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Show Review


WWA 2016


Pictured on the Polin booth are a smiling Söhret Pakis and Kubilay Alpdogan


New Orleans, a city where cultures collide in a brilliant explosion of flavours, music and emotion, knows how to throw a party like nowhere else. It's also a great place to hold a trade show, writes Paul Ruben. Here's his report of the recent symposium and trade show from the World Waterpark Association (WWA)


WWA award


winners The World Waterpark Association inducted three individuals into its WWA Hall of Fame during its recent show in New Orleans. They are Tom Bergman of MMO Inc/Bergman Communications, Roger Currie from Aqua Leisure/Neuman Aqua and Hyland Hill Water World's Steve Loose. As well WWA Show exhibitor awards and Wave Review award for marketing and Kelly Ogle Memorial Safety Award, recognitions were made as below. Leading Edge Award: Beech


Bend Park/Splash Lagoon, Kentucky, and ProSlide for Cyclone Saucers; Hyland Hills, Colorado, and Aquatic Development Group for Cowabunga Beach; Murphy's Waves, Scotland, for Surf-Air inflatable surf simulator; Polin Waterparks, Turkey, for innovations in waterslide manufacturing and theming plus sound effects; Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Texas, and WhiteWater for MASSIV; Wanda Cultural Tourism for Xishuangbanna Waterpark, China; and Wet’n Wild Brazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil, for its Noites Macabras event. Al Turner Memorial Commitment


to Excellence Award: Scott Deisley, Safety Skills Training, UAE; Mark C Hatchel, Kimley- Horn & Associates, Texas; Frank Perez, NRH20 Family Water Park, Texas; Lou Cirigliano Jnr, Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach, New Jersey; Natalie Livingston, The Wave Waterpark, California; and David J Sangree, Hotel & Leisure Advisors, Cleveland, Ohio.


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WA attendees couldn’t help but “laissez les bons temps rouler" as the WWA Show – now in its 36th year – took attendees back to “The


Big Easy” for the first time since 2011. Waterpark professionals from 23 countries on five continents came together to learn, network and benchmark new products during the four-day (October 11 to 14) event, which started with the WWA symposium on Tuesday and then expanded on Wednesday to include the association's annual trade show. The location was New Orleans' Ernest N Morial Convention Center. More than 1,500 waterpark owners, operators,


developers, suppliers and designers were in attendance, eager to connect with fellow industry professionals to share new and better ways to build upon their successes in 2016. That represented an 8 increase in park attendees over 2015, when the show was held in Palm Springs, California, and a 10% jump over the last time the WWA was in New Orleans.” The event was “one of the best ever,” according to Rick


Fuller of Hyland Hills Water World in Minnesota. "Networking options were plentiful, workshops were professional, educational and on topics of high interest to our industry." Attendees travelled to the Big Easy from parks large and small, public and private, indoor and outdoor, from all over the world. Active markets were represented from 23 countries, from Brazil to Bahrain and Chile to China. “It’s incredibly exciting to see how much the waterpark


industry continues to expand on a global scale,” noted WWA president Rick Root. “With new projects on deck in China, Turkey, the US,


UAE and beyond, we know that our show attendees came to hear from the best in the industry and uncover new ways to advance their businesses.”


Networking in New Orleans As host city, New Orleans provided the perfect backdrop for everything attendees love about the WWA Show.


The WWA show floor


“Before, during and after the show, attendees were chatting, sharing pictures, making dinner plans, beginning new friendships and generally enriching their show experience!" noted director of park member development, Aleatha Ezra, adding that the association implemented a show app this year to facilitate the efforts of its members. Highlights of this year’s networking events included the


WWA Annual Golf Tournament. On a beautiful New Orleans morning, dozens of golfing threesomes and foursomes came together at TPC Louisiana for a day on the greens. Close to 700 waterpark owners, operators, suppliers and developers grabbed some time to spend over a drink with industry friends and make a few new connections during the WWA’s Annual Reunion Party held at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Meanwhile more than 500 show attendees spent Thursday night at Pat O’s on the River, a place that oozed all the flavour of New Orleans with its world-famous (and potent) Hurricanes cocktails, plenty of tasty food and breathtaking views of the French Quarter and the Mississippi River. The WWA Show is well known for the breadth and


depth of its educational sessions and this year’s programme continued the tradition of speakers sharing their experiences


WWA attendees get in the Mardi Gras spirit


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