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Show Review

“Most visitors are Asian visitors because of growing

markets in India, Indonesia and China,” added Peter van Bilsen of Vekoma Rides Manufacturing. “It's been a very good show because the quality of visitors and projects are fantastic.”

Industry energy “The energy in the convention center is at a high and it's translating to wonderful meetings and new friendships,” reported Sally Corporation boss John Wood. “With the new products we are presenting there has been a constant flow of traffic and our booth has been filled all week long." At a new location on the show floor, Stan Checketts of Soaring Eagle said, “We had a good show, with more people visiting. Everyone had a more positive attitude.” “The level of optimism is better than it's been for about

IAAPA Attractions Expo

Exhibitors suspected it and, during the recent IAAPA

Attractions Expo in Orlando, it was confirmed. There were

more attendees at the week- long trade show and

conference than ever before, as 35,100 parks and attractions industry

professionals gathered at the Orange County Convention

Center from November 14 to 18 to browse products and services from 1,136

exhibitors. But the the show floor was only part of the action! Here's Park World's recap of IAAPA 2016

Busiest show ever! Attendance

This time's attendance was almost 2,000 up on the previously most busy IAAPA Expo, the 1997 event in Orlando, when 33,146 professionals visited. Last year (2015), 32,900 passed through the doors of the Orange County Convention Center. Of this year's attendees, more than 22,600 were classed as buyers, including attractions owners, presidents, general managers, directors and managers. “Show attendance has been up noticeably compared to

past years” Tim Timco of S&S – Sansei accurately observed on the third day. I think that's a direct result of the industry being in a very good place now. In terms of S&S, we've had the most scheduled meetings in recent memory. As a result of those meetings we continue to build our business for many years to come.”

Whilst no one could fault the footfall, one or two did comment to Park World that, as IAAPA's Asian and in particular European shows grow in support and stature (both also experiencing record numbers in 2016), they had noticed attendance in Orlando beginning to take on a more domestic US flavour. One such person was Chuck Bingham of Martin & Vleminckx Rides: “The show has been good. But there are zero European buyers here and very little from the Middle East. The IAAPA show in Barcelona is so close to this show that it's had a real effect on European attendance here.”

eight years," commented Dick Chance of Chance Rides.

"Traffic has been non-stop. Day two was as busy as I can remember.” “I think it's one of the best shows ever,” enthused

Wuthichai Luangamornlert, managing director of Siam Park City in Bangkok. “It brought me up to speed on what's happening in the industry. We see it here at the trade show, and then we see it in action in locations around Orlando. People are excited. The industry's growing. There are new people coming to the industry, and IAAPA provides the education that they need."

IAAPA elation “What an amazing week and year," reported Paul Noland, IAAPA president and CEO. "This record-setting show caps off a record year for IAAPA expos around the world. The success of Attractions Expo 2016 is an indication of sustained growth in the industry” “It's been such an incredible show all week," noted new

IAAPA chairman Greg Hale of Disney. “The weather's been gorgeous, the show floor's been packed, and there is more visitors than we've ever seen before. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 demonstrated the health of our industry is continuing to grow around the world."

Embracing education During the week, almost 12,000 people (11,850) participated in 99 education experiences at IAAPA Attractions Expo including multiple-day institutes and conferences, behind-the-scenes tours to Central Florida attractions, panel and roundtable discussions and constituency lunches. A total of 670 people attended the GM and Owners'

Breakfast on Wednesday morning (November 16) to hear keynote speaker Steve Van den Kerhkoff outline the Plopsa group's IP-led theme park strategy in Europe, and everyone in the room left with either a Wickie the Viking helmet or Maya the Bee hat! A most entertaining session later the same day was the Legends panel moderated by BRC Imagination Arts founder Bob Rogers. Always well attended, and with a strong focus

32 JANUARY 2017

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