There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as free registration to the 2020 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo (OHCE). The OHCE Hosted Buyer Program will allow the key decision makers at campgrounds to attend the premier event on this year’s outdoor hospitality calendar at no cost.
So, what is a Hosted Buyer Program? How does it work? And how does a park owner, operator or manager apply to join this program? David Basler, ARVC’s vice president of membership and marketing answers these frequently asked questions, and more, to help you learn more so you can apply to become a part of the Hosted Buyer Program.
What is a Hosted Buyer Program?
David Basler: The Hosted Buyer Program at OHCE2020 is an exciting new opportunity that brings qualified buyers—campground owners, operators and managers who are decision makers at their campground—and sellers together with a high likelihood to book real business with each other through pre-arranged, virtual face-to-face meetings at OHCE2020.
It serves to replicate the engaging in-person experience of the expo floor, always a highlight of the year, to our members and vendors, while at the same time offering a significant cost savings for attendees who are the real decision makers.
What qualifies someone to be a key decision maker for a park?
DB: Key decision makers are owners, operators or managers of an active park or a park in development, who can sign contracts or otherwise purchase products and services.
How many Hosted Buyers can there be from each campground?
DB: We want as many different campgrounds to be involved as possible, so each campground will be limited to one (1) Hosted Buyer accepted to the program.
And if you’re part of this Hosted Buyer Program, you get to attend OHCE for free?
DB: Yes, once a qualified Hosted Buyer fulfills all their obligations at OHCE2020, ARVC will refund their $199 registration. Refunds will be completed within two (2) weeks of the close of OHCE2020.
What are Hosted Buyers obligated to do at OHCE2020?
DB: Each Hosted Buyer will be required to attend 5-10 pre-scheduled meetings with participating vendors at the OHCE2020 virtual tradeshow. That’s it. It’s about having quality meeting with vendors, because in this program the pre-scheduled meetings are set up based on the specific needs of the Hosted Buyer. In the application process, you tell us what products and services you are interested in or looking to purchase in the next 6-12 months, and we will match you up with vendors who offer those products and services. It removes the awkward introductions and lets you and vendor get down to business.
So, what do I have to buy? Is there a spending requirement?
DB: You don’t have to buy anything, though most key decision makers at parks come to OHCE with the intention of researching and purchasing products at the Expo. We are just facilitating these one-on-one meetings between you and the vendor so you can quickly get business done.
It’s a win-win. As a Hosted Buyer you're able to focus your attention on products and services that fit your needs, you can have an easier time comparing businesses and you get to save money on your OHCE registration. The businesses can better prepare for the meeting to focus on your needs, schedule their sales staff accordingly and know that you’re a serious buyer to better allocate their time and energy.
Sounds great. How do I apply?
DB: An attendee will go to the OHCE registration page and select the Hosted Buyer ticket option. They will register and pay for OHCE2020 and fill out a quick application, which should take only 5-10 minutes to complete. Once submitted, the ARVC team will complete a qualification process of each applicant to ensure they are the/a decision maker at their campground.
What is in the Hosted Buyer application?
DB: Applicants are asked for the following: 1) basic contact information; 2) details about their campground and their role as a decision maker; 3) to select which products/services they plan on purchasing in the next year; and 4) provide a brief review of purchases made in the past year.
Am I automatically accepted as a Hosted Buyer just by submitting an application?
DB: No. Submitting an application DOES NOT mean you are automatically a Hosted Buyer. Your application will be reviewed to qualify you as a decision maker at your campground before you are accepted into the Hosted Buyer Program. All applicants will receive a confirmation email detailing next steps within a week of submitting an application.
What happens to my registration fee if I don’t fulfill my obligations as a Hosted Buyer?
DB: If a qualified Hosted Buyer does not attend the required number of pre-scheduled meetings, ARVC reserves the right to withhold the refund of the $199 registration fee. You will still be registered for OHCE2020 and able to take full advantage of all the learning and networking opportunities presented.
How many Hosted Buyers will be accepted?
DB: Initially there will be 200 Hosted Buyers accepted into this year’s program. We encourage you to move fast to apply, as space is limited, and spaces are filling fast. If there is more demand, we will start a wait list and try to create more opportunity, but based on vendor participation, we cannot guarantee availability.
I’m not an ARVC member. Can I be a hosted buyer? DB: No. The Hosted Buyer Program is exclusive to campground and associate members only. If you are not an ARVC member and interested in becoming part of the Hosted Buyer Program, contact the ARVC membership team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get you signed up and set to apply to join the Hosted Buyer Program.
I have something to sell. How does the Hosted Buyer Program work if I am a vendor?
DB: Vendors have an opportunity to purchase meetings ala carte, in bundles or as part of various booth/sponsor packages offered. Vendors will apply much in the same way as attendees, but the application is shorter and once the vendor has purchased pre-scheduled meetings, they are considered part of the Hosted Buyer Program.
What does it cost to join the Hosted Buyer Program as a vendor? DB: Cost varies based on whether meetings are purchased ala carte, in bundles or as part of a booth/sponsor package. For more information, contact Gary Headrick at email@example.com or 303-681-0401 x130.
Anything else I should know?
DB: We are excited to be debuting this Hosted Buyer Program. As the first program of its kind in the outdoor hospitality industry, we know there will be plenty of questions, but we are confident it will be a huge leap forward to connect attendees and exhibitors at our conferences—both virtual and in-person. We encourage you to reach out to the ARVC team with any questions and if we can be of any assistance to help you apply to join this program or register for OHCE2020.
Those interested can register for OHCE2020 and learn more about the Hosted Buyer Program and virtual conference at arvc.org/OHCE. If you have questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-681-0401.
More Information about OHCE2020
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.
If you are a business interested in participating in the Hosted Buyer Program, please contact Gary Headrick at 303-681-0401 x130.
About National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC)
ARVC, a leader in the outdoor hospitality industry, is the only national association dedicated to representing the interests and needs of private RV parks and campgrounds in the US and Canada. We are deeply committed to providing our nearly 3,000 members exclusive access to continuing education, networking, business and marketing tools, member-only benefits and discounts, and advocacy at the local, state and national levels. For more information about ARVC, visit our website at www.arvc.org.
About the Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo (OHCE)
The virtual OHCE2020 will take place November 2-5, 2020—the same dates the in-person event was scheduled. You can view a full breakdown of the pricing and register for the conference at arvc.org/OHCE. ARVC will announce additional details about OHCE2020 in the upcoming weeks, including keynote speaker, the virtual expo floor logistics, takeaway tours, sessions, learning tracks, speakers, new content and more. OHCE2020, originally planned to be held in Daytona Beach, Fla., is typically a four-day event, including more than 40 educational seminars, a trade show with more than 120 vendors, tours of local campgrounds, ARVC’s Awards of Excellence program and more.