November 13-17, 2023, Ringling College of Art and Design students and faculty attended the IAAPA Expo in Orlando, Florida. IAAPA, The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, represents over 6,000 amusement-industry members in more than 100 countries worldwide and operates several global attractions-industry trade shows. The annual Expo, the premier global event for the attractions industry, brings together passionate professionals from around the world to shape the future of creating unforgettable guest experiences.
Jamie DeRuyter, department head of Entertainment Design at Ringling College, was excited for students to have this opportunity.
“The IAAPA Expo is an incredibly valuable learning experience for our students,” he explained. “Most people only know of the owners or operators in the industry, such as Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Six Flags, etc. What most people don’t realize is that those organizations generally do not design or fabricate much of what we all experience in the parks. There is a vast landscape of companies and individuals that do most of the work it takes to create these experiences. Companies such as ITEC, Falcon’s Beyond, Nassal, AOA, and so many more already employ graduates from Ringling College across all majors.”
The College was represented by 40 students, five faculty, two Career Services staff members, and two admissions counselors this year. The Expo is the perfect way to get to know all of these great companies and network with those people. Soft skills like this type of networking are critical to a young designer’s success in the industry. Having a booth at the Expo for the first time is going to really cement Ringling College’s place in the industry as THE hot spot for recruiting talent.