ORLANDO, FL -- Some 25,800 participants from 118 nations registered for this year's IAAPA Attractions Expo, compared with 25,000 people from 96 nations at last year's trade show, a 3% increase. The annual amusement and attractions industry trade show is sponsored by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, which held this year's event from Nov. 14 to 18 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.
The number of registered buyers in 2011 was approximately 15,300, a 5% increase over the 14,600 buyers the year before. IAAPA said those buyers were executives representing 6,484 amusement and water parks, and family entertainment centers, as well as zoos and aquariums, museums, resorts, and casinos, among other sited attractions.
These attendance figures are preliminary estimates, IAAPA show officials said.
IAAPA reported "several coin-op amusement operations" as part of the landscape of buyers. According to interviews VT has had with coin machine exhibitors, however, the parks show did not attract a strong turnout of route operators despite the lack of a fall coin-op show, which until 2010 was produced annually by the Amusement and Music Operators association for more than 60 years.
A UK-based trade magazine, reported that fewer visitors from Europe might have contributed to the perception of a "smaller" show with less foot traffic.
Nevertheless, IAAPA remains an important selling show for arcade amusement equipment manufacturers, who insist that quality buyers were present in force. "Attendance was good, we had a lot of great people coming to the booth, and hopefully we'll get a lot of sales [as a result]," said Frank Cosentino, Namco America's vice-president of product strategy.
The 2011 IAAPA exposition displayed new products and services offered by 1,106 companies from 32 countries. The exhibit area, which filled the convention center's north and south halls, was 477,474 square feet; the outdoor exhibit section was 49,074 square feet. The physical size of the show was the largest in almost a decade, IAAPA reported.
IAAPA, headquartered in Alexandria, VA, represents some 4,100 firms and individuals involved in site-based amusement attractions and parks in 90 countries. It was established in 1918. In addition to the Attractions Expo, the association produces Asian Attractions Expo and Euro Attractions Show, held annually on those continents.
The 2012 IAAPA Attractions Expo will return to the Orange County Convention Center, kicking off on Nov 12. The trade show will run from Nov. 13 to 16 (Tuesday-Friday). The association is contracted to hold its U.S. shows in Orlando through 2019.
IAAPA By The Numbers
» Overall registration: 25,800
» Buyers: 15,300
» Kickoff Event attendance: 1,400
» Opening reception guests: 1,000
» Keynote audience: 440. Delivered by SeaWorld's Jim Atchison at GM and Owners' Breakfast
» Exhibit area: 526,428 square feet
» Fundraising: $81,455 for Give Kids The World (Kissimmee, FL)
See Also: 2010 IAAPA Attractions Expo Draws 25,000