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WATCH: Meet IAAPA’s president and CEO Hal McEvoy | Planet Attractions
     

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WATCH: Meet IAAPA’s president and CEO Hal McEvoy

IAAPA’s president and CEO, Hal McEvoy spoke to Planet Attractions about this year’s IAAPA Expo Europe, the industry’s post-Covid recovery, his retirement plans and more






This year’s IAAPA Expo Europe was a landmark event. Not only was it the first full IAAPA Expo without Covid restrictions for the first time in two years, but it also marked a return to London for the first time in over a decade and a mammoth trade show floor for the annual European event.

For IAAPA’s president and CEO, Hal McEvoy, the show also served as a personal landmark - his final IAAPA Expo Europe ahead of his impending retirement in 2023 following nearly 50 years of working in the attractions industry.

Leading IAAPA through the pandemic and more since taking up the position in 2018, the hunt is now on for McEvoy’s successor.

Planet Attractions spoke to McEvoy at IAAPA Expo Europe to discuss the show, the industry’s post-Covid recovery, his retirement plans and more.

How was IAAPA Expo Europe?

“Our members have all come together to have our expo in Europe and London. It's been a very good show. We have seen recovery. Covid set us all back and we couldn't do shows. We did Barcelona last year, which was great to get back together, and now in London, I think we're on the path to full recovery.”

What excited you at this year’s show?

“You can see from the square metres that we had that it was bigger than last year’s show. From a standpoint of attendance, it's bigger than last year too.

What's exciting is to see our exhibitors having the confidence to bring their goods and their innovations to London and IAAPA Expo Europe.

It's also great to see our operators and all our members coming together to see the opportunities they have for future attractions.”

What is an IAAPA Expo to you?

“IAAPA connects folks. We try to provide one-stop shopping for our members, for our operators and also for our exhibitors to be able to present the latest and greatest. It's all about relationships, too. It's about seeing folks that you've known for years. It's about sharing best practices and catching up because with Covid, we all needed time to get back together and catch up on life and again plan for the future. I think the future is bright.”

Will there be more London-based IAAPA Expos?

“London certainly is on our schedule in the future. From what I'm hearing from our members, this was a good show. They've had some good connections.

“So, you know, again, London is a beautiful place, a bustling city. I've got to say, I know the traffic is amazing! I love the tube though. It's very efficient.”

What trends have you seen at this year’s show?

“What's interesting to me is we have so many different technologies here. The industry seems to be taking different technologies and putting them together. That's both on the manufacturing side and suppliers, but also operators.

The operators are looking at what's there and what can they put together to give their guests the best experiences, the most fun and memories.

I think that's what the show really brings - the opportunity for you to see many different technologies, many different opportunities, and give you the opportunity to see what can you put together that may be the cutting edge or the next great opportunity.”

How much of the show did you get to see?

“I've been through every booth. I walked all the miles of aisles and again saw a lot of great friends, and made new friends.

I think that's what this is all about. Some booths are so crowded it can be sometimes tough to see our members. But it's great to see them meeting, doing business and talking about the future.”

How are you feeling after announcing your plans to retire?

“It's bittersweet. When I come to shows like this and I see so many great friends from around the world, I see the industry looking at the future and vibrant, and I think about that decision, but it's time for me. It's time to have a little bit of fun, my wife and myself, on our schedule.

I don't think I'll be too far away from the industry. I'll be in touch with folks. When you have this industry in your blood and you're passionate about it and you enjoy working with people, I don't know that you ever give it up.”


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WATCH: Meet IAAPA’s president and CEO Hal McEvoy | Planet Attractions
video

WATCH: Meet IAAPA’s president and CEO Hal McEvoy

IAAPA’s president and CEO, Hal McEvoy spoke to Planet Attractions about this year’s IAAPA Expo Europe, the industry’s post-Covid recovery, his retirement plans and more





This year’s IAAPA Expo Europe was a landmark event. Not only was it the first full IAAPA Expo without Covid restrictions for the first time in two years, but it also marked a return to London for the first time in over a decade and a mammoth trade show floor for the annual European event.

For IAAPA’s president and CEO, Hal McEvoy, the show also served as a personal landmark - his final IAAPA Expo Europe ahead of his impending retirement in 2023 following nearly 50 years of working in the attractions industry.

Leading IAAPA through the pandemic and more since taking up the position in 2018, the hunt is now on for McEvoy’s successor.

Planet Attractions spoke to McEvoy at IAAPA Expo Europe to discuss the show, the industry’s post-Covid recovery, his retirement plans and more.

How was IAAPA Expo Europe?

“Our members have all come together to have our expo in Europe and London. It's been a very good show. We have seen recovery. Covid set us all back and we couldn't do shows. We did Barcelona last year, which was great to get back together, and now in London, I think we're on the path to full recovery.”

What excited you at this year’s show?

“You can see from the square metres that we had that it was bigger than last year’s show. From a standpoint of attendance, it's bigger than last year too.

What's exciting is to see our exhibitors having the confidence to bring their goods and their innovations to London and IAAPA Expo Europe.

It's also great to see our operators and all our members coming together to see the opportunities they have for future attractions.”

What is an IAAPA Expo to you?

“IAAPA connects folks. We try to provide one-stop shopping for our members, for our operators and also for our exhibitors to be able to present the latest and greatest. It's all about relationships, too. It's about seeing folks that you've known for years. It's about sharing best practices and catching up because with Covid, we all needed time to get back together and catch up on life and again plan for the future. I think the future is bright.”

Will there be more London-based IAAPA Expos?

“London certainly is on our schedule in the future. From what I'm hearing from our members, this was a good show. They've had some good connections.

“So, you know, again, London is a beautiful place, a bustling city. I've got to say, I know the traffic is amazing! I love the tube though. It's very efficient.”

What trends have you seen at this year’s show?

“What's interesting to me is we have so many different technologies here. The industry seems to be taking different technologies and putting them together. That's both on the manufacturing side and suppliers, but also operators.

The operators are looking at what's there and what can they put together to give their guests the best experiences, the most fun and memories.

I think that's what the show really brings - the opportunity for you to see many different technologies, many different opportunities, and give you the opportunity to see what can you put together that may be the cutting edge or the next great opportunity.”

How much of the show did you get to see?

“I've been through every booth. I walked all the miles of aisles and again saw a lot of great friends, and made new friends.

I think that's what this is all about. Some booths are so crowded it can be sometimes tough to see our members. But it's great to see them meeting, doing business and talking about the future.”

How are you feeling after announcing your plans to retire?

“It's bittersweet. When I come to shows like this and I see so many great friends from around the world, I see the industry looking at the future and vibrant, and I think about that decision, but it's time for me. It's time to have a little bit of fun, my wife and myself, on our schedule.

I don't think I'll be too far away from the industry. I'll be in touch with folks. When you have this industry in your blood and you're passionate about it and you enjoy working with people, I don't know that you ever give it up.”


 



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