LAS VEGAS -- Some 170 amusement operators who specialize in family entertainment centers took part in the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions' FEC conference here. The educational program, held March 23-25 at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, attracted FEC professionals from 32 states and eight countries. These participants represented 79 facilities, IAAPA reported.
This year's conference, titled FEC Las Vegas and produced by IAAPA's FEC Committee, was designed for facility owners and managers. It fostered dialogue, networking, insight exchange and the sharing of best practices, alongside a formal workshop program described as fast-paced and interactive. Sessions used real-time polling via smartphones to guide conversations. Hot topics included managing for profitability, measuring guest satisfaction, arcade and redemption games and regulations, and industry safety, as well as outdoor attractions, group sales opportunities, social media for marketing, attraction pricing and discounts, and food and beverage trends.
"FEC Las Vegas was a focused event that truly allowed veteran FEC operators and suppliers to share best practices and ideas that can be immediately implemented and impact the bottom line," said FEC Committee chairman Gregg Borman, Palace Entertainment. "The FEC Las Vegas program was developed by FEC operators as they best understand the issues affecting operators, ensuring what happened at FEC Las Vegas, will not stay in Las Vegas."
Borman said that the IAAPA FEC Committee has begun gathering feedback on the 2014 event and that plans are underway for a similar event in 2015. Details will be available at IAAPA.org/FECevent.
In the meantime, IAAPA provided some preliminary comments from a few conference-goers:
"FEC Las Vegas is a breath of fresh air in the convention industry," said Bradley Alt, president of Equinox Laser Tag Inc. (San Diego, CA). "Real operators sharing real stories and real numbers about what is working in the industry right now."
Craig Wescott, president and owner of Track Family Fun Parks (Branson, MO), added, "FEC Las Vegas was a great investment of time and resources. This particular IAAPA event was ideal because the focus was networking and sharing information that could benefit all the attendees at the event. It is exciting to have connections with so many new people that I can continually engage with about improving our businesses."
Conference participants also raised $800 for Give Kids The World and $800 for the IAAPA Foundation.
Click here to learn about the 26 companies that sponsored FEC Las Vegas.