Despite only being part of the campground sector for seven years, Campspot’s technological solutions are helping members of the outdoor hospitality industry reap the benefits of embracing tech, one successful booking at a time.
Modern Campground recently spoke with the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Scheinman via Zoom where the leader shared Campspot’s journey toward receiving its first-ever Supplier of the Year Award from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
“I think that Campspot’s award here—and it’s actually the first time that we’ve won this award—reflects that we’ve really evolved to be a full-service platform for the camping industry,” Scheinman said.
The award was given to the company at the recent Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo (OHCE2022) in Orlando, Florida.
Looking back, Scheinman said that Campspot enjoyed its beginnings as a campground reservation business built by park owners. Today, it has advanced to be a partner to all types of parks whether multi-parks by corporate management groups or smaller owner-operated parks.
The business has also grown to provide a platform to increase the exposure of campgrounds as an outdoor travel agency (OTA), helping bring new customers to providers of outdoor hospitality.
Campspot’s consumer marketplace helps not only private campgrounds and RV parks that use the business’ reservation software but also parks in North America that don’t use the software.
ARVC’s supplier award is given to an industry partner that exemplifies excellence in innovation, product solutions, customer service, and support—qualities Campspot has been embodying throughout the years.
“I think we’ve been on this journey since the beginning, but it’s really nice to see that we’ve reached the stage [where] the industry is truly recognizing us as a key partner in growth,” the CEO said.
Nearly one in four online bookings at private campgrounds in North America go through Campspot. For Scheinman, this shows the scope and breadth of the platform’s reach and influence—an opportunity to find strength in multiple feedback from various partners and use each to continually adapt to the needs of the industry, he said.
Even with Campspot’s various solutions, however, the intent of the company is clear from the very start: help campgrounds optimize their business.
“We are really about helping them take what they love to do, which is create memorable experiences for their guests; and take what they might not love to do out of it, which is managing the administrative burden of reservations, optimizing revenue and inventory, and making sure that they’re able to provide service to their guests in a profitable way,” he said.
In short, Campspot helps campgrounds make more money by taking some of the business pieces out of the experience of managing a campground to allow campground operators to do what they love most, per the executive.
On Modern Solutions and Life-Long Partnerships
Asked what separates the company apart from other booking platforms, Scheinman said that Campspot was the first modern reservations platform focused on enabling e-commerce transactions.
The industry supplier looked ahead and observed the process of booking a campground—which used to be predominantly done over the phone.
“[W]e saw that customers were migrating online and campgrounds were going to need to adapt to that,” he shared.
Moreover, Campspot brought some of the best practices from other hospitality segments into the outdoor hospitality sector. One such example is inventory grid optimization
A common feature in the hotel and airline industry, this element automatically adjusts inventory and shifts existing reservations around to make way for more availability for high-value bookings.
Another thing the company brought to the table is the site lock fee which enables campgrounds to offer their guest a guaranteed site on the map for an additional fee.
“So it’s been a combination of using technology to help campgrounds adapt to the trends that are already happening in the industry and the world, as well as making sure that the unique aspects of managing a campground are still front and center as the industry evolves,” Campspot’s CEO told Modern Campground.
Despite all, the executive director admitted that Campspot is not ambitioning to be everything for everybody. Since the beginning, the supplier has been exerting effort in taking what it knows and combining that knowledge with customer feedback to continue to evolve.
“[W]e continue to challenge ourselves to get better. I think some of the challenges in that are that not every campground operates the same or has the same priorities,” shared Scheinman.
As a business partner, the long-term approach is crucial in ensuring that every Campspot collaboration is a fruit-bearing one. To do this, Scheinman said that operating with transparency and honesty must first and foremost be practiced. This can be through acknowledging that sometimes the company may simply not be the right fit for a certain campground.
“[T]hat long-term approach and being very clear about what we are and what we are being […] has allowed us to, I think, keep up with the changing needs of our customers,” he said.
By introducing a medium that helps make the booking experience more comfortable for campers and seamless for operators, and another platform that increases parks’ visibility to potential campers, Campspot believes that there is an opportunity to extend more camping experiences for people throughout the country and the world.
To learn more about Campspot, visit https://software.campspot.com/.
Featured image courtesy of Campspot.