IAAPA cancels 2020 expo in Orlando

Posted Friday, September 4, 2020 10:41 AM | Contributed by Jeff

From the press release:

IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, today announced the cancellation of IAAPA Expo 2020 in Orlando, Florida. In addition, the association is launching a new virtual conference for global attractions industry professionals so that they can take part in many of the education sessions originally planned to take place at IAAPA Expo.

“IAAPA Expo serves as the global marketplace for the attractions industry. We recognize this year there are many challenges facing our members from around the world,” said Hal McEvoy, president and CEO, IAAPA. “Together with input from members, exhibitors, the IAAPA Board of Directors and our team, we have decided to cancel this year’s Expo due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. The continuing barriers to international and domestic travel coupled with the evolving guidance on mass gatherings, and members’ need to focus on their businesses helped lead to this decision.”

“While we are disappointed we are unable to meet in-person this year, we are already looking ahead to IAAPA Expo 2021 in Orlando,” McEvoy continued, “We also appreciate the patience, support and commitment from our dedicated IAAPA Expo exhibitors. The IAAPA team has already pivoted to address finding new ways industry manufacturers and suppliers can connect with their customers to promote their products, discover new trends, and make plans for the future.”

Read the entire press release from IAAPA.

Saturday, September 12, 2020 12:18 AM

My understanding is that IAAPA earns almost all of their revenue through its' trade shows.

With Asia, Euro and now the IAE Expo cancelled for 2020, I wonder if IAAPA can weather this storm and survive as a trade organization.

Last edited by Hanging n' Banging, Saturday, September 12, 2020 12:20 AM
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Saturday, September 12, 2020 10:10 AM
Jeff's avatar

They keep reserve funds that I suspect can float them for a year I would think, and the napkin math based on last year's numbers suggest that membership income is around $4 million. I'm sure that they can cover payroll, but I don't know if the new office was built on borrowed money or not.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Sunday, September 13, 2020 8:55 PM

COVID 19 has been devastating to the entire live event industry as a whole. Trade show and exhibits industry being one of the hardest hit. A vast majority of the trade shows have been canceled and a few have been converted to virtual. This is just a band-aid! If parks can be open safely, then so should these live events!

I am a senior exhibit designer in the Midwest, and the company I worked for laid-off over 70% of its staff. I included in the casualty. The fact is it's not just us. This has a ripple effect. Hotels, restaurants, transportation, that awesome shoe shine guy at the airport, they are all feeling the effects. It's mind boggling when you think how far reaching this is!

The live event industry contributes nearly 1 trillion dollars to the US economy, driving innovation and job creation! It employs millions worldwide, and helps businesses grow. Simply put, it brings people together. Face to face connections are at the heart of what this industry does, and the impact it has on business will never change!

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Sunday, September 13, 2020 10:00 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I don’t think anybody disagrees that trade shows are important and help stimulate all kinds of business and all kinds of relationships which lead to business. However, I fail to see the comparison to theme parks as meaningful. Unless trade shows are going to be outside and have enforcement of guidelines (mask up or leave) the risk of transmission is signifcantly higher, from what I can tell.

Being an important business is independant of potential risk.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, September 13, 2020 10:01 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, September 13, 2020 10:14 PM
Jeff's avatar

And in IAAPA's case, even if they did feel they could safely pack thousands of people into the convention center, this is an international event when international travel is complicated at best, forbidden at worst. Member/buyers and sellers also don't have the budgets for travel. There are like a hundred circumstances that get in the way of this particular show operating.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Monday, September 14, 2020 1:53 PM

Spoken like someone who has not lost their job to this BS!

You can create hybrid, virtual and live event. You can apply revsevation rules to thin crowds. You can make the event duration longer to stem off over crowding. They seem to be handing this in Germany, but we can't here! Check yourself and your facts!

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Monday, September 14, 2020 2:04 PM
Jeff's avatar

The first job I ever lost was because of a trade show that couldn't happen in 2001, so check your own assumptions, new guy. I worked for media companies that did some of the first virtual trade shows.

Just because you don't like the information that Andy and I presented doesn't make it any less true.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Monday, September 14, 2020 2:12 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Jeff said:

Just because you don't like the information presented doesn't make it any less true.

