ARVC Revamps Outdoor Hospitality Confab
‘Where Outdoor Hospitality Meets Southern Hospitality’ is the theme for the all new 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo (OHCE).
The event is presented by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, with pre-conference events taking place Nov. 28-29 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa and Savannah International Trade & Convention Center.
Savannah, Ga., known for its Southern charm and history, plays host to the 3,300-member association’s annual conference, which welcomes RV park and campground owner members and non-members plus — new for 2011 — the entire outdoor hospitality industry is invited.
The newly revamped conference offers educational seminars and tracks for various experience levels and industry affiliates. Plus, new for 2011, a new rate structure for attendees makes the conference more affordable.
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’s senior director of administration and education.
The new Outdoor Hospitality Education Program has five track levels beginning with outdoor hospitality candidate, which offers start up 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,” said Youmans.
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,” said 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, Bambei explained. 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.
The keynote address for the general session and opening luncheon will be offered by Tim Richardson 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, Youmans explained.
In addition to the 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. More than 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,” said Youmans.
The expo will open Dec. 1 from 4-8 p.m. and will re-open Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information and to register early for the Early Bird discounted pricing, visit www.arvc.org/outdoor-hospitality-conference.aspx or call 800.395.2267.