MC Fireside Chats - Episode 63

This week on MC Fireside Chats, presented by Modern Campground, we’ll be discussing the upcoming fall conferences in the United States and Canada.

Lori Severson from the brand new Campground Owners Expo – COE will join us, along with Joss Penny from British Columbia to talk about their respective conferences. Plus, we’ll hear from Joe Duemig a supplier from App My Community about vendor interest in these shows, as well as discuss ARVC, KOA, Jellystone, and state conferences like New York and Pennsylvania.



[00:00:51] Good morning, everybody. Welcome to another episode of MC Fireside Chats. My name is Brian Searl with Insider Perks here as always with Cara Csizmadia from the Canadian Camping & [00:01:00] RV Council and Mr. Darryle Busa the editor in chief of Modern Campground. Super excited to have a show for you today, talking about the upcoming fall conferences.

[00:01:09] So we’ve got a couple of guests here that we’re going to introduce in a moment. Disorganized this morning from my standpoint, hopefully, everybody else is prepared. I just got back from vacation. So I’m wearing my headset. I don’t even have my nice mic on I’ve got a sweatshirt on because it’s not cold in Canada.

[00:01:21] I’m just talking about fall conferences. So I was trying to see myself wear a costume. That’s the story I’m going with it. I’m sticking to it, but glad to have you all here watching the show. If you’re watching us in any of the Facebook pages, please drop a comment. If you have a question for Joss, Lori, Joe, or anything else related to fall conferences, and we’ll get that on the show.

[00:01:38] Talk about it with you. And as a reminder, we’re available as a podcast on MC Fireside Chats later on, if you would like to watch the show too. So we’re going to go around the room and just introduce ourselves. I think everybody knows most of our guests here, but Mr. Joss Penny, do you want to start?

[00:01:53] Yeah. Joss Penny executive director of the BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association? They’re in beautiful [00:02:00] Peters. Columbia. Hi, I’m Lori Severson and I’m with Severson and Associates. Creative name, Lori. I just wanted to say fantastic. I have to tell us to get it figured out. I list the story later of how you came up with that.

[00:02:13] I want to know Joe, go ahead. Sorry. Joe Duemig with that, my community Brian invited me here because as we’ve met on the circuit Brian and I, and going to pretty much every show that happens in the US and a few in Canada as well. All right. And your background, by the way, Joe, I’m in a, one of our customer’s parks her sine Grove lake Erie in Geneva on the Lake, Ohio, and every it’s a motorcoach.

[00:02:41] So it’s Mo motor motorcoach facility. So that’s all pull in a bunch of them face these little ponds. They have them with fountains all over the property. And we have, we got hooked up with a really nice site when it’s own fire pit, two different patios, one with the table and chairs. Really nice place.

[00:02:59] Yeah. [00:03:00] Wow. Nice blue, beautiful lake in the back had to yeah. So it’s been good so far. We’ve only been here one day and then your kids are all out on a golf cart ride. I’m the great Shanahan, right? I’m super excited to jump into fall conferences. Like we got a lot going on and a lot of different variations that we’re going to talk about today.

[00:03:19] I know Mr. Darryle was doing some research on some other conferences we’ll cover once we can talk about Lori and justice too. And Joe’s perspective from a vendor who’s attending both of these but it’s a totally different landscape now. We’ve got justice conference who we had hoped was going to be hybrid event staff at the hotel kind of prevented that.

[00:03:35] But it could be a virtual show for Josh. And then Laurie’s got an in-person show coming up in December here, the first time ever for her show. We’re going to dive into those details. And it’s just interesting how we’ve got both virtual in person. And I think that we’re going to move toward more of a hybrid for some of these shows in the future to just different perspectives, different experiences, and all kinds of different advantages to both sets of things.

[00:03:55] So where do we want to start, Cara? Okay. I would love to hear about I don’t know if you [00:04:00] want to touch on this, but why the transition for BCS. From the in-person plan to virtual and how that transition has worked out. And yeah, I am specific to the ideas forum, which I’m excited to attend.

[00:04:17] Thanks, Cara. I think we can go back to the fact that last year was a gap year, 2020 with, COVID and most of the shows and most of the face-to-face all went online. We had hoped this year, we carried over a hotel, which was in Colona. We’d hope to have our ideas forum in person in 2021 from October 19th to the 21st.

[00:04:39] But. As you caught me, I found out this little Delta variant has decided that it’s going to be very fearful and it has affected both people largely or vaccinators led to the situation whereby wouldn’t open in time to be able to have the conference on in [00:05:00] Colona. So that really spied way back in late July, August when it started to search.

[00:05:06] And so we made the decision at that point in time to go a hundred percent virtual because we had an online that we were going to have 50% on the ground and 50% virtual and the virtual ability allows us to be able to bring in speakers from around North America that we could never afford to parachute into British Columbia.

[00:05:25] So water cut care. Sorry. I was just going to say, I admire the ability to. It’s so adaptable. I know that it’s such a big undertaking the virtual portion. So to start that kind of later in the case, it’s probably a lot on your plate. Good on you for making the shift. Okay. Happy to make the shift.

[00:05:49] In reality, it gives us the opportunity to record everything and to develop the learning center that we narrowly would never have done it. So our conferences, that’s an advantage we’re going to get, [00:06:00] and then we’ll be able to relay those materials out for those exhibits that are there as well.

[00:06:05] There’ll be able to be promoted throughout the year and people will have a voice and be able to see that voice regularly throughout the year. And that’s what we’re hoping that eventually, it becomes our learning center. So over time, we’ll have the hybrid event and everything will be recorded.

[00:06:20] And so we’re ended up with a much stronger. Output from an event that we’ve been organizing for many years. Yeah, we’ve been wasting all of that sitting there because it’s consumed by those people that oppressed,

[00:06:37] I want to dive more into your conference, Josh and I’m so sorry. I had a delay Cara. I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but I want to dive more into your conference, Josh, but Lori, I’m curious, do you have a hybrid component to yours? And we’ll talk more about your view, but at this point, we do not. That definitely may be an option.

[00:06:54] Definitely does make some awesome points and that’s really true. It gives you such a great opportunity to be able to [00:07:00] share other things with other people. Yeah. Joe, what do you think from a vendor perspective? Like obviously you’ve attended virtually from CC before that we had, and some of the artifacts and KOAs and all those kinds of things you obviously attended in person, and we all have a, what are you, what do you think from a vendor perspective?