I need this on a wall sized poster.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Monday, September 14, 2020 3:27 PM

Jeff, I'm sorry you lost your first job, I really am. It sucks! But...I am talking about an ENTIRE INDUSTRY crippled! THOUSANDS losing their jobs! Someone needs to bring light to it. Nothing has been done here for this industry. Believe me, I have been writing to our congressmen. You know as well as I do, it's business as usual with those folks.

Andy, see the attached link. You can make a poster of that. That's the truth!

https://www.iaee.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/GoLiveTogether_flye...phic-1.png

New guy....out!

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Monday, September 14, 2020 5:22 PM
Jeff's avatar

There isn't anything that can be done. My wife works in theater, I can guarantee that too will be among the last things to open, and you know what? They pretty much get that there isn't much they can do other than beg Congress for aid.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 6:56 AM

Atook89 said:

They seem to be handing this in Germany, but we can't here!

Germany has largely gained control of the virus. That's why they can safely open schools, conventions, etc. We are way behind on this.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 8:58 AM

Wait - I thought we were #1

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 11:13 AM

It's as much an economic decision as one about safety. Why put on the expo if attendance will be a fraction of what it is normally? There are plenty of people on the buyer and vendor side that can't afford to be there. My company had all but decided to forgo sending anyone to the show this year. We threw around the idea of taking advantage of possible cheaper flights and hotels, but even then we were questioning the value. The big draw for us is the time we spend on the show floor. Even in the best of times, what you see on the floor doesn't change that much year-to-year, so it made even less sense to spend much money on what would have been a pretty down year.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 11:36 AM
Jeff's avatar

And that's just it... the show is an opportunity to get face time with a bunch of people who are all in the same place. If they're not there, it's not really worth it. Sure, you can do the same thing virtually, but you can do that any day of the year.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 12:12 PM

My professional organization wrapped up their annual conference in Orlando last week. They had a fraction of their total attendance. We would typically have 900+ at the Conference and they had less than 150. The decision was really, hold the conference and lose money...or hold the conference and lose a lot more money.

I did not go but from reports, those who went were very happy with the precautions taken to ensure a safe environment. The big difference is that handling 150 people in a conference space designed for thousands is easier than what IAAPA would have had to contend with. Also, all of our conference attendees could drive to their destination instead of fly.

Coworkers attended a virtual conference earlier is the summer and, while they missed the networking and socializing, they felt that it worked. That will be the question as we go forward. Are we in a new normal? Will people go back to office buildings or will commercial real estate take a hit? Will first class cabins on airliners have to be redesigned because business travel as we know it collapses? Business, in many respects, is continuing right now but in an entirely different way...which may be the death blow to some industries.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 1:34 PM
Jeff's avatar

As someone who has worked mostly remotely for a decade, I've been saying for years that much of the white-collar desk work of the world does not require office space. I still believe this, and our current situation only reinforces it.

Now, we can all likely agree that some things forced into the remote situation are not ideal, school being one of them. Restaurant dining is a lot more fun for the change of scenery and service than take-out is. Live theater is only live theater when it's live theater. Trade shows I suspect depend entirely on the trade. An educational conference can certainly be remote and work, but a product-oriented show (like IAAPA) is likely best suited to be in person. All of this doesn't improve until we beat back the pandemic, which by the way will end sooner if we at least get **** under control before vaccines are available.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 1:52 PM

I'm more likely to listen in on IAAPA education sessions remotely than I would be in person. I like to spend as much time as possible on the show floor.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 7:37 PM

Jeff said:

An educational conference can certainly be remote and work, but a product-oriented show (like IAAPA) is likely best suited to be in person.

Yes and no. I regularly attend teaching conferences, especially the national conferences, when they are in the area. Yes the information that is in these conferences can easily be disseminated through a remote platform. But the big draw for me is the ability to network with teachers from other schools and debrief with my colleagues about the cool ideas that we saw. Those discussions about how we can bring our school forward are the reason I attend.

Our annual state level math teacher conference (man that sounds way worse than it is) is being held remotely next month. I'm going to give it a whirl but I don't think it's going to be nearly as powerful.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 7:41 PM

I think he meant “educational” as in having a training element, not pertaining to the field of education.


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