Thu, December 04, 2014

The 2014 IAAPA Show was not much different than past years lots of cool stuff all around!!!  There was the best tour they've ever done taking IAAPA members to Universal to experience the new Harry Potter section at Universal.  I had the pleasure of checking out Universals NEW Harry Potter section and its without words amazing!  Universal is the best in the country at this point at developing rides based on films.  I think everyone at IAAPA would agree the highlight was the Universal Studios tour.

With that being said was it worth the trip for haunted house owners and operators?  The answer simply yes and no.  Is this show worth the investment for haunt vendors?  Again the answer is yes and a no.  Lets start with haunted house owners and operators... so you own a haunted house should you attend IAAPA?  The front line answer is simply YES YOU SHOULD!  Why?  Well there are a lot of great theming aspects to the show, tons of cool animations, rides, games and more all stuff you probably can't buy... hmmm then why?  Well IAAPA is a show now mostly made from companies with four booths or less meaning they are small business owners.  In other words those smaller companies sell all sorts of cool unique products and services many of which can help your company.  For the haunt owner looking to go over the top IAAPA is a great source for finding new idea's and companies to work with.  Now on the other hand I wouldn't say IAAPA is the show you should attend yearly.  In fact as someone who has been going to IAAPA for over 20 years straight its a show that really has hit the wall in some ways.  Basically what I'm saying is it always seems to basically the same show year after year.  In other words if you saw it this year it will probably be virtually the same for the next 2 or 3 years.  Many of the vendors build elaborate booths however bring that same booth exactly the same for several years in a row. So in short its worth attending every few years and yes it will really be an eye opener for your business.

Now should haunt vendors attend IAAPA?  Really hard to say... IAAPA isn't really a order writting show its more of a show where you find leads and if you follow up correctly could land some work down the road.  There are many buyers looking to buy products but the overwhelming number in attendance are planning projects.  Most every single haunt vendor who has attended IAAPA as a vendor never returned a second year that should say something right there.  But as I was explaining things change now with international business being so strong for Halloween IAAPA could be the perfect recipe for success.  On the flip side Transworld is now drawing in most of these same buyers so would buying a booth at IAAPA being double dipping?  Don't know... I talked to one haunt vendor who attended the IAAPA show this year for the first time.  Their exact response to me was people like the products, but we are not selling anything. 

IAAPA is without question the biggest amusement park show in the WORLD and haunted houses fall under that umbrella.  IAAPA Show is each November held in Orlando, Florida.  Learn more at www.IAAPA.org

Check out this awesome booth (hint hint our booth) at IAAPA.

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