“If you weren’t there, you missed some great moments,” Bobby Cornwell, the president and CEO of Florida and Alabama RV Park and Campground Association, said in a press release. The association recently concluded its three-day conference in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The association’s largest conference and trade show to date, the 2022 Florida and Alabama Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo held from June 6-8, was considered a success by the association as it saw a record attendance of 355 people.
In the press release, Cornwell shared that this year’s numbers were higher than last year’s attendance. While most RV parks that attended were mainly from Florida and Alabama, five Georgia parks and some from Virginia, Texas, and Michigan were also present.
For three days, participants were treated with wonderful views and a plethora of networking and great educational sessions from industry experts during group discussions, cracker barrels, and industry panels.
On the very first day, keynote speaker Eric Papp motivated the group and delivered a speech on creating a culture of ownership and improving every team’s performance.
Industry panel speakers were also present to share their knowledge. Steve Manes and Cam Johnson from RVshare, Nichole Poisson from Kampgrounds of America, Veronica Helms from FRVTA, Randy Knapp from Camp Margaritaville, and Mike Nissley from Colliers International discussed industry trends, predictions, and opportunities, as well as how campgrounds can grow and improve their business.
During some educational sessions, topics dove deep into preparing campgrounds for electric vehicles; park policies, rules, and Waivers; developing a business plan, industry trends and insights, mitigating risks and lowering insurance costs; and more.
Meanwhile, park owners were able to exchange ideas during a group discussion and Q&A session on guest ejections and evictions, service animals, housing rules, how to become tax-exempt, and other common issues park owners face.
In other sessions, the association’s legal, legislative, PR, and tourism partners provided informative presentations on how they and the FRVCA are working to boost the industry, and the association’s members.
Delivering his message and entertaining attendees at the same time, Chair of the Board Thomas Sparrow highlighted many of the association’s accomplishments over the past year, including how the association is offering members more value in their membership by increasing resources and focusing heavily on two main areas: legislation and marketing. Thomas emphasized how nothing is more critical to a business than what happens legislatively—especially on state and local levels, and how the group is heavily invested in protecting the interest of its members and growing the industry for the future.
The conference also saw multiple fundraisers where approximately $40,000 was raised for the association’s Florida Campground Political Action Committee (PAC) during their legislative session and through their auction. The contribution effort was kicked off by a call to action from Thomas Sparrow, and association lobbyist Marc Dunbar, noted the release.
FRVCA also presented Representative Elizabeth Fetterhoff (Volusia County) with the “Happy Camper Legislative Champion” award for her support and assistance in previous years, helping the group pass Chapter 513 reforms, allowing RV parks in Florida to be rebuilt after storm damage to their original permitted density.
“It was nice to be able to recognize one of our elected-government leaders who truly understands the importance of our industry, and it was a great opportunity for us to shine the spotlight on the importance of the association’s legislative actions and goals as we fight to help protect and grow our industry for our members,” stated Cornwell.
Exhibitors and sponsors were also recognized during the Appreciation Reception and Dinner. This year’s expo showcased over 70 vendors who occupied every inch of the trade show floor.
In conclusion, Cornwell thanked everyone who made the conference possible.
“I want to thank all of our members, vendors, sponsors, attendees, Board of Directors, and especially our great staff (Pat, Gary, Jan, Angela, and Jennifer) for making our 2022 Conference and Expo arguably one of our best ever. We look forward to working with you throughout the year and assisting you in any way we can, and we hope to see you again at our 2023 Conference.”
The group was back at the Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach, the third time in the past eight years. With attendees returning positive feedback about the location, next year’s conference being held in Daytona again is not far from happening.
In a member newsletter today, the association teased returning, stating: “Rumor has it we may be back in Daytona for 2023…stay tuned for more details!”
The Florida and Alabama RV Park and Campground Association is the official association for the Outdoor Hospitality industry in the states of Florida and Alabama. For more information, please call 850-562-7151.
Featured image from Rob Moorman/Moorman Photo.