A special thanks to everyone who joined us in beautiful Knoxville, Tenn. on November 4-7 for our annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE). It was great to see so many familiar faces and to welcome so many new friends who are now in the process of building or opening new parks. We set a modern attendance record this year, which shows just how much our industry is growing and thriving!
There were so many highlights during the week that it’s hard to list them all, but a few that come to mind are:
- Monday’s Takeaway Tours where the owners of three ARVC member-parks, Big Meadow Family Campground, Townsend/Great Smokies KOA and Little Arrow Outdoor Resort graciously welcomed OHCE attendees and shared their park management expertise. And after touring the very impressive headquarters of Clayton Homes, none of us will ever look at a tiny home or Park Model RV (PMRV) the same way again!
At Tuesday’s Opening General Session, two-time Big 10 football champion Kyle Sanders not only taught us about goal setting, perseverance and teamwork—he made these concepts come to life in a fun, interactive way with the help of two good natured teams from the audience.
Wednesday’s “Trends and Insights” presentation by KOA President and CEO Toby O’Rourke gave us a valuable, research-backed overview of where our industry stands today. Plus, it gave us an intriguing preview of what the camping experience might look like in the future.
- Industry experts presented over 40 education sessions on a wide range of topics, including the extremely popular reservations systems panel. We hope everyone returned to their parks equipped with plenty of great insights and ideas.
- Our sold-out Expo attracted more than 140 vendors, making it easy for attendees to find the best products and services our industry has to offer. They ranged from recreational equipment, store merchandise, insurance and software to tiny homes, PMRVs, tents and covered wagons!
Now that OHCE2019 is in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start making plans for next year. We look forward to seeing each of you in Daytona Beach, Fla. for OHCE2020 on November 2-5. Registration is now open. Register before May 1st for our early bird special!