ARVC Details Revamped Conference/Expo
“Where Outdoor Hospitality Meets Southern Hospitality” is the theme for the all new 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE) presented by the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC), Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa and Savannah International Trade & Convention Center in Savannah, Ga.
Pre-conference events are scheduled for Nov. 28-29.
The convention welcomes both RV park and campground owner members and non-members, plus new for 2011, the entire outdoor hospitality industry is invited, according to a news release.
The newly revamped conference offers educational seminars and tracks for various experience levels and industry affiliates – there will be something for everyone involved! Plus, new for 2011 – a new rate structure for attendees makes the conference more affordable than ever.
For those interested in breaking into the outdoor hospitality industry or for those who want to open an RV park or campground, the OHCE seminars and networking opportunities will offer an introduction on how to get started.
“We’ve completely revised the educational program and have created tracks and opportunities for all levels involved in the outdoor hospitality industry. We’re really looking forward to unveiling the new program at conference,” said Barb Youmans, ARVC senior director of administration and education.
The new Outdoor Hospitality Education Program has five track levels beginning with Outdoor Hospitality Candidate, which offers startup entrepreneurs an opportunity to dive in and explore all the industry has to offer. The other levels include outdoor hospitality associate, generalist, professional and executive. Each level is specific to the experience and role involvement within the operation.
“The greatest thing about this program is that it applies to park owners, paddle sport operators or adventure tour outfitters – whatever the involvement in outdoor hospitality, there’s a learning opportunity to be had by all,” Youmans said.
In addition to the new education program, the OHCE also offers more affordable attendee rates compared to years past.
“We wanted to make the conference more affordable to our members, especially our small- and medium-sized parks with 250 sites or less,” noted Paul Bambei, ARVC president and CEO. “If you’re a small or medium park, you can attend for as little as $379 (before the early bird rate expires Aug. 31) for the first registrant and the rate drops to $339 for each additional person you bring from your park. Plus, we also offer discounts to those large parks that bring multiple employees from their park.”
The new rate structure encourages parks to bring more employees and coincides particularly well with the new education program which offers courses for every level of involvement in park operation. However, attendees must register by Aug. 31 to take advantage of the discounted rates. The full-registration rate does not include any pre-conference events and the pre-conference events are sold as a la carte items.
ARVC encourages attendees to bring their families and extend their stay for a vacation in Savannah. With so much to see and explore, Savannah is the perfect getaway during the cold of winter. Everything from sandy white beaches, to Civil War history and haunted houses, Savannah’s southern charm will keep the whole family entertained. And for the first time, the conference is offering a Kids Camp so that mom and dad may participate in conference events while the kids enjoy supervised activities and fun. Shortly, we’ll be publishing the Kids Camp schedule of activities, which will be designed to entertain and educate children from preschool to teen.
However, the fun isn’t just for the kids – there are some exciting general sessions and evening activities planned, sure to captivate the interest of all conference attendees. The keynote address for the general session and opening luncheon will be offered by Tim Richardson on Wednesday, Nov. 30. Author of “How to Tap into the Great Wealth of Brain Power!” and the Putnam-published book “Transformation Thinking,” Richardson will show attendees how to think innovatively with their staff. He’ll provide tips and techniques to increase their personal brain power and become more reliable, responsible thinkers to benefit your park.
The fun doesn’t stop there either. Staying true to the traditions of the South, the Nov. 29 evening Low Country Boil party will excite and tantalize the taste buds of attendees as they dive into the delectable cuisine of the South. Attendees are encouraged to dress comfortably and come out in their Jimmy Buffet Parrot head shirts for an evening poolside and riverside. This evening affair lends itself nicely to a great networking opportunity for outdoor hospitality industry affiliates.
In addition to the great seminars, keynote address and fun evening activities, attendees will also be able to browse the 120,000-square-foot expo hall in search of the latest products, services and technologies to help their operation. Over 150 exhibitors will be displaying their newest additions. The Outdoor Hospitality Expo is a great opportunity for park operators and outdoor hospitality outfitters to find exactly what they’re looking for and make purchases for the upcoming year.
The expo will open on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will reopen Friday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We’re revving up our conference and creating an opportunity for the entire outdoor hospitality industry to participate. We are looking forward to bringing everyone together and I think we’ll see a more unified industry with some really cool developments as a result,” Bambei said.
For more information and to register early for the Early Bird discounted pricing, please visit www.arvc.org/outdoor-hospitality-conference.aspx or call (800) 395-2267.