[00:07:17] How could a hybrid event work for a vendor? So the majority of virtual events for us to not work terribly good since the RV scene was great, there was a lot of interaction with the attendees. And that one was really well put together. But most of the other ones, there was not that much interaction between the vendors and the attendees.

[00:07:39] And so I think hybrids are even going to be harder. I think on a, from a supplier, a vendor side in-person or virtual would, it would have to be you devote one way or the other because I think it would be really hard to have a hybrid or virtual suppliers that aren’t getting too much traction from a hybrid event because your [00:08:00] in-person people, aren’t going to go find a computer and log into the suppliers, and then, the other people, the focus is also on the in-person too. And so there’s not like the putting on the show, isn’t going to focus that much on those suppliers. So I think from a supplier perspective, I would rather do one or the other, I think hybrid will be hard now, again, maybe we come up with some really creative way to make it work.

[00:08:21] But but it seems like that’s going to be even harder than the. And then most of the virtual conferences have not stepped up on a supplier side, I think. So I want to clarify that Joss’s platform, Josh is using the same platform that CCRB used and some of that similar vendor access, things like the speed networking and stuff like that is being employed there.

[00:08:44] Is that correct? Just, yes, we are going to have the speed dating and we are going to have the booth. The difference that we’re going to do is just, as I said, we’re going to take the messaging that you’ve got and we’re going to rebroadcast that messaging through us. And we broadcast it throughout the year.

[00:08:58] I think that’s the [00:09:00] advantage there. I hear what you’re saying, Joe, and that’s pretty good advice. Cause we haven’t got a hybrid camp. We’ve got a hundred percent. And what you’re suggesting is that when we move to that hybrid model next year, that we would have on the ground trade show which would really be the only component that we’d have for those people that are there.

[00:09:18] But we could amplify that by broadcasting it out to those people that can attend is I don’t know how we’re going to do it with. I don’t want to dive too far into hybrids. Cause we got to cover Lori and justice educational content and all the things you have going on and stuff like that.

[00:09:30] But I do think that probably the best way to make it work as some kind of camera in every booth, like a little webcam in somebody’s booth with their laptop and a speaker and then your life you can, if somebody comes up to your booth, talk to them. If somebody comes up to the virtual, you have a live stream or you can talk to them through your mic and your camera.

[00:09:47] And so you just whoever’s staffing the booth in person can, one person can turn to virtual somebody there and then across the table and whatever. So I think that’s how hybrid has to work is so you don’t have to be two places at once. Yeah, it’s [00:10:00] fascinating. I really think there’s so much benefit to like just said really generating and harnessing that content to use as a really valuable tool throughout the year outside of just the event.

[00:10:12] I think I know CCRB CS conference content has provided tons of benefit to our members over throughout the year, since January, when it happened live. We’ve got new members to join who maybe didn’t have access or know about the conference at all, who were able to consume that content.

[00:10:29] And PR and prior members and conference attendees are able to go back and re-review stuff. And all of those things are incredible benefits that you just don’t get from an in-person event. So it’s interesting to see the appetite from the conference attendees for in-person versus virtual.

[00:10:51] We did some survey work after our event and had a really split I think it was 51% to 49% who [00:11:00] were supportive of in-person versus virtual. So I think that type of data is really valuable to assess and acknowledge that a hybrid event is probably your best bet. Appeasing all that section of that group.

[00:11:15] So Josh, tell us about some of the educational content we can expect from your conference. We’ve actually made it a little bit longer than we normally would. We start on the 19th and we’d be very lucky and securing a Toby O’Rourke for the presidency. Campground Canada to sorry, Koa Kampgrounds of America.

[00:11:35] Sorry, we can just change your name. We’ll just swap that out for it to open it and talk about the trends. But really what we tried to do is run two streams throughout it so that there is. So w and we’ve gone out to some different people that we ordinarily wouldn’t have had. We’ve invited government people, arts, kinder, and BC park.

[00:11:58] And I talk a little bit about [00:12:00] what they’re doing in Camping, but from the point of view of Heisman, developing parks accessibility that area, but we’ve also gone to the other end of the spectrum. I’ll look to glamping and alternative profit centers in particular static, RVs, yurts, and we have Heather never get as soon name, right?

[00:12:16] So on a, you might have to help me. I’m not going to put your Blankenship, JJ J coming up from crystal Cove, beach resort, talking about that. We also have our annual general meeting, which would change just the 30 minutes. And we have a provincial update from Shane Devonish from the Canadian Camping & RV Council.

[00:12:33] And then we also have walked Judas coming from the tourism industry association to BC. Talk about some of the recovery issues that we’re facing here in the tourism industry, in British Columbia, which won’t be. The unique to British Columbia, there’ll be something that faces has really forward and we’ve got networking lounges and we’ve got cracker barrels as well.

[00:12:53] Talking about some of the issues that my members are asking me about British Columbia. So I just, wifi, how do we make it a [00:13:00] utility? That’s an issue that really is big on, many people’s minds. And I’m sure it’ll fall in with Joe. The connectivity being a really important part of having to have an app and that you need to be connected to be able to access those apps.

[00:13:13] We do have a presentation on that. So they are convenient and affordable by Joe, sorry, Joe. But he is a member, John Barbara to talk about it, but and then we’ve got an exciting, we’re going to last year we launched in British Columbia, the campus. We launched it in June. It’s nine messages to try and change people’s behavior.

[00:13:34] We’ve noticed in British Columbia this year, there’s been a real disrespect amongst people. Bad behavior is really prevalent in Campground will countries, sites are drinking late, talking to people being pushy. It’s really changed the attitude of people they thought it was post-COVID after weeks.

[00:13:51] Where again, you Farrakhan now that euphoria is as they come into a pushback against having to be locked down a little bit more. So [00:14:00] hoping to have a good session on which reservation software is best for people because a lot of people would have made that switch from being a. Or their own system to an online system because they’ve had to go touch us because of COVID.

[00:14:14] So now they’re shopping for different systems, the whole system, they don’t like that current system and they want to change the system. And which one do they change to do they own, do they make, it would make the same mistake? I align it to when we had the franchise system whereby with hotels when they would just jump from one franchise and the next franchise, and we’re going have to have things like setting your rate.

