Euro Attractions Show (EAS) 2012, Europe’s largest trade show and conference for the amusement parks and attractions industry, was held 9 to 11 October in Berlin and set records for the number of exhibitors, size of exhibit floor, and education programme attendance. The three-day event is owned and produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
Operators Explore Vast Array of New Products on Record Number of Exhibits
Preliminary estimates indicate 8, 100 attractions industry professionals, including 5, 800 buyers from all over the world participated in the event which was held in Berlin for the first time at Messe Berlin Convention Center. The show spanned five halls of the convention center and featured exhibits from an unprecedented 367 companies from more than 80 countries on a record 9.043 net square meters of exhibit space.
Doug T. Smith, VP of Business Development with the exhibitor PrimePlay by WhiteWater West summarizes what many exhibitors experienced: “Last week’s EAS show was a very good show for us at Prime/Hopkins. The show had a very professional feel to it, the staff was professional and the overall experience of the events was very good. Also most importantly the show was well attended. We came away with many opportunities that I believe shows this region is growing.“
Operators of amusement parks, waterparks, zoos, aquariums, museums, indoor playgrounds, casinos, and holiday parks used the trade show to catch up on trends and order new attractions for the summer season 2013 and beyond. They looked at new innovations in a variety of products and services including multi-dimensional cinemas, interactive dark rides and roller coasters with integrated multimedia, the newest trends in ticketing and queuing systems, and integrated theming products.
EAS Showcases Strength of the Industry and Its Importance to European Economy
Roland Mack, chairman of the board of IAAPA and managing partner of Europa-Park in Rust, Germany emphasized: “EAS 2012 demonstrated the increasing importance of our industry for the entire European tourism sector. Attendance to the event is evidence that the industry is resilient in times of the financial and economic crisis. The volume of investments from this industry in Europe of about 400 million Euro per year demonstrates this as well. EAS is now recognized as the most important trade show in Europe. Once again, we did not only prove that the amusement industry supplies services on highest qualitative level but also the high innovative power of our dynamic economic sector.”
In his welcoming speech at EAS, MP Ernst Burgbacher, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology and Commissioner of the Federal Government for medium-sized businesses and tourism in Germany, referred to the growing importance of the amusement industry: “Particularly in the rural areas of Germany where the amusement sector with its highly medium-sized character is an important economic factor and job driver with a high value creation because of its entrepreneurial spirit that is part of its daily business. This is impressively demonstrated by its economic power of 8.6 billion Euro turnover in Europe.”
Extensive Conference Programme Highlights Industry’s Trends and Hot Topics
The comprehensive conference programme at EAS 2012 was a resounding success with more than 1.200 participants, 21% more than at EAS 2011 in London. The seminars addressed several key issues of the industry: new technologies, Halloweenevents, emerging markets, trends in the food and beverage sector, sustainability, social media, safety issues and the growth of indoor play grounds. The attendees also benefited from the presentations at the leadership breakfast on the second day of EAS where Roland Mack and Fernando Aldecoa, CEO of PortAventura in Spain shared best practices and their perspective of the development of the industry. Tours to the IAAPA member attractions Tropical Islands and Filmpark Babelsberg and the two networking events, the Opening Reception and the Young Professionals Reception were sold out.
IAAPA implements new Intellectual Property (IP) program
IP counselors hired by IAAPA to be on site at EAS 2012 met with numerous exhibitors regarding intellectual property issues in Asia, Europe, and the United States. This IP outreach was educational and helped raise awareness of the intellectual property matters in the attractions industry. During EAS 2012, IAAPA’s IP representatives addressed more than 12 cases that required the removal of catalogs, posters, or other content from the trade show floor or involved issues that appeared to be in violation of IAAPA’s IP policy. The same program will be in effect for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 in Orlando in November.
EAS Moves to Paris for 2013
Euro Attractions Show 2013 will take place 18 – 20 September at the Porte de Versailles Convention Center in Paris, France. More than 200 companies have already reserved in excess of 6.000 square meter of exhibit space.
Additional information regarding EAS 2013 is available at www.IAAPA.org/EAS.
Karen Staley, Vice President IAAPA Europe
kstaley@IAAPA.org | www.IAAPA.org/europe