Reporting from IAAPA 2022: Amusement Parks, Cultural Exchange, and the Human Resources Connection

In November, the Global Association for the Attractions Industry (aka IAAPA) hosted its annual Conference and Trade Show in Orlando, Florida. Greenheart Exchange’s Renee Clarke, Senior Business Development Manager, attended to learn, to network, and to represent the benefits of hosting and hiring cultural exchange participants.

Why is Greenheart relevant to the Amusement Park industry?

Greenheart Exchange is a Department of State designated sponsor for Work and Travel and Intern/Trainee programs.   Greenheart’s Work and Travel program connects international students and U.S. businesses for help fill seasonal hiring needs while commiting to cultural exchange. Greenheart’s Intern/Trainee program helps internationally-minded U.S. businesses find university students, recent graduates, or professionals for 12-18 month career-enhancing intern/trainee positions. Cultural exchange and human resources go together in our global marketplace, especially for businesses focused on diversity and which have an international footprint or audience…like amusement parks and the attractions industry, hotels, etc.   

Renee’s Report and Top Take-Aways from IAAPA 2022

IAAPA Expo, as always, presented opportunities to learn about the latest and greatest for ALL ASPECTS of the amusements business, as well as its feeder/support industries! This unforgettable week encompassed unveilings, awards, and record-breaking aspects (literally!  The week included earning an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for most people launching confetti cannons simultaneously!)  Surprisingly, it is my understanding that Greenheart Exchange was the only designated visa sponsor in attendance at IAAPA Expo 2022!

In addition to celebrating the joy of being together in person again, I focused on Human Resources sessions and activities. What’s on the minds of business leaders and their HR teams as it relates to hiring staff and serving their customers?  And how cultural exchange programs best help businesses achieve their goals? Here are a few take-aways that resonated with me:

  • Security and personal safety is top-of-mind for employees too. Make sure staff knows the evacuation route on day 1. That’s an important one for all company offices or campuses–small or large.
  • Caring how your company is attractive to other cultures helps when seeking diversity. Do some research. Use surveys. Read reviews. How does your company stack up?
  • Get creative with your employee recruitment techniques. Partner with local schools/groups. Conduct on-site job fairs. Attend a Greenheart Job Fair–virtual and/or an international job fair to interview face-to-face. 
  • People are looking for flexible shift assignments, including longer shifts on fewer days. Options give your employees a greater sense of autonomy and in turn, help keep them motivated.
  • Companies are looking to maximize efficiency in this tight economy, where industry wages are at a historic high. It’s important to hire the right team and keep them motivated. Cultural exchange programs are full of participants who have strong work ethics and are delighted to be in the USA for their programs.     

Our team wants to hear about issues affecting your teams, your businesses, and your customers. If you’ve ever considered hosting/hiring an international student for seasonal staffing or hiring an international intern/trainee for a 12-18 month period, we’d love to talk and learn more about your needs and answer any questions you might have. Cultural exchange just may be a fit!    

Thanks Renee for sharing! 

Did you see Renee at IAAPA (she distributed medals at the 16th Annual IAAPA Footprints From the Heart 5K Run/1-Mile Walk benefiting Give Kids The World Village)? If you missed her, you can connect with her on LinkedIn and/or email her at  Greenheart would love to discuss your business needs and how cultural exchange programs may be the help you need.