Thursday, November 30, 2023

IAAPA 2011 Expo "results exceeded expectations"; 2012 event is 12-16 Nov

Roland Mack, center, attends TEA 20th anniversary kickoff and Thea Awards announcement at the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 in Orlando. Also pictured: Marco Renteria of ETI (far left), and from right, TEA past presidents Steve Thorburn (Thorburn Associates), Keith James (Jack Rouse Associates), Nick Farmer (Farmer Attraction Development) and Peter Chernack (next to Mack). Photo: IPM (Judith Rubin).

“Building on the success of the 2011 Expo and based on the strong advance exhibit sales for the 2012 show, we look forward to creating an even more spectacular event for next year,” said Roland Mack, 2012 IAAPA Chairman and Managing Partner of Europa-Park in Rust/Baden, Germany.

“The results for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 surpassed our expectations on several fronts,” said IAAPA President and CEO Chip Cleary. “Exhibit sales, buyer attendance, education program participation, and total registration are all up from 2010.” 

IAAPA Attractions Expo is the world’s largest conference and trade show for the $24 billion global attractions industry and serves as the primary marketplace event for leaders, decision makers, and visionaries, who gather to learn, discuss the current trends and hot topics, test the latest innovations, and dream up new experiences for the future. The event is owned and produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). The five-day Expo took place at the Orange County Convention Center and had an estimated $47.7 million economic impact on the Orlando area.

Buyer Attendance Up 5 Percent
Approximately 15,300 executives and buyers from 6,975 amusement parks, waterparks, family entertainment centers (FECs), zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and roadside attractions from around the world participated in IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011. In 2010, 14,600 buyers participated in the event.

Conference Program Offers Range of Education Topics and Experiences for Industry Professionals
Attendance at the Expo’s 123 education programs was 8,850. Highlights of this year’s conference included presentations from industry CEOs, a panel discussion featuring some of the brightest young designers in the business, a pre-dawn behind-the-scenes tour at Walt Disney World Resort, tours of Legoland Florida and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and a half-day symposium on mobile marketing and communications in the industry.

1,106 Companies Showcase Innovations, Products, and Services
The North/South building of the Orange County Convention Center was packed with exhibits from 1,106 companies that displayed their innovative new products and services on 477,474 net square feet of space on the trade show floor. The outdoor exhibit area measured 49,074 net square feet, the largest at the Expo in almost a decade. The exhibitors hailed from 32 countries and included immersive and interactive rides and attractions, innovative water rides and slides, stage productions, mobile ticketing systems, new food and beverage treats, inflatable devices, arcade games, and much more.

Prestigious Industry Awards Presented at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011
The following awards were presented at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011:

  • IAAPA Hall of Fame Awards (worldwide industry leaders)
  • IAAPA Service Awards (service to IAAPA and the industry)
  • IAAPA Brass Ring Awards (marketing, retail, live entertainment, Human Resources, top family entertainment centers, new products, best exhibits)

Some participation numbers   

  • 1,400 people attended the Kickoff Event for an update on IAAPA; to see the exciting new attractions introduced around the world in 2011; and to preview new developments for 2012. 
  • 1,000 Expo participants met, socialized, and shared ideas at the Opening Reception. 
  • 440 industry leaders enjoyed the keynote address by Jim Atchison, CEO SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, at the GM and Owners’ Breakfast.
  • 1,650 people enjoyed the newly reimagined “Star Tours” attraction and “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights” during IAAPA Celebrates at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • 200 young professionals attended a reception at B.B. King’s Blues Club at Pointe Orlando.
  • Fundraising events held in conjunction with the Expo raised $81,455 for Give Kids The World, the Kissimmee, Fla., resort for children with life-threatening illnesses. (
  • 152 golfers, 29 riders, and sponsors raised $66,215 in the 9th Annual IAAPA International Charity Golf Tournament and the 2nd Annual Motorcycle Run. 
  • 135 runners and walkers raised $8,670 in the IAAPA 5K Fun Run & 1K Walk. [Note: …including IPM’s editor Martin Palicki and five winners from InPark Magazine’s 5k Race Raffle].
  • Expo participants donated $6,570 through a raffle for a 7-night Royal Caribbean International cruise for two. Tom Sheehan of The Sheehan Firm won the cruise.

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Nov. 12-16. More than 130 companies have already reserved their booths on the trade show floor. Information about exhibiting or attending is available at

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 situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,000 facility, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. Member facilities include amusement/theme parks, water parks, attractions, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and casinos. IAAPA is a nonprofit organization. Revenue generated for the association by its involvement in trade shows and other activities are returned to the association to fund services for its members and the industry. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States. The association maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong.

According to IAAPA, all numbers given here are preliminary estimates.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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