[00:14:37] Our panel will afford full-time RV years. And then we’re going to be into social media as well. We’re going to have, Brian, doing his Google Facebook research insights. And I think this is really important that people be able to understand that social media does have benefits for them as, as well as the other side of it.

[00:14:54] But also Metro media has a pushback and we’re going to be handling that in our cancellation policies. [00:15:00] We’ve seen a lot of people this year that are really upset with having to cancel and not having to pay a cancellation policy. And they’ve taken to negotiating through social media and pushing back against Campground.

[00:15:12] And so we’re having a big discussion about that too. So I haven’t touched on everything brand. I don’t want it to normalize the the conversation but we do wrap up with a keynote presentation from the new CEO Richard port destination British Columbia. And it’s going to talk a bit about what destination VC, which is the marketing agency for British Columbia, how they are going to push forward with the recovery as we get welcome Europeans back.

[00:15:38] And as we welcome Americans back in large numbers and also as Canadians themselves, start to explore outside of the border, it’s going to change the mix of campus and obvious that we’ve got sounds like a really good lineup. Yeah. Impressive. So exciting. So I want to flip here just for a [00:16:00] second and we’ll get back to just talking about some of that, but I want to flip to Laurie here.

[00:16:03] Who’s bringing us a brand new, never-before-seen thing in the industry, which I feel like is cool. I like change. And I eat at Arby’s a long time ago and different is good. Like we’ve had the same thing over and over again. So tell us before you talk about your, what we’ve got in December, Laurie, how did this whole idea come about and why do you feel it’s necessary?

[00:16:27] You know what we actually, this is a sort of an idea of that I’ve had for a long time. And unfortunately, it’s not just mine. We have as trainers, a lot of us have done things where we do behind the scenes tours and that type of thing with some of the. Some of the people in the industry do well in, especially in the entertainment industry and we’ve for, I guess I can try to attempt to answer on the name here, but one of them, one of the majors does a lot of industry back of the house kind of training.[00:17:00]

[00:17:00] And that’s really what this is really about. Branson always has been a pet project of mine cause they are an interesting community. They very much are like Campground in the fact that they have worked with their members and there in their town and came together and they’ve just really done some amazing things in that.

[00:17:18] The families are all very unique, so each one of them kind of start their business, and some of them have been in business a hundred years. So it’s pretty fabulous. They started out in campgrounds and it’s fun to see how they fill the seats, how they bring people into the town, how they get people to come together.

[00:17:36] And to me, I always feel like if you don’t expand and learn from other industries, at some point, you really go through everything that has been done for a while. This is totally different. It’s, it’ll be going and talking to people who have literally been in business for a hundred years with their family members and have started outperforming in Campground.

[00:17:59] And [00:18:00] we’ll tell you how they’ve progressed what they do for ancillary income, how each family member, participates in some of those kinds of things. So it should be fun, exciting, and totally. Yeah, Branson is fascinating to me. Like I’ve been there a couple of times. My sister actually used to does now she moved and then moved back.

[00:18:17] She lives in Springfield, Missouri. So about an hour up the road from Branson. So we used to do back when Ralph, I own Newell owned the brands and Koa, we used to do some marketing for him. And we just loved, like we went around and did some videos of him, of the local theaters and dinners and attractions, where he stood there and interviewed the people and talked to them about their stories and you’re right.

[00:18:38] It’s fascinating how some of these people who’ve come up and just built these unique, small businesses that are in Branson and you can’t find anywhere else. It’s so cool how they all work together. That’s the thing that is so amazing to me. When we came and talked to them, they would say they were actually like all competitors in the room for where we were going to go or what we were going to do.

[00:18:58] And yet they house spoke so [00:19:00] highly of each other and just said, it’s really just about the experience and what you’re looking for and that kind of thing. And that to me was super cool too, that they would do that, that they all helped each other if you will. And I think that’s, half the battle.

[00:19:13] Yeah. And that’s interesting, we’ve talked about this on the show before about partnerships and I think the outdoor hospitality, all of you industry, all of you will probably agree is unique in that we, a lot of the campgrounds who are nearby each other work together and have a great relationship.

[00:19:25] And so I think that’s super valuable and super like it ties in very well with the theme of the outdoor hospitality industry, talking to a similar industry who does that and does it well, So is that now, is that the only educational content that no. We’ll actually have several of the other things that that will filter in with that, we’ll go from cornfield to Campground and do the many of the normal kind of little soft skill Campground stuff.

[00:19:53] We’ll do a little data stuff and that type of thing, but the big push is really in the way it’s going to really be different is getting both [00:20:00] the suppliers and the campgrounds together to be able to go and visit these actual places, go behind the scenes get information from people who have been running their businesses for hundreds of years and have gone through some extreme changes and challenges, just like all of us do.

[00:20:16] So I think the being able to ask. Questions and the answers, and then being able to come back and say, all right, guys, how do we actually take some of this information and transform it into our business? Because some folks have trouble with the transformation and others. It’s really simple and easy for, so I think it’ll be fun to just chat about it all together to it’ll be a neat opportunity to talk to some of the vendors. One-on-one I think you’re it’s, to me you’re willing to buy from somebody that, and so the more you can get to know them personally and professionally, I think the better off you are.

[00:20:51] Absolutely. I agree. What are you, what do you think of this, Joe? Just from your perspective, but what Lori said so far, I know you’re attending so well. I obviously want to go so [00:21:00] bad that I registered and painted. For me, it’s personal, it’s great because I live in I’m just west of St. Louis. So it’s a hop, skip, and a jump for me in comparison to the other shows that we go to. But yeah, it’s exciting to try to get so many of the states into one area for a lot of different reasons, some of the shows some of the state shows, especially in the Midwest are a little smaller or they don’t even have them.

[00:21:21] They don’t have shows or expos. And so it’s really gotten a loud and some of those states to get to something, see something new, as Laurie said, and not have to travel so far, the national shows are typically on one side and the other most on the east coast. And it’ll allow them to get there without having to fly.

[00:21:38] Or anything like that I’m happy that Lori had explained why it was going to be in Branson. Cause at first I was confused. It’s a great town thing and there are tons of hotels. There are tons of things except flights, but then explaining that it’s to meet with the performer. So I don’t think anyone ever gave just a rundown of what Branson is for [00:22:00] the people that don’t know.

