This year’s InSites Convention & Expo includes nearly 20 educational seminars led by the most experienced people in the campground business, according to a news release from the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC).

The three-day event, which takes place Dec. 1-3 at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, will also feature the campground industry’s largest tradeshow, with several new vendors who have never marketed their products and services at InSites before.

“This is going to be one of the best conventions we’ve ever had,” said Linda Profaizer, ARVC’s president and CEO. “We have a terrific lineup of speakers and tradeshow vendors.”

The convention will also include important industry updates, including highlights from ARVC’s 2010 media relations campaign and its 2010 Operations and Salary Survey of Park Operators, as well as an entertaining keynote address by Jon Stetson, who will lead an interactive session to show park operators how to tap into their subconscious minds to enhance their creativity and decision-making abilities. Stetson has been invited to speak to many high-profile companies, including 3M Corp., AT & T, American Express, the New England Patriots, Pepperidge Farms, Proctor & Gamble, The Harford, Footlocker and Genetech. He has also been asked to speak to several U.S. presidents.

Seminar topics include:

  • How To Get More Publicity For Your Park: Park owners have three choices when it comes to publicity,” says Jeff Crider of Crider Public Relations Inc. “You can develop and pitch your own news releases to reporters. You can hire a public relations firm to do promotional work on your behalf. Or you can communicate with me and participate in ARVC’s media relations program.” Crider will describe how the news media operates and provide tips to park operators on the kinds of information they should provide to him to get the most out of ARVC’s media outreach program in 2011.
  • Growing Green: Barb Krumm, CPO, of Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, S.C,. will describe how Oceans Lakes implemented its award winning “iCare Program,” which encourages both its team members and guests to be good stewards of the environment. The session includes a discussion of planning, challenges and results.
  • What I Learned From Visiting 250 Campgrounds: Silvana Clark of Soles4Souls has visited parks across the country and will share slides and ideas on low-cost, easy-to-implement ways to improve your park by seeing how other parks operate.
  • More Brain Than Brawn: Let’s face it. Many guests don’t want to participate in three-legged races or lunge down a chocolate covered slip-and-slide. Silvana Clark of Soles4Souls describes a variety of fun family activities that can be done relaxing in a lawn chair rather than dodging water balloons.
  • Biting The Hand That Feeds: Understanding and Preventing Employee Theft and Other Theft: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75% of employees steal from their workplaces and that most do so repeatedly. The FBI, in fact, calls employee theft the fastest growing crime in America. Terrence Shulman, an attorney, therapist and consultant from the Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft and Spending is an expert on stealing and dishonesty. Come hear his talk and learn how to protect yourself and your business.
  • How to Get “Free” Stuff For Your Campground: Clyde Taylor of Taylor Communications will walk park operators through a program to help your park obtain “free goods and services” for your campers. But “free” does have price. You have to know whom to ask, how to ask and what should be provided by your organization in return.
  • The Dynamics of Working With Your Family: Marcia Galvin, CPO, of Normandy Farms Campground in Foxboro, Mass,. will provide 10 hot tips to help your family work together and “keep the peace” in the family business.
  • The Ultimate Business Improvement Plan for Those Who Are Too Busy To Plan: Seven Doable Actions You Can Take NOW To Improve Your Business Tomorrow: Clyde Taylor of Taylor Communications explains how to start making a plan and make it work for you.
  • 20 Groups and the Campground Management School: Mark Maciha, CPO, and the upcoming chairman of the Campground Management School, will explain how private park operators can use the input from 20 Group members to fine tune and grow their businesses.
  • Accounting Fundamentals for the Campground Owner: Donald G. Bennett Jr., CPA and executive director of Campground Owners of New York, will discuss accounting fundamentals from deductions to credits as well as techniques and tools that can help you make each business decision pay off on the job and on your bottom line, while keeping you out of trouble.
  • ARVC’s 2010 Operations Survey/Salary Results: Cheryl Cothran and Thomas Combrink of Northern Arizona University will explain the results of the survey, what it says about the current state of the industry, and how you can use this information to improve your business moving forward.
  • Human Resources – Know The Rules!: Kelly Jones, CPO, of Leisure Systems Inc. will discuss campground specific human resource rules and procedures as they relate to job descriptions, interview questions and the handling of personnel files. Kelly will also discuss the various resources that are available to park operators on this topic.
  • How To Get The Bang For Your Buck With Ancillary Income: Cheryl Smith, CPO, of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Lake Monroe, Ind., will help park operators explore every possible source of ancillary income, not only inside your park, but from your community and your website.
  • Food Service: Vicki and Garry Cole, CPOs, from the KOA in Shelby, Ohio, will talk about how to develop an effective food service program at your park.
  • The Model Code and National Issues Affecting The RV Park and Campground Industry: Michael Hobby, CPO, of Moon Landing RV Park and Marina in South Carolina will discuss what ARVC’s National Model Code is, the intent behind it and how it applies to your park. This is a must-attend class for every park owner or manager involved with code compliance issues. The National Issues portion of this session will be presented by ARVC’s legislative affairs consultants, David Gorin and Aubrey King, who will provide updates on federal issues of interest to park operators in the areas of public lands, recreation, travel, tourism, transportation and small business operations.
  • Campground Emergency Preparedness – The Right Way: Mark Maciha, CPRP, CPO, of Canyon Vista Training and Consulting in Arizona will help you develop a common sense approach for emergency planning for everything from minor first aid calls to large-scale incidents.
  • Top Campground Industry Trends: Rental Cabins and Wi-Fi Service: Mike Atkinson, Kampground America’s (KOA) director of lodging, and Eric Stumberg, president and CEO of Austin, Texas-based TengoInternet, will discuss the latest trends involving private park operators’ investments in rental accommodations and Wi-Fi service.

New exhibitors include:

  • American Bedding Manufacturers, Athens, Tenn.: This company provides mattresses, replacement waterproof mattress covers, wood and metal bunk beds and furniture, army and metal folding cots, blankets, pillows and linens.
  • Celina Tent Inc., Celina, Ohio: This company manufactures tents, tarps and banners in addition to distributing tables, chairs, lighting, flooring and climate control systems.
  • Park Brokerage Inc., San Diego, Calif.: This company, headed by John Grant, specializes in RV park, campground and manufactured housing community sales throughout California, Arizona and Nevada.
  • Puzzled Inc., Agoura Hills, Calif.: This company supplies folding cots, blankets, pillows and linens and has an online catalog.
  • Storm Duds Raingear, Attleboro, Mass.: This company provides quality printed umbrellas and ponchos.
  • Tents for Troops, Castle Rock, Wash.: This organization encourages campground and RV park operators to provide free or discounted camping opportunities to active duty military personnel.
  • Tradavo Inc. of Lakewood, Colo.: This company provides distribution and retail services to small format retailers such as campgrounds, parks and hotels with retail stores.
  • Xcell International Corp., Lemont, Ill.: This company provides a variety of specialty foods, including coffees, bread dipping seasonings, spices, pizza kits, popcorn kits, cookie kits and various desserts.
  • The expo will feature a Park Trailer Pavilion, featuring park models manufactured by members of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA).

ARVC’s annual awards banquet will take place on the night of Dec. 3 and will include a special tribute to Linda Profaizer who will be retiring from ARVC at the end of this year. For a full schedule of events, visit ARVC’s website at www.arvc.org.