The Euro Attractions Show is proclaimed as the ‘conference and trade show fore the attractions industry in Europe’, and is renowned for hosting the world’s top manufacturers, suppliers and services that allow Theme Parks to run smoothly on a day-to-day basis, and to plan ahead with new investments.
Organised by IAAPA (the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions), the show consists of a number of seminars covering a variety of subjects – from social media to engaging with enthusiasts, and the showfloor which was hundreds of booths covering each attraction’s specific needs.
In 2011, the EAS was opened in London’s Olympia Exhibition Hall, a huge venue in which the show would take place in both the Grand and National Halls. The majority of theme park and water park specialists were situated in the Grand, whilst the majority of amusement arcade and children’s attraction vendors were in the National Hall.
Upon arriving at the event, myself (Adam) and Jack were given our passes that would give us access to the show. Being our first major industry event, we weren’t entirely sure what we were letting ourselves in for – but we knew that the major companies which keep attractions ticking over on a daily basis and install new investments for the future would be here.
The Olympia is an impressive building in itself, comprising of a number of halls, conference rooms and refreshment kiosks. In an adjacent hall, the Doctor Who Experience is a new semi-permanent installation – which shows that events like the Euro Attractions Show really can help enhance and create new experiences.
Whilst the majority of attendees were from European countries, exhibitors came from all over the globe to showcase their goods and services. There were bouncy castle manufacturers from Korea, wooden coaster builders from the US, and ventilation suppliers from Australia – giving just some idea of the spectrum of people who attended the event.
At the back of the Grand Hall, Theme Park Nerd was showing off their iPhone apps which aim to enhance the customer experience whilst providing mobile advertising for theme parks and attractions. Lightwater Valley and Flamingo Land are just two parks which offer this service for free, and as the demonstration showed to us, they really can come in handy. The apps can direct you from Point A to Point B at a theme park, impressively including modes of transport such as trains, cableways and monorails.
Nearby, EOS Rides were showing off their new rotating junior drop tower, a cousin of the famous Frog Hopper children’s ride. Although the model on show had fairground-esque artwork, the ride itself is sure to appeal to junior thrill seekers who aren’t tall enough to ride Ice Blast or Cliffhanger for example.
Intamin’s stand looked more like a coffee shop than a promotional area, but proved a useful area for the company to touch base with interested parties. On the walls were giant photos of some of their most popular creations.. a coaster enthusiasts’ dream bedroom no doubt!
ABC Rides have recently been in the limelight with enthusiasts in regards to a possible new investment at Alton Towers. Whilst a spokeswoman could not confirm a new installation specifically in the United Kingdom, we received a press release stating that they are “working on the production of four new Freefall Towers in Europe, which have a similar construction of those of the various Dungeons. The attractions are part of a bigger dark Ride concept.” Very interesting news indeed!
Meanwhile Zierer are seeing one of their creations being put on the market in the form of Pleasure Beach Blackpool’s Bling. The StarShape style ride was found in a German trade magazine, with a firm belief that it is being aimed at the German travelling funfair for a buyer.
More from the Euro Attractions Show 2011 to come soon!