[00:22:00] Branson is a little town in Missouri. It has a bunch of performing musicians and shows. And then just over time has built up to become this kind of huge area. I think some people call it Vegas in the Midwest, even though but it’s just become this real tourist attraction and there’s, I don’t know, probably.

[00:22:21] 50 theaters that are running year long. We’re going to be there right before Christmas, which is another time they shine because the entire place is decked out, and Christmas lights like the middle of October. I remember as a long time.

[00:22:39] And so she used to work at these places at big Cedar lodge and some of these huge places that are in Branson. It’ll be great. I think I think it’ll be really nice to see and learn from some of these other businesses. Yeah, I’m sorry. Don’t make a great point. Then, one of the big issues is for a lot of the smaller [00:23:00] states, they really don’t have a great place to go, and it makes it a little bit easier if you can be a little more central and it’s close enough to drive.

[00:23:08] And some of those kinds of things, I think that will make a difference for some of those folks, even just, getting them to gather and starting to form relationships so that they can maybe form a stronger organization in their state. That kind of thing I think is going to help amazing something that’s clearly been missing.

[00:23:26] The industry in a couple of different ways, but one from a vendor perspective, right? Because I am a vendor, Joseph vendor, those kinds of things, like what you’re talking about, getting the people together outside of the expo, the trade show booth is something that we tried to do with CCBC in our virtual events.

[00:23:39] And we’ll try to deal with the hybrid events from a camp con perspective as we plan going forward. But that relationship building is supercritical. That’s why Joe and I hang out at the bars after the conferences, I get more business from the bar than I do from a trade show booth, almost always.

[00:23:52] Yeah. Brian’s not there to hang out with me.

[00:23:54] But I think that’s a fascinating thing and I hope I can attend your show. The only reason I haven’t registered yet, Lori is because I’m in Canada and I’m [00:24:00] unsure about my work permit status, and we’re building a company in Canada. So I just don’t know if I can get back and forth with all right. If I’m issued that and it works, then I will definitely be at your show.

[00:24:09] I really hope I can come. Me too. I think it will be great. It, it is exciting. It’s a first-time thing. We’ll give it a whirl and see how it goes so far. So good. We’ve had just nothing but great comments and a lot of excitement. I think one of the theaters that we’re going to go to is the Presley’s and they have literally been doing business with each other for forever.

[00:24:31] And it’s amazing to see how the children are raised in the business. And, any of us that have had a Campground for any period of time knows that when you raise your kids in the Campground, it’s just a whole different experience, and so I think, and I think it’s safe, they could show biz, they’ve had to do all kinds of things to help mom and dad’s business.

[00:24:51] So it’s imagining the peer pressure being one of those kids, right? Like your family is around three, 10 years. And I don’t know if I want to go into the business. Maybe I do maybe in adult, but you’re [00:25:00] going to break a hundred-year tradition. If you fail your families. I wouldn’t want to pay that.

[00:25:04] Not imagine I would have to Brian be one of them, like the little pecan makers or something, because I can’t sing a note. So I would not be good trouble. I would have to do something, have to find some other skill, but that’s the kind of cool thing. If you listen to some of the stories, how they.

[00:25:20] Went off exploring other businesses, did other things, and then decided, this is where my heart is. This is where I’m happiest is that type of thing. That, that was one of the questions that I had Brian to the forum was like, if they don’t want to be, part of that business or whatever but they really do a good job of exploring that with it’s pretty cool.

[00:25:38] Hopefully let’s paint them off to get you on stage while you’re on the while everyone’s there. Yeah. She would have to pay a lot. That would be pretty difficult. That is that that is one thing for sure that I know, everybody has their skills. Mine is not singing. I know that. Yeah,[00:26:00]

[00:26:00] I can’t even lipstick.

[00:26:04] So Lori, if you’re willing to share with us real quick, how has registration slash vendor signs up spent so far since it’s really good. We’re very excited about it. And many of the people are really stepping up to make this a fabulous show, not just a-okay show, but a really fabulous show.

[00:26:20] We commercial rack is one of our big sponsors and they’re actually going to put a beach out in instead of a booth. It’ll be like a beach area. Yeah. So it’d be really cool. Some of the major sponsors will be serving the beverages, Brian that you and Joel get together at the bar to get.

[00:26:36] So we’ll be doing that. So there’ll be serving beverages and it’ll be an atmosphere where it’s just a lot more conducive to network. And chatting and having discussions and that type of thing then necessarily you’re solid. Okay. This is my 10 by 10 little space here. And that is the beauty of this location.

[00:26:56] There is just like endless space. I’m so excited about [00:27:00] that because many of our shows we’re going to really confined at the amount of space that we have. But here it’s just like huge amounts of space. I’ve told many of my state people that, Hey, you can have a meeting at any one of the rooms cause there’s plenty of space.

[00:27:13] I wish it was summer. Like we should have a couple of classes and the duck boats that go in. There you go. Cool.

[00:27:23] Yeah. I know the story, but it’s not anyway, Joe, don’t get negative here too only. Good things happen in Brandon. But yeah, that sounds like a really good show. I hope I can attend. So I’m curious, how do you, and maybe you want to touch briefly on some of the other educational sessions you have Lori.

[00:27:39] I don’t know if you want to do it or not, but I’m curious like Josh and Lori if you want to just comment on this interchangeably, how do you decide, obviously there’s a member feedback, polls, things like that. How do you decide what sessions to have? What year is it? What conferences and why. I could start if you want to us.

[00:27:53] I think one of the things is there, there’s a set of things that members struggle [00:28:00] with. And we hear about them all year, what are all the things that are their struggles? So you try to fix their pain points, anyway that you can try to figure out, okay, what sessions would really help them.

[00:28:10] And I was looking at, what are the things that can help them make money, solve a problem? Get ahead keep motivated. Cause I think that’s a big thing, especially during the 4th of July, that type of thing. So that’s how we look at, okay, what kind of sessions should we have Josh?

[00:28:28] Very similar to that. We look at the turnover rate, how many new people are coming into the industry, and how many people are at. As an add-on to that, we also take a look at what trends are over the horizon. Are we going to, we’re going to see in 22, 23, 24 and moving towards the end of of a decade we approach it from that point of view, very cemetery to Laurie, to we, we do to the topical ones.

