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2013 IAAPA Attractions Expo helped set record year

by Banks Lee

overview of the IAAPA expo 2013 show floor

Approximately 29,000 amusement park and attractions industry professionals from 110 nations packed the Orange County Convention Center for the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 this past November. It ended a record-breaking year as more than 43,000 people participated in IAAPA’s Expos around the world.

IAAPA Attractions Expo is the largest conference and trade show for the $24 billion global attractions industry and serves as the one-stop-shop for the industry. The who’s who gathered at the expo to debut new products, test the latest technology, discuss the current trends and hot topics, learn from peers and experts, and taste new food and beverage treats.

“There was a palpable energy throughout IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013,” said IAAPA President and CEO Paul Noland. “Business is clearly booming. The week was filled with big project announcements, exciting ride reveals, contracts being signed, and education sessions overflowing with attractions professionals.”

The event is owned and produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). The five-day Expo had an estimated $48 million economic impact on the Orlando area.

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 by the Numbers:

• 1,098 companies displayed innovative new products and services on 528,578 net square feet of trade show floor space. It was the largest trade show floor in 10 years and the largest outdoor area ever. The indoor exhibit space was completely sold out.

• 18,200 total qualified buyers including executives from amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and roadside attractions from around the world participated.

• 11,300 people (an increase of five percent over last year) participated in 80 education programs which included multiple-day Institutes, behind-the-scenes tours, panel and roundtable discussions, and half-day symposiums.

• 1,500 participants met, socialized, and shared ideas at the Opening Reception.

• Approximately 1,200 industry leaders enjoyed a lunch and learn presentation by Walt Disney World Resort President George Kalogridis and keynote breakfast address by Matt Ouimet, President and CEO, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company.

• 1,600 people enjoyed Antartica: Empire of the Penguin, Manta, Kraken and Shamu Rocks during IAAPA Celebrates at SeaWorld Orlando.

• Exhibitors held more than 16 press conferences to reveal new rides, attractions, technology, and innovations during Expo.

• Expo participants raised a record-breaking $115,000 for Give Kids The World, a resort for children with life-threatening illnesses, with a golf tournament, motorcycle ride, fun run and walk and a chance-to-win.

Here’s our coverage of this year’s expo, from the Dec. 5, 2013 episode of “Orlando Attractions Magazine – The Show”:

2013 IAAPA Attractions Expo tour of the show floor
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