Previously known as the Euro Attractions Show (EAS), the IAAPA Expo is going to bring thousands of leisure industry professionals together from across the globe to Barcelona. Here are 6 reasons why you should also attend and how you can make the most of your experience there.
The IAAPA Expo: What’s It All About?
The IAAPA Expo is a trade expo for all professionals in the leisure and attractions industry.
Trade shows like the IAAPA Expo are where you can get the latest industry news, resources and developments in your niche.
With thousands of industry professionals expected to be in attendance at the IAAPA Expo in Barcelona, you’re going to want to be there to expand your network and identify the right suppliers and partners for your business.
Why You Should Attend the IAAPA Expo
Attending trade shows in general gives you the chance to get clued in on the latest industry trends and topics. There is always a fair selection of panel discussions and keynote speakers at trade shows like the IAAPA Expo that you could learn a lot from.
Beyond that, here are 6 reasons why you should attend the IAAPA Expo:
1. Brand Awareness
The main reason why a lot of leisure industry professionals flock to trade shows like the IAAPA Expo is to boost their brand awareness.
It helps to remember that other businesses within the industry are not always your direct competitors, but businesses you can partner with to increase your reach or product offerings.
More specifically, you can network with other professionals who can help you increase your bookings. For example, you could network with distributors and travel agents who could relay information about your company to their users or visitors who are traveling to your location.
You will have access to people from all walks of life within the industry, as well as potential customers who are looking for interesting tours and activities.
2. Conduct Market Research
Trade shows are a good place to conduct market research and test out any new products, packages and services you may consider offering.
For example, since you can (and should) create marketing and promotional materials to distribute at trade shows, you could offer a discount or promo code to encourage people to book any new products or services you want to introduce to the market.
You also get to identify key and innovative market trends at trade shows.
3. Get Discounts and Win Raffles
There are many freebies at trade shows – not only pens, pins and keychains but also raffles for things like free trips, tours, travel perks, discounted hotel rates, rental cars and other travel-related goodies.
And you can bet there will be some good ones at the IAAPA Expo.
However, if you have limited time, and are on a mission to see specific vendors and distributors, you’ll need to avoid the giant roulette wheels and simply focus.
If you have time later, participate in those raffles because you could win something great.
4. Lectures and Demonstrations
You will likely find industry celebrities at major trade shows like the IAAPA Expo. Check out the current schedule to see the list of the many industry leaders that will be in attendance at the IAAPA Expo.
Indeed, the main point of industry trade shows is for you to learn from the very best in the industry, but in a fun way.
5. Talk to Vendors from Around the World
There will be hundreds of vendors from various countries at the IAAPA this year. This is arguably the best reason why you, as an operator, should attend it.
It’s an opportunity for you to speak to vendors from around the world without being fearful of “sales-y talk”. A lot of the vendors in attendance are just happy to be there; to speak with you, give you business insights, and share their experience as a business.
You could end up receiving a significant discount on a promotional package that could actually help your business. At the very least, you’d walk away with insider’s knowledge on their company and product.
Of course, don’t forget to visit us in Hall 2, booth #774!
6. Just have fun!
Leisure industry trade shows like the IAAPA Expo have a lot of family-friendly activities, in addition to workshops, lectures and performances. That means you can have fun and even bring the whole family along!
Activities like zip lining, rock-climbing, trampolines and inflatable obstacle courses are all big draws for people that will be in attendance this year.
However, keep in mind that big trade shows like the IAAPA Expo can get (really) crowded so it may not be a good idea for children to wander off on their own.
How to Make the Most of Trade Shows
Trade shows can be quite overwhelming, especially a prominent one like the IAAPA Expo. So here are three tips to make the experience a lot less stressful:
Get Your Hands on a Copy of the Exhibit Map
You should print out a copy of the exhibit map and highlight the locations of the trade booths you’re interested in. You can get a copy of the exhibit map when you register for the IAAPA Expo or on their mobile app.
Dress for the Occasion
To ensure comfort throughout, you should wear comfortable shoes (since you’ll be on your feet awhile), carry a bag (for all the goodies and pamphlets you’ll receive) and bring water and snacks.
Get There Within the First Hour
Trade shows are least crowded within the first hour while peak hours are between 10AM – 2PM. The last hour is also less crowded but by then, everyone is tired and ready to get some rest.
Our advice is to get there within the first 90 minutes as it is easier to plan your route for the day and get your bearings before the crowd pours in.
Questions to Ask Vendors and Distributors
Here are a few questions you could ask vendors and distributors at the IAAPA to effectively gauge if their products, services or potential partnership would be beneficial for your business:
- What makes your products or services unique?
- Do you offer specialized support for your products/services?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you work with companies like mine? If so, for how long?
- What is your product or service pricing structure?
- Do you offer any other products? Complimentary products/services?
- Can my existing systems and processes seamlessly integrate with your product/service?
Remember that the point of trade shows like the IAAPA Expo is for you to gain as much industry knowledge as possible and to form relevant partnerships to help drive your business forward. So feel free to ask any questions that will help you hone in on the right partners and distributors to grow your business.
We all know that in this industry, you have to be in the loop on current trends, customer preferences and best practices. The best way to stay in the loop is to attend trade shows like the IAAPA Expo.
You’ll get an opportunity to stay in the loop; keep a close eye on your competition; network; learn (and teach) other industry professionals within the global leisure industry.
We hope to see you there!