Leisure Systems Inc. chose a Hollywood movie premiere and theme “Lights! Camera! Action!” for the backdrop of this year’s Symposium & Trade Show, set for Nov. 7-11 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center and Embassy Suites Hotel in Covington, Ky.
This year’s theme really was a “no-brainer” for the LSI staff, what with the much-awaited release of the all-new “Yogi Bear” movie scheduled for Dec. 17 in theaters across the country,” the Milford, Ohio-based company reports. The movie is expected to introduce the iconic cartoon character from the 1960s to an entirely new generation, many of whom may be drawn to further the Yogi Bear mystique at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts across the U.S. and Canada.
This year’s event could be the franchisor’s biggest in years with 250 individuals from most of the 76-member camp-resorts expected to attend, said Dean Crawford, LSI vice president.
LSI, in its 41st year of operation, is undergoing a growth spurt of sorts with four new parks joining in the spring and one over the summer, said Crawford. “We’re hoping to hit 80 parks for next year,” he said. “Right now, the sales team has five or six prospects which will probably be coming to our convention.”
Franchisees should generally be in a good mood heading into this year’s symposium, Crawford surmised, because LSI saw its systemwide occupancies increase by 4% through the end of August, while revenues were up 3%. Anecdotal evidence points to a successful year at many parks.
“We had a Yogi Advisory Council meeting last week (middle of September) and from what I hear, only one out of 10 parks did not exceed last year’s revenues,” Crawford said.
LSI COO Rob Schutter Jr. will give franchisees an update on the state of the franchise the afternoon of Nov. 8.
Franchisees also will get their first look at Yogi Bear merchandise the afternoon of Nov. 9 and be able to order items for the coming season.
Symposiums Seminars: The educational component at LSI’s Symposium is always strong and this year is no exception, starting with an all-day Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance Seminar at the Embassy Suites on Nov. 7. The Yogi Advisory Council will be meeting that afternoon.
Keynote speaker Buddy Rice will present the “Customer Focus Program” on Tuesday morning (Nov. 9). Rice will take his audience through a series of exercises that will help them and their teams identify major touch points that they have with their customers. The goal is to create loyalty – customers who come back and talk about their campground experience to their friends and associates.
Vendor Show on Nov. 10-11: A crosssection of vendors serving the RV park and campground industry will be displaying their products and services at the trade show, scheduled for Nov. 10 and 11. The soft economy may keep the number of vendors down from previous years, Crawford said, but LSI franchisees historically come to this event in a buying mood and vendors say they are happy with the show, Crawford noted.
Awards Banquet on Nov. 11: The movie theme will be most apparent at the awards banquet, set for the night of Nov. 11 at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Trailers for the Yogi Bear movie will be shown, and the banquet room will be decked out with movie posters and other paraphernalia.
LSI tried to bring in one of the stars from the Yogi Bear movie, Crawford revealed, but the talent fee was beyond the budget. Still, Crawford said, franchisees will be pleased with the evening’s atmosphere. Copies of the new Yogi Bear book, “Life’s A Picnic,” also will be available for distribution at the banquet.
Are You Ready for Some Football? By coincidence, the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals will be hosting archrival Pittsburgh Steelers in a Monday Night Football game just across the Ohio River from the convention site the night of Nov. 8. Crawford said convention activities have been curtailed for that evening so franchisees, if they so choose, may attend the game or watch it on TV.
2010 Symposium Agenda
Sun. – Nov. 7
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ADA Compliance All Day Seminar (Including Lunch)
9 a.m. – noon Yogi Advisory Council Meeting
noon – 1 p.m. Lunch
1 – 5 p.m. Yogi Advisory Council Meeting/LSI
1 – 5 p.m. Registration
5:30 p.m. Opening Reception
Monday – Nov. 8
8 a.m. – noon Registration
10 a.m. – noon Welcome/Travel Log
noon – 1 p.m. Opening Luncheon
1 – 3:45 p.m. LSI Updates with Rob Schutter
Club Yogi Rewards Update – Marketing Strategists
4 – 5 p.m. YAC/CARE elections and YAC General Session
Tuesday – Nov. 9
9 a.m. – noon The Customer Focus- Buddy Rice
noon – 1 p.m. Lunch
1 – 2:15 p.m. Increasing your Shoulder Season with Youth/School Groups with Carrie Cirrito
1 – 2:15 p.m. Motivating Employees through Rewards Programs with Cheri Lenhertz
2:30 – 4 p.m. Putting the Fun back into FUNdraising with Holli Rapp & Rachael Stine
2:30 p.m., to 6 p.m. View Yogi Merchandise – sales orders in by 5 p.m.
Wednesday – Nov. 10
8:30 – 10 a.m. So Help Me…Customer Service Program-Jayne Cohen
8:30 – 10 a.m. Marketing through Facebook with Chris Treadaway
10:30 a.m. – noon Theme Weekend Planning Workshop with Bridget Bender
6 – 8:30 p.m. Social/Auction/CARE Raffle
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tradeshow
Thursday – Nov. 11
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Sure Vista/Customer Satisfaction Survey with Blake Ashdown
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Going Mobile/ITI Marketing with Chris O’Flaherty
4 – 5 p.m. Pictures – Captain’s View
5:30 – 7 p.m. Awards Presentations
7 – 8 p.m. Awards Dinner
8 – 10 p.m. Entertainment
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tradeshow
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch during Tradeshow
2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Vendor break down and move out