Make us your home page
Instagram

Theme park professionals gather in Orlando this week for international amusement convention

It has to be the only corporate conference where it's normal to see (and ride) carnival rides in the parking lot and on the showroom floor.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo 2015, a global confab of theme park and attraction industry professionals, has taken over the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando this week. This year is the IAAPA's second largest conference in the association's 97-year history, said spokeswoman Colleen Mangone.

More than 28,000 people from 100 countries are signed up to attend. More than a thousand vendors, which could be anything from Busch Gardens and Disney World to a science center in Minnesota or a small family bowling alley in China, set up individual booths over 560,000 square feet of showroom space.

"There's always a need for family entertainment, and the industry is very strong right now," Mangone said. "We're seeing rapid global growth in new markets like China, actually over Asia."

The industry is expected to rake in $39.5 billion this year.

The IAAPA conference is where theme park professionals — from museum marketing directors to roller coaster designers to cart manufacturing plant CEOs — interact face-to-face. It's a venue for professionals to sign deals, test new technology and discuss the latest trends in family entertainment.

"We're the largest global conference for the industry," Mangone said. "This is the one time of year where across the world, the industry gathers here."

Orlando is a natural fit for this convention. It also happens to be only one of six cities in the country that can house a group of its size, Mangone added. The conference will continue to be in Orlando through 2025, she said.

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com. Follow @sunbizgriffin.

.Fast facts

By the numbers

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Conference takes place through Friday in Orlando.

Showroom size: 560,000 square feet

Exhibits: 1,000

Attendees: 28,000

Nations represented: 100

Theme park professionals gather in Orlando this week for international amusement convention 11/16/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 9:34am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Irish 31 brings flair, flavor to Wiregrass

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery opened its fifth location at The Shops at Wiregrass earlier this month.

    hillsevbiz072117: Irish 31 has opened at the Shops at Wiregrass with a warm, wood decor. Photo courtesy of Irish 31.
  2. Family fun featured at Lutz-area ice cream shop

    Business

    LUTZ — For Joe Schembri, ice cream reminds him of fun times he spent with his family as a child.

    hillsevbiz072117: Joe Schembri has opened the Ice Dreamery in Lutz. Photo courtesy of Joe Schembri.
  3. Clean Eatz offers low-cal options in South Tampa

    Business

    Inside Clean Eatz, almost everything is under 500 calories.

    Clean Eatz will offer healthy dining options in South Tampa. Photo courtesy of Clean Eatz.
  4. Salon brings a Parisian experience to Tampa

    Business

    A new salon in International Plaza, opened by French women Geraldine Jousseau and Estelle Mattingly, takes clients on a trip to Paris.

    Le Studio Paris offers a variety of salon services in International Plaza. Photo courtesy of Le Studio Paris.
  5. Ratings service Nielsen begins tracking live TV consumption on Hulu, YouTube

    Retail

    TV ratings service Nielsen will begin tracking how many people watch network TV on YouTube and Hulu to gauge how many viewers broadcast networks have through streaming, the company announced Tuesday.

    Nielsen, a ratings company, is monitoring how many viewers watch live TV on Hulu and YouTube to get a better sense of overall viewership. | [AP]