Show review
IAAPA Expo Europe

The attractions industry descended on London in September for IAAPA Expo Europe – which saw strong attendance, big announcements and welcome opportunities to catch up


IAAPA Expo Europe returned to London for the first time in more than 10 years in September, with a buzzing show that featured 530 exhibitors, 20 educational sessions, trips, parties and a lot of new launches.

Attendance was up 30 per cent on the 2021 show, which took place in Barcelona and was the first following COVID-19 shutdowns. Last year, the industry celebrated being back together, but with travel restrictions in place and delegates wearing masks and social distancing, the focus was still heavily on finding a way through the pandemic.

This year, the show was busy, energy levels were high and delegates and exhibitors all seemed to be positive and upbeat. The mood was one of celebration and excitement, with new launches and plans shared over the four days.

EDUCATION SESSIONS
More than 100 speakers presented at 20 education sessions covering topics ranging from crisis planning to celebrating the industry’s finest attractions. Highlights included European Theme Park Legends, with speakers including John Collins OBE, Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Amanda Thompson and former Euro Disney CEO and current president of Qiddiya, Philippe Gas, discussing what makes theme parks successful, their triumphs and mistakes and the future for the industry.

Other sessions included Brave Investments, which shared results from the latest IAAPA Economic Impact Study and offered advice to operators looking to invest; the Zoos and Aquariums Panel, which asked what sets these attractions apart and discussed how to connect emotionally with visitors; and New UK Attractions You Need to Know About, featuring speakers including Wake The Tiger’s Graham MacVoy, ITV Studios’ James Penfold and Little Lion Entertainment’s Tom Lionetti-Maguire.

PRESS ANNOUNCEMENTS
As always, there were some major news announcements at the show. One of the biggest was Triotech’s deal with Puy du Fou to supply rides for Puy du Fou’s first Asian attraction. The Canada-based attractions specialist has partnered with Puy du Fou to supply its interactive ride technology for the SAGA Experience in Shanghai, China – set to open in 2023. More details on p21.

Another big announcement came from Dave & Busters, with the news that the chain will open 11 units across KSA, UAE and Egypt. This is the first international franchise partnership for the brand and was announced in partnership with Al Hokair Holding Group.

Waterpark manufacturer Whitewater held a press conference at the show, showcasing several new products and giving an update about its plans, including growth across the EMEA region. Ireland-based The Giant Company revealed the first cities that will host The Giant, a new visitor attraction in the form of a 10-storey high moving statue, which can take the form of any person, thanks to its programmable LED pixels ‘skin’.

Leisure entertainment solution provider Fun Spot is now part of the same group as BigAirBag, airbag manufacturer for the adventure sports and leisure market, following parent company ABEO’s acquisition of BigAirBag. The two companies shared a stand at IAAPA Expo Europe and announced more details of the partnership at a press conference.

There were also press conferences at the show from AromaPrime, Dronisos and the Government of Quebec.

POSITIVE FEEDBACK
“The feedback for IAAPA Expo Europe was very positive,” said the show’s organisers. “Attendees and exhibitors alike appreciated being back together for one of IAAPA’s signature events. It was our first time back in London since 2011 and even though we faced difficult circumstances with the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we saw first-hand that our industry is resilient and ready to come back together.”

For the IAAPA team, the focus is now on IAAPA Expo 2022 in Orlando, Florida in November.

“We currently have more than 1,000 exhibitors booked for the trade show and we’re expecting a positive event,” said the organisers.

“EDUSessions such as The Future of Entertainment & Leisure in the Middle East, UAE and Abu Dhabi and The Water Theme Park: Insights from the Qiddiya Development Team will highlight the latest developments in the industry across the globe. IAAPA Expo 2022 ushers in the return of popular region-based ticketed events not offered at IAAPA Expo 2021. This year’s agenda includes the Asia Pacific Breakfast, Latin America Lunch and Learn and Canadian Breakfast, which features the incoming IAAPA chairman, Jim Pattison Jr., president of Ripley Entertainment Inc. These regional-based events present great opportunities for member-to-member connections, and we’re elated to have them back within our offerings.”

Attendance was up 30 per cent on the 2021 show in Barcelona Credit: Image courtesy of IAAPA
The latest in VR and AR was on show over the four days Credit: Image courtesy of IAAPA
Exhibitors attended from right across the industry Credit: Image courtesy of IAAPA
Exhibitors attended from right across the industry Credit: Image courtesy of IAAPA
Billings Productions designs animatronic dinosaurs and bugs Credit: Image courtesy of IAAPA
Attendees had the chance to experience new ride technology Credit: Image courtesy of IAAPA
The education sessions featured industry leaders and covered a wide range of topics Credit: Image courtesy of IAAPA
The Giant is a 10-storey high moving statue which can take the form of any person Credit: PHOTO: The Giant Company
The Monster Jam Grave Digger by DOF Robotics Credit: Image courtesy of IAAPA
The exhibition showcased changing technologies Credit: Image courtesy of IAAPA
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Attractions Management
2022 issue 3

