More than 5, 000 professionals from the €3.2 billion European attractions industry gathered at Euro Attractions Show (EAS) 2008 in Munich, Germany, 30 September – 2 October, to see what’s new on the one of the largest trade show floors in the event’s history. They learned more about what’s driving the business in 15 professional development programs, discussed important trends and issues in a variety of regional and national meetings, and networked with a number of key industry leaders from throughout Europe.
While pleased with the overall event, EAS organizers said several factors, including the economy’s effect on the 2008 season in Europe, impacted attendance.
“We developed, marketed, and produced a quality show, complete with a full exhibit floor, strong educational program, and quality networking events, ” said EAS Chairman, Mats Wedin. “There were fewer showmen in attendance, and while most of the major attractions in Europe were represented, we know the difficult year in Europe and the economy played a significant role in the turnout.”
Serious Business Took Place on the Trade Show Floor
Buyers at EAS 2008 – Munich came from 64 countries and represented all major attractions and corporate chains in Europe. The trade show floor featured 250 exhibiting companies that covered more than 8, 000 square meters of space in Trade Fair Centre at Messe Munich. They showcased products and services in 99 categories, including roller coasters, inflatables, animatronics, plush, water rides, design services, and many more.
While the attendance did not meet the expectations of some exhibitors, many others had a good show.
“The show has been very good, especially for the new ‘Dracula’ dark ride concept we developed with ABC Rides, ” said Christian Angenvoort from Theming and Animatronics Industries. “It was highly appreciated, and we had some very good negotiations on this. Park owners realize more and more theming and storytelling is essential.”
“People-wise, it was a very good show—building up the network. No actual contracts were signed, but a lot of people said, ‘Wait until November.’ In general, I think it was a really good show leading up to IAAPA Attractions Expo negotiating contracts, bringing them to a point that we can sign in November, ” said Michael Mack of Mack Rides. Continuing, he added, “We really like the time of year for the show. We can go back home, do our homework, and hopefully take good contracts to (Attractions Expo).”
“This is our first time here (in Europe), and we made very valuable and promising contacts, ” said Cornelius Bonnet of Texas Digital. “Of course next year I can say whether it was a success or not, but for the moment, from southern and western Europe, we made some really good contacts there – a lot of opportunities.”
Professional Development and Networking Programs a Success at EAS 2008–Munich
Attendance at the 15 EAS training and development events was 585. Participants enjoyed tours of BMW Welt and Bavaria Filmstadt, learned more about attraction safety and marketing, and heard a variety of experts discuss the latest industry trends.
More than 1, 000 people participated in the Welcome Reception and a sold-out crowd of 800 experienced the world-renowned Oktoberfest firsthand in a reserved section of the Paulaner tent. Most participants thoroughly enjoyed and took full advantage of these special events to network and build additional business relationships.
EAS Moves to Amsterdam in 2009; 64 Exhibitors Already Confirmed
EAS 2009 will be held at the Amsterdam RAI International Exhibition and Congress Center, 30 September – 2 October. More than 250 exhibiting companies and 7, 000 participants are expected to participate in the three-day event. By the end of EAS 2008 – Munich, 64 companies had already reserved their booth space for the show in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam RAI is a modern and innovative convention facility just south of Amsterdam’s city center and is less than eight minutes from Schiphol Airport, one of the most accessible airports in Europe. RAI’s amenities include top-notch hospitality and exhibitor service, an array of restaurants, and the opportunity to rent luxury canal boats, which set sail from a private quay.
Euro Attractions Show (EAS) is owned by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), and has evolved into Europe’s largest event dedicated to the attractions industry. EAS is managed by IAAPA’s European operations, under the direction of the EAS Board and the European Advisory Committee. The EAS Board and the European Advisory Committee are made up of European Association Amusement Supplier Industry (EAASI) and IAAPA members from Europe. IAAPA is a nonprofit organization. Funds generated for the association by its involvement in trade shows and other activities are returned to the association to fund services for its members and the industry. More information is available at IAAPA.org/EAS.
IAAPA Press Office: +1 703/299-5127; IAAPA European Office +32 2 401 6161
Andreas Andersen: aandersen@IAAPA.org
David Mandt: dmandt@IAAPA.org