Brussels, Belgium — The three-day Euro Attractions Show (EAS) starts on 23 September at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre in Amsterdam. The final touches are currently being made but EAS 2014 already promises to be an event not to be missed. EAS 2014 will have the largest exhibition floor in the history of the event, a record number of exhibitors and more pre-registered visitors than in previous years. There is also considerable excitement surrounding the six-day education and networking programme. The 11th installment of this conference and trade show for amusement parks and other attractions organisations is managed by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
From rollercoasters to stuffed animals
EAS is the premier and largest conference and trade show for the attractions industry in Europe. To date, 425 manufacturers, suppliers, and consultants from 33 countries have signed up to display the latest innovations in more than 11,000 net sq. meters of exhibit space. The exhibition floor will be the largest exhibit floor in the history of EAS. To accommodate the strong demand for exhibit space, EAS will take place in two halls (halls 7 and 8). The exhibit floor will showcase innovative products and services in more than 100 product categories that range from rollercoasters to stuffed animals, slushy ice, ticketing systems, water rides, 4-D theatres, and much more. Karen Staley, Vice-President of IAAPA Europe stated, “Not only theme and amusement park professionals will find here the latest products, but the show is also an eye opener for water parks, zoos, aquariums, family entertainment centres, museums, carnivals, shopping centres, casinos, and concert facilities. We expect to attract more than 8,500 visitors, primarily from Europe, although in our pre-registrations we’ve already counted 70 countries of origin.” On Tuesday and Wednesday, the trade show is open from 10:00 until 18:00, and on Thursday from 10:00 until 16:00.
A peek behind the scenes tours
Visitors will be able to draw a wealth of inspiration during the workshops and presentations being held around the exhibition. Moreover, a number of Dutch locations are also allowing colleagues a peek behind the scenes, with a meeting for water parks being held at Center Parcs ‘de Eemhof’. There will be two pre-show tours, departing from the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre on 22 September to Efteling, and a combination tour to Walibi Holland and Dolfinarium. The post tour will be going over the border with a visit to Phantasialand in Germany, in addition to Toverland, Burgers’ Zoo, and Corpus Experience. Certain Dutch IAAPA member parks are also providing exhibition visitors free access during the EAS.
Major networking events are offered as well. On Tuesday evening, the opening reception with a tropical beach theme will be hosted at Strand Zuid, the beach Club at the RAI. On Wednesday evening, The “Young Professionals Event,” will convene at the Heineken Experience. Here, young up-and-coming industry professionals will be able to share their experiences of working in the attractions sector.
A total of 20 hours of workshops and presentations are being offered. Top speakers from the sector will be sharing their knowledge on the many developments currently impacting attractions, including the following: safety, staff development, mobile technologies, the impact of review websites such as TripAdvisor, intellectual property, crisis management and upgrading existing attractions and events. A day-long programme focusing on developments in the burgeoning group of family entertainment centers, with FECs being understood to mean indoor playgrounds, carting tracks and climbing facilities. Just like with previous years, the CEO Talk and the Leadership Breakfast are once again promising to be a success. At the CEO talk, four directors from European amusement parks; Liseberg, Walibi Holland, Duinrell and Vialand – will be answering questions about themselves, their parks, management style, outlook on the sector and challenges for the future. For the Leadership breakfast this year, Steve Van den Kerkhof – director of the Plopsa Parks – will be providing European colleagues a glimpse into the kitchens of this successful Studio 100 subsidiary.
Tickets for the Euro Attractions Show, education seminars, tours, and other events are available at www.IAAPA.org/EAS. IAAPA members enjoy price discounts, including attending a majority of seminars for free.