WWA – Whitewater (WWI) is “Best of Show”
World Waterpark Association- Trade Show
Having been to WWA (World Waterpark Association) for 8 years now, as a member of both Wave Loch and now FlowRider Inc (a subsidiary of WWI), there is a transition taking place in the industry. Or at least in our business, where fun and positive energy rule out over all other actions. The theme of our collective booths was “iheartwaterparks.com,” which helped bring the emotion of going to a waterpark to the forefront of our minds.
Personally, I remember getting up at 4:30 in the morning to hop in the back of the station wagon, picnic baskets brimming and smelling of fried chicken and all the yummies Mom used to pack. This was before I-5, when Highway 101 was the conduit to my favorite amusement park on the planet – Disneyland! A three plus hour drive and there we were – The Magic Kingdom! Just put the goodies on the picnic table and away we went! Heaven on Earth, before Tavarua! But most importantly – MEMORIES.
These were the emotions at play that inspired the WWI marketing team to take a different approach at WWA – and what an approach it was. We went on ebay to find the “station wagon/Woodie” of our dreams. Packed it up with all the necessities, mix and stir, and what do you have? A road trip to Palm Springs!! Trish Hughes and Jasmine Chin took the trip willingly through the desert, in a 40 yr old Dodge Aspen Station Wagon, and literally drove right into the convention floor – a most unconventional approach. Themed completely with the inspiration of a million memories, this approach clearly indicates a new mental shift in our business – we actually do care about the customer, the end user, and the memories!!
For FlowRider Inc, we are all about fun. We had fun coming in second in the golf tournament, we had fun in the sales meeting, we had fun at the reception, and we had fun during the convention. Armed with “iheartwaterparks” jerseys and wearing shorts, how could you not have fun? All over the convention and throughout the events, there were “iheartwaterparks” jerseys, hats, bags, pins, you name it! It was totally sick!! (that means fantastic, btw).
During the annual general meeting, and much to our surprise and delight, there was a new products video of what is new in the industry. Well what was shown at the end was a 3 second snippet of WaveOz, the dreamy new ride from FlowRider. The buzz that was generated by the packed house went on for 60 seconds (I was getting goose bumps while watching my watch, as Steve Brinkel (our Parks and Rec head honcho) was elbowing me in the ribs. Sensational! Then, aside from the numerous awards WWI won (they always do), Andrew Wray, one of the partners at WWI, was inducted into the WWA Hall of Fame – Congrat’s Andrew!!
And to top it all off, we signed a massive deal at the show – the cherry on top of the sundae. But I almost forgot, on the way home, dropping in over the mountains, was the most fabulous sunset……. WOW, that made my day!!