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News for October 21, 2021

Campground Owners Expo: A Chance For Camping Industry Members To Connect, Engage, And Enjoy

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Campground owners, who continue to offer great family adventures, will soon have the chance to get into a different kind of family-friendly experience, all while learning about how to grow their business.

This time around, campground owners and outdoor industry vendors get to participate in a fun, educational, and inspiring experience at the first-ever Campground Owners Expo (COE). 

The brand new trade show is owned by management, training, and consulting firm Severson & Associates.

In an interview with Modern Campground, COE Co-Founder Lori Severson said park owners have a chance to meet, engage, and network with successful business owners during the show.

The expo will occur at the Branson Convention Center in Branson, Missouri, from December 15th to 18th. Severson said the location is “important,” noting the similarities between Branson business owners and those in the outdoor industry.

“They’re very entrepreneurial. Very often, they end up working with family and close friends. So they have to work through all those same business decisions that we do as campground owners and entrepreneurs,” she said.

She also said that the location is beneficial because campground owners can personally learn from the successful entrepreneurs, picking up a thing or two during their visit. 

“So one of the things that’s very different about this show is that we have opportunities to go behind the scenes to all these different venues and learn a little bit about how they were conceived—how they started, the way that they get guests into their venue, how they keep their family working together, how they choose and pick their staff, and create the loyalty that keeps some of those folks together for centuries,” the co-founder said.

Severson also noted that the show would be interactive and engaging. Contrary to traditional expos, COE will be an entirely different experience for both vendors and campground owners.

“Now this time, you get to ask,” she said in an interview with Modern Campground.

“You get to see how these other entrepreneurs started in their own business, how they keep it fresh, how they keep it new, how they keep reinventing themselves. And, and that’s really what this is all about,” she added.

It’s also never too late for park owners to put money back into their business. Park owners will have a chance to invest in their campgrounds further during the Branson trade show, with over a hundred outdoor industry vendors attending.

Apart from an opportunity to make purchases, there is much to learn from the seminars. Vendors and members can also take advantage of Branson, which Severson considers “the place to be during Christmas.”

“We’re encouraging both of our vendors and our members to go ahead and make use of that and bring everybody together. We’re going to be going to shows and events together. It’s going to be an opportunity for the vendors and the families to mix,” said Severson.

Vendors also have something to look forward to at the December trade show. 

“They will have a wonderful space to be able to display in. It’s one of the largest convention centers I’ve ever worked with. And they’re very forgiving. So we have a lot of opportunities,” Severson shared.

If spending four days of December in Branson while connecting with other business owners isn’t enough, the organizers teamed up with Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS) to prepare an artificial beach area for their large presenting sponsors. The expo will not only be educational, but fun too, with drinks served on the “beach.” 

“The beach area is all made up, just like you’re sitting on the beach,” Severson shared. “And CRS is going to have all the fun things that you can put in your ponds and park around there,” she added.

Apart from companies sharing their business practices, attendees also get to “hear from people who have made it” with the lineup of speakers.

Attendees can expect a solid conversation about understanding and figuring out a goal for their campgrounds. 

“We’re going to have a good, solid conversation about that and a checklist for what to look for and do, what experts do you call in to talk to you personally to make sure that you’re on the right track, and that kind of thing.”

Campground Owners Expo will also have sponsors that the organizers will unveil as the event approaches. As of writing, Severson shared they have four $10,000-sponsors they are excited about.

“That’s the whole focus of the whole thing. It’s all about having fun, being able to spend some well-deserved time with your family, still working, and getting ready for a wonderful 2022. Still, a neat opportunity to socialize with both the vendors and the different campgrounds from different states altogether,” she said.

For more details, visit the Campground Owners Expo (COE) website by clicking here.

The Campground Owners Expo (COE), owned by Severson & Associates—a management, training, and consulting firm—was formed to give campground owners numerous networking opportunities. Lori Severson, the owner of Severson & Associates, and Bud Styer from Bud Styer Associates and Camping for the Fun of It have successfully participated in hundreds of shows with a combined 50 years of industry, campground association, and trade show experience.

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Darryle Busa

Darryle Busa

Darryle is the Editor-in-Chief of Modern Campground. Born in Hawaii, he has been traveling since birth. His nomadic upbringing led him to settle down in Manila where he lives with his wife and six children (three sons and three daughters). He enjoys vintage motorcycle maintenance, taking said motorcycles out on country rides, and the occasional scotch or two.
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