Continuing its global strategy and educational opportunities, IAAPA is well positioned for a new phase of growth and development.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has a lot on its plate for 2011. With the goals of continued global expansion, a new certification programme, institute programmes around the world and a long-term plan for IAAPA Attractions Expo, it’s an exciting and busy time for the association.

Asia-Pacific office

In October 2010, IAAPA opened the Asia-Pacific office and hired Andrew Lee as executive director. Lee, who comes to IAAPA with extensive tourism, leisure and convention industry experience, previously worked for Singapore’s Shangri-La Hotel, the Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Pan Pacific Hotel and Reed Travel Exhibitions.

In an IAAPA press release, president and CEO Charles Bray said: "Andrew’s knowledge of the region and extensive experience in the travel and hospitality industries and trade shows make him the ideal person to lead our Asia-Pacific operations. His presence on the ground will allow IAAPA to better serve its members and expand its presence in the region."

The new office will provide direct customer service, member benefits and resources in several languages and aims to achieve similar success to that enjoyed by IAAPA’s European and Latin American offices. The office will be based in Hong Kong.

IAAPA certification

The IAAPA Education Committee has worked for the past two years to develop a certification programme that will allow members to earn credit hours for course work completed during IAAPA Expos, Institute programmes and other educational opportunities. Those hours, coupled with on-the-job experience, will allow industry professionals to expand their knowledge of all aspects of the industry and further their careers.

Details can be found here.

Safety Institutes

Over the past several years, IAAPA has expanded its safety-focused education by holding Institute programmes throughout the world.

Following the success of events in Dubai in 2008 and 2009, the programme expanded in 2010 to Abu Dhabi, UAE; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Beijing, in conjunction with the CAAPA (Chinese Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) conference and trade show; Mumbai, in conjunction with the IAAPI (Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) event; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during Asian Attractions Expo; and Las Vegas, in conjunction with Fun Expo. In 2011, those events will be held once again next year in Singapore, London and Orlando.

Details for upcoming Institutes can be found here.

Institute for Executive Education

For 2011, IAAPA has developed a new Institute for Executive Education, which will take place from January 30 to February 4 at San Diego State University.

This week-long Institute is geared towards owners, executives and senior-level professionals interested in discussing and analysing their approaches to industry-specific challenges with peers and experts.

Participants will learn from their counterparts throughout the industry, provide feedback to others and have a chance to network throughout the event.

University faculty members will facilitate discussion and provide lecture content related to marketing, branding, public relations, guest satisfaction and human resources, among other key topics related to facility management and operations.

Details are available here.

Expo moves to Orlando until 2019

In August, IAAPA officials announced that the IAAPA Attractions Expo will take place in Orlando for the next 10 years, until 2019.

Orlando is the preferred location for IAAPA exhibitors and attendees and the Orange County Convention Centre is an ideal facility, as it has the capacity and the infrastructure to handle the large cargo our exhibitors typically bring to the show.

Additionally, Orlando provides numerous opportunities for special events, behind-the-scenes tours and long-term partnerships with attractions in the area. The agreements will also provide cost savings for the association, exhibitors and attendees over the next 10 years.

The shows in Europe and Asia will continue to change locations. Asian Attractions Expo 2011 will take place at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, from June 22-24, and Euro Attractions Show 2011 will take place in London, from September 27-29.

Details on these events can be found here.