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2012 Asian Attractions Expo Breaks Records for Annual IAAPA Show Supporting Asian Marketplace

Alexandria, VA, USA (June 19, 2012) — The rapid growth of the attractions industry in Asia was reflected in Asian Attractions Expo (AAE) in Hong Kong, where a record-breaking trade show floor, sold-out IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers, jam-packed education sessions, and a strong buyer turnout from around the world were among the key milestones for the 2012 event. Preliminary estimates indicate 5,150 people viewed or displayed the attractions industry’s newest products and services, participated in education programs and networking events, learned from high-profile expert speakers, and took behind-the-scenes tours of area attractions. The four-day conference and trade show, owned by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), took place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre June 5-8.

More than 3,200 buyers, including owners, executives, managers, and leaders from theme parks, waterparks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, and resorts from 65 nations experienced the products and services of 274 companies from 32 countries exhibiting over 6,360 net square meters of space, the most expansive trade show floor in the show’s history.

IAAPA’s efforts in Asia were evident at the trade show according to IAAPA President and CEO Chip Cleary. “IAAPA’s presence in Asia is expanding along with the attractions industry, and that is evidenced by the record turnout for the 2012 Expo. The conference and trade show has grown tremendously since opening the IAAPA Asia-Pacific office less than two years ago, and going forward we expect the show will continue to reflect industry growth within the region.”

“Attractions industry veterans and newcomers alike understand the rapid industry growth in Asia provides great opportunity,” commented Andrew Lee, vice president, IAAPA’s Asia-Pacific operations. “Whether buying or exhibiting, more and more companies from around the globe look to Asian Attractions Expo as a must-attend event.”

Exhibitors thrilled as trade show floor buzzes with business
Simon Fraser of Ptarmigan Integration Ltd., a first-time AAE exhibitor, said, “It’s been a phenomenal success; we’ve booked for next year. Both the quality and quantity of the visitors have been impressive.”

“AAE (2012) Hong Kong has been a good show. The Asian market is growing strongly for our company, so we met a good number of potential clients looking for high-quality products,” said Andrea Munari, sales manager, I.E.Park S.R.L-Soli Bumper Cars and president of ANCASVI, the Italian attractions industry trade association.

Another first-time exhibitor, Kevin Ng of Cypress Production in Hong Kong, said, “This is the first time we attended Asian Attractions Expo. We are happy to have access to many of the people in the industry from around the world, and it allows them to recognize our company and also broaden the vision of our colleagues. This was a successful Expo.”

When asked his thoughts about the Expo, Horst Ruhe, managing director of Maurer Soehne in Germany, replied, “Asian Attractions Expo 2012 in Hong Kong showed exceptionally strong attendance. Discussions were serious and on a high-quality level, which gives us a positive feeling for the future.”

Attendees praise the growth and quality of the conference and trade show
“I’ve been coming for four or five years now, and it’s scaled up phenomenally just in that short time,” said Mike Barclay, CEO, Sentosa Development Corporation. “What I’m beginning to see is some innovation that is born and bred in Asia, being reflected here. The energy that’s here is phenomenal; just look at the turnout for the educational sessions—the hunger for learning is really strong.”

Yong Mei, first-time participant and vice president of the cultural tourism branch of Wanda Commercial Planning & Research Institute Co. Ltd., said of the show, “It’s been fantastic. We’ve seen a lot of leading companies here who shared their experience with us. This is a fantastic opportunity for Chinese companies to learn and make friends.”

“Asian Attractions Expo is well run and successful. Most of the big Chinese manufacturers are present, including those who want to break into this market,” said Wu Si Yuan, vice president, Shenzhen Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) Co. Ltd. He also commented that general managers from all of the 13 OCT parks attended the show.

Industry experts lead informative education programs
Hong Kong Disneyland Managing Director Andrew Kam believes that AAE is “a great venue to interact and learn among each other.” This sentiment is confirmed by the record attendance of 1,640 at AAE 2012 education sessions. Conference participants took part in seminars and roundtable discussions on a variety of topics, including motivating employees, attraction design, social media, what’s new in Asia, and maximizing revenue.

Offered for the first time at AAE the IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers was sold out and provided 58 up-and-coming attractions industry professionals with two-plus days of intensive programming to help them advance their careers.

IAAPA implements new Intellectual Property (IP) program
IP counselors hired by IAAPA to be on site at AAE 2012 met with numerous exhibitors and attendees in person regarding their intellectual property rights in Asia, Europe, and the United States. This IP outreach was educational and helped raise awareness of the intellectual property issues that exist in the attractions industry. During Asian Attractions Expo 2012, IAAPA’s IP representatives handled more than 16 different cases that involved the removal of catalogs, posters, or other content from the trade show floor or that involved issues appearing to be in violation of IAAPA’s IP policy. The same program will be in effect at Euro Attractions Show 2012 in Berlin in October and for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 in Orlando in November. Additional information about IAAPA’s IP program is available at

Other Asian Attractions Expo 2012 highlights
• 172 attendees took part in the daylong IAAPA Safety Institute.
• More than 380 people attended Leadership Breakfast keynote presentations by Andrew Kam, Managing Director, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Wu Si Yuan, Vice President, Shenzhen Overseas Chinese Town Co., Ltd.
• 1,061 people participated in evening events at Ocean Park Hong Kong and/or Hong Kong Disneyland.
• 133 delegates enjoyed behind-the-scenes tours at Hong Kong Disneyland, Ngong Ping 360, and Chimelong Resort in Guangzhou.
• Gold Sponsors for Asian Attractions Expo 2012 were Jack Rouse & Associates, Leisure Labs, The Producers Group, and Wanda Group. Silver sponsors were Vekoma Rides and Forrec Ltd. Hopkins Rides LCC was a supporting organization.

Asian Attractions Expo 2013 will be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, June 4-7, 2013. More than 155 companies have already reserved more than 4,800 net square meters of trade show floor space. Exhibitor information on the 2013 event is available, and attendee information will be available in the coming weeks.

IAAPA is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States, and it maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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