[00:28:51] I mentioned the cancellation policies and be really on one end. The behavior of people has really been an issue that we picked up on the last two years. [00:29:00] And then the other one is a shortage of employees, which so we can see some of the trends there that you need to do. I think there’s another trend that’s happening too.

[00:29:10] For the renewal. We’re not on our board. We w this is the first year we haven’t had any issue with actually attracting directors. So there’s been a real change and. That is coming and younger. And then, and they’re more used to being online and more used to so true. And so it’s a different type of networking.

[00:29:28] We’ve got a switch on our board because it is happening at this AGM. That’s why I’m talking about it for the first time. We will have more ladies than men. Wow. So that’s a major shift. And so we’re seeing a real change in behavior between people and the younger people. When younger than a fit, most of them are less than 50 years of age.

[00:29:48] So it’s really exciting to see this renewal and this change. And I think that’s why we’re looking at going hybrid and going that way because people in British Columbia at the same as other places [00:30:00] in CA, so spas could get together, but what the virtual does and what online does is it allows people to be connected.

[00:30:10] And to feel connected, but it doesn’t do the same thing that is doing and what Joe was talking about it, doesn’t put them in a bar or a room to be able to look you in the eye and to create that networking thing. And it’s really strange to me because I have spoken to lots of members this year. That’s a large number of people that don’t want to connect with other people.

[00:30:34] I don’t know how you get to these people. They want to consume stuff and they want answers to questions, but they don’t want to connect physically with people. Yeah, we just don’t know. So this is the conundrum that we’re faced with as we go forward, they will still be that requirement for connectivity and touching people.

[00:30:52] But it’s an interesting thing. But trying to come to grips grapple with that, how do we change to, to address that [00:31:00] new phenomenon that’s coming? And a lot of them are consuming information from their peers through face Facebook groups or types of worms like this one, it may never come to actually an event.

[00:31:14] And so I think Lori and I are both in the same business of trying to get people to pony up to the table and say they’re all learning experiences, either in-person or virtual, and you need to be able to participate in that. And how do we participate? And that’s what we’re trying to do when we looked at it as to how do we adapt to this changing environment?

[00:31:37] Yeah, I will say when I was talking earlier about it, I was coming strictly from a vendor perspective. I think hybrid is great for attending Timmy-wise, there are so many positives to it. You can attend from anywhere. So people that can’t go and then, that isn’t there for the networking.

[00:31:51] Cause there’s a lot of people that just go, there’s people that go and don’t even attend a session, when they’re going to the live. So they’re going there for networking and that’s it. Some people are just going for the [00:32:00] trade show, but a lot of people are trying to get something out of it. And so they can do that from home.

[00:32:05] It’s cheap. A lot of times it’s cheaper. They can send two or three of their staff to it. And then, sometimes the economy, depending on the show, they can put it out in newsletters like jobs or six months. And that’s it’s a really big positive for attendees, but I was just talking about it straight up from the vendor perspective.

[00:32:25] Yeah. And I hear you from the vendor perspective. It, you lose that connection. You lose that ability. And then it became much more of my local representative can drop in and see me at my Campground. So I’ll do business with my local representative because they’re here, even though they may not necessarily be the UN and the brand loyalty seems to change too.

[00:32:46] And I was mentioning that with the property management systems chopping and changing, and it’s become more about price and as well as, and the relationship part of it is [00:33:00] yeah. I think you’re so right there. When, when you say that, that connection piece ha how do you make that happen?

[00:33:07] Because if we can figure out a way to do both is it’s great, the more reminders that you can get for people the better, I don’t know how many times I’ve had members say, I need that member. The one that’s just right on the corner, when you turn by the big is there, or, they know right where they are, but they can’t remember their name or whatever.

[00:33:27] I feel like if we can get everybody on that first-name basis, man, that will make a huge difference. So it really is about, developing those relationships. And then I think that price just goes away and teaching people to buy at the show, I think is super important too, because the bottom line is.

[00:33:44] Who really puts on the show that the money comes from the vendors and there’s no other, you can say whatever you want to say about it, but bottom line, I don’t know. I don’t know what trade show is important. By those vendors. They’re the ones that, that [00:34:00] make it work, the money work. And none of us can learn anything if we don’t have some of that money thing happening, yeah. Right in there. And there are two schools of thinking here, like when I went, one of the things I want to address, and then one just go back to what Josh talked about. But with the traits I specifically like, yes, you as Laura, you, like Josh, you, as whoever’s organizing these trade shows can do should be doing these things that we’re not seeing done enough, facilitating the relationships and all those kinds of things that we’ve talked about.

[00:34:24] But some of it’s on the vendor side to a vendor who wants to develop those relationships and not just focused on price too. So a lot of it’s on us. Yeah. It’s a very symbiotic relationship. I think you can’t as a vendor, I don’t think you can sign up and pay the bill and then sit at your table and wait for the people that come to you.

[00:34:44] That proactivity really ends up being what’s. Vendors apart from the rest of the trade show participants. So I think that stuff is vital. It’s it takes a team effort for sure. Yeah. And care. Before I forget, like [00:35:00] going back to what John said about more women being on his board than not, I feel like this is a show that we need to play in for the future talking about women and the industry as a whole because just like I’ll sign up for, I’ll pay double for supplier memberships, because I feel like I don’t want to stereotype the whole male industry, but if women are leading in, it’s probably going to be better.

[00:35:18] But

[00:35:22] so we’re traveling around to customers and some non-customers we’ve been to 10 K in front so far, and I, it’s probably about 50 50 in terms of being run by a man or a woman Campground industry than for the ones that we’ve been going to. So I’m sure there are getting a lot into me a lot more influence in the boards and stuff like that.

[00:35:40] Amazing to hear. All right. Darryle did you have a chance to pull up anything about some of these other shows and maybe we can just comment on them. We tried to have a few more guests on the show. I emailed Don Bennett from Coney. Yeah. He didn’t get back to me. It was admittedly super short notice.

[00:35:56] Invited him on Monday cause I was on vacation and forgot, but we’ve got, do we have [00:36:00] anything pulled up from Coney or Pennsylvania show or some of the other things are coming up here. I’ll put you on the spot. Yeah, I have three. I have the New York show happening in Niagara Falls from October 31st to November three and we have a website we can share and let’s see if I can do that right now.

