The Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE2023) concluded recently, marking a historic moment for the industry with sales exceeding $50 million.
This record-breaking achievement underscores the event’s significance as a hub for innovation and economic growth in the outdoor hospitality sector.
The Expo, renowned for its diverse range of activities and showcases, has become a pivotal event for industry professionals. This year’s edition not only featured the largest number of exhibitors in its history, with 175 participants including over 30 park models and glamping accommodations, but it also set a new standard in sales volume.
A notable highlight was the collaboration between Harp Development and Wizard Works Design Group, culminating in a $3 million deal for a comprehensive water park project. This deal, shared by Amir Harpaz, owner of Harp Development, exemplifies the Expo’s role as a premier platform for significant industry transactions.
Paul Bambei, president and CEO of OHI, emphasized the Expo’s status as the industry’s leading show, attributing its success to the diverse buying power of OHI members. This diversity spans from small, family-owned campgrounds to large corporate parks, all contributing to the record sales figure.
David Basler, OHI’s chief strategy officer, shared the excitement surrounding the launch of OHI at the Expo. The announcement was the culmination of a year-long development process involving extensive member engagement, highlighting OHI’s commitment to evolving with industry needs.
The event’s success was further amplified by its record attendance. With 1,245 attendees representing more than 1,600 outdoor hospitality businesses, OHCE2023 surpassed the previous year’s attendance record, demonstrating the industry’s growing interest and participation in the event.
Educational opportunities were abundant, with numerous breakout sessions and panels. The “Future of the Industry” panel and advocacy discussions provided insights into the sector’s trajectory and legislative impacts. These sessions offered valuable knowledge for campground and outdoor hospitality operators, equipping them with the tools to navigate the evolving landscape.
The Hosted Buyer Program and Takeaway Tours were instrumental in facilitating direct interactions between attendees and exhibitors, contributing significantly to the Expo’s sales success. These programs provided unique opportunities for attendees to engage in meaningful discussions, fostering relationships and business growth.
Networking events like the Slam Dunk Networking Reception and A Night Among the Stars Networking Reception offered attendees a chance to connect in a relaxed setting, further enhancing the community spirit of the industry.
Looking ahead, preparations for OHCE2024 in Oklahoma City are already underway.
Featured image from OHI.