View issue contents

Leisure Management - IAAPA Expo Europe

Show review

IAAPA Expo Europe


The attractions industry descended on London in September for IAAPA Expo Europe – which saw strong attendance, big announcements and welcome opportunities to catch up

IAAPA Expo Europe returned to London for the first time since 2011 Image courtesy of IAAPA
Attendance was up 30 per cent on the 2021 show in Barcelona Image courtesy of IAAPA
The latest in VR and AR was on show over the four days Image courtesy of IAAPA
Exhibitors attended from right across the industry Image courtesy of IAAPA
Exhibitors attended from right across the industry Image courtesy of IAAPA
Billings Productions designs animatronic dinosaurs and bugs Image courtesy of IAAPA
Attendees had the chance to experience new ride technology Image courtesy of IAAPA
The education sessions featured industry leaders and covered a wide range of topics Image courtesy of IAAPA
The Giant is a 10-storey high moving statue which can take the form of any person PHOTO: The Giant Company
The Monster Jam Grave Digger by DOF Robotics Image courtesy of IAAPA
The exhibition showcased changing technologies Image courtesy of IAAPA

IAAPA Expo Europe returned to London for the first time in more than 10 years in September, with a buzzing show that featured 530 exhibitors, 20 educational sessions, trips, parties and a lot of new launches.

Attendance was up 30 per cent on the 2021 show, which took place in Barcelona and was the first following COVID-19 shutdowns. Last year, the industry celebrated being back together, but with travel restrictions in place and delegates wearing masks and social distancing, the focus was still heavily on finding a way through the pandemic.

This year, the show was busy, energy levels were high and delegates and exhibitors all seemed to be positive and upbeat. The mood was one of celebration and excitement, with new launches and plans shared over the four days.

EDUCATION SESSIONS
More than 100 speakers presented at 20 education sessions covering topics ranging from crisis planning to celebrating the industry’s finest attractions. Highlights included European Theme Park Legends, with speakers including John Collins OBE, Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Amanda Thompson and former Euro Disney CEO and current president of Qiddiya, Philippe Gas, discussing what makes theme parks successful, their triumphs and mistakes and the future for the industry.

Other sessions included Brave Investments, which shared results from the latest IAAPA Economic Impact Study and offered advice to operators looking to invest; the Zoos and Aquariums Panel, which asked what sets these attractions apart and discussed how to connect emotionally with visitors; and New UK Attractions You Need to Know About, featuring speakers including Wake The Tiger’s Graham MacVoy, ITV Studios’ James Penfold and Little Lion Entertainment’s Tom Lionetti-Maguire.

PRESS ANNOUNCEMENTS
As always, there were some major news announcements at the show. One of the biggest was Triotech’s deal with Puy du Fou to supply rides for Puy du Fou’s first Asian attraction. The Canada-based attractions specialist has partnered with Puy du Fou to supply its interactive ride technology for the SAGA Experience in Shanghai, China – set to open in 2023. More details on p21.

Another big announcement came from Dave & Busters, with the news that the chain will open 11 units across KSA, UAE and Egypt. This is the first international franchise partnership for the brand and was announced in partnership with Al Hokair Holding Group.

Waterpark manufacturer Whitewater held a press conference at the show, showcasing several new products and giving an update about its plans, including growth across the EMEA region. Ireland-based The Giant Company revealed the first cities that will host The Giant, a new visitor attraction in the form of a 10-storey high moving statue, which can take the form of any person, thanks to its programmable LED pixels ‘skin’.

Leisure entertainment solution provider Fun Spot is now part of the same group as BigAirBag, airbag manufacturer for the adventure sports and leisure market, following parent company ABEO’s acquisition of BigAirBag. The two companies shared a stand at IAAPA Expo Europe and announced more details of the partnership at a press conference.

There were also press conferences at the show from AromaPrime, Dronisos and the Government of Quebec.

POSITIVE FEEDBACK
“The feedback for IAAPA Expo Europe was very positive,” said the show’s organisers. “Attendees and exhibitors alike appreciated being back together for one of IAAPA’s signature events. It was our first time back in London since 2011 and even though we faced difficult circumstances with the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we saw first-hand that our industry is resilient and ready to come back together.”

For the IAAPA team, the focus is now on IAAPA Expo 2022 in Orlando, Florida in November.

“We currently have more than 1,000 exhibitors booked for the trade show and we’re expecting a positive event,” said the organisers.

“EDUSessions such as The Future of Entertainment & Leisure in the Middle East, UAE and Abu Dhabi and The Water Theme Park: Insights from the Qiddiya Development Team will highlight the latest developments in the industry across the globe. IAAPA Expo 2022 ushers in the return of popular region-based ticketed events not offered at IAAPA Expo 2021. This year’s agenda includes the Asia Pacific Breakfast, Latin America Lunch and Learn and Canadian Breakfast, which features the incoming IAAPA chairman, Jim Pattison Jr., president of Ripley Entertainment Inc. These regional-based events present great opportunities for member-to-member connections, and we’re elated to have them back within our offerings.”


Originally published in Attractions Management 2022 issue 3

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