Skip to main content

IAAPA completes successful event in Barcelona

8,500 participants attended IAAPA Expo Europe 2021 in Spain

IAAPA Expo Europe 2021 trade show floor

IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, is celebrating the in-person return to IAAPA Expo Europe, which took place in Barcelona, Spain, last week. The show saw attractions professionals from many different sectors and regions around the world come together to connect and learn.

Early figures suggest that 8,500 participants attended the show, which focused on innovation and looking ahead, including 5,800 qualified buyers from 3,200 companies, as well as 439 exhibiting companies.

A ‘fresh start’

“IAAPA Expo Europe represents a fresh start for our entire industry,” says Jakob Wahl, vice president and executive director, IAAPA Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), at the opening. “This Expo is about preparing for the future, inspiring each other, and sharing important learnings from the global pandemic.”

Nearby theme park PortAventura World hosted several educational events as IAAPA Expo Europe kicked off, including the IAAPA Safety Institute, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the park as well a the new IAAPA EMEA Sustainability Day event, where industry insiders shared their parks’ strategies for becoming carbon neutral, incorporating sustainability practices throughout their facilities, and providing guidelines to create a sustainability plan that supports business goals.

The park itself was the recipient of the inaugural “IAAPA EMEA Award for Extraordinary Efforts on Sustainability” during the Expo.

The opening keynote session was presented by travel writer Doug Lansky, who talked about how challenge and crisis can inspire positive change. Following this, Amanda Thompson OBE, Chairman of the Board of Directors, IAAPA; Hal McEvoy, President and CEO, IAAPA; and Jakob Wahl officially opened the show.

There was also a sold-out Opening Reception at Tibidabo Amusement Park.

Busy trade show

The trade show covered two halls of the Fira Barcelona Gran Via, where exhibitors and attendees came together to explore new products, services and solutions.

“The attractions industry truly is like a family,” says McEvoy. “To finally come back together – in person – means a great deal. We understand our members and the industry are still working through the ongoing impact of COVID-19, but we are confident the industry will emerge from these challenges stronger than ever. Our role is to help members and the global attractions industry push through, and IAAPA Expo Europe was an important step toward full recovery.

“This week’s show demonstrates the strength of the attractions industry throughout the EMEA region and the rest of the world. Exhibitors represented more than 43 countries around the world. International attendees came to meet with them and make serious buying decisions for their upcoming season and beyond.”

Sponsors of IAAPA Expo Europe 2021 included: accesso, Brogent Technologies Inc., DOF Robotics, Gateway Ticketing Systems, Interlink, Jack Rouse Associates (JRA), Leisure Development Partners (LDP), Outdoor Factory, Panasonic Hollywood Lab, Polin Waterparks, ProSlide Technology, QubicaAMF, Sacoa Cashless System, Sally Dark Rides, Simworx Limited, TAIT USA LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, Valo Motion, Vekoma Rides, Water Technology Inc. / Neuman Aqua and WhiteWater.

IAAPA Expo Europe 2022 will be held in London from 13 – 15 September.

Recently, IAAPA also announced Wuthichai Luangamornlert, ICEA, as its new second vice-chair, as well as naming four other new board members for 2022. 

Share this
charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is blooloop's editor. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

More from this author

More from this author

Related content

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update