The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) today announced an exciting new opportunity for campground owners, operators and managers who are decision makers at their campground to attend its virtual OHCE2020 for free.
Hosted Buyer may be a new concept to the outdoor hospitality industry, but it isn’t new to other industries. In fact, it’s been a tried and true method of bringing people together at tradeshows for more than a decade. A hosted buyer program is an event that brings qualified buyers (decision makers) and sellers together with a high likelihood to book real business with each other through pre-arranged face-to-face meetings.
As the industry leader, ARVC will be using these concepts that have worked in hosted buyer events around the globe for years to create new opportunities for engagement at OHCE2020.
“This is an extremely exciting way for ARVC to replicate the engaging in-person experience of the expo floor to our members and vendors, while at the same time offering a significant cost savings for attendees who are the real decision makers,” says Paul Bambei, president and CEO of ARVC. “Our expo is always a highlight of the year, with vendors offering solutions to the major challenges our members face, so finding a way to get them face-to-face in a virtual setting to have meetings that will have great results is a huge win for everyone involved. And allowing these valued members to attend for free is just icing on the cake.”
ARVC will begin accepting Hosted Buyer applications when registration opens today (July 21) at 10am ET. While registering, an attendee can choose to fill out and submit the Hosted Buyer application, which costs the same as a regular registration prior to reimbursement ($199). The application will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Once submitted, the ARVC team will complete a qualification process of each applicant to ensure they are a decision maker at their campground. All applications will be reviewed and qualified and all applicants will be notified if they have been accepted into the program no later than one week after an application is submitted.
Once accepted into the program, Hosted Buyers will be able to pre-schedule meetings with vendors that offer products and services they are interested in. Each Hosted Buyer will commit to participate in a minimum of five one-on-one meetings during the virtual OHCE2020 expo. Following OHCE, and once a Hosted Buyer’s obligations are fulfilled, ARVC will reimburse them the cost of registration. Hosted Buyers will be able to begin scheduling meetings in October.
“So much business gets done each year on the expo floor during OHCE, that we knew we had to find a creative way to enhance the important one-on-one conversations that naturally happen in person,” says David Basler, vice president of membership and marketing. “We want to provide a valuable business experience at OHCE2020 for both the attendees and the vendors, and by taking the time to vet these buyers beforehand, we are able to make that a reality and streamline the process.”
Initially there will be 200 Hosted Buyers accepted into this year’s program. If there is more demand, ARVC will start a wait list. Based on vendor participation, ARVC will begin pulling from the wait list as soon as possible. Not all applicants will be accepted and there is a limit of one Hosted Buyer spot per campground.
“We want every buyer possible to have a chance to take advantage of this program and to attend for free, but also know that space is limited as we need to respect everyone’s time during what will be a busy week. We encourage you to act quickly and apply to join the program,” says Basler.
Last year’s OHCE featured more than 120 vendors set up for business and attracted more than 1,200 attendees for the in-person conference and expo. This year, with the conference going virtual, ARVC anticipates even more attendees to login for the event, leading to even greater chances for networking and sales.
“This virtual event removes some cost and travel hurdles which we are hoping will attract more industry members and businesses to attend our conference than ever before, and we want to make sure they get the full experience of the expo, “says Basler. “We are creating a fantastic virtual expo floor that will replicate this feeling, and the Hosted Buyer Program meetings will be an enhanced version of the wheeling and dealing that goes on at the expo, in hallways and at the events surrounding the conference.”
Vendors have an opportunity to purchase meetings ala carte, in bundles or as part of various booth/sponsor packages offered. Once the vendor has purchased pre-scheduled meetings, they are considered part of the Hosted Buyer Program. Cost varies based on whether meetings are purchased ala carte, in bundles or as part of a booth/sponsor package.
If you are a business interested in participating in the Hosted Buyer Program, please contact Gary Headrick at 303-681-0401.