In September Stijn and Robbert traveled across the Pond to attend and present at the IAAPA Europe Expo, the biggest gathering for the amusement parks and attractions industry in Europe. With COVID now being in the rear-view mirror and people increasingly seeking for escapism and ways of spending quality time with loved ones, the message in London was clear: “Our industry is resilient. We help each other. We bring happiness.”

Moments we particularly enjoyed include:

Speaking at the Indoor Entertainment Day

We joined indoor park operators, owners of family entertainment centers and suppliers for an off-site specifically designed for indoor facilities. We joined a line-up of speakers on topics such as IP and the Metaverse and were happy to share our insights on integrated crisis management for small organisations. Site visits to several attractions such as Nickelodeon Lakeside Adventure and Puttshack topped off a great first day.

Presentation on the state of the UK indoor attractions industry
Tour at the Wipeout park
Tour at Nickelodeon Lakeside Adventure
Walking around the trade show floor

During the expo London’s ExCel convention center was transformed to a mini amusement park. Rides, games, snacks, live entertainment… Whatever you can possibly image, you’d find it here. It only takes a quick walk around to realise the creativity and scale of the industry!

Major suppliers showing off their products
Robbert binning a Ferrari F1 race car on the sim
Major suppliers showing off their products
Major suppliers showing off their products
Presenting at the EDU Conference

Joined by Walibi Belgium’s Justien Dewil, we shared insights on crisis communications and applied our ideas to the case of the devastating floods in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands in 2021, which caused severe damage to the Walibi park in Wavre as well. Huge thanks to Justien for sharing the story with us. IAAPA members can stream our session on the IAAPA website, or read a summary in Funworld.

Calm before the event
Technical checks before the keynote
Crisis communications applied to the Walibi Belgium floods
Many talks we had and look forward to continuing

People make up the network, and the people at IAAPA are truly fantastic. Whether we talked crisis management, safety, haunted houses, water slides, trampolines or sound design, each and everyone at the conference was so kind, welcoming and motivated to deliver the best possible experiences for others. And as we look forward to other meet-ups in the future, we are happy to continue these conversations and kick off projects discussed in London.

Calamity Cards, conversation starter since 2019
With Pierre van der Wijst, IAAPA EMEA’s senior safety and security manager

Thank you to IAAPA for the fantastic event – and see you in Vienna!