IAAPA Expo 2020 in Orlando cancelled due to COVID-19

Sep 04, 2020 in "The Walt Disney Company"

IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, today announced the cancellation of IAAPA Expo 2020 in Orlando, originally scheduled for mid-November.

“IAAPA Expo serves as the global marketplace for the attractions industry. We recognize this year there are many challenges facing our members from around the world,” said Hal McEvoy, president and CEO, IAAPA. “Together with input from members, exhibitors, the IAAPA Board of Directors and our team, we have decided to cancel this year’s Expo due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. The continuing barriers to international and domestic travel coupled with the evolving guidance on mass gatherings, and members’ need to focus on their businesses helped lead to this decision.”

“While we are disappointed we are unable to meet in-person this year, we are already looking ahead to IAAPA Expo 2021 in Orlando,” McEvoy continued, “We also appreciate the patience, support and commitment from our dedicated IAAPA Expo exhibitors. The IAAPA team has already pivoted to address finding new ways industry manufacturers and suppliers can connect with their customers to promote their products, discover new trends, and make plans for the future.”

In place of the Expo, IAAPA is launching a new virtual conference for global attractions industry professionals so that they can take part in many of the education sessions originally planned to take place at IAAPA Expo.

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Article Posted: Sep 04, 2020 / 9:52am ET
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LiterallyNobodySep 08, 2020

The free, sometimes super strange, carnival/amusement park food is what I will miss this year. The rides and theming stuff has been second for me for the last few years. Yeah, I like it, but the strange food. LOVED IT! The cotton candy vending machine last year was perfect for me.

Donald RazorduckSep 08, 2020

This replaced the Sears Wish Book for me as an adult being I'm coaster fanatic. Totally bummed.

LiterallyNobodySep 08, 2020

This was the saddest news I have had all year. I love going to IAAPA every year and playing with the new toys. Ax Throwing, followed by shooting aliens from a moving truck in VR? Yes please. Than I will go get my free dipping dots and beaver tails...

celluloidSep 07, 2020

Another huge blow directly to the industry, but indrectly as well. The convention season bring a lot of business to renting out the parks with low attendance in the evenings/overnight hours so parks can profit after day guests are gone. Local businesses and small attractions benefit from the roaming convention attendees around International Drive. Of course not surprising and safety more improtant, damaging for sure.

Q_DivisionSep 07, 2020

I don't know the specifics on why the date was chosen (probably contractural or similar) but they had stated the decision would be made on (technically by) the 4th Sept. weeks ago.

techgeekSep 07, 2020

I don't know the specifics on IAAPA, but I have had inside knowledge of several conferences that had to delay 'officially' cancelling until certain metrics were met to invoke cancellation policies or trigger insurance coverage... usually a specified number of days prior to the event. All of these contracts were written pre-covid, so there's been a lot of behind-the-scenes review to determine the legal obligations of the many parties involved given the unique conditions.

FlynnwriterSep 06, 2020

It’s took them forever to cancel. Very out of touch.

EagleScout610Sep 05, 2020

I wonder if this was supposed to be where they announced Splash

Q_DivisionSep 04, 2020

Not unsurprising but still sad. That said with the current restrictions in place preventing me from attending I'm probably better off depending on how the virtual one works.