After a few cancellations and rescheduling, the TACO Meeting & Trade Show will finally push through this year.
On September 14th and 15th, a healthy amount of campground owners and vendors are expected to gather at a more spacious location —The Lone Star Convention Center in Conroe, Texas.
Brian Schaeffer, the Executive Director of Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO), expressed his enthusiasm with Modern Campground.
“We’re excited about the venue. Our attendance is off the charts. We have about 200 campground folks coming, and then we have another 150 vendor folks coming,” he said.
The TACO shows have been held at large campgrounds in the previous years, but the organizers saw it fit to find a larger accommodation this year. This is all thanks to the tradeshow’s growth.
As part of the growing tradeshow, this year, new exhibitors include Hytropy, JLM Construction & Development, JTACR Real Estate Group, Pandion Alliance, PlainsCraft Covered Wagons, Plaster of Paradise, Spot2Nite, WIDE OPEN WI-FI service of Global Satellite Solutions, Wildthings Snap-Ons LLC.
Glamping accommodations and park models exhibitors include Athens Park/Champion Home Builders, Conestoga Wagon Company, LLC., Leland’s Cabins, and Plainscraft Covered Wagons.
However, not everything went smoothly for the association. Last week, the TACO Show Trailer, which saw some years of the tradeshow, had been stolen. They bought the TACO trailer 3 years ago and outfitted it with shelves, fans, electricity.
Nevertheless, this did not stop the association from preparing for the event. A trailer has been rented, and they will “make do as we make do for this show.”
The group hopes to raise enough money for a new trailer at the fundraising event scheduled for Tuesday, September 14th.
“Aside from this being the biggest TACO show I have been involved in over the last 15 years, there is the added pressure on Lisa (Rhodes), TACO Administrative Assistant, and Debra (Schaeffer), TACO Co-Executive Director, to replace almost all of our show items because someone stole the TACO Show Trailer a week ago from our offices. The TACO auction will be raising funds for more than just our Government Affairs program. We need another trailer, but due to supply-chain issues, there aren’t any to be found.” said Michael Moore, TACO Assistant Executive Director.
The night will also be allotted for big fundraising auctions where the proceeds will primarily be used to fund their government affairs program.
Apart from providing educational seminars and marketing programs, TACO also pushes for legislative initiatives. These include fighting for campground owners’ rights with Texas agencies and the Texas legislature, supporting campgrounds with legal assistance, and providing legal forms and documents to use while operating a campground in Texas.
Schaeffer also said that vendors and campground owners have much to look forward to during the show. Tuesday’s kick-off will witness a general meeting, some general association business, discussing legislative matters for the year, and a little input on life during and (hopefully) after COVID.
Several classes ranging from software, insurance issues to park models will take place in the afternoon. They will also have a night park model round table.
There will also be a park model chorale on the outside displaying park models, covered wagons, restroom buildings, and more.
The association has also organized something exciting for the attendees for the following day, which will also be the last day of the TACO Meeting & Tradeshow.
“We brought in some really terrific entertainment this year,” said Schaeffer.
The morning show will kick off with country music artist Linda Davis and her husband Lang Scott, followed by famous DJ and comedian Bill Whyte.
The trade show will consume a good part of the day, followed by more classes in the afternoon dealing with everything from ADA to Insurance and Marketing. Dinner will then conclude the show.
“We’re now on track and have a lot of pent-up energy for this show scheduled for September 14th and 15th,” Schaeffer said.
The Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) represents over 400 private parks in Texas. In 1972, the group had a significant consumer-facing magazine, the most widely used website for Texas campgrounds, and a legislative presence in Austin.
The association is a prime driver of tourism-related legislation and instrumental in fighting legislation detrimental to its members. Holding a board seat in the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA) and leadership in other states camping associations, TACO offers its members cutting-edge opportunities to Promote & Protect their businesses.
TACO produces Spring and Fall conferences that feature park tours, educational classes, and the largest industry tradeshow in the Southwest. Money-saving and revenue-producing opportunities abound.