Conference World Tour 2017: Talking Trends with Shawn McCoy

October 27, 2017

Shawn McCoy

Shawn McCoy

VR, AR, AI, IP - These acronyms have been dominating the headlines over the past several years. But do these innovations have what it takes to transform the attractions industry over the next decade(s)? When does a product or project cross the line from fleeting fad to time-tested trend?

JRA VP Shawn McCoy will answer these questions and more in his 2017 IAAPA Attractions Expo Session, "Emerging Trends in Immersive Design," which takes place Monday, November 13 from 5:00 - 6:15pm at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center, Room 230FGH. For the seventh consecutive year, Shawn and Cynthia Sharpe, Principal at Thinkwell Group, will present a faced-paced, full-of-cool-things presentation featuring the latest standout experiences in the attractions and leisure industries. But this year, in addition to showcasing a variety of cutting edge attractions, Shawn will share the technolgies, techniques and traits that comprise trends and give them lasting value.

With over twenty years experience in project development, Shawn is no stranger to talking about trends. Widely recognized as a thought leader in the attractions industry, he also regularly presents on intellectual property, branded attractions, emerging technologies and immersive storytelling.


Shawn speaks at the Symposium: Museum Education for Children in Beijing, China

In addition to the Expo, Shawn has served as a speaker, panelist, or moderator for such conferences as the Themed Entertainment Association’s SATE Conference, the China Summit, the Future of Immersive Leisure Conference, the Museum Education for Children Symposium, and, just this week, the 2017 NASA Exhibit Managers Consortium. He is a regularly featured contributor for numerous industry publications and webinars and has been interviewed as a trends expert by mainstream publications and media such as Forbes and CNN.

Shawn believes that sharing the stage with Cynthia offers the audience a unique blend of perspectives. "Even though our studios compete for projects, we have a great personal and professional respect for one another and an appreciation of what each of us can bring to this session. In former lives, I was a banker and she was a geneticist, so we approach the topic of trends in completely different, but ultimately complementary, ways."

As to what Shawn wants the audience to walk away with, he hopes audiences will realize that fads and trends both provide value. It all depends on what an organization wants to achieve. "By the end of the session, I'd like for the audience to be able to discern the difference between a fad and a trend. 'Fad' isn't necessarily a bad word, as fads can provide great short-term value. But if an organization wants long-term ROI, they need to recognize which technologies, techniques, and traits are built to last."

Not traveling to the Expo this year? Interested in inviting Shawn to talk trends with your staff, group, or classroom in person or via web? Email Clara Rice, JRA Director of Communications, at




Tags: Blog N Learn , JRA Team

Add comment


No comments yet. Be the first!