We were so excited to be in Shanghai last week for IAAPA Expo Asia 2019 – a four-day networking and education conference for the global association for the attractions industry. During IAAPA Expo Asia, we got to meet with leading manufacturers and suppliers in the attractions industry. We got to share our own experiences, explore new trends and broaden our professional network. It was quite a ride and we’re thrilled to share some of our key takeaways with you!

1. A Growing Industry

One of the main takeaways from our experience in Shanghai is that the attractions industry is showing no signs of slowing down. Developments in the Asia Pacific market are on a steady incline, and new parks are slated for China, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

According to IAAPA’s Annual Global Outlook Reports, attendance at attractions facilities in Asia-Pacific will grow 4.8% over the next five years and spending will increase by 7.1%.

2. Security Concerns

One of the main topics covered in the IAAPA Expo Asia education sessions was security. It is no wonder that security is a priority for large attractions that welcome thousands of guests from all over the globe each day. Park owners are looking for increasingly advanced systems to guarantee their guests can enjoy a safe experience at their facilities. RFID technology is one of the most popular solutions for stringent access control and innovative security features at busy attractions. Because each guest is registered to an online profile, park operators have a better sense of who has entered and exited their park.

3. Enhancing the Experience

Another topic that came up again and again during our time at IAAPA Expo Asia was the need to enhance the guest experience. From operations managers to company CEOs, everyone we spoke with was primarily concerned with finding ways to offer guests a memorable (and personalized) experience that would surpass expectations. Today’s customers are driven by the search for incredible experiences, so it is no wonder that amusement and water parks are doing everything they can to fulfill this need.

RFID technology is a popular way for parks to enhance the experience they are able to offer guests. From personalized welcome messages and ride recommendations, to targeted discounts on preferred food items, there are many ways parks can use the data acquired through RFID solutions to offer a unique and personalized experience for their guests.

4. Cashless is Expected

There are very few parks that do not offer cashless solutions for guests these days. While processing payments via credit, debit or mobile payment is convenient, RFID payments go one step further – allowing guests to make quick, cashless payments even if they do not have their wallet or phone on-hand. Many water parks are adopting RFID cashless solutions in order to facilitate the payment experience for guests who will be spending the entire day in their bathing suits – with wallets and other belongings stowed safely in lockers. When using an RFID cashless system, guests can not only pay instantly with a tap of their wristband, but they can also check their online profile to review purchases, check receipts and even top-up funds.

5. Embracing Technology

An exciting discovery we made in Shanghai was that many of the industry professionals we spoke with are open to embracing new technologies at their parks. RFID is by no means new, but many of the suppliers and park owners we met were impressed to see the many applications of the technology our team has developed specially for the amusement and water park markets.

Facial recognition is another technological advancement that’s creating buzz within the industry. Again, in an effort to increase security measures and offer an unparalleled experience for guests, today’s attraction industry professionals are more than willing to broaden their horizons and embrace new solutions from around the globe.

We had an incredible time at IAAPA Expo Asia 2019 and there is no doubt we will return for the next edition in 2020. We can’t wait to embark on new adventures this year as a result of the invaluable connections we made in Shanghai. Stay tuned for more exciting news!

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