The annual IAAPA Expo Europe has always been a feast for the eyes for anyone with an interest in attractions. The amusement park exhibition is Europe’s largest, and took place in London from Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15 September, with all areas of expertise from the leisure sector represented. The expo was held at the ExCEl conference center, where companies from the attractions industry presented their latest developments.
IAAPA by the Numbers
The IAAPA Expo is invariably attended by thousands of industry professionals every year. The three-day trade show opened on 13 September. Returning to the UK capital for the first time in more than a decade, the show experienced a 30% increase in attendees compared to the 2021 event in Barcelona, with 11,474 attendees, including 530 exhibitors, 4,408 buying companies and 7,510 buyers from around the world heading to London for the expo.
Attendees at the show had access to twenty educational sessions, which featured over 100 industry executives, including some well-known icons. These sessions were wide-ranging, from educational programming provided by Chessington World of Adventures, to an Indoor Entertainment day with venues from Immersive Gamebox, Nickelodeon Adventure Lakeside, and Puttshack.
Suffice to say, the UK was well-represented in addition to hosting the exp. Side note – if you attended IAAPA Expo Europe and missed any of the sessions, you can still view them online or in the IAAPA Connect+ app (valid for 30 days from the end of the Expo).
IAAPA Europe Expo Highlights
If you attended this year’s Expo, you may have noticed a particular rise in the attention given to the areas of automation, digitization, and visual techniques. More specifically, there were a striking number of companies offering their own interpretation through 3D printing, VR, AR, projection technology, 3D images, holograms, or the combination of a drone and light show.
There is a clear need in the attractions industry to do more, especially coming off grappling with a downturn in foot traffic the last few years. Or, as IAAPA EMEA executive director and vice president Peter van der Schans, described it in a quote from industry magazine Blooloop, “This week was everything we had hoped it would be as the global attractions industry continues to navigate new challenges that have arisen over the last several years.”
A Massive Presence at IAAPA
Massivit 3D had its own presence at the expo, where attendees could experience the Massivit 5000 large-format 3D printer in person. Alongside the machine were several giant 3D-printed samples from amusement parks, film sets, events, and gaming applications. This unique large-format 3D printing technology allows scenic fabricators to overcome production bottlenecks by producing objects up to 30 times faster than other technologies.
One popular example was the 3-Meter Alien prop, which was 3D printed by Massivit 3D customer Adaequo in only 19 hours. Another was a monster prop that was printed in only 29 hours before being finished by creative production company ArtNzo.
Large-format additive manufacturing (the official term for 3D printing), empowers scenic fabricators in a way that no other creative construction technology can. The sheer speed of a Massivit 3D large-format printer means you can spend less time on the basic building blocks, and instead focus on the ultra-creative finish, paint work, texture, or animatronics work. This allows you to dramatically speed up your core model production for stage building, theater sets, and theme park props – especially when you can fabricate giant parts up to 6ft tall (1.8m) in one print!
That’s not the only benefit to your creative freedom. 3D printing pieces means complex shapes and undercuts are no longer an issue. Plus, Massivit 3D’s Gel Dispensing Printing (GDP) supports any type of artistic finish – from a scaly dinosaur skin to shiny, smooth surfaces.
IAAPA Tour Continues
Showing off our large-format 3D printers in-person is an eye-opening experience for everyone, which is why Massivit 3D will continue our “tour” of IAAPA next month in Orlando, Florida. Come join us at the global attraction industry’s premier event – a one-stop shop trade show for businesses such as:
- Amusement and theme parks
- Family entertainment centers
- Water parks
- Cultural tourist attractions
- Science centers
- Shopping malls
- Cruise lines
- Retailers and more!
IAAPA Orlando will take place November 15th through the 18th, 2022. Registration is already open, and we would love to see you there!
Looking ahead to next year, IAAPA will return to Europe September 25th through the 28th, 2023 in Vienna, Austria. Although it is almost a full year away, IAAPA has announced that advance exhibit sales numbers are very strong, with 350 exhibitors already laying claim to 12,450 square meters of booth space.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until the next IAAPA Expo to hear more about what Massivit 3D technology can do to help your business. Contact us now to connect with one of our industry experts and learn what we can do for you.