[Ed. note: The following is a press release. -J]
Preliminary estimates indicate 27,000 people from 98 nations participated in IAAPA Attractions Expo 2007, the world’s largest conference and trade show for the attractions industry. Produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the Expo took place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., USA from Monday, Nov. 12 through Friday, Nov. 16, with the theme “Expand Your Universe, Out of This World.”
This year’s total attendance was up 30 percent over last year’s Expo.
The number of buyers from outside the United States increased 72 percent. Buyer attendance from Europe doubled while attendance from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Canada, and Latin America increased 30 to 50 percent. The number of buyers from theme parks and the party rentals/inflatables category doubled while attendance from waterparks, zoos, aquariums, and tourist attractions, all increased approximately 50 percent.
These buyers came from all over the world to meet with exhibitors from the 1,147 companies and organizations that showcased products and services on the trade show floor. Representing 120 different product categories, including thrill rides, innovative new technologies, creative services, and more, these companies sold their products in 512,738 net square feet of exhibit space, making the 2007 Expo the second-largest indoor show in the event’s history.
“The IAAPA Attractions Expo 2007 results are incredible,” said Charlie Bray, president and CEO of IAAPA. “From near-record attendance, and a sold out exhibit floor, to record education program results and wonderful networking events, this year’s Expo was a resounding success. People came to Orlando from around the globe to do serious business here and that’s exactly what happened.”
Exhibitors Pleased with Results, Impressed with Number of International Buyers
The buzz from the Expo show floor was strong.
“This was a tremendous show for us. Great contacts. Great people. Great discussions. We look forward to coming back next year,” said Andreas Kornprobst of 5D Network from Austria.
Jan King, principal/CEO of Sans Gear from New Zealand said many international attendees visited their booth and expressed interest in their product. “It’s been astounding. We had not realized the response that it would bring,” King said.
“Orlando is a great location for the Expo,” said Mattia Moser of Verona, Italy-based Moser Rides S.R.L. “We had many more visitors and sales. Of course, we will be back next year.”
First-time exhibitor, Paul Sumpton of Atlanta-based Step ‘n Wash said, “It was great! We made a lot of great contacts. We’ll be back for sure. We didn’t expect so many international contacts.”
“We’ve had a lot of interest,” said Claire Scaramanga of Massachussetts-based YourDay, a personalized video souvenir system. “We’ve had direct access to the people who are looking for our kind of product. It’s been a very successful show.”
“I get most, if not all, of my international business at the Expo. This show is a great opportunity for me to showcase my business on a global level,” said Rick Kirkland, owner of New Zealand-based Evento Company and creator of the bathtub and toilet racing vehicles.
Record Participation in Education Conference
A record 7,000 attendees participated in more than 90 educational workshops, roundtable discussions and seminars, 20 percent more than the number who participated in similar programs at last year’s Expo. Thirty-seven people graduated from the first-ever Institute for Emerging Leaders where they learned about attractions industry marketing, operations, safety, human resources, finance, and revenue operations. Conference attendees also participated in a number of unique behind-the-scenes tours at Orlando-area attractions including Fright Night at Universal Orlando, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, and the Nickelodeon Family Suites Hotel. The trade show floor exhibit tours (to point-of-sale system suppliers, haunted equipment and supplies vendors, inflatable manufacturers, and security consultants) all sold out.
Social Events Provided Tremendous Networking Opportunities
Numerous breakfast, lunch, and dinner events and receptions provided hours of networking opportunities for industry professionals at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2007. Nearly 1,000 people participated in the Welcome Reception on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton addressed a group of more than 350 executives at the GM and Owner’s Breakfast on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and a sold-out crowd of 540 attended the IAAPA Gala on Thursday, Nov. 15.
Expo Events Raise $125,000 for Give Kids The World
During the five-day event, Expo attendees participated in a golf tournament, silent and live auctions, and a 5K run at SeaWorld Orlando to raise more than $125,000 for Give Kids The World, a resort for children with life-threatening illnesses and injuries in Kissimmee, Fla., USA (www.gktw.org).
Expo Will Return to Orlando in 2008
The IAAPA Attractions Expo will return to Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center Nov. 17-21, 2008. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009 will take place in Las Vegas.