The evaluations are in, and by all accounts IAAPA’s new conference for family entertainment center (FEC) operators, FEC PHOENIX was a tremendous success. A sellout crowd of 161 FEC-industry leaders from 34 states and three countries with an average of 20 years of experience in the business participated in the FEC operators’ conference produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
The new two-day education, networking, and business-building event, developed by IAAPA’s FEC Committee, took place at the Millennium Scottsdale Resort and Villas, near Phoenix, Arizona, Feb. 26-28. Based on the success of the 2013 event, planning has already begun for a similar event in 2014. The dates and location for the 2014 event will be announced in the fall.
The theme of the two-day conference was Share, Engage, Grow, and the event participants said the 2013 event delivered. In post-event surveys, 95 percent of the FEC owners and event sponsors said the conference was relevant to their businesses, was valuable to them professionally, and will help them grow their business.
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Professionals representing more than 200 FECs discussed the latest trends, expanded their network of business colleagues, gained insight from co-participants, and shared their best practices and experiences, all with a keen focus on improving sales and the bottom line. The presentations and conversations were fast-paced and included lectures, quick-fire question-and-answer sessions, roundtable discussions, and casual conversations. Hot topics included current and future trends; games and redemption; management and problem solving; using apps and social media to market and manage your business; training, motivating, and retaining employees; merchandise; security; and much more.
“You could feel the energy in the room during FEC PHOENIX, ” said Paul Noland, IAAPA President and CEO. “Through a unique combination of networking events and fast-paced presentations and discussions, FEC operators collaborated with each other and the sponsor partners to explore new ways to grow their business.”
“FEC PHOENIX was an event planned by operators for operators, ” said Gregg Borman, vice president of the FEC division for Palace Entertainment and chair of the IAAPA FEC Committee. “It was important because it provided a focused and dedicated forum for FEC operators and suppliers to really network and share best practices. We are already in planning discussions to establish our next FEC event built on what we learned during this inaugural event.”
Thirty-eight companies sponsored FEC PHOENIX and played a key role in the event’s success.