Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

European conferences – busy schedule for May/June

European parks and attractions professionals looking to educate themselves and network with peers from a range of associated industries suddenly have a series of events to consider over the next few months.

Fresh from the success of its inaugural Leadership Conference last month in San Diego, California, IAAPA will be holding a new event for its German-speaking members in Europe. The IAAPA Europe Spring Forum will take place at Europa-Park near Freiburg, Germany, on May 17 and 18.

A gala dinner on Tuesday night will be followed on Wednesday by a full seminar programme focusing on marketing and trends in the European entertainment industry, delivered in German. Delegates will be able to stay on site at one of Europa-Park’s excellent on-site hotels and there will, of course also be an opportunity to visit the park itself. For more details, contact Jakob Wahl:, +32 2 401 6161.

Two years after a trial summer event at the Vienna Prater in 2009, the TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) will stage its first SATE (Storytelling, Architecture, Technology and Experience) conference for European members.

SATE Europe will be hosted at the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam on Thursday and Friday, June 16 and 17, building on the success of the now established SATE in North America, which was held last month in California. This new spin-off should provide a welcome summer get-together for those European professionals still missing the old TiLE conference, which used to take place around the same time.

“Bringing SATE to Europe confirms and expands upon the commitment of the association to the region and forms the basis of our expansion plans for the coming years,” says Phil Hartley, president of Europe’s Europe and Middle East division.

The speaker programme was still being finalised at the time of writing, but registration is now open and more details can be acquired from

Towards the end of June, a week after members of BALPPA (British Association of Amusement Parks, Piers and Attractions) meet for their Summer Conference in the English county of Cornwall, consultancy Vision XS will host its latest Leisure Operators’ Conference.

Each year host Tony Sefton chooses a grand location close Vision’s Oxfordshire base, and the venue for 2011 will be Heythrop Park Resort, Chipping Norton. This former aancestral home of the Earls of Shrewsbury now incorporates Crowne Plaza Hotel, conference facilities and spa.

While the main event is scheduled for June 29 (a Wednesday), there is also a pre-conference golf day and dinner scheduled for June 28. Seminars and workshop sessions will be delivered by a wide range of speakers from a wide range of attractions, ranging from museums to theme parks. The event will also showcase Vision XS’ “experience modelling” via a series of workshop sessions and even a live cooking demonstration in a session of food and beverage. A black tie dinner will round off the proceedings on Wednesday night.

Pictured: The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, host venue for SATE Europe.

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