Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inaugural IAAPA Leadership Conference Debuted Today

Day 1 of the new IAAPA Leadership Conference is in the books. Today attendees got a real flavor for what an industry hotbed San Diego is with visits to three vastly different facilities: Boomers!, a family entertainment center; Belmont Park, which offers the feel of a traditional seaside park; and SeaWorld San Diego, a big theme park experience. Here are a few pics from the day (photos by Robert Benson):

I don't appear in any of those photos because I wasn't there. Instead, I spent my day split between two committee meetings: Zoos & Aquariums, and Museums & Science Centers. I was so impressed with the intensity these groups brought to their respective tasks and to plan their dedicated education days at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 this November in Orlando. I can't divulge any specifics of what they have planned since it all has to be finalized, but I can tell you both groups have big plans to make their own tracks special—must-do experiences for their attraction communities.

Tonight I joined several of those same committee members along with the rest of the conference attendees for an exclusive dinner at SeaWorld San Diego (my first trip to this park). After reconnecting with some old friends and meeting some new ones—and a trip through the "Wild Arctic" attraction (uh, yeah, that walrus is so huge it boggles the mind!)—we all settled into Shamu Stadium for an after-hours showing of "Shamu Rocks!," the park's nighttime whale show. The big guys were kind to us and didn't splash our group in the chilly weather. Doesn't he look cool under the lights?

No comments: