We interviewed the inspiring Jonny Gardner on his EAS journey last week and this week, we’re chatting to him about the importance of doing the IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers course.

Happy Snappy’s Jonny Gardner graduates from the IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers course

What inspired you to enroll for the course and what was the process for registering?

The inspiration actually came from our very own attractions super star and Attractions Africa’s Executive Director Sabine Lehmann!

We met briefly for a coffee back in July when I needed to bounce some ideas off her and, as always, she pointed me in the perfect direction, which was both the Attractions Managers course and conference.

What a gem! Registration was an easy online process

Would you please elaborate on what exactly the course entailed?

The course is an immersive classroom type with various presentations focused on the below. We finished with a group-based case study where we presented to a ‘board of directors’.

The presentations included:

  1. Attractions Finance: Managing capital, expense and revenue budgeting, and other financial tools.
  2. Attractions Marketing: Marketing, media relations, advertising, group sales, and public relations.
  3. Attractions Leadership: Human resources development strategies
  4. Facility Operations and Safety: Industry regulation, facility management best practices, and crisis management.
  5. Attractions Revenue Operations: food and beverage, merchandise, pay-per-experience attractions, and rental services revenue.

How long was the course for?

It was at three-day face-to-face course based at Efteling just outside Amsterdam. You HAVE to visit Efteling!

Now that you have completed the course, which skills have your acquired that will help you with the day-to-day running of your company?

For me personally it was a ‘penny dropping’ type course.

The course is based on idea sharing and discussions around what works and what doesn’t in a variety of different scenarios. I think in business we are all looking for that silver bullet to increase revenue and reduce costs but in reality, it’s a combination of factors.

Learning from people who have tried and tested these different ideas was priceless for me. Sometimes the smallest changes here and there can ultimately result in bigger yields.

Were you the only South African / African attractions representative on this course?

Yes, I was and I fielded many, many political questions which is always fun

What advice would you give other attractions managers who are thinking of doing this course?

Do it, don’t wait just do it! We need to develop similar habits to those in Europe and further abroad when it comes to attractions management. We have an incredible country with some of the best managers in the world and  we should stop under valuing ourselves.

African attraction managers, you could be next:

We are proud to announce that we, as Attractions Africa, in partnership with IAAPA, will be offering Institute for Attractions Managers short courses to mid-level attractions managers from August 2019!

For more information about these courses and to register, please send your details to info@attractionsafrica.co.za