[00:36:21] Okay. Dani puts on a great show too. They are fun in New York. Yeah. All right. This is the 57th exposition for the outdoor hospitality industry and trade show. That is a mouthful. All right. It’s happening on October 31st, 20, 21 up to Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021. If you could take away yeah. We know and when I want to go through this with you Darryle but do we know Lori or maybe, I just don’t know.

[00:36:49] Cause I’m not attending all these trade shows, but are any of these overlapping each other? Cause it used to be a big problem before, right? You had to choose, I, I know when we were looking for our show that though it was something that we really [00:37:00] wanted to make sure didn’t happen. So we were careful not to be over either New York Koa Jellystone any of those that’s why we’re we are the December show, you know that in France, but yeah, I think that is an important thing at camp, the camp girl professionals, we work really hard to make sure that doesn’t happen within our states because it is difficult for the vendors. So we want to try to make sure that we’re not overlapping. Yeah, I believe Brian, one of them, one of the main overlaps, I believe this year they modified it so that they were not going to overlap this year.

[00:37:36] I think. Yeah. I don’t remember I think 2019 was the first year that nothing overlapped and then I don’t, I think some things, I think it was just a coincidence, but yeah, it’s really nice. Okay. Sorry. Darryle, let’s go through this. I’m going to blow it up here on this screen so we can see a little bit better.

[00:37:50] This is the itinerary that they have on Sunday registration, and then a certified pool operator training. I saw somewhere that you, yeah, I saw somewhere [00:38:00] that you need to bring another, go bring a swimsuit and a towel. So that should be fun. I wonder, is this a, like a like training, how to Campground on her, how to run their pool or I would assume so.

[00:38:12] Yeah. Yeah. Certain jurisdictions here in Canada have different expectations, but I know here in Alberta, if you have a pool, you have to have a certification as a, as an operator, as a manager, you need to have at least, I think there’s even a restriction for how many onsite you need to have or how many on your staff you need to have obviously whenever the pool is in operation and things like that.

[00:38:35] Courses are not cheap and 40 to 60 hours I think and stuff up here. So if you’re able to access that kind of certification through your association, that’s awesome. Yeah. Some of this looks really cool. Like I’m scrolling down the scroll down just a little bit. Darryle you see them a pool water rescue training.

[00:38:52] Yeah. Like I’ve never seen that stuff at a conference before. Maybe I just haven’t paid attention. I feel like I’ve been going forever, but [00:39:00] like CPR first aid training, you’re probably one of those guys that goes and never attends a single session. That’s not true. I attended most of them. All the sessions.

[00:39:09] I can’t, no, I can’t take a joke. You guys know me, so apparently, it’s hard to miss though. It’s poolside. So unless you didn’t really let go. Hopefully, it’s an indoor pool. And I feel like it’s going to be a little chilly in New York in October, but oh yeah. That’s this November. We’re talking about here.

[00:39:31] Come on. Yeah. November 1st. All right, what else we got here? We got budgeting for campgrounds, Kony legal hotline. That’s super cool. Like a Cara. Did you ever watch one of those for CCRB? See, I thought you were trying to do something like that. We have something in the works. I can’t really talk about it yet.

[00:39:50] Just review it on this show. Nobody’s watching. I promise we’ll keep up on the show once it’s confirmed and in place, but yes, we do have something we’re [00:40:00] trying to work on specific to that. So you’d be, as our members would be able to access, legal advice via phone from some specific legal reps and stuff, w for really great pricing.

[00:40:12] So that’s incredibly valuable. Laurie. Do you do anything like that at Waco or do we do it at Waco? Absolutely. We have, we do have a pool school, of course. And then we do have we have a legal hotline that is, is very much used, especially this year. I bet know. It’s great. I think the members really appreciate it.

[00:40:34] We’ve had it for about almost 10 years now. And so the attorney that we work with is really very familiar with Wisconsin law. So that’s amazing. It’s specific to Campground. So that’s always nice when you have somebody trained in if you will because otherwise, they can spend a lot of time looking stuff up and figuring things out and sometimes we figure out the hard way by having a case tried in court, but then we [00:41:00] all learn from that.

[00:41:02] I’ll be honest. That’s the biggest hurdle for kind of sending in our way is finding the right partner who understands our industry-specific and can provide the best support to the membership. For sure. It is really difficult to find that good person that, that person that really wants to learn the industry.

[00:41:21] Because it is very different, absolutely. Then you see, and there are two pieces to it. Like on this agenda here for Kony and I’ll just blow it up again real quick. And then we’re going to move on to some other conferences. But Christine Taylor here is that industry person in the United States that’s really like her parents don’t have to Campground.

[00:41:35] And so as a consequence, I think she found her way here, but a really good legal resource. But from Laurie’s perspective too, like that local knowing Wisconsin, knowing Texas, knowing California, knowing Alberta, knowing whatever is super valuable and important to outset. And so that’s why it’s so important.

[00:41:53] Yes, join your national association, but also join your provincial state associations to what else we got Darryle yep. [00:42:00] Yeah, we do. Here we go. Let’s open their packet cause they don’t have anything on there on the side. So there’s a. Let me see if I recognize any people in these photos, we recognize it.

[00:42:13] Just kidding. You can move on to the real importance. All right. That’s about really. Pennsylvania is celebrating a kind of cool thing. Their executive director is retiring after 38 years in the business. We like 35 and then 36 and 37. And then is she, are you, are we sure she’s actually leaving Laurie?

[00:42:36] Yeah, I know she’s actually gone at this point but they’re going to have a little celebration for her, which anybody that knows her just brings such a wealth of information with her and she’s such a great person. And so willing to share that really is right. Yes.

[00:42:53] February. So yeah, definitely a huge loss for the industry, but a celebration of all the things that she’s given over [00:43:00] those 38 years is yeah, it is really cool. And the cool thing is that she and Jason, the current executive director of Pennsylvania have worked together for so many years that they’re not missing anything.

[00:43:11] And that’s really the great part that, that says you did a great job when you’re with your exit strategy. Yeah. Jason, you’ve got to take over, I’m looking forward to what he can do for that associate or is doing, but Darryle can you hit that plus button next to the hundred percent zoom in just a little bit for us to see up at the top there and here we go.

[00:43:27] Okay. There we go. Perfect. All right. So what do we got here? Let’s see. Ooh, get caught up party. That’s the most important part of the agenda right there. We basically have two years worth of COVID drinking. Did we have one of those, but you’re at your place, Laurie, like a get caught up. We certainly could add it into that.

