Largest attendance in IAAPA Expo history

With global theme and amusement park attendance on the rise, IAAPA Expo continues to serve as the epicentre for attractions industry innovation. Welcoming 42,600 attendees and 1,146 exhibitors in 2019, international leaders, decision makers, and visionaries from around the world came together to buy, learn, and network at the premier conference and trade show for the global attractions industry.

“With the largest attendance in IAAPA Expo history, this year’s event is a testament to the continued growth and strength of the attractions industry worldwide,” said Hal McEvoy, president and CEO, IAAPA. “It’s been an incredible week bringing together this vibrant and diverse community that continues to evolve in ways we’ve yet to imagine.”

A record 42,600 people attended this year’s show, including 27,800 qualified buyers from amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centers (FECs), zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and attractions from around the world. The five-day Expo pumped an estimated $77.2 million into the Orlando-area economy this week.

According to the latest “IAAPA Global Theme and Amusement Park Outlook Report (2019-2023),” theme and amusement parks worldwide are expected to entertain more than 1.16 billion people in 2019 and generate $52 billion in revenue.1

During IAAPA Expo, attractions industry professionals from around the world experienced a 585,000 net-square-foot trade show floor filled with new products and technologies representing 125 product categories, from ride engineering and virtual reality to special effects and food and beverage.

Thirty eight companies made new product announcements directly from the trade show floor during Expo, including Carnival Cruise Line and Maurer, Legoland New York Resort, Holovis and ETF Ride Systems, and SeaWorld Orlando and Premier Rides.

Highlights of the Expo week included a keynote presentation by Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, at the GM and Owners’ Breakfast. She was later joined by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal. Attendees learned from industry experts and heard from George Walker, creative director, Universal Creative Studio during “Lunch and Learn: The Emergence of Authentic Reality” and Nely Galán, entrepreneur and author, during “Coca-Cola Presents: How to Become Self Made and Have a Rich Life in Every Way.” With more than 100 educational experiences, attendees also participated in classroom sessions and behind-the-scenes tours throughout the week.

Celebrating 25 years of partnership, Expo attendees raised approximately $155,000 for Give Kids The World (GKTW) Village through corporate donations and an annual series of events, including a golf tournament, motorcycle ride, fun run and walk. Since first partnering with GKTW, IAAPA has raised more than $1 million, helping make magical memories for children with critical illnesses and their families.

The following industry awards were presented at IAAPA Expo 2019:

  • IAAPA Hall of Fame Awards (worldwide industry pioneers and innovators)
  • IAAPA Service Awards (service to IAAPA and the industry)
  • IAAPA Brass Ring Awards (excellence in marketing, retail, live entertainment, human resources, food and beverage, top family entertainment centers, new products, and best exhibits)

In 2020, IAAPA Expo returns to the Orange County Convention Center Nov. 17-20. More than 245 companies have already reserved booth space for the trade show floor. More information is available at www.IAAPA.org/IAAPAExpo.