Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The IAAPA Report

Hello everyone,

I've hyped it for weeks and now it's finally here, the IAAPA Report. To give you some back story, as a communication major Mercyhurst prepares us with some many tools and skills, but it leaves you free to apply those tools and skills to what ever subject or interest you want. There are thousands of communication majors who graduate ever year, but how many of them have a concentration in amusement parks? That's what I was thinking too.

IAAPA is the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and acts as the trade organization that pulls all aspects of amusement parks, theme parks, waterparks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, casinos and museums together. Every year the association holds three expos, the Asian Attractions Expo, the European Attractions Expo and the Attractions Expo held in the U.S. This is the largest expo with 25,000 attendees, nine miles of show floor aisles and more than $47 million in economic stimulus to the Orlando area. It is the largest convention held in Orlando, which has one of the largest convention centers in the world.

I have had the pleasure for the last two years of attending the Attractions Expo in Orlando, Fl. as a Show Ambassador. The job of the Show Ambassadors is to assist in the execution of the show. Of the 2,000 applicant, only 25 were selected. For eight days the ambassadors volunteer more than 100 hours of service and have the time of their life, which completely doesn't make sense.

This year I had the tremendous opportunity to assist in the public relations execution of the show, particularly in the form of social media. My buddy Samantha and I spent the week covering the expo on twitter by sending hundreds of tweets and gaining more than 700 followers in that one week alone. I got to see almost every aspect of the show and interacted with media from Orlando and around the world as they rushed to get all the excitement of another IAAPA Attractions Expo. 

IAAPA is a very sentimental and emotional thing for me. People ask me about IAAPA and immediately I am filled with a sense of emotion. The people, the subject matter and the learning that occurs is simply overpowering. I encourage you all to look for a passion and stick with it. Because of my lack of ability to fully express my feels for IAAPA, I leave you now with my picture showcase.

Amusement park visits:

 The show floor:

 The Show Ambassadors:

Another year of learning, fun and exhaustion in the books. It was an amazing experience and I am bless to have had it.

Thanks for reading,

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