IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 Shatters Attendance Records

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017
Shatters Attendance Record

IAAPA Kicks Off Centennial with Largest-Ever Expo Reflecting Strength
of Global Attractions Industry

ORLANDO, Fla., US (Nov. 17, 2017) – The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) today announced a record 39,000 registered attractions industry professionals gathered in Orlando to learn, buy, and network at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017. The premier conference and trade show for the $39.5 billion global attractions industry took place Nov. 13-17 at the Orange County Convention Center.

25,300 buyers, which included attractions industry owners, presidents, general managers, directors, and other industry professionals, attended this year’s Expo. This is a 12 percent increase in buyer attendance over 2016. Creative innovators and exhibitors debuted new products, while buyers discovered the latest technologies, discussed trends and hot topics, tasted new foods, and learned from leading experts. The five-day Expo pumped an estimated $51.3 million into the Orlando-area economy.

“The success of this year’s show is a true testament to the continued growth and strength of attractions around the world,” said Paul Noland, IAAPA president and CEO. “Achieving this record-breaking attendance as we kick off IAAPA’s 100th anniversary celebration is a remarkable milestone in our association’s history. We thank all of our attendees, exhibitors, members, and sponsors for their support. We can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon for our dynamic industry — the best is yet to come.”

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 by the Numbers

  • 1,114 companies displayed innovative new products and services on 576,235 net square feet of trade show floor space.
  • 25,300 qualified buyers from around the world, including executives from amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centers (FECs), zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and attractions participated in the Expo.
  • 13,523 people participated in 138 education experiences which included multiple-day institutes and symposia, behind-the-scenes tours at area attractions, panel and roundtable discussions, and constituency lunches. The education figure includes:
    • 800 attractions industry professionals who attended the GM and Owners’ Breakfast featuring keynote speaker Nick Varney, chief executive officer, Merlin Entertainments, and
    • 261 industry leaders who enjoyed a lunch-and-learn presentation by Bob White, chief operating officer, Village Roadshow Theme Parks.
  • More than 2,000 people attended the Kickoff Event, the Expo’s official opening session, for an update on the state of the industry — to see the exciting new attractions introduced around the world in 2017 — and to launch the association’s 100th anniversary celebration.
  • 1,252 participants met, socialized, and shared ideas at the Opening Reception.
  • 3,000 people attended IAAPA Celebrates at Pandora — The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • Exhibitors held a record 37 press conferences to unveil new rides, attractions, technologies, and innovations during the Expo.
  • Expo participants raised approximately $123,000 for Give Kids The World through a golf tournament, motorcycle ride, fun run and walk, and individual and corporate donations.
  • IAAPA appreciates the generous support of more than 50 sponsors that helped to make IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 possible.

The following industry awards were presented at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017:


About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 takes place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Nov. 12-16, 2018. More than 200 companies have already reserved booth space for the trade show floor. Information about exhibiting in or attending the 2018 event will be available at www.IAAPA.org/IAAPAAttractionsExpo.

About IAAPA
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently located amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 5,300 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 100 countries with member facilities including amusement and theme parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, science centers, and museums. IAAPA hosts three annual trade shows including IAAPA Attractions Expo, Euro Attractions Show, and Asian Attractions Expo. The association’s global headquarters is in Orlando, Florida, United States. The nonprofit organization maintains offices in Brussels, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Alexandria, Virginia. To learn more, visit www.IAAPA.org or connect with us: @IAAPAHQ #IAAPA

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Editor’s Note: All numbers are preliminary estimates. Once numbers are verified, the online version of this press release will be updated.

Quotes from Attendees and Exhibitors:

“The show this year was incredibly well done. It’s been, all around, probably the best ever in the 20 years I’ve been attending. There’s a lot of innovation here. That’s the exciting part of the show and being a buyer. The ride manufacturing community hit it out of the park.” — Hank Salemi, Six Flags Great America

“It’s been an active week. We’ve seen some new customers, which is important for us. We’re real pleased with the show. The industry’s in a good place right now, and there’s a lot going on around the world.” — Jack Mendes, BSR Group

“This is one of the top shows I’ve ever attended — ever. The traffic was there right away. People ran to our booth. People are making decisions quicker to get into suppliers’ schedules.” — Michael Turner, Cavu Designwerks

“It was fabulous. Super-busy, with people lining up to talk.” — Tami Dean, Ride Development Company

“The show was outstanding. The events were top-notch. This is the only show you can come to and get the diverse presence from all different constituencies in the attractions industry. It inspires new ideas and helps you stay ahead of the curve. The diversity of the education presentations — you can’t see that anywhere else.” — David Rosenberg, Monterey Bay Aquarium

“This show continues to amaze — every year it seems to get bigger and better. I think this year topped them all. I saw more new things this year than I recall ever seeing at a show.” — Greg Hale, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

“The quality was extraordinary. The increase in attendance shows the health of the industry, and the increase of the trade show floor shows the health of the manufacturers. Based on the discussions we’re having, this industry will continue to be very strong for the next several years, minimally.” — Pete Barto, S&S-Sansei Technologies

“I had a group of staff members here this year and we were all impressed with the volume, the quality, the seminars, the events … we’ve just loved every minute. As an industry, we are in really good shape.” — Andreas Andersen, Liseberg

“I go to a couple other conferences, but this is the big one. This is an amazing one. In a short period of time, I’ve talked with many people who want to buy our product. They’re not just shopping; they’re buyers. It’s very impressive. The money you invest in something like this, you get a lot out of it.” — Dave Krishock, Imagination Playground

“This is where I get my customers. There’s no other place that I can get in front of as many people that make decisions like I can here, and that’s why I like this show.” — Terry Schaeffer, Chuck Wagon Old-Fashion Soda

“It’s been a great, revitalizing, and energizing experience. We’re happy to have the opportunity to talk with other business owners, learn more about their business, describe what we do, and see if there’s a way we can work together.” — Greg McGuire, FetchRev

“This is the best show we ever had worldwide. Right now, we’re working with clients that three years ago, we couldn’t even think of working with. They’re approaching us because of our capacities and some of the projects we have completed in the past. I think that speaks to our success and the success of the Expo.” – Ivaylo Sotirov, Walltopia Adventure USA

“I think the Expo has been wonderful. We’ve had more people that are really looking to buy attractions. The Expo is a great place for all of our customers from around the world to come together and see our products.” — Alison Jamele, MediaMation

“The Expo has been fantastic for us. The show has been very busy. What’s great about this for us is that what we’re launching can cross so many different boundaries in the industry, from theme parks to FECs, so we can talk to everyone here.” — Emily Burrows, Holovis

“This Expo is always a must. We always have to come here because it helps us hit all of our markets. A lot of serious people came by to talk about their ideas and to sit down to show us their layouts and floor plans, and share what they’d like.” — Randy Scharberg, Xtraice

“The show has been very good this year with more people, more clients, and better potential. For instance, the first day, we had nonstop traffic. There have been a lot of new people that haven’t been here before and those that come every year. It’s been fun meeting all of them.” — Carey Robertson, International Play Company (iPlayco)

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