OK, so we’re stealing the HUGE line from one of the well-known speakers we had on the program at our SKYnext event in Orlando. John Arie, Jr. is something of a local celebrity, known for his over-the-top choreographed commercials using Fun Spot employees and his familiar tagline:
John was one of six presenters who shared insight and personal experiences with over 30 enthusiastic men and women interested in the inner workings of amusement parks and attractions. Each presenter brought his/her own story and experiences in the business of FUN! Melissa Ruminot from The Nassal Company shared unique insight into the operation of one of our industry’s most active producers of scenic artwork, and Rich Hill gave an exciting preview of the stories and rides that Sally Corporation will be delivering for 2015.
Marissa Blake from the Themed Entertainment Association spoke a bit about the NextGen program that helps young people create connections that foster opportunities and can lead to lasting careers in the amusement industry. Samantha Dawson from IAAPA overviewed the IAAPA Ambassador Program. If you don’t already know, the IAAPA ambassadors are the army of helpful and energetic young people who keep the trade show running smoothly.
Bill Kitchen of US Thrill Rides, inventor of ubiquitous Skycoaster, gave tips on “How to become an inventor”. And to wrap up, we enjoyed a hilarious presentation from comedic magician Nick Paul. We’re still trying to figure out how that $20 made it all the way into the orange!
As a bonus, SKYnext attendees were treated to an evening at Fun Spot Orlando to ride coasters and chow down on park food (thanks, Fun Spot!) and an exclusive hardhat tour of Merlin’s iconic “Orlando Eye” giant wheel on International Drive (thanks, Merlin!). The entire event culminated in an evening of FUN, games, and good food at Dave & Buster’s, where attendees had a chance to mingle one last time and exchange contact information. It was interesting to watch this… these young men and women might very well be the next generation of leaders in our business!
The theme of SKYnext is “helping ambitious young people create connections and develop insight into the amusement industry, and helping to lay the groundwork for a path to a rewarding career.” This is an important pursuit for all of us here at Skyline. We were each helped in one way or another by industry professionals who took the time and made the effort to offer actionable advice that we could use in the pursuit of our dreams to one day design amusement rides, roller coasters, and interactive games.
If you know of someone excited about the prospect of a career in the amusement industry, but they don’t know where to start, consider helping them simply by sharing your story. Just like our SKYnext presenters, everyone got started somehow, and the advice you give may go much further than you think! Or consider referring them to the IAAPA Ambassador Program, to the TEA NextGen initiative, or just shoot them our email. We’re always up for a good chat about the business of FUN!
Skyline Attractions, LLC is the Orlando-based exclusive manufacturer of Skyline Design, LLC’s products, including the GamesURide™ product line. Skyline’s mission is to introduce exciting new attractions to the industry year after year. More information can be found online at skylineattractions.com. Skyline Attractions can be reached at (407) 587-0080.