Summer 2018 will be surely remembered for its main event – the FIFA World Cup. Though I believe the amusement industry specialists will also remember another event that happened to be as much exciting and significant amidst the football fever. RAAPA 7th International Summer Forum in Ufa became one of the most extensive and outstanding trade events in amusement industry.
Jar of Bashkir Honey
The 7th International Summer Forum of amusement industry specialists took place on July 18-20, 2018. And it all started with a jar of honey that the organizers promised to present to the first participants applied. Eventually, there were over 160 specialists from 60 cities of Russia, CIS, and abroad attending.
However, it is fair to say that the choice of the Summer Forum host city was not related to honey. Capital of Bashkortostan has an increased focus on development of tourism and leisure sectors; the whole range of state-run programs and private socio-cultural projects is implemented. Moreover, Ufa is rated 6th in living standards; the city is famous for its parks, public gardens, and recreation areas.
Strong support of the city authorities, partner companies, and other entities helping the Russian Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions to hold the event to a high standard has immeasurably contributed to the forum success. Information support of the forum was provided by KIR, Attractions & Entertainment, and SportB2B magazines along with VTORIO.COM,Banbas.ru, and Stolitsa Detstva web portals.
In the limelight
Grand opening of RAAPA Summer Forum took place on July 18 in Sheraton Hotel located in the historic city center. The forum participants were first greeted by Igor Rodionov, RAAPA Vice President, and Dinar Khalilov, Head of Kirov district Administration of Ufa, who noted the importance of forum being held in the capital of Bashkortostan.
This year, government institutions showed a particularly keen interest in the event. Managers and specialists of several specialized departments of municipal administration working in development of culture and entertainment sector took part in the forum.
As part of the conference, Luisa Mashukova, Head of Entrepreneurship, Consumer Market, and Tourism Department, presented the tourist potential of Ufa. Vadim Fathutdinov, Head of Public Service Monitoring Department, told about the City in the park program and announced impressive figures of funds invested in municipal improvement of the capital of Bashkortostan.
More details on the reconstruction of culture and leisure parks were highlighted by Yevgeny Dubnitsky, Director of UFAPARK.
Alexander Odolsky, Head of Megapolis Group, spoke on the development of indoor entertainment centers. The level of amusement parks’ development could have been estimated based on the report of Rafael Miftakhov, Director ofGalaktika FEC in the Park named after Y. Gagarin, Sterlitamak.
Business program was followed by presentation of new equipment and latest developments in amusement industry made by leading Russian and foreign manufactures: GoPark, Avira, Iolla, Art-Engineering, Atrix, GROS, ITALPARK, Eastern European Company, AirPalace, BOLID, Volgograd attractions, and others. Some of them have even displayed the product samples in the conference hall.
In the afternoon, the program of the first day continued with a visit to Planeta FEC where the participants got to know the operation of several entertainment facilities at once: Megaland family entertainment park, Chadograd city of professions, and the only waterpark in Ufa. Managers of these companies have not just given an insightful tour around their facilities but also answered multiple questions related to their work.
The first day culminated at the scenic White Hall restaurant with Gala Dinner dedicated to the opening of RAAPA 7th International Summer Forum in Ufa.
City in the park
The second day of the forum started with the series of master classes and workshops given by leading experts of amusement industry. This year some of the education activities were scheduled at the same time so that the participants could choose those meeting their interests most.
Thus, within the scope of the educational program, Adventure seekers told “how to develop amusement rides into a modern complex of active entertainment”. Albina Fathutdinova, Director of the Magic World Park, shared her many years’ experience in successful operation of her leisure center and secrets of audience engagement. EntenS Group experts touched on a hot issue of “risk management in entertainment business”. Consulting expert Ludmila Kisseleva hold a discussion on “Advertising and ways of services promotion in the entertainment industry – what is efficient today”. All the sessions caught much interest of the forum participants.
Afternoon was dedicated to visits to culture and leisure parks.
At the Park of Culture and Leisure named after M. Gafuri the participants observed 3 recreational objects at once: Magic World amusement park, the dinosaurs park Yurkin Park, and theSeventh Heaven Ferris wheel that everyone gladly took a brief ride on. The choice of these particular entertainment complexes by organizing committee was determined by aiming at familiarizing the forum participants with the centers of different format and development level.
Further the route led to the Park of Culture and Leisure named after I. Yakutov – the most comfortable park in the city. Here the participants observed a complex of attractions, the Soldier lake, and Jolly Roger entertainment center where the festive diploma delivery ceremony took place.
It is worth mentioning that the Summer Forum in Ufa captured unprecedented interest of local media. The forum turned out to become a truly important event for the city that, and I’m quoting news feed here, “shall influence the development and major breakthrough in the socio-cultural sector of the city”. The event was covered by all the mainstream media, about 10 news videos were broadcasted, and on July 19 the live stream featuring RAAPA Vice President Igor Rodionov was aired on All Ufa channel.
Heart of Bashkiria
The third day of the Summer Forum was traditionally devoted to the city tour.
Part of the forum participants stayed in Ufa and visited major sights of the city: Monument to Salavat Yulayev, Friendship Monument, Lala Tulpan mosque, the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and others. During the guided tour at the National museum, the city guests learnt about the history and ethnology of the Bashkirs along with many cultural highlights. When exploring Akbuzat horse race track, visitors could not only watch the subtleties of operation of this interesting institution, but also go horseback riding which everyone took a chance of with great delight. And of course, how could we skip the Bashkir honey! Visit to the House of Honey revealed to the participants all the health properties of this delicacy.
Another group of the forum participants headed to Sterlitamak. The trip was organized by the management of the Park of Culture and Leisure named after Y. Gagarin. During the 2-days-program, the participants visited the park, museum of stones, brewery, monadnock, regional museum of natural history, etc.
At first, it seemed that this year Summer Forum might stay unnoticed, getting lost in a cascade of the World Cup-related events and the height of park season. But in the end, the Summer Forum in Ufa turned out to be the most grand-scale, both in number of the participants and the cities represented. From Minsk to Vladivostok – that’s how far the geography of specialists coming to Ufa widespread.
RAAPA 7th International Summer Forum received the most rave reviews. Greater part of the participants has noted an intensive business program, top-level organization, wonderful impression of the venue, and of course the chance to meet and socialize with the colleagues from different parts of the country. Each forum participant gained valuable experience that will be definitely useful in their work and will facilitate further development.
As one of the participants said, “this was the most SUMMERY of all the SUMMER FORUMS!” And that is how the Summer Forum in Ufa will be remembered by the amusement industry specialists: friendly, professional, and entertaining!
See you soon!
We are coming to your city!