ALEXANDRIA, VA -- The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has announced that it will conduct its annual Attractions Expo at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, for the next 10 years. This year's event is set for Nov. 15 through 19.
Before it signed the new agreement, the association had planned to hold its 2011 convention and trade show in Las Vegas. The annual event also was scheduled for cities other than Orlando in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
IAAPA explained that the decision to keep the show in Orlando for the next decade was made on the basis of six important considerations. First, the Orange County Convention Center is an ideal host facility for the Attractions Expo, which features a very wide range of exhibits including large, tall, heavy pieces, and draws some 25,000 people. The large internal spaces of the Orlando facility can accommodate all of this with ease, including the Kickoff Event, which is attended by more than 2,000 showgoers.
Other pluses are the status of Orlando as "unofficial capital of the theme park industry," offering show visitors the opportunity to see what's new in actual use; and its appeal to international as well as domestic visitors. The Attractions Expo is attended by industry members from more than 90 nations, and travel to Orlando is affordable. The city boasts a world-class international airport, and offers abundant, varied and convenient hotel accommodations.
Finally, IAAPA shows always have drawn well when held in Orlando. The attendance and exhibit sales records for the 91-year-old event both were set in Orlando.
The decision to move the exposition to Orlando was made by the IAAPA board of directors, and supported by the association's executive committee and its manufacturers and suppliers committee.
"Moving the show to Orlando for the next 10 years provides a tremendous opportunity for us," said IAAPA president and chief executive Charles Bray. "The city is known for imagination, creativity, and innovation -- the foundations of the attractions industry -- and that, combined with the city's world-class facilities, makes Orlando the best long-term location for the IAAPA Attractions Expo."
IAAPA chairman Chip Cleary added, "Orlando is the ideal location. It's the ideal city with the ideal convention center, and the economics of hosting the show there make sense for our exhibitors, our members and the association overall."
The Orange County Convention Center is a 7 million sq.ft. facility with 2.1 million sq.ft. of exhibition space; it is the second-largest convention center in the United States.
IAAPA reports that, four months before the 2010 Attractions Expo opens, 75% of available exhibit space has been reserved.