IAAPA Expo Europe concludes in Vienna

The excitement of IAAPA Expo Europe came to a close on Thursday 28 September at the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Centre, with 12,289 verified attendees (out of a total 13,545 registered) including 8,475 qualified buyers representing 5,614 buying companies, and 633 exhibiting companies.

Held in the historic city of Vienna, this year’s event has broken previous records with the largest trade show floor – a colossal 17,670 square metres – in the history of the region offering.

IAAPA Expo Europe, the premier event for the leisure and attractions industry, gathered professionals and enthusiasts from around the world to explore the latest innovations, connect with industry leaders, and celebrate the growth and resilience of the attractions sector.

“IAAPA Expo Europe 2023 has exceeded our expectations in every way. The incredible turnout of more than 12,000 attendees and the presence of 633 exhibitors underscore the strong optimism and dynamism of our industry,” said Jakob Wahl, president and chief executive officer of IAAPA. “We are thrilled to see our community come together in person once again to exchange ideas and showcase the future of the attractions industry.”

Peter van der Schans, executive director and vice president for IAAPA Europe, Middle East, and Africa, added, “Vienna has been a fantastic host city, providing the perfect backdrop for this milestone event. The support of our members, partners, and exhibitors has been instrumental in the success of IAAPA Expo Europe 2023, and we are grateful for their dedication to our industry.”

The education conference, the cornerstone of every IAAPA expo, included 169 speakers with women representing 30 percent of the panelists selected to participate. An all-female panel during Wednesday’s CEO Talk shined a spotlight on Natacha Rafalski, Présidente of Disneyland Paris; Amanda Thompson, OBE, ICAE, CEO of Blackpool Pleasure Beach; and Susanne Mørch Koch, CEO of Tivoli Gardens.

|The expo event also featured a stronger presence of the IAAPA Foundation, which supports the future talent pipeline for the global attractions industry. More than 12,000EUR was raised through the sale of custom Lebkuchen cookies – a favorite traditional Austrian treat – open giving by attendees, and an in-person auction event. The auction, which featured industry-donated items like park visits, behind-the-scenes tours, overnight stays, and more, raised more than 5,000EUR in only 30 minutes.

The Eurosat Coaster car donated by Europa-Park raised an in-person bid of 1,700EUR, thanks to an incredible bid by Jim Pattison, Jr., chair of the 2023 IAAPA Board of Directors and one of the in-person auctioneers. An online auction with that value as the starting bid has begun. The auction, which is open to the public, will close Oct. 9. To support future talent even further, IAAPA will match the total amount raised from all these efforts.

Next year’s IAAPA Expo Europe 2024 will take place from September 23-26 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. So far, 431 companies have contracted for 13,989 square metres of exhibit space.

You might also like