BONUS Content:
#APEXEXPO Survival Guide

blog_survival guide

If you’ve seen the special EXPO Survival Guide insert (pictured above) in this month’s Marketing issue and have already memorized how to get from Morton’s Steak House to Sunset Lounge Karaoke, then join the club. The tear-out feature is so special in fact that we wanted to give it some extra love online. We reached out to Amy Hood, co-creator of the project and co-founder at Hoodzpah Design Co. to find out what inspired the design and more!

Q: Any specific sources of inspiration for this project?

A: We drew heavy inspiration from midcentury modern era illustrations and graphics. We looked up 50s era Disney and Hanna-Barbera illustrations to see how they used color and shapes and then created our own style from there. 

Photo: Amazon
Photo: Amazon

Q: Which design aspects of the APEX industry interest you (if any)? 

A: Being a designer I’m big on UX and UI – or user experience and user interaction. I definitely make decisions on which airlines to fly based on those experiences, and that includes everything from check-in, to staff interaction, to safety brochures and videos, to magazines and movie/TV choices. Flying can already be a very stressful thing so when an airline makes that experience for users/flyers easy and enjoyable, it stands out. 

Q: Your signature drink at Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar

A: My favorite drink at Trader Sam’s is definitely the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum. But really you go for the ambiance and the fun of it! It’s a chance to pretend you’re on island time. 

Q: How were the previous versions of the map different from the final product?

A: The original map was more of a warm color palette instead of the cool, retro blues we ended up with. We realized the illustrations popped way better against the mint blue. It also had a few less illustrations and locations, but in true American fashion, we added more. Because more is more, right?

Amy is right, more is more. The truth is though, we’ve been withholding even MORE information. We simply didn’t have the space in the print version to provide the full list and details of places to hit up in Anaheim, so for those of you who are super ambitious or simply looking for new spots to check out, bookmark this page for a quick mobile reference once at EXPO.

Katy Perry: 09/16 & 17, 7:00 pm
Honda Center, Anaheim CA

Octoberfest – OC’s Largest Oktoberfest Opening Day: 09/19 Friday 10:00 am
The Phoenix Club at the Anaheim Event Center, Anaheim CA
Shirley Maclaine: 09/20 Saturday 8:00 pm
Segestrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa CA
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Texas Rangers: 09/20 Friday 7:05 pm
Angel Stadium, Anaheim CA
Jim Jefferies: 09/20 Saturday 8:00 pm
City National Grove of Anaheim, Anaheim CA

Huntington Beach.  As the crown jewel of the seaside city of the same name, this Orange County beach has it all. Sun, surf and sand collide creating a true surfer’s delight. Near perfect swells and riders that seem to command the gigantic waves that barrel and coil to perfection. Catch a surf or volleyball competition while laying out on the warm Huntington Beach sand. As the sun sets behind the Huntington Beach Pier, take in the breathtaking beauty of this Southern California beach.

Newport Beach.  Just south of Huntington Beach is the real “OC.” The place where the days are sunny and the nights are warm. Newport Beach provides five miles of pristine coastline, breathtaking ocean views and picturesque cliff-side house.

Seal Beach.  Home to the second oldest pier in California, Seal Beach is a relaxing world away and features the Leisure World senior center community and the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. At the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, spot endangered species like the light-footed Clapper Rail and the California Least Tern.

Disneyland® Resort From the charm of Main Street, U.S.A to the whimsy of Mickey’s Toontown, explore eight fantastic “lands” of nostalgia, color and delight. Dreams come true with Disney favorites like Space Mountain, It’s a Small World and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Live shows and character greetings complete this magical visit.

Knott’s Berry Farm.  Go head-over-heels for all of the exciting thrill rides at Knott’s Berry Farm, including Supreme Scream, GhostRider and the Silver Bullet.  More action awaits at many of the classic attractions such as Camp Snoopy, Ghost Town and Fiesta Village. Cool off at the Soak City Water Park, which features 21 exciting water rides.

Marine Mammal Center. A non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine mammals stranded along the Orange County coastline, the center is open to the public every day from 10-4 p.m. free of charge and visitors can tour and learn about Northern elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals, California sea lions and the occasional small whale or dolphin.

