I miss your smiling face. By the time the week of IAAPA gets here it will have been 8 months of no travel for me. Six of those months have been in near-total lockdown in Melbourne, Australia.
I’ve spent the time in isolation researching and experimenting with virtual event technology and design. I was hoping that virtual reality could replace live events but quickly realized that the tech wasn’t quite ready for prime time. As I’ve always said it’s all about the experience and not about the technology.
Most of the virtual events I attended focused entirely on their education programs. There’s been no social experience. The primary reason people go to trade shows is to network with their peers to learn what they’re doing that’s working and what’s not. Never has that been more important in our industry.
We want to see each other. We need to stay socially connected while we are distanced.
IAAPA brings the entire global amusement industry to Orlando each November. There are more receptions, parties, dinners, awards events, drinking, eating, and playing than you can keep track of. It’s exhausting and exhilarating. We cannot afford to miss the opportunity to network with each other. And we won’t.
I am hosting a free 4-hour purely social and entertainment event, designed to connect us like we are back in the good old days of 2019. It’s the last chance this year to have a drink with our friends, make new connections, play games, win prizes, and celebrate the close of the toughest year our industry has ever faced.
And just like a real IAAPA reception, you’ll be able to create and host your own table, so people can drop by, hang out, and talk. Or just go table hopping to see your friends and talk about the things that interest you.
Our sponsors have a whole host of fun things for you to do. Experience the Marvel Adventure Lab from Face Place Come into their booth, they’ll snap a screenshot, turn you into a superhero and you can share the photo with your friends.
LAI Games is hosting an arcade trivia game show with real cash value prizes.
Bay-Tek is giving prizes for the best players if its Willy Crash mobile game,
The experts at VRstudios are hosting the VRsports Bar with celebrity bartenders that have deep experience running esports venues and building communities in the FEC business.
Embed is hosting the Happiest Happy Hour where you make your signature drink. The most unique drink (either presentation or unique ingredients list) walks away with prizes every hour.
We will also have a Speed Networking area, where you can be matched to another person from the industry for a face-to-face conversation. New rounds start every 5 minutes. It’s like when you start a conversation with a stranger waiting in line for coffee. Who know’s who you’ll meet?
There’s even more to do, but you’ll have to ShowUp to see what else we have in store. I really hope to see you there.