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In news that's really awful, but shouldn't surprise anyone, the physical trade show portion of the IAAPA Expo has been cancelled this year due to the ongoing global situation.




ORLANDO, Fla., US – IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, today announced the cancellation of IAAPA Expo 2020 in Orlando, Florida. In addition, the association is launching a new virtual conference for global attractions industry professionals so that they can take part in many of the education sessions originally planned to take place at IAAPA Expo.


“IAAPA Expo serves as the global marketplace for the attractions industry. We recognize this year there are many challenges facing our members from around the world,” said Hal McEvoy, president and CEO, IAAPA. “Together with input from members, exhibitors, the IAAPA Board of Directors and our team, we have decided to cancel this year’s Expo due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. The continuing barriers to international and domestic travel coupled with the evolving guidance on mass gatherings, and members’ need to focus on their businesses helped lead to this decision.”


“While we are disappointed we are unable to meet in-person this year, we are already looking ahead to IAAPA Expo 2021 in Orlando,” McEvoy continued, “We also appreciate the patience, support and commitment from our dedicated IAAPA Expo exhibitors. The IAAPA team has already pivoted to address finding new ways industry manufacturers and suppliers can connect with their customers to promote their products, discover new trends, and make plans for the future.”


In the expo's place, the IAAPA will be holding online education sessions for industry professionals instead.


IAAPA Expo Virtual Education Conference will take place November 16-18, the same week IAAPA Expo was originally planned for. Participants will be able to virtually attend 25 sessions and two keynote presentations. These sessions were part of IAAPA Expo’s conference program and will feature leading industry professionals. Additional details and registration information will be available online at IAAPA.org.


Note that this is coming off of 2019's expo, which was the largest attendance in the show's history. Now, discuss!

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Oh well, I guess it makes since with most parks not looking for the "next big thing" to buy this year. The cost to plan an exhibit, transport it, and set it up and tear it down wouldn't be worth the return on investment. I'm not sure if government restrictions played into this choice or not.


After Chance, GCI, Larson, and Premier stepped down, I'm sure that they really started thinking if it was worthwhile to try and hold it. I'll miss the pictures and video this November.

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I'm not sure if government restrictions played into this choice or not.

They most certainly did.


Right now, much like U.S. citizens are barred from entry into the E.U., E.U. travelers are currently barred from entering the U.S. until further notice. While plenty of companies have U.S. subsidiaries that can represent them, a whole bunch of ride manufacturers, for example, are based in E.U. countries exclusively. The U.S. is also still restricting travelers from China, a big contributor to the show floor.


It's September, and the rate of daily new COVID cases in the U.S. is leveling off, and not decreasing as fast as it was a little while ago. And we're going into the traditional flu season. I don't see any travel restrictions lifting until early 2021 at the earliest.


Plus, like we've learned from Six Flags, pretty much any 2020 investments have been pushed to 2021. Add that to a pretty substantial decrease in revenue, for obvious reasons, and you have an industry that just doesn't have the money to invest in anything but its survival right now.

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