World Premiere Movie: The 2014 IAAPA Expo...In Two Minutes or Less!

November 26, 2014

This year's International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo welcomed 30,500 attendees, making it the largest Expo in 17 years and the third largest in IAAPA's history.

To celebrate, we produced "The 2014 IAAPA...Expo in Two Minutes or Less," a raw, light-hearted look at the spirit of the Expo - one of our favorite weeks of the year.  We aspire to create this whimsical video annually, and hope you enjoy this world premiere (including a few cameos)!

From all of us to all celebrating, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. 

Tags: JRA Journeys , JRA Team , Project Spotlight

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Conference World Tour 2014: Thinking BIG at IAAPA

November 13, 2014

Next week, over 27,000 industry professionals will converge at Orlando, Florida’s Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) for the 96th Annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo. Over five days, attendees from 40 countries will stroll nine miles of expo floor aisles (540,000 square feet of space), attend 80 educational sessions and 23 exclusive tours, and enjoy networking mixers at the OCCC, Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando. This year’s theme is “Big Starts Here”, an appropriate moniker given the gradual rebound of the industry following the Great Recession and the current trend toward re-investment and re-invigoration in both attractions and cultural facilities.

JRA team members will be sharing big ideas with IAAPA participants throughout the Expo via two separate panel sesssions. The week begins with IAAPA’s annual Museum Day, which offers a day of presentations particularly relevant to museums and science centers, followed by an evening networking reception. For the third year in a row, JRA’s Shawn McCoy will present on the latest visitor experience trends and how the cultural sector can benefit from them. This year, Shawn will explore how today’s museums can better connect with their audience by breaking down barriers. Through a series of fast-paced case studies, Shawn will provide examples of how new exhibits, programs and technologies are being used to blur the lines between curators and the public, are redefining the space in which museums live and are helping foster deeper communication between cultural institutions and underserved audiences.

Shawn McCoy speaking at the 2014 Asian Attractions Show.  Image Courtesy Blooloop.

On Thursday, JRA’s Clara Rice will participate on the panel “TEA Presents Future Legends: Transforming Experience”, alongside Nickelodeon’s John Paul Guerts, Rhetroactive’s Steve Trowbridge, and BRC Imagination Arts’ Christian Lachel. Panelists will explore topics such as wearable technology, 3D printed worlds, and how the very nature of design is changing to meet the desires of a new generation of visitors. Each panelist will have three-and-a-half minutes to speak on each of three topics, and Rice will be exploring the future of interactive media, the rise of the telepresence robot, and the growing demand for ultra-luxe VIP theme park experiences. Through these rapid-fire mini-presentations, audiences will discover how the attractions industry is responding to the challenges and opportunities of the latest technologies and trends.

Clara Rice speaking at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center.

Of course, you can also visit the JRA team at Booth 1354, and, as always, JRA will have seemingly round-the-clock coverage of IAAPA on the JRA+blog, our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and our Twitter feed. We’ll also have a special surprise for our readers the Tuesday following IAAPA, so be sure to stay tuned, and we’ll see you in Orlando!

Tags: JRA Journeys , JRA Team , Outside the Studio

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Conference World Tour 2014: Retail on the Riviera

November 05, 2014

Image courtesy MAPIC

Image courtesy MAPIC

From November 19-21, international retailers, property developers and consultants will converge in picturesque Cannes, France for at the 20th annual MAPIC conference. MAPIC, which, for those up on their French, stands for Le marché international professionnel de l’implantation commerciale et de la distribution, is dubbed the “world’s leading retail real estate market”. Over three days, participants will enjoy an exhibition hall in Cannes’ Palais des Festivals, over 25 conference sessions and a variety of networking events.

MAPIC was originally launched in Cannes in 1995 by Reed MIDEM, a global leader in the organization of international professional conferences and events. That first conference welcomed 1,064 participants, 221 retailers and 3,600 companies from 69 countries. This year’s Cannes edition will welcome over 8,300 participants, including 2,300 developers, 2,400 retailers and 1,400 represented brands, from Apple to Gap to Marks and Spencer. These attendees will arrive from 67 countries covering five continents to identify new trends, new products and new partnerships.

Educational opportunities will abound at MAPIC. They include an Innovation Forum, where participants learn best practices for their retail spaces, and a Digital Summit, where 60 industry thought leaders will discuss the rapidly growing arena of digital commerce. Conference sessions will cover such topics as doing business in the emerging markets of Russia, Turkey and Africa; creating partnerships with chambers of commerce; pitching shopping center projects and retail concepts; navigating e-commerce; and leveraging analytics. One area of the exhibit hall will offer a dedicated “retailtainment” zone, where experts will discuss the emergence of this dynamic fusion of shopping and entertainment, while developers pitch their latest retail-based attractions.

In addition to the exhibition hall and conference sessions, MAPIC offers an array of dynamic matchmaking and networking events. In “Speed Matchings”, developers, retailers, franchisees and investors engage in a series of ten specially tailored, three-minute face-to-face meetings, structured to provide rapid-fire connectivity and promote deal making. At the pitching sessions, five different retailers and developers each have seven minutes to pitch their product or opportunity to the audience, showcasing their work in front of potential investors. But the activity doesn’t end when the sun goes down. MAPIC kicks off with a high-profile cocktail reception at the Majestic Hotel and closes with a special 20th anniversary fireworks display over Cannes’ famous Boulevard de la Croisette, followed by the MAPIC Party, a high-energy social and networking event. Whether in the Palais exhibit hall or over cocktails at the Majestic, retailers from all over the world will have ample opportunities to meet and greet.

And JRA is excited to be meeting and greeting at MAPIC for the first time! Team members Rob Morgan and Dana Everhart will be covering the event for the JRA+blog, so stay tuned later this month for their full report. In the meantime, check out the MAPIC preview video below, as well as this article from our friends at Blooloop.

Tags: JRA Journeys

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