The world’s biggest annual gathering of waterpark professionals takes place this October as the World Waterpark Association (WWA) holds its annual Trade Show and Symposium in Las Vegas. But what can visitors expect to see, and which sessions will be making a splash? Park World dips its toe in the water.
Although the trade show kicks off on Wednesday, October 29, it is actually the Symposium starting on Sunday that offers real value to many WWA members, and there is no reason to suspect this year’s programme will be any less missable.
Well over 50 educational sessions will be held, covering everything from waterpark resort development and lifeguard training to food service, staffing, crisis communications. And because when the trade show does start it doesn’t open each day until 1130, there will still be chance to check out a few sessions in the morning.
A wide range of social and networking opportunities include Monday’s WWA Annual Golf Tournament at the Legacy Golf Club, with a 7.30am shotgun start, and the Kick Off Reception the same night. This year’s WWA Reunion takes place on Tuesday night at MGM’s Studio 54. Have your Hawaiian shirt ready!
The 28th WWA Annual Symposium & Trade Show takes place from October 26 to 30 (Trade Show October 28/29 only) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. www.waterparks.org
Education HighlightsWith so many sessions planned, it really is hard to give a flavour of the WWA Symposium programme in the space we have here, so included below is simply one event for each day, between them covering a variety of different topics:
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26: 0900-1700
Ready, Set, Go!
This day-long practical workshop is designed for the first time waterpark operator and will address such topics as defining roles and responsibilities; developing fees and charges; identifying software, hardware and cash-handling needs; emergency management and media plans; staff recruitment and lifeguard training programmes; writing the employee manual; corporate sponsorship plans; and preparing for opening day. Speaker Judith Leblein-Josephs will be joined by panellists James Basala and Chris Landgrave of Deep River Waterpark, Michael Holtzman from Profitable Foods and Paula Panton of Water Safety Products.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 27: 1300-1400
Media Buying for Waterparks
This course is aimed at those that buy their own media or, if they work with ad agencies, shows it they can benefit from a better understanding at what and how they are spending their park’s advertising budget. Speaker is Julie Dion.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28: 0830-0930
Spray Parks – Making a Splash or Going Down the Drain?
An interactive session showcasing some of the true success stories around the industry and review some of the nightmares.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29: 0830-0930
Turning an Aquatic Center into a Destination Waterpark
Scott Hester and Rick Fuller will discuss how you can overcome constraints with budgets, staffing, planning issues and community expectations to grow your facility and its long-term prosperity.
For the full, up-to-date Symposium programme see: www.waterparks.org/education_schedule.asp