Whether you call it innovation or just a new approach, there are many changes coming to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
“Where Outdoor Hospitality Meets Southern Hospitality” is the theme for the all new 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE) presented by ARVC Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa and Savannah International Trade & Convention Center in Savannah, Ga.
The change will be apparent, as the education component has been doubled with an eye on a new name.
“We have completely revamped the program,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC CEO.
The newly revamped conference, offering educational seminars and tracks for various experience levels, will also employ a new, more affordable rate structure for attendees. And for those interested in breaking into the outdoor hospitality sector or in opening a park, ARVC’s conference seminars and networking opportunities provide 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,” said Barb Youmans, ARVC senior director of administration and education. “We’re really looking forward to unveiling the new program at our conference.”
The new Outdoor Hospitality Education Program has five track levels beginning with “Outdoor Hospitality Candidate,” which enables startup entrepreneurs 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,” said Youmans. “Whatever the involvement in outdoor hospitality, there’s a learning opportunity to be had by all.”
And, again, affordability is a priority.
“We wanted to make the conference more affordable to our members, especially our small- and medium-sized parks with 250 sites or less,” noted Bambei.
ARVC, by the same token, encourages attendees to bring their families and extend their stay for a vacation in Savannah. With so much to see and explore, Savannah, they point out, is the perfect getaway during the cold of winter with its beaches, Civil War history and haunted houses. And for the first time, the conference is offering a Kids’ Camp so that parents can focus on conference events.
At the Nov. 29 evening Low Country Boil party, attendees are encouraged to dress comfortably and come out in their Jimmy Buffet Parrot head shirts for an evening poolside and riverside. The event will be sponsored by Good Sam Enterprises LLC.
The keynote address for the general session and opening luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 30, will be offered by Tim Richardson, 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 staffs.
Attendees will be able to browse the 120,000-square-foot expo hall in search of the latest products, services and technologies, with more than 150 exhibitors displaying their wares. The expo will open Thursday, Dec. 1, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Visit www.arvc.org/outdoor-hospitality-conference.aspx or call (800) 395-2267.