IAAPA commits to Orlando for annual expo through 2019

Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010 2:23 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is a partial but otherwise unedited press release. -J]

Officials from The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) today announced the organization will host IAAPA Attractions Expo at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Florida, for the next 10 years. Approximately 25,000 people from 90 nations participate annually in IAAPA Attractions Expo, the largest education conference and trade show in the world for the amusement park and attractions industry.

Prior to signing the new agreement, IAAPA Attractions Expo was scheduled to take place in Orlando in 2010, Las Vegas in 2011, and Orlando in 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2019. Now the Expo will take place in Orlando from 2010 to 2019, adding five years to the original agreements with Orlando.

The decision to move the Expo to Orlando through 2019 was driven by six important factors:

  • Preferred Location – IAAPA Attractions Expo attendees and exhibitors said Orlando is the preferred Expo location.
  • Ideal Convention Center - The Orange County Convention Center (North/South Hall) is the ideal building for IAAPA Attractions Expo in the United States. The show, with many large, tall, and heavy exhibits, fits perfectly on the single, ground-level trade show floor at the OCCC. The OCCC has plenty of rooms (including one large enough to accommodate the more than 2,000 attendees at the Kickoff Event) for the more than 100 education sessions, social gatherings, presentations, and meetings that take place throughout the week.
  • Theme Park and Attractions Mecca - Orlando is the unofficial capital of the theme park industry, and Expo participants enjoy visiting the region to see what’s new in the parks and attractions.
  • Cost Savings - Signing the agreement with Orlando was the best long-term business decision for everyone involved. It will generate significant expense savings over the 10-year period of the agreements for exhibitors, attendees, and the association.
  • Affordable Worldwide Access - Travel in and out of Orlando is affordable, and the Orlando International Airport is easily accessible from throughout the world. There are accessible ports nearby, making it easier for exhibitors from around the world to ship their products to the convention center. Plus, the city offers a wide variety of convenient hotel options for Expo participants.
  • Proven Track Record – The 91-year attendance and exhibit sales records for IAAPA Attractions Expo were both established when the Expo was located in Orlando.

The decision to move the Expo to Orlando was made by the IAAPA board of directors and supported by the association’s executive committee and manufacturers and suppliers committee. The terms of the agreements between IAAPA and Orlando were not disclosed. The agreements also mean the Expo will not take place in Las Vegas in 2011 as originally planned.

“We had a good experience in Las Vegas in 2009. Attendance was strong. Our members enjoyed being there. And we greatly appreciate all the city did for our show,” said IAAPA President and CEO Charles Bray. “Moving the show to Orlando for the next 10 years provides a tremendous opportunity for us. The city is known for imagination, creativity, and innovation—the foundations of the attractions industry—and that, combined with the city’s world-class facilities, makes Orlando the best long-term location for IAAPA Attractions Expo.”

IAAPA Chairman Chip Cleary added, “Orlando is the ideal location for IAAPA Attractions Expo. It’s the ideal city with the ideal convention center, and the economics of hosting the show there make sense for our exhibitors, our members, and the association overall.”

“It couldn’t be more fitting for the world’s leading attractions association to meet in the world’s leading attractions destination. This is a win-win opportunity for everyone involved,” said Gary C. Sain, president and CEO of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. “This long-term relationship will surely bring with it new inspiration for all involved, and we look forward to building and growing with IAAPA and its members.”

"The Orange County Convention Center is honored to be chosen as a long-term facility partner for the thriving IAAPA Attractions Expo," said Tom Ackert, executive director of the Convention Center. "We have enjoyed an outstanding relationship with the leadership, staff, and the exhibiting companies of IAAPA. Orlando is a great destination for such a world-class event!"

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2010 will take place in Orlando Nov. 15-19. More than 75 percent of the available exhibit space has already been sold.

Read the entire press release from IAAPA.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 2:27 PM

I always fancy a nice trip to Orlando in November. Christmas decorations at WDW are sure nice.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 2:36 PM

Too bad they're not technically "live" until two weeks later, especially the lights at the studios.

I'm not sure why they kept moving the show around anyway. Of the small number of places you can host the show, Orlando is the only one desirable. Atlanta sucks. Las Vegas might be OK, but I'm sure it's incredibly distracting.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 2:42 PM

Yeah, that's the sucky thing about conventions in Vegas, they ARE distracting. Which sucks for them because they're pushing for more conventions and they definitely have the facilities to accomodate large trade shows.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 3:00 PM

Vegas may have been okay for the attendees but is was terrible for the exhibitors. The cost of doing anything there was significantly higher than in Orlando and as a result most vendors cut down on the size of their exhibit.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 3:08 PM

Our booth in Vegas was the same price as an 'end of the aisle' location, and we are #75 or so on the seniority list.

Another disadvantage is you couldn't touch a handcart in Vegas, whereas Orlando you could almost drive a forklift in and out while loading, and no one would say boo to you.

I love Vegas more than Orlando, but it make total sense for IAAPA to be in Orlando permantently. Now if IAAPA moved the offices there, well, we will see.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 9:30 PM

Both Vegas and Orlando are great venues. But From the people I know that wen they found Orlando much easier then Vegas which cost and arm and a leg to get around.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 9:44 PM

Dude...with all due respect you need to s--l--o--w d--o--w--n and re-read what you've written and correct your errors before you submit. Otherwise you're not going to be taken seriously here.

In case you think I'm being a jerk, using correct grammar and spelling is part of the Terms of Service you agree to when signing up here. See the fifth paragraph here.

Last edited by Mamoosh, Tuesday, August 3, 2010 9:46 PM
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010 10:39 AM

God, Moosh. You're such a jerk. ;)

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010 10:46 AM

Still doesnt' make his advice any less valuable ;).

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:22 PM

Agent Johnson said:

Another disadvantage is you couldn't touch a handcart in Vegas, whereas Orlando you could almost drive a forklift in and out while loading, and no one would say boo to you.

I was told by someone on the committee that this was one of the principal reasons that Los Angeles was taken off the list of sites.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010 11:26 PM

LA has the same problem as Atlanta and New Orleans. The hotels are all 'convention hotels', as with Orlando and Vegas,, you can pay whatever you want. Vegas had the Sahara for $39/night, or the Wynn for much more.

Reality, there is nothing to do in Atlanta. We did Six Flags one night, I think 2000, and it rained. We ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe. Year before, I skipped Zoo Atlanta, still ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Orlando and Vegas has loads of stuff to do on any budget, from eating to attractions. What is there really to do in New Orleans. No parks nearby, yet you have a park convention. LA, well, its not pretty in the city. Orange County is where it is, or Burbank, or the beaches. I myself like to do more than eat near the convention center, and sit in a hotel lobby bar.

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