[00:43:44] I’m sure that we could there’s still time. I felt like trouble with a get caught up party. The whole thing is a get caught up party pretty much for Lori’s event. So the whole, yeah, it’s just a celebration card. Sounds [00:44:00] like singing and dancing. So dinner and the show. Yeah, it’s interesting. I’m seeing things like cybersecurity.

[00:44:10] 21st-century travelers, that kind of stuff is, I think important to be addressing right now as the market they’re seeing, we’re seeing so much shift pesticide training. If they’re, that’s not a real necessity, that sounds. Super exciting. That’s one of those things in Pennsylvania, that’s a mandatory thing for them.

[00:44:31] So it’s wonderful that they offer that at their convention. Yep. I’d like to see a meeting the needs of the 22nd-century travelers. Not rushing. Why? I’m just saying it would be cool to speculate on what’s going to happen. We could have that little Martian from Looney tunes. Digit. The problem with that is the relation.

[00:44:54] The speculation aspect is the problem. Oh, you gotta be prepared. We’re going to have Camping on Mars is the first [00:45:00] glamping place on Mars. Woo. You’re going to be able to charge a premium for that. Oh, to go. I know what I’m saying. So you should be the first one with a license. So anyway, let’s keep scrolling down here.

[00:45:12] What do we get? Let’s see. Hi, a farewell party for Beverly Gruber. There it is. Oh, wow. Yeah, here it is. Oh, I better be able to go to that. Like disco, ball, dancing, strobe lights. All I can imagine. That’s it still, even at her age, so yeah. Beverly actually has a skill. She plays a wonderful, unique instrument.

[00:45:35] I can’t even tell you what it is, but it’s very cool. And it’s a one-man band kind of thing. It’s really cool. Or she plays it for us at the farewell party. I love it. She would ask her I’m certain she would, she grew up in the fair association industry. So she’s worked with the fairs forever.

[00:45:52] So she has a lot of very colorful and fun background. Very wow, absolutely. [00:46:00] And then we got a lot of other cool things here, a destination optimization I don’t know Kim Palmer, but I’m sure she’s very qualified to teach that millennial camper, someone should she retell like somebody should email Jason and tell him millennials spelled wrong, but a good thing.

[00:46:14] We’re not pointing that out by when Rachel’s a very good teacher from advanced outdoor solutions though. Kelly Jones, I think she’s used to be with Kelly Stone for a number of years. And she’s with I’m trying to remember the name of the I can’t remember the name of the firm she works for now.

[00:46:27] Jenkins organization. Yeah. They own a bunch of campgrounds and stuff like that. Christine and is all over the place everywhere and Patrick is cardio in a number of sessions. So yeah, it looks like a really good lineup that they got going on here. What else do we have Darryle so we have Arvik or Jellystone did we find any of that stuff?

[00:46:42] Yes, we do have. Oh, there we go. Perfect. Yay. November 18, till 11. No, November eight to 11 20 21 at the Raleigh convention center. It doesn’t overlap anything yet. So that’s good. Does it not yet the [00:47:00] overlap, the RVDA convention in Vegas actually, it’s the same dates. That’s tough. Yeah, I’m not really in the RVDA that’s not like we should be now with Modern Campground covering the industry.

[00:47:12] But Las Vegas, it’s a fun, fun event every year. All the things should either be in Las Vegas or Branson. I agree. Even John shows too. Yep. We did once to have it once had I one to have it on the cruise ship, but. Oh, wow. What happened with that? No, w the thing we should be all of North America gets together and we go and we’ll go on a cruise ship and we share,

[00:47:47] because here’s the thing, just like you can have that on the cruise ship now and do a hybrid and everyone can attend. So even if you only have 25 people show up to the party for a week on a cruise ship, everybody else can come and live vicariously through us. It [00:48:00] would you’d feel the cruise ship and, and you can do the west coast one year on the east coast and next year.

[00:48:05] Yeah. Fantastic. I’m on board with that. So do we have a little schedule here that we were able to find Darryle or digital events? There we go. Here we are.

[00:48:21] All right. So we’ve got, what are we here in a recession? The future is now chief innovation officer, a financing stop. If anybody wants to comment on any of this stuff, please stop. Darryle where did they do the takeaway tourists? Do they say in advance? I think they did. Is it up there? Yep. It’s higher up.

[00:48:42] Scroll up a little bit. Darryle like a real click on more and see if we can find out it, it does require a separate registration, but I know I’ve seen them post about some of them, oh, there’s no more.

[00:48:57] For boards to learn, to read reviews. Okay, cool. So hopefully we’ll [00:49:00] learn more about that stuff as it progresses, right? Yeah. Keep scrolling. If we want to, if there’s anything you guys want to jump in and talk about preparing parks for disasters, broad topic, hopefully, zombies that we covered in there.

[00:49:11] Cause that’s coming eventually for sure. I’m pretty sure one day, like hundreds of years maybe, but it’s coming like it’s inevitable

[00:49:24] disaster. Okay. Maybe the aliens thing is questionable, but zombies are definitely coming. Okay. Scroll down where we got over aliens. Are you seeing, oh, I’m not serious? Of course, I am not. They got to have a little commentary on the show that makes it fun. But if this is something new that artifacts offering to you and I’m interested to see how this ends up working out, like they’ve got these masterclasses that I think are in a separate location other than the regular sessions.

[00:49:51] And I don’t know why they chose to do that, but it’s interesting to see how these takeoff to why it’s my fault understanding mindset. [00:50:00] This is some big stuff here. I know we shouldn’t take this course. I should probably take that course. You’re on the list. Yeah. I better be at the top of the list, so I don’t know the top.

[00:50:22] It’s a massive agenda. Anyway. Touching on a few things that are really important, like they have a section on insurance, which really is a game. Yeah. Right now you bet. Go ahead and keep scrolling. Darryle all right. That’s some breakouts, ADA, like everybody’s forgotten about ADA. COVID came and everybody was, we were all talking about ADA.

[00:50:43] Like it was the most important thing in the world. Then COVID hit, you’ll see those expectations for ADA shift and adopt a lot of the kind of COVID expectations too. So I think they’ll eventually be married together. But in the meantime, [00:51:00] it’s good. They’re still talking about it incredibly.