Medieval Times Dinner & TournamentJousting knights, fair maidens and regal horseplay in a faux castle are all a part of the Medieval Times experience, where 1,000 guests are transported from suburban Orange County to the Middle Ages during a two-hour show and dinner. As costumed performers duel it out in the center arena, guests dine on a four-course meal that includes roasted chicken, spare ribs, dessert and two rounds of non-alcoholic drinks. (Vegetarian meals are available, too.) And, you can forget about silverware at this 11th-century feast.

The Block at Orange.  Visit one of Anaheim’s premier open-air shopping destinations featuring the best names in fashion. Shops, restaurants and the Vans Skatepark make this a popular meeting place for locals and Southern California visitors.


#APEXEXPO: Five Reasons to Come Hang Out at the APEX Media Booth

With only three weeks until EXPO, the APEX Media team is in the final stages of gearing up for the big event. We have some fun things planned for all attending and wanted to give you a sneak peak of what we have in store at our booth. Stop by for a chill, a chat and some swag at booth #435.

1. Member Q&A Corner

Illustration: Martin Delin
Illustration: Martin Delin

Get social with our member-to-member Q&A corner where the questions are fun and the conversation is current. Want to nominate a member? Let us know if your company would like to participate. Tweet us or email your APEX Community Manager.

2. Be Part of the APEX Website Redesign

Illustration: Mittu Tigi
Illustration: Mittu Tigi

Come by the booth and be the one of the first to test our new beta site. We’ll be incorporating the feedback we receive from you at EXPO into the site redesign and launch.

3. Conference Survival Kit: The Ultimate Swag Bag

6254AB31-1144-4B2B-83DD-3D101F342749To thank you for participating in the website feedback program, we’re handing out swag bags packed with essential travel items and extra surprises! Follow us on Instagram for more details on the must-have items inside! We’ll reveal the full contents on September 2nd.

4. Social Media School

Illustration: Milky Digital Innovation
Illustration: Milky Digital Innovation

Don’t know your hashtags from your handles? Our Community Manager Jessica will be on-site offering crash-courses in social media to up your e-networking game.

5. Couches, Conversation & Happy Hour

Illustration: Eugen Belyakoff
Illustration: Eugen Belyakoff

Need a pick-me-up? We’ll have couches and a host of APEX Media staff on-site for any much-needed chill out sessions. And who could turn down happy hour?

And that is why booth 435 is where it’s at! We look forward to seeing you all there.

Automation for A Hassle-free Journey?

Illustration: Wilson Joseph

Illustration: Wilson Joseph

There’s no question that efficiency is integral to improving passenger experience. Passengers are looking for a hassle-free journey from point A to B and, as a result, more and more services are becoming automated including the check-in process. Most business travelers will tell you they always check-in online so as to avoid the long queues that have become commonplace at airports.

To keep up with customer demand for efficiency, some airlines and airports are investing in technology that can make the process even more seamless. For example, United has just launched a new mobile passport scanning app that gives customers the option to check-in 24 hours prior to flying, allowing them to skip the check-in kiosks all together. Similarly, Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta (one of the busiest hubs in the world) has launched a mobile app that allows passengers to submit their information to US customs for review.

But there is something to be said about the level of service that comes along with staffed check-in desks and some travelers wouldn’t have it any other way. “For first and business class travelers more accustomed to elevated personal-service standards, self-service automation may not be desirable,” says Marisa Garcia in her article Suit up With Tailor Made Services from our July issue.

Many would argue that no matter how efficient self-service kiosks become, they could never assist a passenger in distress. BCS Group, a New Zealand-based technology company, is trying to change that. They are in the process of developing an airport kiosk avatar that can detect a passenger’s mood and react accordingly. If the machine detects the passenger is stressed, the avatar voice responds in a business-like manner. On holiday? The passenger will likely receive a more cheery and chatty avatar personality.

Although I am a huge fan of online check-in services and self-serve kiosks, if I had 30 minutes to catch my connecting flight at a hectic airport, I would opt for a friendly face over a chatty avatar any day.

Happy Birthday Orville Wright

Whether you’ve been waiting for this day all year in true #AVgeek fashion or have just found out from Twitter this morning, today is National Aviation Day across the US. The national observation was established in 1939 by Franklin Roosevelt and honors Orville Wright (born August 19th, 1871) of the Wright Brothers.

To celebrate this day we wanted to share some little-known facts about the aviation pioneer. We also threw in a few pop-culture references for good measure.

