IAAPA Cancels Its Orlando Expo

September 4, 2020, 10:11 AM · Amusement industry association IAAPA this morning canceled its 2020 IAAPA Expo, which had been scheduled for this November in Orlando.

The Expo is not only the biggest convention of the year in Central Florida, it's the largest annual gathering for the theme and amusement park industry, bringing tens of thousands of industry professionals from around the world to Orlando.

But the ongoing pandemic was going to make visiting the United States difficult if not impossible for almost all of those international visitors. And safe physical distancing rules was going to make IAAPA's signature global marketplace show floor tough to stage, as well.

"The continuing barriers to international and domestic travel coupled with the evolving guidance on mass gatherings, and members’ need to focus on their businesses helped lead to this decision," IAAPA President and CEO Hal McEvoy said. "The IAAPA team has already pivoted to address finding new ways industry manufacturers and suppliers can connect with their customers to promote their products, discover new trends, and make plans for the future."

One of those will be an IAAPA Expo Virtual Education Conference that will take place November 16-18, the same week that the Expo had been scheduled. That online event will feature 25 sessions and two keynote presentations from the Expo. Details to come.

Several major exhibitors had announced already that they would not attend this year's show in person. Yes, there's the question of ensuring the safety of those who would have traveled to Orlando for the Expo. But there's also the harsh reality that almost no one in the industry is buying anything right now, due to the global economic depression in the travel industry.

"While we are disappointed we are unable to meet in-person this year, we are already looking ahead to IAAPA Expo 2021 in Orlando," McEvoy said.

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