EAS 2018, check. Biggest show floor, check. Best attended EAS ever, check check!
We have indeed come a long way.
17 years ago, in 2001 I travelled to Paris to attend the first ever Euro Amusement Show. I worked at TIVOLI in Copenhagen back then and told my boss I “had” to go to this “really” important industry event.
It was in January. It was cold. We were in a tent. It rained. A lot. Inside the tent.
But despite all this, this first European-focused tradeshow was pretty special. Something none of us knew at the time, was this show was the start of something fresh. In many ways it was a new beginning and represented a massive change for the European attractions industry.
When IAAPA began to manage the show in 2005, it fuelled not only the development of IAAPA’s EMEA offices, based in Brussels, but it established a model for how IAAPA would later expand the association’s services to our industry around the world.
We did not know that, back in 2001, in the tent, in the rain.
Fast forward to Amsterdam, 17 years later.
I could list statistics about square meters and attendees, but what is far more important, is how EAS has become a meeting place – the meeting place – for the European Attractions industry.
There is of course a transactional element to EAS, and that is vital, but bringing the whole attractions family together is just as important. In so many ways this connection is the key goal and mission of IAAPA.
Today, it has never been more important to have this event, this meeting place, where we can all learn from each other; develop our skills to ensure our companies are managed, operated and developed at the highest professional standards; and to discuss what is next.
My boss back in 2001 was smart enough to realize we are stronger together. Today in 2018 I realize this, as do all those who were with us last week in Amsterdam.
I can’t wait to see what next year’s EAS in Paris has in store.