This year, the IAAPA attractions expo is November 17-20th at the Orange County Convention Center and it is SO addictive that if you go once, you go back again and again for years.
Along with the trade show, there are some great educational seminars so if you want to learn more on how to expand and market your business or the newest safety information and insurance guidelines then this is the place to be.
And the trade show itself is so huge it is absolutely overwhelming. Even those of us who have been going for the past 20 plus years, still have a difficult time remembering where a booth was that we really liked on the first day.
Here’s the Galaxy recommendation for getting the most out of the IAAPA show.
Start with a plan. If there are specific games you want to look at, find the vendor booths on the plan BEFORE you get to the show.
- The first day you arrive, try to walk as much of the show as possible, stopping at the specific booths you are interested in, but also jot down booth #’s of other booths that you find interesting.
- Although you should have some equipment ideas in mind, stay open to other ideas that you might see as you’re walking.
- The second day, start seriously visiting booths and making a plan for purchase. If you see something you know you are going to purchase, go ahead and make the purchase. It will save you time in the long run.
- The third day, walk a little more, but take time to talk to people in the aisles. If you visit a booth and can meet other company owners, take the time to talk a bit. Introduce yourself to new vendors. The more people you know in this industry, the more you’ll learn as you grow. This isn’t just for NEW companies. You’ll see that owners that have been around for years are always looking to share ideas with newer companies. Just because you are new doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to share.
- Don’t forget the nightlife! IAAPA parties can be the best part of the show. Many times there are more deals done at the Bahama Breeze or Howl at the Moon than you’ll see on the trade floor.
It’s important to stay open to new business possibilities while you’re at the show. One common mistake that is made is a company owner buying more of the same type of game just because that is all that they know. You have to ask yourself if another 5 bounce houses will increase your business. Or would you do better to add in some sports games or interactive rides. Whenever you make a purchase, ask yourself if that purchase will bring in NEW business or will it just replace something you already have. There is nothing worse than buying a brand new slide only to realize that no one wants to rent the slide you already have.
At some point you will want your business to expand. Consider what type of new client do you want. Would it be corporate? School Carnivals or possibly college events? As you are planning your growth, have an end game in mind so you purchase the right kind of equipment for your end goals.
If you’re in a cold weather area, would you want to consider some indoor games and rides or possibly casino games? These would help you make more money in the winter months.
How about costume characters? There are many companies that do well with these and a costume rental can be upsold into all types of other products.
Of course, we at Galaxy specialize in a completely different type of product than the standard inflatables. Our interactive games and rides are built to stand out from the crowd. Galaxy excels in helping clients build their business to new levels. Although many people start a business with just one Galaxy product, thousands more use Galaxy games to move into a totally new type of business.
Whatever you do at the show, make sure to visit the Galaxy booth to see our brand new innovative ideas for this year’s IAAPA show. We have our inside booth at #5400 and our two outside booths at #7340 & #7350. Make sure to introduce yourself to find out what our products can do for you and your business.
And have a FANTASTIC time at IAAPA 2015!