b'EDITORS NOTES BY BEN QUIGGLEConferences Provide a Spark of EnergyIt wasnt long ago that conferences in the outdoor hospitality industry were anemic at best. Attendees would go, take in some educational sessions, enjoy a few network-ing events, walk the expo floor and then go back to their parks. There was a sense that something was missing and, quite frankly, some of the conferences seemed to be heading in a downward direction.Those in the RV industry only have to think about the former Louisville Show to know what happens when a large convention loses its spark or its sense of purpose.In the case of Louisville, some would argue, it lost both.When the COVID pandemic hit there were some in the industry who actually thought the traditional in-person model may be gone for good as Zoom calls and virtual gatherings became the new normal.But the outdoor hospitality industry is unique. It is an industry built on relationships. What we all found out during the COVID pandemic is that while it was great to see people through video mon-itors when everything was shut down, there was still this burning desire to shake hands, give hugs, sit around a table and share food and drinks. On top of that, the industry has seen tremendous growth over the past few years and that means there are plenty of new park owners, developers and others who want to take in what conferences offer.The result? Conferences the past two years have been full of energy and optimism. Even with un-certain economic waters ahead, the majority of park owners/operators and developers at this years events were optimistic about what lies ahead. Developers, in particular, are still moving full speed ahead on projects. Perhaps another positive trend coming out of the COVID pandemic is the way in which confer-ence planners have tweaked shows. There are more expert panels on key topics and more sessions that allow park owners to ask questions.There has also been more of a focus on the expo experience, including more creative booths that catch the eye and more chances for vendors to get in front of owners/operators, like the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds Hosted Buyer Program, which continues to grow.Networking events have also continued to adapt, with every conference in 2022 hosting welcome events and more at locations that provide unique experiences, and it looks like that trend will con-tinue in 2023.There are still some issues that conference organizers face, like how to keep vendors engaged in conferences and demonstrate that it is a worthwhile investment. Do economic issues impact the number of attendees and vendors that participate down the road? If so, how do conferences adapt even more?Finally, is there any way to create more virtual components that allow owners/operators to take in the educational benefits of a conference from their own homes?Conferences are a key part of the outdoor hospitality industry and WCM has enjoyed taking in all of the energy of these shows over the past few years.Hopefully, that fire continues to burn.WCM www.woodallscm.com GG M E D I AVol. 54 No. 1 January 2023&GROUP LLCSherman Goldenberg, PublisherTrina Nissley, Art Director sgoldenberg@rvbusiness.comtnissley@rvbusiness.com Office: (574) 457-3370 Mobile: (574) 457-6637ADVERTISING: Fax: (574) 457-8295 Ally Kollat, Account Ben Quiggle, EditorExecutive, National Ad Sales bquiggle@rvbusiness.comakollat@g-gmediagroup.com Mobile: (574) 306-7781Office: (574) 266-7980Rick Kessler, Managing EditorWendy Thorne, Account rkessler@rvbusiness.comExecutive, National Ad Sales (734) 777-6830 wthorne@g-gmediagroup.com Gary Gerard, Editorial DirectorOffice (574) 266-7980ggerard@rvbusiness.com (574) 528-1275 Scan toAlex Burkett, subscribeDigital Media Coordinatorto our daily aburkett@rvbusiness.com news feed Jeff Crider, Senior Editorand print campinginfosource@gmail.compublications(760) 469-5905 All general correspondence, circulation and display and classified salesinquiries may be directed to the following: Woodalls Campground Magazine, C/O G&G Media Group LLC, 2901 E. Bristol St., Ste. B, Elkhart, IN 46514. Fax: (574) 266-7984Owners, managers or marketing directors of privately held U.S. campgrounds may receive a free subscription upon request to Woodalls Campground Magazineone free subscription per campground. Others may purchase subscriptions at these rates: $24.95 per year U.S. or $35.95 per year in Canada.Email: rvbusiness@rvbusiness.comWoodalls Campground Magazine is published monthly by G&G Media Group LLC at the above address. 2 January 2023Woodalls Campground Magazine'