If you’ve ever been to a carnival, then you’ve experienced something close to the IAAPA Show; that is the International Attraction and Amusement Park Show, which opened at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday, November 16, 2010. I had the pleasure of attending the show yesterday and what a gas! Like a carnival, the OCCC was filled with rides, inflatables of every shape and size, video game terminals, interactive pods and stations and the blaring sounds of bells, beeps, bongs and boings. Combine that with the smell of everything from pizza to popcorn, (I particularly like the “Dippin’ Dots” treats myself) and you have the makings for a very fun event.
Thanks to some passes provided by Bob’s Space Racer of Daytona Beach, Florida – thanks guys! – I attended the show to gather information for my clients on different ways to attract visitors to their booth or event in a fun and imaginative way. And yes I admit, to sample some of the fast foods, collect a shopping bag full of really valuable give-aways and to simply have fun. I’m happy to say I succeeded at all three.
The show was well attended as the aisles were full of buyers and the exhibitors were eager to demonstrate their latest water gun game or space ride or bouncy-bounce inflatable and of course, and to hand out free samples of their favorite amusement park goodie. How these exhibitors actually capture their leads was a little mysterious to me (I’m certainly not an expert in this type of show) but I don’t believe the process is influenced by the quality of visitors but rather by the quantity of visitors. That being said, I did see lots of business cards being exchanged and most of the conference rooms and sit down areas within the booths seemed busy with people doing business.
All and all I came away with some pretty neat ways to combine fun with marketing communications, which was my main objective. I also came away with a slight case of indigestion but that’s my fault and it was worth it.