Oganizer: Russian Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (RAAPA)
|General sponsor – PAX group of companies|
RAAPA Summer Forum which has already became traditional and long-awaited this year was held from 12 to 14 July, 2017. Every time the entertainment industry experts anticipating this forum are concerned with the main question: where will it be held this year? This time the organizers really surprised everyone. For the first time, RAAPA Summer Forum was held outside of Russia - in the capital of Belarus - Minsk.
The choice of the city was not accidental. Minsk is one of the most ancient European cities with a huge cultural heritage and rich traditions; the industrial, cultural and scientific center of the country. The capital of Belarus is currently paying special attention to the development of tourism and cultural-leisure sphere, which is reflected in the implementation of a number of state and public-private programs and projects that open up broad prospects for the development of amusement industry.
So, welcome to Minsk for the 6th International Summer Forum of Amusement Industry Specialists!
Day 1. At the State level.
The support of the state bodies of Belarus, as well as a number of partner companies, which helped the Russian Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions to hold the event at the proper level, contributed a lot to the holding of RAAPA Summer Forum in Minsk in particular.
RAAPA Summer Forum was held with the support of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus, the Sports and Tourism Department of the Minsk City Executive Committee, and the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in Russia. Informational partners of the event were: magazines AIC, Attractions & Entertainments, Director; Internet portals: VTORIO.COM, RIDES.ZONE and others.
Over 150 specialists from 52 cities of Russia, Belarus and other countries of the world (Italy, Germany, Spain, Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, Turkey and Poland) took part in the event. Among them: directors and specialists of parks, entertainment centers, water parks, resorts, tourist agencies, cultural institutions, representatives of city administrations and authorities, public organizations, manufacturers of entertainment equipment and other interested persons.
The opening of RAAPA Summer Forum was held on July 12 in one of the best conference halls of Minsk in Victoria Olymp Hotel, located next to the Olympic Committee of Belarus. The first to greet the participants were the Vice-president of RAAPA, Igor Rodionov, and the Deputy Head of the Sports and Tourism Department of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Svetlana M. Demeshko, who noted the importance of holding RAAPA Summer Forum in Minsk, as "it will contribute to creating here new cultural and entertainment facilities that attract tourists' attention."
Marina V. Mastashova, the representative of the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus, spoke in more detail about the tourist potential of Belarus and Minsk. It was not only about the existing sights of the country, but also about the prospects for the development of amusement industry.
A vivid interest of the participants was caused by the presentation of the project CHAMPIONS WORLD - the first theme park in Belarus. Dmitry Dudyuk, the representative of the developer company Diamant, revealed some details of the future grand park, and invited those who wanted to participate in the project.
Later, the leaders of the Minsk parks and entertainment centers briefly shared the experience of operating their complexes and announced the visits of the main ones within the frameworks of RAAPA Summer Forum. Presentations were made by: Alexander E. Gerasimovich, the General director of the municipal cultural and sports unitary enterprise Aqua-Minsk; Marina A. Shinkareva, the Managing director of FEC Aqua Park Lebyazhy; Vladimir O. Babivsky, the Chief Engineer of Minskzelenstroy; Alexander Lukashevich, the Managing director of FEC Dinosauria.
The business program continued with the presentations of new rides, equipment and services for amusement industry. Representatives of manufacturing companies, including such well-known brands as RIF, PlaySpace, Carousel Group of companies, GROS, AirPalace, Polin Waterparks, Wiegand.Maelzer GmbH, Antonio Zamperla, BOLID, SPARTA and others, spoke about new opportunities for the organization of leisure activities for children and adults.
After lunch, the program of the first day continued with a visit to the entertainment complex Lebyazhy where the managers of the FEC showed the participants one of the largest water parks in Europe, kiddy entertainment center, gym, the unique attraction DARK RIDE and other facilities of the complex.
At the same venue several educational seminars were held at Lebyazhy sites which were conducted by leading specialists of amusement industry. The specialists of EntenS Group spoke about "How to hold 200 birthdays in an amusement park per month", and the well-known expert Lyudmila Kiseleva conducted a master class "To whom and how Amusement Park services should be sold". Vasily V. Prikhodko, the Head of the Testing, Inspection, and Certification Center "Safety", spoke about the first experience of obligatory certification of amusement rides in Russia and coming into force of the Technical Regulations on Safety of Amusement Rides. All events aroused a keen interest of the participants.
The evening continued with a Gala reception in the restaurant "Urartu", which was dedicated to the opening of the 6th International RAAPA Summer Forum in Minsk.
Day 2. From dinosaurs to nowadays.
The second day of the Summer Forum the participants spent on trips around Minsk and visiting the most interesting city attractions. Though the program began with a slightly different interesting place - the Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War – the unique historical and cultural complex that housed about 143 thousand war-time items. The Forum participants remained under the unforgettable impression of the excursion and, of course, honored the memory of the soldiers who died in that terrible time.
For a group of specialists, an excursion to the office of Wargaming (Game Stream), one of the leaders in the development of computer games and software, whose flagship project WORLD OF TANKS is known all over the world, was organized in parallel. The participants were able to get acquainted not only with the activities of this unique company for Belarus, but also learn about creative approaches in the organization of staff work, the formation of a comfortable office environment and corporate culture in the team.
Further along the route was the Park of Culture and Leisure named after Tchelyuskintsev. The administration of the park told about all the nuances and specifics of the work of parks in Belarus, walked along the central alleys with the guests, and those who wished to try some rides had the opportunity to enjoy a great number of it in the park. Unfortunately, unexpectedly heavy rain prevented visiting another park in Minsk - the Central Children's Park named after Gorky with the highest Ferris wheel in the country (54 m). But many participants visited it independently on the next day.
The business program of the Summer Forum ended with a visit to the thematic entertainment center Dinosauria. Heads of the complex held a backstage tour to all key venues for the participants and told about the main principles of its operation. The great interest was caused by edutainment programs which are daily held in Dinosauria. Here, the solemn awarding with diplomas to all participants of the event took place.
Day 3. Ghostbusters.
It has already become a tradition to make a sightseeing tour on the third day of the Summer Forum, although the first acquaintance with the sights of Minsk started on July, 11th. That day, a group of participants explored the night Minsk and got acquainted with its main sights and cultural objects.
On July, 14th amusement industry professionals who had become a friendly strong team, went outside the capital of Belarus to see the famous castles in Mir and Nesvizh – the architectural monuments inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Everyone was impressed by the majestic palaces and parks surrounding them. Emotions from the excursion were added by the professional work of the guides who told in details about the history of these places, secrets and even ghosts which could be "met" in the chambers of the castles.
RAAPA Summer Forum of in Minsk has left the most enthusiastic feedback from the participants: a rich and useful business program, a high-class organization and, of course, the wonderful impressions from Minsk, the city that many people have long desired to visit.
We are sure that the holding of the Summer Forum in Minsk will be not only a driving force to the development of amusement industry in the Belarusian region, but will also give each participant a specific experience that will be useful in their further work.
RAAPA Summer Forum outstands the task of acquainting amusement industry professionals with a specific city and the region. Today it has already become a major professional event with the participation of international experts, aimed at the development of amusement industry not only in Russia but also abroad.