Waterpark owners converge on Disney
Despite a difficult season, in which many operators faced one of the coolest summers on record, the 29th Annual World Waterpark Association Symposium & Trade Show was deemed a success according to organisers.
The event took place in Florida, at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort, from October 20 to 24. While many association trade shows have accepted decreases in attendance this year, WWA was aggressive in going after new faces and attendance matched that last year in Las Vegas, with representatives from 22 countries.
The education sessions are an important part of the symposium, a once-a-year-opportunity for the global waterpark community to come together and learn from and about each other. In total, 108 speakers appeared in the workshop and symposium sessions. Hot-topics included “Safety: What Aren’t You Doing and Why?,” “Successful Marketing Strategies in a Down Economy” and “Emergency Response Plans Made Easy.”
In addition to 50 break-out sessions, including 30 new topics, this year’s event offered attendees the chance to experience two special workshops facilitated by Disney: The Disney Institute’s Leadership-Disney Style Workshop and the Innovation In Action Tour.
During the two-day trade show held as part of the event, the WWA hosted 342 booths in the 100,000 sq ft exhibit hall, including many new exhibitors keen to gain access to the waterpark industry.
“As a first-time exhibitor we were pleasantly surprised and impressed by the quality and quantity of attendees,” reported Dan Gundrum of eProfit Solutions.
“The quality of the leads obtained exceeded our expectations,” noted David Kiem of the Aquatic Development Group. “The show proved that projects continue to be developing, albeit slowly, and that there are active plans for park expansions and new projects.”
“As an international developer, I believe being at WWA is a healthy endeavor,” said Mohammed Khoursheed of Aqua Park/Al Jazera Entertainment Enterprises. “Learning about the newest products that improve things like water quality is imperative. Plus, you get hands-on experience and you get to share your ideas with suppliers and other operators.”
The WWA has announced it will head to San Antonio, Texas (always a popular choice with its members) for its 30th anniversary Symposium and Trade Show from October 6 to 10.