president of Enchanted Kingdom in the Philippines and 2014 IAAPA Chairman of the Board.
“Out of my 31 years exhibiting here, this has to be the best show I can remember. The industry right now is in a very good place and it certainly shows by the activity on the floor,” said Tim Timco, vice president of sales and marketing for S&S Sansei Technologies, manufacturer of vertical and family thrill rides. “The industry is in the best place it’s been in a very, very long time.”
With attendance numbers reaching a 17-year high, the Expo was indeed indicative of the continued success of the industry. From Nov. 17-21, attendees traveled from all over the world to pack Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. More than 19,400 buyers connected with leading innovators and creative masterminds throughout the week to announce new products, test the latest technologies, discuss trends and hot topics, try new food and beverage options, and learn from industry experts. Exposure to the latest and greatest ways to improve guest experience was a key benefit of the Expo.
“All of the world’s major theme park operators were well represented at this year’s Expo. They were quite focused on emerging technologies and solutions that address and improve the guest’s digital journey,” said Tom Burnet, CEO of accesso.
Education sessions on pressing topics in the industry drew 12,500 people to 110 unique programs.
“The number-one thing I always take away from this event is optimism,” said Scott Simmons, creative director for The Scarehouse haunt in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “It’s so inspirational to hear from so many past, current, and future legends in industry and realize they have all faced the same challenges and doubts that I face—but had the confidence and ambition and faith in their beliefs to take the big risks. It’s been one of the most inspirational conferences I’ve ever attended.”
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