Thursday, April 12, 2012

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 Space Allocation: The Basics

At approximately 9:15 a.m. EDT today, IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 Space Allocation will officially begin. We will be covering the event live this year exclusively via Twitter. The IAAPA Twitter feed is located on the upper-right of this page, or you can click here to jump to the official site.

For anyone new to Space Allocation, or those that may just need a refresher, here's how the process works:

IAAPA Attractions Expo is the largest trade show in the world dedicated to the amusement park and attraction industry. This year's show will once again be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Nov. 13-16. In preparation for this massive event, each year the IAAPA Space Allocation Committee assigns companies booth space on the floor in a marathon two-day meeting, which we are about to begin.

Each exhibitor who submits an exhibition contract before the Space Allocation deadline is ranked according to seniority, meaning how many years the company has participated in the Expo. The top 100 or so are assigned prior to this meeting, but that still leaves more than 600 companies waiting to be assigned (it was a record turnout this year for Space Allocation).

The Space Allocation committee has representatives from various types of companies in our industry; each member is responsible for a different group of exhibitors. For instance, Technifex's Monty Lunde and Jack Rouse Associates' Keith James assign booths for themed entertainment companies (among others). The committee's goal is twofold: to place exhibitors in the best possible position on the floor, while still maintaining the integrity and quality of the entire show.

The committee members work with one another and the exhibitors (lots of e-mails and phone calls will be flying back and forth over the next 36 hours or so!) as the booth assignments start flying. It's a pretty hectic process that requires a lot of cooperation and focus, but several of the committee members have gone through it enough times that it will all get worked out by 1 p.m. tomorrow when the meeting wraps.

We'll be covering the entire process via Twitter, so you can check for updates and keep an eye on when your booth assignment is coming up. Also keep tabs on the online floor plan, which is updated in real time, to see how the show is shaping up.

Once your booth is assigned, the IAAPA Exhibit Sales Team will send a confirmation e-mail; if for some reason you'd like a different booth than the one you are given, there are instructions in the e-mail for requesting a move.

If you have any other questions, please e-mail You can also e-mail me at if you have any general questions about the process, or if you just want to chat.

This is the fifth Space Allocation I've covered, and I can tell you from experience the next couple days are gonna be hectic, but it's exciting and rewarding to see how the show floor shapes up by the time we're done.