Hauntworld Magazine just returned from another IAAPA show (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) located this year in Las Vegas, Nevada. IAAPA is the biggest amusement park show in the World with many Halloween and Haunted House Vendors in attendance. IAAPA is not the same show it was in years past when the show was dominated mostly by large over the top displays by large amusement companies... now the show is dominated by companies displaying inside four or less booths. The show is also smaller than it was several years ago, and clearly you could see the show did not use all the usable space they had rented for the show. It seemed like many exhibitors had scaled back or simply did not attend the show. The attendance of the show was also way down from the heyday period of years past.
Over the years a handful of companies have bought out almost all amusement parks and even many family fun centers giving control of the amusement industry mostly to Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Disney, and the Universal ./ Blackstone Group. The big amusement parks do not send the loads of people to the shows anymore because big companies go to the park management directly to pitch new idea's and concepts. Additionally due to IAAPA creating tradeshows in Europe, Asia, India, and other parts of the World many overseas buyers also no longer attend the show. I doubt attendance or the buying power of IAAPA shows will ever again return mainly because of the industry consolidation but still this show is very important to many smaller companies and especially those in the Halloween haunted house industry.
Even though I would not put this show on the TOP of the MUST SEE list (www.HauntShow.com would top that list) I do however suggest all haunt owners attend this show at least once every other year. If you are looking to find new products, push your small amusement business into new directions, find things you couldn't find otherwise I would highly advice you to attend this show. This years show wasn't much different from the 2008 addition in Orlando with exception of the Las Vegas strip as the shows backdrop. Most of the vendors same as last year, nothing much new, nothing major to see, if youv'e been to 15 shows in row like we have been. Now if you've NEVER attended one of these shows YOU REALLY MISSED THE BOAT!
IAAPA offers something for everyone from insurance companies to insure your haunt, ticket management systems, money counter machines, ATM machines, to every single type of food product to every single type of games for midways, to laser tag and yes even major rides. There was several haunt vendors at IAAPA again this year such as Scarefactory, Oak Island, and several others however their booths are much smaller with different focus.
What did I see at the IAAPA show that was a must see for a haunt owner... for one I would say a company selling Rain Insurance. The rain insurance company made a great pitch about how much money haunts would have made this year had they bought his program. Additionally I found this AWESOME money counter machine and bought two of them... it could bank face bills, pick out counterfit bills, do print outs and so much more. I also heard several haunters bought ATM machines running only $2500.0 or so ... seems like those ATM machines could pay for themselves in a couple weekends.
All in all it was a fun show and I wish more haunters could have attended. Next years IAAPA show will be located in Orlando, Florida home of Disney and Universal Studios. Which city did I like better... Vegas or Orlando? I liked Orlando much better because its cheaper! The unions in Vegas were not the best to deal with and seemed to charge for everything. Orlando is the best place to hold an amusement convention and I hope IAAPA does NOT return to Vegas again.
Now we can start looking forward to the 2010 Transworld Halloween and Haunted House Attractions show in St. Louis, Missouri March 25-28th, 2010. You can learn more about the upcoming Haunt Show at www.hauntshow.com
Hauntworld Magazine was featured on the America Haunts Television Show all October on Travel Channel! The next Hauntworld Magazine will debute in January 2010.... more news coming soon!
More blogs coming soon!