In the spirit of celebrating its 60th anniversary, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) is going bigger than ever for the 2022 KOA Convention and Expo in Orlando, Florida this coming November where unique products and services await attendees.
“[B]ecause it’s our 60th [and] because we knew we wanted to kind of have a big party, we wanted to let everyone have access—private access actually—to our opening night, which is at Universal Studios,” KOA Vendor Relations Manager Sandra Nash told Modern Campground.
For the 2022 KOA Expo, the hall is 25% more spacious than the previous shows. This allows the exhibitors to bring more items for them to showcase to potential clients, Nash said.
Something new this year, per the vendor relations manager, is that the expo will open its doors earlier to give way to campground owners who want to decompress and just enjoy their evenings exploring the area.
Also, while “oldie but goodie” vendors will be present, companies offering interesting products like grass flip-flops are joining the fun this year.
Other registered exhibitors include a dog wash company, an outdoor fitness equipment company, a laser tag company, and more.
Campground owners shouldn’t miss the event as it provides a platform for industry members to connect with each other and see the products they will invest in face-to-face, Nash said.
Furthermore, it gives park owners the opportunity to meet the vendors and establish relationships.
“It’s very engaging,” she said.
“[I]t’s really important for our campgrounds to not only kind of have that face to face, but they also want a touch-and-feel product. They want to know what they’re buying,” she added.
Checking out products in person also assures that campers are only offered the best during their stay.
“So I think it’s really important to the campgrounds to understand what they’re buying, not only for their camp stores but for their campgrounds. They want to walk in those lodges and really see what that experience is going to feel like.”
A staple event not only for KOA owners but also suppliers, the KOA Expo sees about over half (65%) of its vendors returning every year, as per the vendor relations manager. For this year, about 141 have already booked their slot in the expo hall.
“Our vendors this year, count-wise, are kind of right in line where we’re going to be. But they’re choosing bigger spaces. So I think they’re intending to bring more stuff, have a more substantial […] offering and appearance in the expo hall,” KOA’s Nash said.
As for the effects of inflation, she believes that vendors selling products regularly needed at campgrounds will not feel the pain as much as companies offering unique products.
“So I think we’ll see it more on the camp store vendors where they’re going to go to their tried true tested vendors that they’ve been using for years and they know they can sell that product versus some of the new ones that we have because they’re unsure of what 2023 holds. And [think] ‘will the campers be interested in buying that?’” she shared.
Still, vendors are faring well, with some even planning to offer special discounts, said Nash.
The 2022 KOA Expo is slated for November 16-17 at the Orange County Convention Center – West Hall.
To learn more about vendor registration, visit http://koasupplier.com/convention-expo/ or email KOAsupplier@koa.net.