Trampoline Powwow Off to Strong Start


Phillip McSween and Nic Hanzelik of Funovation (those fun Laser Maze Challenge people) at the IATP show booth. Hanzelik said, “I love this industry, quite frankly. It’s fun, exciting and it gets people out of the house. One of the reasons Funovation was founded was to keep kids active… and that’s what the trampoline park industry does.”

RePlay’s Ingrid Milkes couldn’t resist a chance to bounce into action! Here she is airborne at Trampolines Unlimited’s booth.

An upbeat crowd was on the floor during the initial hours of the 5th Annual International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) trade show as it opened yesterday (Sept. 19) at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, Calif. After a day of committee meetings and tech training, the group opened their exhibit aisles along with a cocktail reception that ran from 6 to 8 p.m. followed by an after party that went until 11 p.m.

There was certainly an upbeat energy in the room during those first two hours of exhibits which you might expect from an industry that’s built on active play.

Nic Hanzelik of Funovation (makers of the Laser Maze Challenge) said, “The trampoline park industry has been a huge source of business for us the last couple of years. Trampoline parks have really taken off across the country – the world, actually – across virtually all demographics. This is an active-driven demographic that even covers toddlers. Today, most of centers are trying to differentiate themselves from others, adding something to keep it fresh.”

As RePlay roamed the aisles during those initial hours, we found a good mix of veteran exhibitors and first-timers.

RePlay’s Key Snodgress gets to meet popular American Ninja Warriors’ star Lance Pekus, the “Cowboy Ninja,” who was a special guest at Fun Spot’s exhibit. The company’s Matt Hubbard explained that Fun Spot got its start over 40 years ago making backyard trampolines and was well-positioned when this indoor park industry got started. Today, he sees ninja courses as a natural complement to the trampoline park and said they’ve installed 50-60 of them so far: “We’re being required to innovate and stay fresh. We see ninja courses as the ticket to that,” said Matt.

On the schedule today is the association’s annual meeting and opening session and a full slate of workshops. The tradeshow goes all day (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) with 80-plus exhibitors promoting their products and services – everything from trampoline park equipment and non-slip socks to insurance, music, laser tag, food, software and apps, and, of course, coin-operated amusements.

In the afternoon, those who enjoy golf and want to get out in the relatively mild weather for this bustling desert community can get in nine holes. The highlight of the evening will be IATP’s awards dinner. The group wraps it up on Thursday with an additional four hours of exhibits and a bunch more workshops to educate attendees.

Dates are already set for the 2018 outing: Sept. 16-18 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Click here for details. Read more about this year’s conference in the November issue of RePlay!


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