[00:51:03] Yeah, definitely. So we got local marketing myths, be shocking electric bills. That’s a cool session name. That was pretty good. That was a great name. Cool. Working with the family business. I like it. Simple things to enhance your business. New guests. Really great book. Yeah. So sessions, that’s a good session.

[00:51:28] Enhancing the guest experience at Disney way. Like the Carolinas association had that guy and I saw him probably 20 18, 20 nineteens up my guide at the conference. That guy teaches a really good session on guest experience used to work for Disney. Cool. That’s awesome. Cross-cultural understanding. Oh, there’s a spelling mistake.

[00:51:48] We get email artifacts. So we found one. We’re not just picking on Jason now. Cross-cultural understanding. Sorry. Sorry. Arvik. We’re just helping uncover all [00:52:00] kinds of helpful things here. So insurance jeopardy, like it, we’re getting ideas. Looks good. Marketing ideas. Yeah. So much content. It’s incredibly valuable.

[00:52:11] So how much is it to go to this? How much does, how much is this going to cost me? Darryl. Darryl. We can’t point out more than one spelling. Mistake it. Wasn’t saying anything. Hulu.

[00:52:27] If it’s showing your editor in chief is showing, I know that’s not parallels fall. He does proofreading all day. But yeah. How much is it to attend this? Arvik show. Okay. Question. Let’s take a look and see. Huh. All right. That’d be able to back out of the agenda. Let’s see. Space is the limited registry.

[00:52:43] Just click the register now and see if there it’s there. One thing that was just passed over is people. Some owners can get it for free by becoming registered hosts. And so in exchange for their attendance, they have scheduled meetings with specific vendors to get a [00:53:00] demo of the product.

[00:53:02] Cool. Okay. I like this. Okay. It says 4 95 for a single registration and a four 60. If you’re for the group, if you’re members, multi-part put us in registrations. Okay. Cool. You’ve got an update now for 95, 9 95 for non-members multiperson registration. Oh, that’s cool that they have a multiperson registration now.

[00:53:25] Some add-on expenses, all that kind of stuff. Cool. So pow will no longer feature your takeaway toward you will just sickle challenges, but that’s okay. POW’s valuable in and of itself by itself. So I’ve spoken at a couple of those okay. Is there anything else Darryle are we missing or already over an hour?

[00:53:40] Wow. Look at that. So time flies, there we go. That’s the last quick, super quick scroll through Jellystone because I’m sure we all have the stuff to do, but jelly. Stone’s a really good convention. I was there, I think for the first or second time in 2019 but speak, you just keep scrolling lunch.

[00:53:56] Excuse the award center presentation. They do a really good job [00:54:00] with their entertainment and the awards presentation. They have a lot of fun. Like the ballrooms are really, I remember when I went there, I think it was 2019 or 2018, whatever. The first time I was there I didn’t bring a tux with me. And so they have everybody dressed up and it’s one of the dinner award presentations, everybody dresses up in a tuck.

[00:54:15] So I had a nice shirt and pants on, but like I was super unaddressed, embarrassed. Cause everybody literally had eight talks on not-suit detox. I don’t have a tux because I lost weight. Like I’m healthy over here. Okay. It’s not my fault. Okay. So I’m noticing the dates for this overlap with Arctic states as well.

[00:54:33] That is tough for operators who want to access more content, especially I suppose this is virtual or in-person only correct. In-person yeah. And our VIX. So yeah, that does make it complicated too, consume that content again, another great benefit to doing virtual is that ability to.

[00:54:51] Watch stuff back later and be able to consume a lot more accessibility. I agree. Overall, I think what [00:55:00] we’ve discovered here is that we’ve got a lot of great educational content cause it’s coming up a lot of great trade shows a lot of great different agendas. People are tackling things that are state-specific national and from a multitude of angles hybrid non-hybrid virtual, nonvirtual.

[00:55:12] And really excited to see some of this stuff come together. But particularly obviously you’ve got Jocelyn Laurie on here, so I’m Josh and I’m really excited to see what 2023 brings with that with a hybrid event and how maybe you can set the example a standard for the industry with how that should work and how that should work well.

[00:55:28] And then of course Laurie’s like brand new, different is good. We have RV. Is there an Arby’s in Branson? I feel like we should find out.

[00:55:40] Yeah, there we go. All right. You’re all invited. Come on now. That sounds amazing. We’ve been spreading the word on our travels, Lori. We actually just talked to the owner of this establishment yesterday out awesome cross. Very cool. Does anybody have anything [00:56:00] to add before I wrap up the show?

[00:56:01] Do we have any final parting words? I just want to say good luck to you guys at these events. I think it’s they bring so much value to memberships and campground owners and the industry as a whole. I really think that they deserve a lot of commendation. It’s a ton of work. And. Yeah, I really appreciate all the effort and the innovation doing this new stuff to really address how things are shifting in the world.

[00:56:29] I’m excited, to attend every show I can. And you bring up a good point too, that people often overlook, right? How much work is involved with these shows? Like it’s not just cool, I put up a page on a website and some people and they’re going to speak. And yeah really appreciate all the things that all of the executive directors are doing.

[00:56:48] And then the board members and the people who put together these conferences and the vendors who were attending, but just the amount of work that’s involved, especially to pivot and create new things, which both Josh and Lori are doing. Yeah, really [00:57:00] excited to see how this changes our industry. So thank you guys for watching another episode of MC Fireside Chats.

[00:57:04] Really appreciate you guys being here next week, Cara, on the spot, are you ready? Or. Open discussion with a big group of great guests to join us, to talk about all kinds of current events, industry stuff would just wing it the first week of the month to talk about what’s happening. This is going to be fascinating though.

[00:57:21] Next week Darryle is working on a press release for us. It’s secret, but we’re going to have the same, like a total of 10 people on for the first Wednesday of every month going forward. You Darryle obviously, but we’ve got seven other really cool people from the industry that are CEOs and executives, and they’re going to join us to comment on this stuff.

[00:57:39] And so we’ll be announcing that and that’s their first week. Remember you can listen to us as a podcast though. We’re available on Apple, Spotify, all those kinds of places. If you miss the show or miss part of it, you can catch us at MC Fireside Chats dot com. Really appreciate you guys watching it and we’ll see you next week.

[00:57:52] [00:58:00]


MC Fireside Chats
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Brian Searl
Cara Braeutigam