Episode 286: Jeroen Nijpels talks about selling roller coasters, relationship-based marketing, and advice for young professionals

Networking, Podcast

This episode is kindly sponsored by Attractions.io, the guest experience platform behind Merlin Entertainments’, San Diego Zoo’s, and the PGA Championship’s branded mobile apps. Like us, the team at Attractions.io are on a mission to elevate our guest experiences and ensure they exceed the expectations of today’s digitally native guests. By combining a branded mobile app with an operator console that consolidates behavioral data from every touchpoint in the guest journey, the Attractions.io platform empowers operators with the tools they need to increase guest satisfaction, spending, and loyalty. To learn more about how Attractions.io can help you connect your end-to-end guest experience, visit Attractions.io/howitworks.

Jeroen Nijpels is the Owner and Managing Director of JNELC. After several years of experience of theme park planning and attraction sales in Asia and Europe, Jeroen established JNELC to assist parks in purchasing attractions. Throughout his career, Jeroen has developed strong relationships and has been instrumental in leading IAAPA’s young professionals program. Jeroen is also currently the Chair of IAAPA’s Manufacturer & Supplier Committee and serves on the Board of Directors. In this interview, Jeroen shares insights into the challenges of selling roller coasters, the importance of relationship-based marketing, and valuable advice for young professionals aspiring to excel in the industry.

Selling Roller Coasters

“The bottom line is… I sell roller coasters.”

Selling roller coasters (along with other types of rides and attractions) is an art that goes far beyond just adding an attraction to a facility. It involves a comprehensive approach that considers various factors such as the target audience and unforeseen/indirect costs. Jeroen understands that each sale is a defining moment for his company, and he strives to make it successful by incorporating portfolio management and a ‘big picture’ ideology into his sales practice.

Jeroen uses every sale as an opportunity to learn and improve his approach, which helps him become a more effective manager for his clients year after year. By prioritizing a holistic approach to roller coaster sales and figuring out what sticks from previous sales, Jeroen has established a reputation for delivering results that exceed his clients’ expectations.

Relationship-Based Marketing

“Our industry is friendly towards its competition.”

Jeroen’s goal when working with new clients is to establish long-term relationships. JNELC recognizes that purchasing roller coasters and attractions is a significant investment, and they strive to maintain contact with clients to remain updated on their needs and preferences. By keeping this connection, Jeroen has been successful in turning new clients into lifelong customers.

Jeroen leverages his existing relationships to build new connections and expand his network. Instead of exhibiting at trade shows, JNELC instead opts to host social events for both existing and potential clients. By taking a patient and proactive approach, JNELC builds strong, lasting connections that extend beyond typical business interactions. This strategy has allowed Jeroen to cultivate a network of clients who trust and value his expertise, making JNELC a go-to source for purchasing attractions and related services.

Advice for Young Professionals

“Ask questions, and ask people for help.”

Jeroen spearheaded the establishment of the IAAPA Young Professionals program nearly two decades ago, finding motivation to create this program after interacting with young talents who expressed their difficulties in networking with industry professionals and breaking into the industry. In response, Jeroen helped create a program that provides young professionals with networking opportunities and helps them step out of their comfort zone.

With almost three decades of experience in the industry, Jeroen advises young professionals to broaden their network and seek help from others. By interacting with more people outside of their current network and taking initiative, young professionals can gain a deeper understanding of the industry and identify their career goals. By setting these goals and pursuing them with determination, success is within reach.


To connect with Jeroen, you can find him on LinkedIn. To learn more about JNELC, you can find their website here


This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of our amazing team:

  • Scheduling and correspondence by Kristen Karaliunas
  • Summary by Mason Nichols
  • Video editing by Abigail Giganan

To connect with AttractionPros: attractionpros@gmail.com

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