IAAPA 2012 Report.....

Associated parks:

Quick trip report of IAAPA 2012….

Pretty much the same as the past several years. Not a whole lot new to report.

Been to IAAPA every year since 1997. Similar to the past 5-7 years, the 2012 show was pretty much a “yawn”. Less inflatables, more zip lines and ropes course vendors. You would think that every park will have a zip line and ropes course in 3 years.

The educational sessions continue to be the highlight, and the keynotes from industry leaders are always the best part of the show. Seriously, the educational sessions are pretty top notch recently.

Ocean Park was the “hero” of this year’s show…

The kickoff event needs an overhaul….way too much video. I would never drop a knife between my legs…

Chairman’s and Opening Receptions were typical shaking hands and kissing babies sessions. Roland did a fantastic job the past year; welcome to the 2013 Chairmanship Will Morey.

Overall, a good IAAPA for me. I just wish I could turn back the clock 7 years and have the “wow” factor that I miss from attending. Can we bring back the Laser Tag girls please???

Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I stopped going when it became mostly just a networking affair. The education stuff was pretty weak when I last spoke (coincidence? ;)), though I hear it continues to improve. Maybe next year.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

a_hoffman50's avatar

Isn't the point of IAAPA to network with industry professionals? Isn't that the point of most conventions?

Jeff's avatar

Well, it's a trade show and conference. Trade shows kind of suck, no matter what the industry is, in my opinion. They are useful for seeing a lot of vendors in one place, however. Conferences are solid if the content is high quality, and it's often the conversations at lunch and in the hall that make attending worth it. IAAPA as a conference I don't think has the depth to be awesome, but it's better than it used to be.

My point is that going for the purpose of covering the show for CB hasn't been particularly valid for years.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I went to the show for work for a few years between 2000 and 2007. The exhibit hall was about the same for all of those years and, from pictures I've seen of the last few, nothing much has changed. I've always found the portion of the education program that's included in the regular ticket price to be pretty inconsistent. Much of it is sponsor driven and the content tends to be a mile wide and an inch deep.

Jeff's avatar

I agree. Considering the kind of conferences I go to for software development, which can be like mini-college in some cases, yeah, IAAPA by comparison can be kind of weak. There is also the problem that some sessions are moderated by people selling something, so that creates a weird conflict of interest.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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