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09 Nov 2018

IAAPA 2018: 35,000 gather in Orlando for record-breaking attractions expo
BY Tom Anstey

More than 30,000 people attended the 2017 edition of the expo

More than 30,000 people attended the 2017 edition of the expo
photo: IAAPA

More than 35,000 buyers, suppliers and representatives of the attractions sector from more than 100 countries are heading to Orlando, Florida, ahead of this year's IAAPA Attractions Expo, which is set to break records once again as the organisation celebrates its centenary year.

Hosted inside the Orange County Convention Centre, the Expo gets into full swing on 13 November, with the event's opening ceremony. The conference starts a day earlier on 12 November, with Monday entirely dedicated to education sessions.

Showcasing more than 1,100 exhibiting companies, the trade show floor will be the largest in IAAPA history, with more than 52,000sq m (560,000sq ft) of exhibition space. For the first time in Expo history, the show floor will extend beyond the walls of the convention centre into outdoor structures created just for the event. Dubbed the “Exploration Station,” this area creates new exhibit space for over 100 companies exhibiting at IAAPA for the first time.

Alongside its vast show floor, IAAPA offers a programme of more than 100 educational sessions and presentations by leading operators on industry trends, new technology, marketing and communications, entertainment, government relations, safety and security, food and beverage, games and merchandise, facility operations, human resources, and more.

This year’s keynote speaker is Disney’s Parks and Resorts chair Bob Chapek, who will talk at the GM and Owners’ Breakfast on 14 November, offering insight into his more than 25 years of leadership at the global entertainment giant.

IAAPA will be celebrating 100 years in style, as Universal Studios Florida hosts a special event on 15 November. Open only to IAAPA attendees, the week's major networking session will feature a special music set performed by Canadian rock band the Barenaked Ladies.

The expo is the world’s largest conference and trade show for the attractions industry, which has an estimated US$360bn (€315bn, £275bn) global economic impact. The conference takes place from 12-15 November and the trade show from 13-16 November.

Check back with Attractions Management during the week for all the latest breaking news coming from IAAPA 2018.

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