1. He was a lifelong bachelor, and a good looking one at that.

Pop-culture reference: Buzzfeed included him under their Collection of Splendid Looking Young Chaps From The Days of Yore. Ladies, what do we think?

bachelor Orville

Photo: Buzzfeed

2. He dropped out of high school to start his own printing business.

Extra tid-bit: Orville bought out the co-founder of his printing business, Ed Sines, when Sines agreed to take popcorn as  form of payment.

3. As children, Orville and his brother Wilbur loved to carve and print woodcuts.

Pop-culture reference: The original Grumpy Cat? A woodcut made by the Wright brothers depicting Grimalkin, the cat in the classic Henry Fielding book Tom Jones.

orville woodcat

4. He won the coin toss that determined which brother would be the first to trial the Wright Flyer.

This first flight lasted for a whole 12 seconds and the brothers altered turns for the rest of day.

Pop-culture reference: This occurrence in history, where the brothers exchange turns flying the aircraft, made a special appearance in an episode of The Simpsons. In the episode, Bart wishes he had a brother and begins to dream about famous brothers of the past. In the dream Orville is flying the plane and Wilbur is down below chasing him on his bike exclaiming it’s his turn to fly the plane.



simpsons orville


5. The first patent submitted by Orville and his brother was rejected.

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

6. For years he refused to donate the Wright Flyer to the Smithsonian Institution due to their claim that another aircraft was first to be airborne.

In 1948, the institute admitted to the misrepresentation and Orville agreed to donate The Wright Flyer once and for all.

How many of these facts did you know?  If you already knew 2-3, we automatically categorize you in the “Serious AV Geek” category.


#AVgeek Speak: Your Unofficial EXPO Glossary Guide

Illustration: Martin Chapman Fromm
Illustration: Martin Chapman Fromm

APEX/IFSA EXPO is officially one month away and we can hardly wait! With 3,500 attendees and over 220 exhibitors on site,  the APEX Experience media team wants to make sure you’re on top of your game which is why we put together this unofficial EXPO glossary guide. Trust us, you’ll want to commit these extra special terms to memory and pull them out when you’re looking to impress APEX friends and business associates. Don’t worry, you can thank us later.

Aft: describes a direction of movement towards the tail of the aircraft
“You’ll want to drop by our booth in the aft corner of the ACC ASAP.”

Apron: the area of an airport where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refuelled, or boarded
“Can you believe he just called it a tarmac instead of an apron?”

Crumb Crunchers:  children on a plane
“Thank god for the amazing IFE selection, it sure kept those crumb crunchers distracted for hours on end.

ETA vs. ATA: Estimated Arrival Time versus Actual Arrival Time
“If your ETA differs from your ATA I can’t promise you we’ll have any Conference Survival Kits left to distribute at the APEX Media booth.”

Gate Lice: passengers who rush to the gate just before boarding in a quest to be the first on the plane
“This is the best travel app! It helped me avoid all the gate lice before boarding.”

Indian Night Noises: the ominous creaks, pops, and shudders of an aircraft in flight
“Thanks to the handy earplugs provided in the EXPO Survival Kit, I won’t have to listen to any Indian Night Noises on-board.”

Kick the Tires & Light the Fires: Get in it and GO!
“Let’s Kick the Tires and Light the Fires and hit up Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.”

Landing Lips: female passengers put on their “landing lips” when they use their lipstick just before landing
“What’s that? We’re heading to a mixer as soon as we deplane? Better get my landing lips on!

Max Pax: Aircraft Passenger Load Limit
“It’s so nice to have some alone time in my hotel room after that MaxPax flight I was just on.”

Mr. Easy Chicken: the term for the Easy Check-in kiosks in airports
“Thanks to Mr. Easy Chicken, I had enough time for two PFBs.” (See below for meaning of PFB)

PFB: Pre-flight Beverage
“So I met this guy at the airport bar and three PFBs later I was telling him my life story.”

Pointy End: First class
“Any chance I can get an upgrade to the pointy end? I just came from APEX/IFSA EXPO and need a serious nap.”

UAM: Unaccompanied Minor
“There should be a designated sound-proof  section on the plane for all those UAMs who choose to blast their loud music.”

WTMD: Walk-through metal detector
“I was the only one in the security line that didn’t set off the WTMD. So many amateurs.”

For more terms check out Flyer Talk’s full glossary and come chat with us at booth #435 to show off your new #avgeek speak knowledge.