Excitement for the 2020 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo (OHCE) continues to build, with a record number of attendees registering in the past week, according to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). ARVC’s Hosted Buyer Program is also seeing a surge in interest, with more than 500 one-on-one meetings between attendees and vendors already scheduled.
More than 410 attendees have registered for the virtual OHCE2020 since registration opened in late July, with 175 attendees registering in the past week. That puts ARVC on a similar pace to last year’s record-setting OHCE2019 in Knoxville, Tenn. and ahead of registration pace for the 2018 event in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Like OHCE2019, which attracted a modern attendance record with more than 1,200 attendees, OHCE2020 has seen significant growth in registrations once the campground season wound down for parks across the country. The close of the season was pushed back in most areas this year due to changes in camper behavior in response the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning many park owners and operators saw parks occupied through the Columbus Day holiday weekend.
“We thought we’d see an uptick in registration in the final six weeks run up to OHCE2020, but the past week is by far the most registrations we’ve ever had in a week, even topping last year’s record push,” says Paula Horwitz, ARVC’s Executive Director of Education and Events. “We knew this virtual event offered amazing value and excitement; we just needed the members of our industry to actually have the time to check it out and get signed up. With this crazy fall season finally slowing down a little, we saw them jump at the opportunity to attend.”
ARVC’s Hosted Buyer Program is an industry first, which promises to save time and money for both parties while replicating the true one-on-one nature of the expo floor. Attendees that apply and are approved for the Hosted Buyer Program get to attend OHCE for free in exchange for attending five meetings with matched exhibitors.
“The Hosted Buyer Program is off to a great start and is filling up fast, so make sure you apply now so you don’t end up on the waitlist. If you make the purchasing decisions at your park, there’s no downside to registering for this program and you get to attend OHCE for free,” says Horwitz. “We are so thrilled about how the Hosted Buyer Program has taken off and know it will be a game-changer for everyone in our industry.”
One of the driving factors for OHCE registration this year has been cost savings passed on to attendees, as well as the opportunity to attend for free as part of the Hosted Buyer Program. Registration for ARVC members is just $299 for a full conference registration (single login) and Add-On logins for attendees from the same park are just $59. This price includes everything offered at OHCE, including the virtual Takeaway Tours which were an add-on cost of $299 last year. More than 30 scholarships are also available to cover the cost of registration for Add-On logins and young professionals (apply for scholarships here).
“We can’t wait for all of our members to join us for another amazing OHCE, one that will look different than any OHCE ever, but is sure to offer the same great education, networking and entertainment!” Horwitz says. “We know it has been a tough year for some in our industry, so we’ve done everything we can to recreate the same great OHCE experience of previous in-person events while passing on as much savings as possible.”
The virtual OHCE2020 is November 2-5, 2020 and registration is now open. ARVC members are offered significant discounts on registration, including the chance to attend for free as part of a new Hosted Buyer Program. To register for OHCE2020 and to learn more about the Hosted Buyer Program visit arvc.org/ohce.