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[IAAPA Expo 2019] Katapult at the biggest IAAPA Expo ever

IAAPA Expo 2019 was a blast! In a whirlwind week Katapult joined the 42,600 Attendees at the Global Attractions Industry’s Premier Event. From being part of the record-breaking Expo, to sparking conversations about new projects, let’s take a look at Katapult’s IAAPA Expo highlights…

The event in Orlando had the largest attendance in IAAPA Expo history, 42,600 attendees and 1,146 exhibitors joined from around the world:

“With the largest attendance in IAAPA Expo history, this year’s event is a testament to the continued growth and strength of the attractions industry worldwide,” says Hal McEvoy, President and CEO, IAAPA. “It’s been an incredible week bringing together this vibrant and diverse community that continues to evolve in ways we’ve yet to imagine.”

Bringing some of that imagination were Katapult Co-Founders, Dawn Foote and Phil Higgins, and Project Producer Jonathan Bonner. Together they have over 20 years experience of the Expo, and they return to the studio energised thanks to the “positive vibes” from Orlando.

IPs here, IPs there, IPs everywhere

The presence of IPs (Intellectual Properties) and brands at this Expo was stronger than ever. Our CCO, Phil Higgins could clearly see that IPs are successfully activating their brands in LBE (Location Based Entertainment) and themed attractions, “Attending IAAPA helps get a clearer understanding of the industry landscape, and gives an opportunity to meet with designers, operators, partners and experts to share knowledge with the best in the industry.”

Positive vibes only

Project Producer with 6 years IAAPA Expo experience under his belt, Jonathan Bonner, felt a “great buzz around Katapult”. Which strengthened the bond we have with the IAAPA members and helped us forge some new relationships.

It wasn’t just Katapult having these conversations, CEO Dawn Foote felt “positive vibes” from all around the expo, most people they met told them about productive meetings they had over the week, which shows the appetite the market has for creating memorable experiences.

Experiences for the industry insiders

IAAPA put on a great speaker schedule, once again, and stand out talks came from Carnival Cruise Line, and Universal Creative Studio.

Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, was joined on stage by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal, and together they delivered a keynote speech highlighting how the cruise industry and the attractions industry go hand in hand. George Walker, Creative Director at Universal Creative Studio spoke about The Emergence of Authentic Reality.

Thanks George Walker for keeping it REAL at the IAAPA Expo Lunch and Learn this afternoon! #IAAPAExpo — IAAPA (@IAAPAHQ) November 18, 2019

For Dawn, Phil and Jonathan the Thursday morning of the Expo meant joining up with the Blooloop team and taking part in the Give Kids the World (GKTW) fun run. Alongside the other runners in the event, GKTW raised approximately $155,000.

A post shared by Katapult (@katapulthq) on Nov 21, 2019 at 5:32am PST

Before the week was over the team managed to squeeze in a ride on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorcycle Adventure at the IAAPA Celebrates closing ceremony. With it’s smooth and unpredictable launches, breathtaking theming and animatronics, as well as lots of hidden surprises throughout, it blew Dawn’s mind

The trip to Orlando provided the perfect opportunity to visit Walt Disney World Resort’s Epcot theme park to see the future vision ‘The Epcot Experience’ – A seamless, 360-degree projection-mapped immersive audiovisual projection showcasing the development over the next few years. It was great to see some of Disney’s much-loved characters featured for the first time in park – Moana, Guardians of the Galaxy, Mary Poppins plus the exciting construction of the new Ratatouille ride set to open next summer.

In their own words, Dawn and the team left Orlando “frazzled and inspired” and are looking forward activating new opportunities in 2020 and to the IAAPA show in London 2020.

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