Sunday, February 1, 2009

Introducing … IAAPA – Family Entertainment Centers

My job is to market IAAPA, so I want you to know exactly what you’re getting when you join or renew your membership—and why it’s even more essential to stay connected to the industry through us as we all head into what will be a challenging economic year. A lot of our benefits are intangible or immeasurable, but even if you just use ONE of them, your membership will undoubtedly pay for itself. Each week, I will update the blog with a post about what IAAPA can do for a specific attractions community; some of the benefits will be the same across the board, some will be specific, but all of them will be things you can use or learn from to improve your business.

This week, my topic is: family entertainment centers and IAAPA.

IAAPA has made a significant commitment to the family entertainment center (FEC) community. FECs make up about one third of IAAPA’s facility membership and have an incredibly active committee that works throughout the year to plan education programs and support IAAPA’s government relations and safety efforts.

FIRST! Things First
IAAPA has joined forces with American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services to offer members FIRST!, an IAAPA-sponsored insurance program exclusive for IAAPA FEC members that provides a powerful combination of quality insurance, competitive pricing, valuable risk management tools, and a collective industry voice.

Some members have reported saving thousands of dollars through this program, so that in itself more than pays for your IAAPA membership. For more information on FIRST!, please visit the FIRST! web site or contact American Specialty at +1 800/245-2744 and let them know you want to take advantage of the great benefits of the FIRST! program for FECs.

If you're looking for something FREE, we also offer more than 90 FREE education sessions at IAAPA Attractions Expo for IAAPA members.

The FEC Committee will plan several of those sessions that will focus entirely on the issues effecting FECs. If you have ideas for what you would like us to cover during these sessions let us know (just shoot me an e-mail; we are just starting to work on the sessions for 2009.

In the meantime, however, members can log in to the Member Center and get access to past session handouts and other information. These sessions are your connection to out-of-the-box ideas and will be a lifeline to you in coming up with new ways to meet your monetary goals.

Meet Ben
In spring 2008, IAAPA hired Ben Jones to serve as the association's FEC Specialist, providing outreach, support, and assistance to IAAPA’s FEC community. An industry veteran, Ben offers members his advice and counsel on a variety of issues. He is at your service, so feel free to e-mail him with your questions about your FEC!

Did you know that if you had an issue at your facility and needed help with the press, IAAPA’s staff provides you with FREE crisis communications support? That alone is worth the price of admission (or membership!). Just call the IAAPA offices and we will put you in touch with all the right people.

And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention FUNWORLD. Our monthly magazine is FILLED with articles, ideas, and stories about people just like you working in the attractions industry. Each month we have a section focused ENTIRELY on FEC operations, which can offer you insight and experience you will not find elsewhere.

Am I missing anything? What else do you need from IAAPA? Let me know what you think and if there is anything else that IAAPA can do to help support you. My e-mail is and I look forward to hearing from you.

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