November 15, 2017
Business of Fun Contest Winner Announced
Sylvia Chong’s "Token for a Queue" innovation makes her the JA Worldwide and IAAPA Foundation Top Innovator!
JA Worldwide and the IAAPA Foundation challenged students, ages 14–19, to test their entrepreneurial spirit through submission of innovations for improving the guest experience, with a goal to increase the appeal of amusements parks and attractions for both new and returning guests. In an industry that thrives on innovation, the work presented by the six finalists did not disappoint.
From complete theme park proposals to ride enhancements and queue improvements, the innovations presented were competitive, engaging, and practical. But it was Sylvia’s presentation that got the judges’ attention and captured the Top Innovator Award that was presented today at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 in Orlando, Florida, USA. (See Sylvia standing up in recognition, below.) The Expo is the largest conference and trade show for the global attractions industry.
Waiting Can be Fun
Sylvia describes herself as a typical Singaporean schoolgirl who loves to paint, visit theme parks, and watch movies. Her interests and visits to Universal Studios Singapore provided the framework for her winning innovation, A Token for a Queue. “Theme parks are my getaways from my heavy workload, and I absolutely love thrilling rides and shows. However, I often find myself spending a long time in the queues, especially for the more popular rides. Sometimes, I hear foreigners grumbling about how their 1-day ticket is wasted on queuing instead of enjoying themselves.”
The result of this frustration is the award-winning substitute queue system that allows guests the option of roaming the park while their token waits in line. Guests can enjoy their “wait time” visiting shops, restaurants, and shows. The versatility of the system recognizes the unique needs of both new and returning guests, and offers all guests an interactive and personalized experience.
The Impact of the Attractions Industry
Asheesh Advani, President and CEO of JA Worldwide shares, “Young people like Sylvia aren’t waiting to be ‘future’ innovators and job creators; they’re developing innovative business ideas today. Every year at JA, we give millions of young people the opportunity to cultivate their entrepreneurial spirit through programs that build skills for the future of jobs, serve as a launch pad for small businesses, and unlock their potential and future success. Sylvia exemplifies the spirit of our organization, and together with the IAAPA Foundation, we congratulate her on this achievement.”
As the Top Innovator, Sylvia earned a 4-day/3-night trip to IAAPA Attractions Expo, where she is sharing her perspective on the industry and her innovation at a private meeting with three key industry executives. She is also enjoying VIP visits to Orlando, Florida, attractions. “I feel that the tourism industry is extremely vital to our world, as it provides us with the chance to interact with people of completely diverse backgrounds; it allows people regardless of race, nationality, or religion to bond and forge friendships, which is something other industries are not as capable of doing. Theme parks are sure to bring joy and laughter to everyone, not just kids. Theme parks make up an important part of many people's childhoods, and mine is no exception!”
About the IAAPA Foundation
The IAAPA Foundation was founded by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the largest global trade association for permanently located amusement parks and attractions. The IAAPA Foundation focuses on developing tomorrow’s leaders for the attractions industry while IAAPA is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry, and represents nearly 5,000 facility, supplier, and individual members from more than 100 countries. Member facilities include amusement and theme parks, water parks, attractions, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, and resorts. IAAPA is a nonprofit organization. The association's global headquarters is in Orlando, Florida, United States. The association maintains additional offices in Alexandria, Virginia, Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong. IAAPA.org/Foundation