The second International Summer meeting of amusement industry specialists “Entertainment industry in the regions of Russia” took place in Yaroslavl in July 18-19, 2013.
The annual event organized by Russian Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (RAAPA) gathered almost 100 directors and operators of parks, FECs, representatives of cities’ and regions’ administrations and departments of culture, manufacturers of entertainment equipment and other parties of concern from more than 30 cities of Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Kostroma, Penza, Vologda, Saransk, Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk, Vladimir, Tver, Izhevsk, Smolensk, Saratov, Voronezh, Kaluga, Arzamas, Dzerzhinsk, Eysk, Sosnovy Bor and others), as well as from Italy and Kazakhstan.
The format of RAAPA Summer Meetings differs from other professional amusement industry events held in Russia. The main objective of the forum is to acquaint amusement industry professionals with the industry of the given region, to see in action the work of the leading entertainment industry enterprises, to create a comfortable environment for networking and experience exchange with colleagues from different cities and countries.
Even in March at RAAPA EXPO-2013, directors of parks impressed by last years’ Summer Meeting in Voronezh, started to ask eagerly: - «Where are we going this summer?» This year, RAAPA Summer Meeting took place in Yaroslavl – a city with a long history, the pearl of the famous «Golden Ring» of Russia, which now has received increased attention to leisure of its population and development of parks and recreation facilities.
During the days of RAAPA Summer Meeting specialists visited parks, an indoor entertainment center, saw an innovative interactive program for edutainment in a planetarium, and a unique zoo with amusement rides area, learnt about new product lines and innovative designs at a meeting with manufacturers, took part in an interesting business training and, most importantly, had an opportunity to meet and interact with colleagues from different cities of Russia.
At present, a program of reconstruction of parks was developed and successfully implemented in Yaroslavl. Within its framework new attractions, sports and children's playgrounds were installed; landscape design, theming, utilities upgrade were done, the entire necessary infrastructure for a comfortable leisure of visitors was created.
It is logical that the event was opened by the Head of Culture Administration of Yaroslavl, Olga Kayurova and Deputy Director of Culture Department of Yaroslavl region, Julia Serova in a conference room of the "St. George" Hotel on July, 18. In the welcoming speech, a special attention was devoted to the urgent need for the development of city parks - "anchors" of entertainment for all social and age population groups, as well as to the effective management of entertainment facilities. Of great interest was the speech of Director of Yaroslavl city parks, Taras Buryak, who was overwhelmed with questions and a visit to the parks was a logical continuation of the discussion.
Despite the fact that parks in Yaroslavl are in a state of development and reconstruction, financial indicators suggest that the upcoming renovation is based on an elaborate economic plan. For example, Park named after 30th Anniversary, of the Victory, located in a residential area of the city, is not far behind in terms of revenue from the central park - «The Damanskii Island». Many rides, which were installed in the parks this year, were bought at RAAPA EXPO-2013, and some of them have already repaid. The attention is also given to theming. For example, «Kiddie Park» as a result of reconstruction should be transformed into a theme park «the Soviet cartoons» with a small town, consisting of streets based on the Soviet animation.
At «The Damanskii Island» the forum participants witnessed the installation of the largest roller coaster in Russia almost a kilometer long and 25 meters high. Even in an incomplete form, this ride has made a lasting impression on everyone. During the tour over «The Damanskii Island» the director of the park, Taras Buryak, used a trendy device - segway to demonstrate new and original approaches to work. (Associations with the leaders of the Group of eight and Dmitry Medvedev on segways come to mind).
Becoming a final chord of the program of the first day, «The Damanskii Island» did not «let go» the participants. The issue of effective management was extended to the business training «Quality of catering in parks and entertainment complexes». Its authors - specialists of Entens Group, with ease and professionalism pulled the participants in the process of developing a plan of quality food court area capable to both generate traffic and increase revenue in a park. Such approach to training provided a unique opportunity for managers from different companies to be creative in team work. All participants were divided into five groups, and presented their projects in their turn. After the brainstorming all together went to the banquet organized right there on «the Damanskii Island».
The second day started with a program of manufacturers’ presentations of amusement rides and entertainment equipment. Presentations were highly topical: out of the twenty top managers of leading companies, more than half presented new product lines, including innovative developments. Among them: Zamperla (Italy), Brunswick/KidsPlay (USA), PlaySpace / Vesta Company (Moscow), «AirPalace» Factory (St. Petersburg), Group of companies «RIF» (Rostov-on-Don), Amusement rides Safety Center (Krasnodar), «SPARTA» (St. Petersburg), OtAdoYa (Novosibirsk), and others.
After the presentation the participants were able to immediately meet and evaluate new technologies in the field of entertainment at the Cultural and Educational Center named after V. Tereshkova. The Center, named after the first female astronaut, is a multi-cultural institution that synthesizes embodied progressive scientific, technical, educational and interactive educational opportunities. The center includes: a modern planetarium with a three-dimensional computer imaging, an observatory, an exposition and exhibition hall, an edutainment complex with an interactive class and 5D-attraction.
In an interactive classroom the participants could see highly realistic three-dimensional graphics projected on a large panoramic screen with a surround sound system. All this allows visitors of the complex to experience real-time aboard the spacecraft making an exciting journey. The participants played with a great enthusiasm to the quiz, «traveled» to planets and hidden corners of the Earth. Unusual was even a dinner, which took place in the interactive media café of the planetarium.
Then our group went to FEC «RIO» to explore one of the indoor entertainment centers in Yaroslavl - Little Land amusement park. The director of the FEC, Anna Kiseleva, told about the competitive advantages of the park, rides and amusement machines, and the guests were able to appreciate the successful zoning in the FEC.
The second day ended with a visit to the unique Yaroslavl Zoo, where living conditions for rare animals were as realistic as possible. For the participants, no doubt, of great interest was the area with amusement rides located on the territory of the zoo. During the visit, a local TV channel joined the group and later that evening translated RAAPA Summer Meeting on television. There, at the zoo took place a ceremony of awarding all participants of RAAPA Summer meeting in Yaroslavl with certificates.
The third day was devoted to a sightseeing program. Those wishing to explore the history and sights of Yaroslavl were gathered a lot. The participants visited the historic city center, which is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery, Church of Elijah the Prophet, visited the famous private museum «Music and Time» and the famous «Arrow», which today is a colorful avenue of fountains, and the magnificent Cathedral of the Assumption, built specially for the 1000th Anniversary of Yaroslavl. The finale of the program was a boat trip on the Volga, which only strengthened a good impression of the city and the event.
In the opinion of the majority of the RAAPA Summer Meeting participants, the event exceeded all expectations and was a real event for entertainment industry professionals. Everybody noted upscale organization of the event, the relevance of the program, the unusual format and quality service. Industry experts have estimated that the holding of such meetings at such level contributes to the development and promotion of entertainment industry in the regions of Russia, as well as provides a unique opportunity to socialize and meet colleagues from different parts of our vast country.
The uniqueness of RAAPA Summer Meetings - is the synergy of official and informal communication of entertainment industry professionals. The result of such "mixture" can be seen in preliminary contract deals, acquaintance with novelties presented by manufacturers, improvement of interaction between partner companies by means of communication between top managers and owners.
Upon completion of the program everybody was only interested in one question: «Where will RAAPA Summer Meeting take place next year?»
Well, just wait for us in your city!
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