Thursday, November 2, 2023

The IAAPA Legends Panel for 2023

 Now that Halloween is over the scariest sight for November is the line for admission to the Legends Panel on Wednesdays at IAAPA. There have been reports from Galaxy's Edge and Shanghai Disneyland, and other giants of the entertainment industry with cool stories of their experiences. This year is no exception.

The subject is Universal's Beijing Resort and how they learned new strategies to remain successful during the Covid Pandemic. There will be three members of the the panel, Tom Mehrman, Sylvia Hase, and Mike Hightower. Keeping the discussion moving with piercing questions and great repartee will be Bob Rogers, of Founder and Chairman of BRC Imagination Arts, 

Tom Mehrman, who served at President and General Manager during the development of Universal Bejing Resort has a background of working in the amusement park industry with many perspectives. Being part of the management team at Knott's Berry Farm and learning how to compete with Disneyland, leading Ocean Park when Disney Hong Kong, and developing Universal Bejing Resort, he has examples of creative solutions that can be applied to many different sized parks. And beside that he has a wicked sense of humor. He is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Universal Destinations and Experiences, Pacific Rim Universal.

Sylvia Hase, President of Hasbas Entertainment, has produced world class events and live shows worldwide. Her work has won awards from both THEA and IAAPA and it covering multiple continents. She was also first female director for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Her production of The Little Mermaid is the longest running show is Tokyo Disney Sea history, being experienced by over 35 million guests to date.

Mike Hightower started working in the aerospace/contracting industry after graduating from Stanford University. He is recently retired after being named President of Universal Creative. He has opened projects in China, Dubai, Singapore, Spain, and the United States. He spent some time working directly with Tom on Universal Bejing Resort and it will interesting to see if their recollections have any significant differences.

This is the Legends 2023 Panel, and it will always be too short, no matter how long it lasts. With this much experience on the dais, the audience will be standing room only and discussed many times on the trade show floor. Pardon us, we want to see where the head of the line starts so we know in advance. See you at S310EFGH at 4:00 pm!