Tuesday, March 15, 2011

IAAPA Committees Gather in San Diego Ahead of Leadership Conference

The first IAAPA Leadership Conference officially gets under way Tuesday here in San Diego, but there was quite a bit of work and activity happening already.

Today seven IAAPA committees held their annual face-to-face meetings, many of them focused on this year's education planning for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 this November in Orlando. I sat in on three different meetings throughout the day: Amusement Parks & Attractions, Waterparks, and Communications.

It was a pleasure for me to be a "fly on the wall" (although I couldn't keep my mouth shut entirely!) listening in on the conversations among these experts about trends and challenges they're facing back at their parks and attractions, and how they want to address these issues during Expo. Whether it's social media, government relations/compliance, or discussion of the latest technology, I'm looking forward to researching these topics further in the pages of Funworld, as well.

I was also impressed with the dedication of these volunteers, some of whom flew halfway around the world to sit in on these meetings and share their expertise and experience. In one day alone, I met with industry folks from Hong Kong, the Philippines, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and elsewhere. The committees had packed agendas and the discussion was enlightening.

And this is just the preview. Starting tomorrow the IAAPA Leadership Conference officially starts with tours to Boomers!, Belmont Park, and SeaWorld San Diego. The goal for this new association event is to give attendees behind-the-scenes access to exemplary attractions, as well as numerous networking opportunities with colleagues; with those two components in place, essentially the learning never stops. Later this week we'll be visiting Knott's Berry Farm, Legoland, and Disneyland, among others.

I'll be in more committee meetings tomorrow, but the Leadership Conference runs through Thursday so I'll have further details later this week and then a full report in the May issue of Funworld.

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