The IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando 12-16 November was the familiar assault on the senses which regular visitors to the event have come to expect. More than 1150 exhibitors from all around the world packed into the gargantuan hall and specially erected, adjoining ’Exploration Station’ to dazzle and daze the 42,000 or so attendees who flocked to the event. From the magical, to the monstrous; the mind-boggling, to the mesmerising - IAAPA has it all!
Once again, the UK’s Department for International Trade was compelled to be there and ensure our companies did not miss out on the opportunity to compete for a slice of the action and attention. With 14 companies on the DIT stand and at least twice as many more exhibiting on their own stands, UK businesses made a significant impact at the event. The promise of ‘real’ tea(!), made with ‘proper’ milk(!), and served with an authentic British biscuit, was enough to ensure the DIT stand had a constant stream of visitors eager to sample what we had to offer. And once there, they couldn’t help but be ‘Mesmer’-ised by ‘Melvin’ – Engineered Arts’ latest humanoid robot who shook hands, sang and chatted with passers-by and even posed for selfies … he only failed to dance with them because his feet were nailed to the floor!! Immotion showcased their VX1 twin pod VR cinema chair which had people queuing up to try out the technology and lose themselves in the amazing VR visual effects which the studio creates. As if this wasn’t enough, we also had SkyVenture showcasing their world-renowned iFly indoor skydiving system, complete with a newly added VR experience which now takes your breath away, along with your feet! All our companies made the most of the large business lounge area on our stand to undertake 1-2-1 meetings and client discussions …in between enjoying some welcome respite from the 9+ miles of aisle which quickly take their toll on even the hardiest exhibition attendees!
We were delighted to celebrate the success of a number of British companies who took home IAAPA’s coveted Brass Ring Best New Product awards. Past DIT exhibitors Avius Ltd and New-Vue Solutions, as well UltraHaptic Ltd (not previously on DIT’s radar but definitely there now!) all proudly showed off their well-earned trophies, reinforcing the UK’s world-class reputation for talent and innovation in this industry.
No visit to IAAPA would be complete without an evening at Blooloop’s famous networking event, held once again at BB Kings Blues Bar. Charlie and Rachel Reid never fail to disappoint their guests as we all enjoyed another lively evening of conversation and entertainment (… and a few beers of course!). The evening offered an opportunity to relax and catch up with old friends as well as make plenty more new ones – a real highlight of the week and one which DIT are proud to have sponsored.
And so we bid farewell to another IAAPA Expo and left an unseasonably chilly Orlando to return to our burgeoning in-boxes and winter woolies. DIT hopes to return to IAAPA in 2019 and we would love to take as many ExperienceUK members as possible with us…who knows, maybe we can build our very own ‘ExperienceUK Exploration Station’?! Please contact me on Rozmin.firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest in joining DIT at IAAPA 2019 … the tea and biscuits are on us!