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IAAPA cancels Attractions EXPO – pivots to virtual event

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The IAAPA team remains optimistic and steadfast in its commitment to serve and support

IAAPA has cancelled this year's Attractions EXPO in Orlando and pivoted to a digital event, announcing a new virtual conference will take place from 16-18 November.

The announcement, which had been widely expected across the industry, was made today (4 September) at 9.00am EST.

IAAPA president and CEO, Hal McEvoy, said: "We recognise this year there are many challenges facing our members from around the world and with input from members, exhibitors, the IAAPA board and our team, we've decided to cancel IAAPA Expo 2020 due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

McEvoy said the continuing barriers to international and domestic travel, coupled with evolving guidance on mass gatherings, and members’ needing to focus on their businesses led to the decision.

In introducing plans for the virtual event, McEvoy said: "Now, more than ever, we know it’s important for you to stay connected with your colleagues and peers and with that in mind, we're planning an exciting new event, IAAPA Expo: Virtual Education Conference, which will take place from November 16-18.

The event will have 25 sessions and two keynote presentations, focusing on current industry needs and issues and will be delivered via text IAAPA.org.

"If you've already registered or planned to be part of IAAPA Expo, thank you for your support," said McEvoy. "We'll be in touch in the coming days about your registration refund and virtual options.

"As we look to the future, we remain optimistic and steadfast in our commitment to serve and support you during these challenging times," he concluded.

IAAPA had been widely criticised for delaying the decision about this year's event, which had been due to take place from 17-20 November, as deadlines loomed for hotel and flight bookings and shipping for exhibitors.

A number of industry trade bodies had been lobbying IAAPA for a decision, recommending postponement.

The delay is likely to be due to the terms of IAAPA's cancellation insurances and the issue will have been exacerbated by the high levels of COVID-19 circulating in Florida, which is one of the hardest hit states in the US.

The event drew a record 42,600 visitorsrecord 42,600 visitors in 2019, making it the biggest event in the show's history.

Other IAAPA events currently still on track are as follows:

IAAPA Expo Asia, 7-10 June 2021, Macao, China.

IAAPA Expo Europe, 28-30 September 2021, Barcelona, Spain.IAAPA Attractions Expo, 16-19 November 2021, Orlando, USA.

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IAAPA has cancelled this year's Attractions Expo in Orlando and pivoted to a digital event, announcing a new virtual conference will take place on the same dates – 16-18 November.
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