b'EDITORS NOTES By Ben Quiggle2020: A Year of Virtual Handshakes?It is a digital worldlike it or notand that has become even more ev-ident in the COVID-19 era.If a pandemic like the one in which we now find ourselves would havestruck 30 years ago, it certainly would have led to higher unemploymentfigures than we saw this past spring. Working from home wasnt an optionbecause the technology simply didnt exist.Hosting a virtual conference in the early 1990s? Forget about it.Fast-forward to 2020 and we find ourselves able to do quite a bit from therecliner in our living room, from hosting meetings to participating in largeconferences. Thats why the announcement by Kampgrounds of AmericaInc. (KOA) that it would host its annual convention in a virtual format didntelicit many weird looks from people in the RV park and campground sectors.Most figured it would probably happen anyway.Following suit, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds(ARVC) also announced amove to a virtual conference this year.But as the August issue of Woodalls Campground Management(WCM) was being assembled in earlyJuly, Leisure Systems Inc.(LSI), a franchisor of more than 70 Yogi Bears Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts,was still planning on hosting in-person conferences. So were a few state associations in the fall.Of course, its a difficult proposition for state and national associations to give up their traditionalfall conferences. Quite a few depend on the revenue generated from the conferences to fund programsthroughout the year. So you cant blame them for waiting to see how COVID-19 pans out. This, afterall, is uncharted territory.That said, there are also a number of unknowns about hosting a virtual conference. How do youensure sponsors and vendors get the exposure theyre looking for? How do you create the networkingthat normally takes place at an in-person event? Most importantly, who is going to build a platform tohost the conference and who is going to ensure everything operates smoothly?The last thing you want is a platform that fails to meet the needs of your organization and leaveseveryone with a bad taste in their mouth. But the RV park and campground sectors have a great trackrecord of meeting challenges head on and we believe that working through this process could makefuture conferences even better.Imagine hybrid conferences where you may host a traditional in-person conference but also in-corporate a virtual component that allows more campground owners to take part.Why cant educational sessions at conferences be recorded and distributed, for a fee perhaps, toothers who maybe couldnt make it to a conference? On the vendor side, maybe theres a way to incor-porate a virtual expo as well as an in-person one, providing more exposure for companies.Depending on how things pan out, this may be a year where shaking hands and saying hello to oldfriends is going to be done over a computer. As long as everyone stays safe and healthy, that is probablya fair trade. WCMwww.woodallscm.comAugust2020 Vol. 51No. 8G & M E D I A LLC Publisher: Sherman GoldenbergGROUP Editorial Director: Gary GerardContact Information: Editorial Rick Kessler, Managing EditorSherman Goldenberg, Publisher [email protected]
@g-gmediagroup.com (734) 777-6830Office: (574) 457-3370 Gary Gerard, Editorial DirectorMobile: (574) 457-6637 [email protected]
: (574) 457-8295 (574) 528-1275Ben Quiggle, [email protected]
Jeff Crider, Senior EditorMobile: (574) 306-7781 [email protected]
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Campground Management is published monthly by G&G MediaGroup LLC at the above address.2 -August 2020Woodalls Campground Management'