From November 16 through November 18, IAAPA will host its first ever IAAPA ExpoǀVirtual Education Conference. Last month, when IAAPA announced the cancellation of IAAPA Expo 2020, the association immediately pivoted to make it possible for the global attractions industry to experience the exclusive learning the association provides to attendees each year.  Featuring 24 educational sessions originally planned for IAAPA Expo, attractions professionals will come together – virtually – to hear from renowned international industry leaders and learn how to continue to move their businesses forward. 

“IAAPA ExpoǀVirtual Education Conference is a first of its kind event for IAAPA,” said IAAPA President and CEO Hal McEvoy. “While we remain disappointed we could not host IAAPA Expo 2020 in person, we still want to provide a global event for members. Throughout the year our dedicated member volunteers planned the education conference portion of IAAPA Expo, and our team did not want that hard work – or the outstanding planned content – to go unheard or shared.”

In addition to educational sessions focused on issues and trends facing family entertainment centers, amusement parks, zoos and aquariums, waterparks and museums, four keynote presentations featuring leading international industry professionals will take place. 

Andreas Andersen, president and CEO, Liseberg; Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products; Pamela Landwirth, president, Give Kids The World;  and Tilak Mandadi, executive vice president, Digital & Global Chief Technology Officer, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, will exclusively share their experience and insight with conference attendees during each of their presentations.  

The annual – and IAAPA Expo favorite – “CEO Speaks” session will discuss important industry topics including attributions for success in the attractions industry, how to maintain focus on priorities and building a company culture that lasts. This year’s speakers, Rick Hunter, president and CEO, ProSlide Technology, Inc.; Sharon Aguillen, president, TCB Productions; and Sarah Cole, president and CEO, Glazer Children’s Museum will present together in the popular panel discussion format.

Throughout IAAPA ExpoǀVirtual Education Conference, participants can also take part in – and celebrate – several annual IAAPA Expo traditions. The 2020 IAAPA Awards Presentations will announce this year’s IAAPA Hall of Fame inductees, IAAPA Service Awards recipients, and IAAPA Young Professional of the Year. Unique networking sessions and constituency virtual lounges will also take place, allowing participants to connect with colleagues across the miles, and make new connections. 

“We could not be more excited about IAAPA ExpoǀVirtual Education Conference,” McEvoy continued. “We recognize this year there have been many challenges facing our members around the world. This new event allows IAAPA to serve and support them in a timely, simple manner. It is fitting we are hosting this event during the week originally planned for IAAPA Expo. While the event is virtual, the training and insights are just as valuable as the content attendees usually find in Orlando.”

Another IAAPA Expo tradition, supporting fundraising events for Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) in Kissimmee, Fla., will also continue. Expo attendees have supported GKTW for more than 25 years and this year will be no different. The 14th Annual IAAPA Footprints from the Heart 5K Run/1 Mile Walk will take place – virtually. IAAPA members can participate by registering to complete a 5K run or one-mile walk from home on a treadmill, around the neighborhood, or on a local track between October 12 – November 18 to help IAAPA reach its donation goal of $25,000. Interested participants can register – or simply donate in support of the event – online now. Registration for IAAPA ExpoǀVirtual Education Conference is open. IAAPA members receive a low rate of $49 and will have access to the entire conference program Nov. 16-18, as well as access all content online, to view at their leisure until December 31, 2021. As part of IAAPA’s continued focus on education and development, by participating in the conference members will receive 14 credits toward IAAPA Certification. Non-members can register for $99. Additional details, conference agenda and registration are available at IAAPA.org/expoeducation.