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IAAPA Expo 2023 concludes in Orlando, reaching new attendance and engagement milestones

IAAPA Expo is a smashing success! This yea's expo has been the best-attended to date. From EDUSessions to receptions and trade show floor innovations to long-lasting connections, this Expo is one for the books here in Orlando.

IAAPA Expo 2023, the premier global event for the attractions industry, concluded its week-long extravaganza today, bringing together 36,173 attractions professionals on the floor from a total registration of 41,236. Of those, 26,453 were qualified buyers representing 18,135 buying companies, and 9,961 exhibitors representing 1,147 exhibiting companies.

The event, held in Orlando, FL's Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), showcased the latest innovations and trends in the attractions industry. Exhibits covered more than 550,000 square feet of space inside the North and South exhibit halls and outside in the North and South parking lots. Hosting the event in Orlando is estimated to contribute over $100 million in economic impact to the region at its current size and attendance. Future efforts to expand the square footage of exhibiting space in the OCCC will be well received by Expo exhibitors remaining outside the halls or on our waiting list.

IAAPA Expo 2023 energized attendees on Tuesday with a dynamic Opening Ceremony that brought together the best of industry entertainment and welcome remarks from IAAPA’s senior leadership just before the countdown to the show floor opening. One of the most anticipated events of the week was Wednesday’s Leadership Breakfast, where attendees had the privilege of hearing from Scott O'Neil, CEO of Merlin Entertainments. His inspiring keynote address highlighted his leadership philosophy and perspectives on the attractions industry.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the thousands of dedicated attractions professionals who make IAAPA Expo the thriving global community it is today,” said Jakob Wahl, president and chief executive officer for IAAPA. “Your passion and dedication to continuously innovate and share best practices with each other is what makes this event so special. It is wonderful to see everyone collaborate for the good of the attractions industry and bring joy and smiles to millions of guests all around the world.”

The IAAPA Foundation was also prominently featured at IAAPA Expo this year. The foundation’s mission is to inspire and support life-changing careers in the global attractions industry and the Expo fundraising initiatives raised a remarkable $26,000 which will go toward academic, experiential, and industry scholarships.

IAAPA Expo 2023 also included fundraising efforts for Give Kids The World Village, a charitable organization dedicated to creating magical, transformative wish vacations for critically ill children and their families. Several events were held throughout the week, including the 20th Annual IAAPA International Charity Golf Tournament, the 13th Annual IAAPA Charity Motorcycle Run benefiting Give Kids The World, and the 17th Annual IAAPA Footprints from the Heart 5k Fun Run and 1 Mile Walk. Those events, plus donations made from generous IAAPA attendees, raised an impressive total of $160,000 to support the Give Kids The World mission.

IAAPA Expo 2023 offered unique EDUTours that allowed attendees to explore some of the most iconic attractions and destinations local to Orlando. Participants had the opportunity to visit renowned venues such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and Fun Spot America, gaining valuable insights into the operations and creative processes behind these world-famous attractions. The week's marquee evening event IAAPA Celebrates, hosted by SeaWorld Orlando, included networking, park-exclusive food and beverage and hours of fun.

Michael Shelton, executive director and vice president for IAAPA North America, expressed his thanks to the IAAPA team, without them this annual event would not be possible. “The true magic of every IAAPA expo event is the dedication from our team,” he said. “Their passion and hard work not only built this event but also strengthened the bonds of our incredible industry.”

We are already looking forward to IAAPA Expo 2024, taking place Nov. 18-22, 2024, in Orlando, FL. So far, 401 exhibiting companies have booked 235,600 square feet of exhibit space.

Those interested in learning more about exhibiting at IAAPA Expo 2024 may contact the IAAPA Global Sales team at

See you next year!

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