Friday, September 22, 2023

IAAPA Expo 2021 Preview: What to Expect on the Show Floor (Part 2)

Taking place in Orlando, Florida, from November 15-19, there’s a lot to look forward to at IAAPA Expo 2021. This preview takes a look at the weird and wild offerings by Art-FX Studios/Escape Theory, Gateway Ticketing Systems and Ripley Entertainment in partnership with Give Kids the World Village.

Art-FX Studios – Booth #2878

With over 80 years of combined experience in family entertainment, Escape Theory has been taking the industry by storm. Keith Padgett of Art-FX Studios, Jeff Willy of Laser Force, Doug Hummel of Alpha North, and Noah Kline have united forces to create the industry’s most immersive escape attractions in Escape Theory.

Since coming together in 2019 and through the pandemic, Escape Theory has grown quickly to feature locations encompassing five time zones. “Our escape rooms transport players to the other worlds with movie-quality set pieces, professional sound design and next-generation puzzle tech,” comments Escape Theory founder, Jeff Willy. “You won’t find a room full of padlocks and paper clues here.”

Image courtesy of Art-FX Studios.

New at IAAPA this year, Escape Theory will be introducing innovative 30-minute experiences that are the perfect complement for family entertainment centers, existing escape locations, bars and tourist attractions. These 30-minute experiences feature all the interactive elements and over-the-top theming as the 1-hour escape themes but are designed to fit into smaller spaces and have a higher throughput.

To reserve your time to play Hotel Hell’en’, the newest 30-minute escape experience, during IAAPA, advanced reservations can be made.

Gateway Ticketing Systems – Booth #4847

This year, Gateway Ticketing Systems is bringing back their immersive Guest Journey, but in a different format to account for the increasingly contactless nature of ticketing in the industry. Visitors to Gateway’s booth will be able to pre-purchase a free timed ticket to sit down and experience the Guest Journey with a member of the Gateway team.

Visitors will encounter their operations from the perspective of their guests; from purchasing a ticket to accessing the venue, being upsold, stopping at the gift shop or cafe, exiting the attraction, and upgrading their ticket to a membership or season pass. They’ll be able to follow their own ‘guest account’ live and watch as Gateway’s Galaxy Ticketing and Guest Experience solution registers all of these transactional touchpoints, forming a 360-degree view of themselves, and enabling the Gateway team to personalize their experience.

Image courtesy of Ripley Entertainment.
Give Kids The World Village / Ripley Entertainment – Booth #4233

In true Ripley’s fashion, Jim Pattison Jr., President of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, is shaving his beard at the IAAPA Expo and adding it to Hoss — the Guinness World Records contender for Largest Ball of Human Hair!

Launching November 15, 2021, Ripley’s Shave the Beard and Make it Weird! campaign was concocted to support Give Kids The World Village, an 89-acre, whimsical nonprofit in Central Florida that provides critically ill children and their families with magical weeklong wish vacations at no cost.

IAAPA Expo attendees are encouraged to participate by contributing their own hair to Hoss the Hairball at the Give Kids The World Village booth on the trade show floor and donating to Give Kids The World Village. Attendees do not have to contribute hair to make a charitable donation. In fact, for every donation made, Ripley’s will match it, up to $10,000 total.

“With a shared goal of inspiring, supporting, and spreading joy to families, Ripley’s has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Give Kids The World Village,” said the nonprofit’s President and CEO, Pamela Landwirth. “Ripley’s continues its support by matching the donations raised by the Hoss Hairball up to $10,000, with all proceeds donated to make dreams come true for families facing unimaginable challenges.”

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