Posted Friday, November 17, 2017 9:52 AM | Contributed by Jeff
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has long been an annual visitor to Orlando, throwing a massive expo at Orange County Convention Center. But as of this summer, IAAPA is a permanent, year-round resident, leaving behind its space-squeezed headquarters in suburban Washington, D.C.
Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.
I'm in Vegas this week for the LDI convention and I kinda miss coming here for IAAPA. I totally get why it's home should be Orlando but coming to Vegas for conventions is always nice. Glad to see they are finally moving their headquarters to Orlando now too.
I dunno, conventions already cause overload, and just being in Vegas does that. I can take Vegas for three days and I'm done. I guess the union situation was pretty bad there too, as it related to ride manufacturers and their equipment, and also the food exhibitors versus the concessions.
I’ve heard that too. Years ago I read an article in Amusement Business that IAAPA also had its worst showing the last time they were in Vegas. Attendance was down, it was expensive for everyone, union regulations gave them fits, etc. They also mentioned that after contract obligations were met that they were hoping to make Orlando their permanent spot, something they were sure would make everyone happy. At least they could count on good weather.
I’ve been to conventions in Dallas and Atlanta and they were ok, (Atlanta maybe not so much), but to me Orlando was always the best show. Plus, there’s always so much to do during a relatively slow period. Now that Florida is a permanent home, this move just makes sense.
I've been to all but about 3 or 4 of the IAAPA conferences since 2000 and one of the ones I missed was 2009 in Vegas. My coworkers that went that year thought that it felt like a down show. I've been to a couple of the shows in Atlanta and, while the aquarium and some of the museums are nice, there really aren't any transcendent attractions to showcase on the level of Orlando. Orlando really has the total package: really nice exhibit and education space under one roof, huge showcase attractions, and, short of the occasional cool evening or rainy day, awesome weather. My only minor criticism of Orlando is a lack of food options in the convention center facility or within quick walking distance (no, the Red Lobster across the street doesn't cut it). I think the last show in Dallas was in 1998 and, as big as it is, their convention center isn't nearly big enough to handle the size of the show anymore. This year's show didn't have a lot of wow factor, but the Thursday night event at Animal Kingdom was easily the best social event I've been to at IAAPA. Lots of entertainment and food options and great weather. The new Fantasyland event in 2015 came close to that quality, but the weather was terrible.
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