IAAPA 2012: Where work meets fun!
IAAPA was a fantastic and worthwhile experience. I went out there to discover something about new projects that I might be able to get involved in, either small-scale ones that would fill some gaps in the diary, or larger ones that would take some time reorganisation, possibly even requiring a little expansion of dbSCA. Any of the above will have made the trip worthwhile.
However, the time spent in Florida was successful for another reason. Socialising. And before you label me as someone who has to travel four thousand miles just to have a beer and a chat, you’d be wrong. But, and call me a nerd right now, how often is it that you can mix with thousands (I tried to get an actual figure on attendee numbers, but failed!) of other likeminded people, all passionate about theme parks. Well, once a year! So, this being my first trip to the Sunshine State for this epic feast of theme park delights, I was like a kid in a candy store. Or sweet shop, as we like to call them.
I had already arranged to spend much of the trip with Rich Kemp, a good friend and regular associate of mine, who is to Audio Integration what I am to Show Control (the best, obviously!).
It was great to catch up with some people that I hadn’t seen for some time, mainly due to geographical and diary constraints. I caught up with the JRA team: Anita and David; I met some of the Electrosonic team that I’d never met before, including Rhys Williams, and Richard Maxfield, VP Operations. I met up with Doug Mobley from Gilderfluke, and Eric Cantrell and Alex Caru from Medialon. It was great to catch up with Stephan, Allan and Mitch from Smart Monkeys and a whole bunch of kind people from Universal Studios, who gave us a behind-the-scenes guided tour and tickets for their amazing theme park, which we gratefully accepted before dashing off to check out their best rides, in the spirit of professional interest only, of course. I had a chance to chat to a friend of mine, Paul Kent from Electrosonic and newly appointed member of the board of the TEA. Daniel and Bernie, who I last saw in Yeosu working on the fantastic Big-O project (see previous blog and news section) appeared in front of me quite unexpectedly.
Olivier from The Riva Group and Paul Flynn from Ferrari World Abu Dhabi were there too. I once again met up with Adam Neale of 7th Sense, unusual outside of the UK. I even had time for an impromptu chinwag with Ken Showler ,also now working for 7th Sense, when I was waiting for a connection in the airport in Detroit! Seeing these people, who I usually see in different parts of the globe and under entirely different circumstances, gave me a bit of a head-spin. But it also gave me a chance to talk work, which is my passion, or one of them! And to eat, drink and mix with a whole bunch of like-minded people. Or people who, at least, share in my passion for all things show control!