Well it had to happen. The IAAPA convention is over and all the conventioneers, committee members, coaster nerds and vendors are now headed back home to either put to use some of the things they learned or tally up their sales.
For me, this was by far the best IAAPA show I have been to in years. Here’s why:
- The people – I got to meet and hang out with so many cool people! The HR Committee members, the show ambassadors, people like Scot Carson from Amusement Advantage and Tim Ruedy from NASCAR Speedparks who I had worked with many years ago, and new friends like Dino Fazio from Morey’s Piers, Gary Popp from Hersheypark and Tim Sorge and Scott Brown from Swings-n-Things Family Fun Park. At one point I was walking through the halls with my friend John from the Detroit Zoo and I happened to run into person after person that I wanted to say hello to. After the 3rd or 4th person he said to me jokingly, “Oh, you are one of those people?”. Why yes, I guess I am!
- Happy Feet. For anyone who has ever walked long distances (like at a trade show) or had to stand for long periods of time (like in a training class), these Happy Feet insoles are the mack daddy. They contain a gel that actually moves back and forth as you walk, creating a massage effect on your feet which keeps the blood flowing and reduces fatigue. I was so impressed with what they did for me the first day I wore them that I went right back and bought another pair for my wife.
- The people (again) – this show was such a great opportunity to connect with people who are passionate about the amusement industry. Many of us took very different paths to get where we are today, but we all share the common interest of creating a fun and memorable experience for our guests. Everyone I met was so gracious and I truly want to stay connected with each you!
If you weren’t able to attend this year’s expo or missed out on an event or two, swing on over to IAAPA’s website where they have pictures and recaps of the main events.
Next year we are going to Vegas for the expo, and you know what they say about Vegas…