Airlines and Vendors Flock to APEX 2012 EXPO, Industry’s Premiere Event


– EXPO, Educational Sessions and Awards Draw Record Attendance

Long Beach, CA | September 2012– The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) hosted thousands of attendees at what has been widely hailed by attendees as the most successful annual EXPO yet, held 17-20 September at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in California. By the end of the EXPO, total attendance had hit 2,462: the highest mark in 15 years.

Exhibitors represented a wide range of fields, including education, encoding, entertainment, flight crew services, inflight entertainment and internet connectivity systems, inflight lounge products and services, interactive content, IT, marketing, media, motion pictures, inflight magazine publication, retail, seating, short subject production and distribution, software development and wireless communication.

“We knew going into this event that our full agenda would draw in a huge crowd of passenger experience professionals, and we are thrilled by the level of enthusiasm this year,” said Chris Babb, APEX Immediate Past President. “Our efforts to revamp the popular educational sessions paid off, as our speakers addressed rooms packed with attendees eager to learn more about WiFi, onboard gaming, connectivity and new technologies that are changing our industry.”

While the bulk of activities centered on the EXPO itself, attendees enjoyed a series of educational sessions related to new technologies, advancements in passenger experience and cutting-edge wireless options. The educational segment featured a well-received “learning journey” that discussed “ecosystems” and featured speakers from Philips, Intel, Cisco and Ericsson.

Additionally, association members recognized industry leaders who have set the highest standards in the passenger experience. More than 700 attendees celebrated their peers during the APEX Awards Ceremony, emceed by Emmy Award-winning travel journalist Joel Connable. The Avion Awards recognized industry innovators; Leigh Mantle, of Inflight Productions, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the association and the industry.

The industry also recognized innovation and achievement in airline achievement announcing winners of its Passenger Choice Awards. Airlines and service providers received awards in 14 categories, ranging from best inflight video to best ground experience, with Virgin America and Emirates receiving the top accolades of the evening: Best Overall Passenger Experience (up to 50 IFE equipped in fleet) and Best Overall Passenger Experience (over 50 IFE equipped in fleet) respectively.

Following the Annual General Meeting, the newly elected APEX Board of Directors took office and includes: President Linda Celestino, Oman Air; Vice President Alfy Veretto, Virgin America; and Treasurer Joan Filippini, Paramount Studios. Continuing his term as Secretary is Dominic Green, Spafax.

Newly elected to the APEX Board are: Ingo Wuggetzer, Airbus; and Ashley Woodall, JetBlue Airlines. Re-elected to the board are Luay Qunash, Royal Jordanian Airlines; Neil James, Panasonic. They join Kevin Bremer, Boeing; Ian Walberg, Airborne Interactive, who continue their terms on the Board.

Association officials are currently planning the 2013 EXPO, to be held 9-12 September in Anaheim, Calif. USA.

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