IAAPA Expo finished last Friday with 36,882 registered attendees, including 25,561 qualified buyers representing 11,869 buying companies, and 1,077 exhibiting companies. IAAPA Expo attendees represented 104 different countries.
“We set out this year to bring a fresh and innovative Expo experience to showcase the best of the attractions industry and we certainly accomplished that,” said Michael Shelton, executive director and vice president for IAAPA North America. “We proudly welcomed more than 36,000 attendees, filled more than 518,000 square feet of exhibit space and presented more than 100 on-site educational sessions. The incredible speakers and content presented along with the largest trade show in the industry surely inspired all who attended.”
The global attraction industry’s premier international event kicked off Monday, November 14 with a program full of educational opportunities and highlights, including EDUTours at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Disney’s Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World Resort. The weeklong conference and trade show included seven EDUTours, more than 50 networking opportunities, and a variety of charity events benefiting Give Kids The World.
In total, participating Expo attendees raised more than $157,000 through the 19th Annual IAAPA International Charity Golf Tournament, 12th Annual IAAPA Charity Motorcycle Run benefiting Give Kids The World, and the 16th Annual IAAPA Footprints From the Heart 5K Run/1-Mile Walk Benefiting Give Kids The World Village. There were 108 golfers, 23 motorcycle riders, and 401 runners who participated in the three events.
The trade show officially opened Tuesday after a successful Guinness World Record attempt to have the most people launch streamer cannons simultaneously. Immediately following that, exhibitors and attendees filled the halls of the Orange County Convention Center for four days focused on discussing critical business needs, education sessions and panels, networking opportunities, and discovering the latest products and innovations.
“It has been wonderful to see the continued recovery of the global attractions industry,” said Hal McEvoy, IAAPA’s president and chief executive officer. “I’m proud of our team, partners, and volunteers for executing a great show in Orlando that benefits our members and our community.”
Attendees were able to enjoy the thrills of one of Orlando’s top theme parks with the signature IAAPA Celebrates event held this year at Universal’s Islands of Adventures theme park. Networking with industry peers, guests enjoyed specialty food and beverage as they got private access to nearly a dozen rides and several themed sections within the award-winning park.
Although the doors just closed on this year’s event, plans for IAAPA Expo 2023 are underway already. IAAPA Expo 2023 will take place in Orlando November 13-17. Advance exhibit sales are strong with 227 exhibitors reserving 126,900 square feet of contracted booth space so far.