Every year, our team looks forward to IAAPA week because of all the exciting events that take place. Of course, we love seeing people within the industry flooding to Orlando.
It was my first year attending an IAAPA Expo and representing Falcon’s at our booth. Many people have asked about my experience attending for the first time. When I try to describe it, a lot of different thoughts and emotions come to my mind. Community, excitement, wonder, thrill, and celebrations are only a few of the words that come to me when I think of the IAAPA Expo.
Something that truly struck me was the immense sense of community I saw within the industry, where throughout the day, members of our team would see old friends and rejoice that we had a chance to bring the industry together again. We were also looking forward to the many meetings we had scheduled ahead of time because IAAPA Expo presents us with a great opportunity to foster new relationships. For this IAAPA Expo, I was part of the team that helped set up our booth. I remember the bustling chaos and excitement in the air of everyone building their booths with so little time to go. It was impressive to see how the entire show floor put its best foot forward to welcome guests by the time it opened.
Speaking of community, we also had the honor of participating in the 15th Annual IAAPA Footprints from the Heart Virtual Race to support Give Kids The World Village and the families it serves. This year, the race raised over $49K to support this wonderful cause that is so close to the industry’s heart. It was also a great opportunity to team-build with members of Falcon’s as well as with industry professionals from all over the world.
Something that surprised me was seeing how many different companies partner to create wonder and push the industry forward. When I walked around the massive show floor, I saw many different booths displaying exciting projects, some of which Falcon’s had a part in! Attendees saw the debut of the thrilling ArieForce One coaster at Rocky Mountain Construction's booth. Falcon’s had the pleasure to design the theming of the ride vehicle as well as the logo for the jaw-dropping steel roller coaster, soon to open at Fun Spot Atlanta.
At Alcorn McBride’s booth, we showcased 4K media content from our groundbreaking Battle for Eire attraction at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. We also shared this content for Oceaneering Entertainment System's EVO-6 dark ride vehicle that demoed all week at their facility in Orlando. At the Attractions Technology Coalition booth, visitors could also find a custom interactive stereoscopic game that we developed specifically to highlight the technology and beautiful Christie LED wall.
I also saw loads of new technologies and attractions that were being tested out by fans of the industry. I loved seeing the looks on their faces as they explored and experienced all the excitement. Many attendees also brought their children to try out these attractions. Sometimes it’s the younger crowd who can be the harshest critics! I loved seeing the wonder in the eyes of those who were experiencing something new, and the delight in those stopping by for a delicious, sampled treat along their journey across the floor.
Celebrations were also held when winners of the 2021 IAAPA Brass Ring Awards were announced. The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards are among the most prestigious professional honors, marking achievements of excellence throughout the global attractions industry. It was a beautiful moment to see members of our team jump up and down with fists in the air in celebration when National Geographic Museum’s Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall won the IAAPA Brass Ring Award for Best New Product, Exhibitions. We had the pleasure of attending the Brass Ring Award’s winners ceremony, which hosted the industry’s greatest masterminds. We are so thrilled to have contributed to this amazing exhibition and are happy to know that it has touched so many lives.
Overall, IAAPA Expo 2021 was an unbelievable experience for me that I will never forget, and I’m looking forward to many more, especially as a member of the Falcon’s Creative Group team. See you all next year for an even grander IAAPA Expo!
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