Monday, November 16, 2009

Vegas, Baby!

It happens once a year ... at least for the last 11 years of my P.R. career, that is.

Edelman (the agency where I work) partners with our client the International Association of Amusement Parks of Attractions, and my team embarks for a one-week gig in the press office at IAAPA Attractions Expo.

For the first time in the association's 90+ years, IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009 is in Las Vegas, and tonight (Monday night, Nov. 16) is sort of like Christmas Eve as more than 1,065 exhibitors are working through the night to finalize their booths that span 500,000 square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center's cavernous South Hall.

Good times!

As we are in the business of getting media to visit this global gathering for the $24 billion international industry event geared to operators and vendors of theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, zoos, aquariums, casinos, family entertainment centers and museums, the last couple of days involved reaching out to press outlets in the region -- some local news reports are already popping up, and we'll look forward to engaging more throughout the week.

The real fun, too, comes from discovering what's cool and new for the next year in the attractions industry. One exhibitor of the past -- Dinner In The Sky -- still tops the list of "most extreme" followed closely by the HUSS "Fly Away" ride that visited Atlanta the first year we worked with IAAPA.

I'll try to post more from the IAAPA Attractions Expo later in the week. And, of course, I'll be on the hunt for some Olympic connections to the theme park industry while on site (does anyone out there recall the IZZY-themed roller coasters as part of Busch Gardens' sponsorship of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games?).

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