David Korse, the organizer of The Glamping Show Americas is excited about this year’s show and early indications prove that excitement is warranted.
In an interview with Woodall’s Campground Magazine (WCM) at the end of August — almost a month out from the show which runs Oct. 3-4 in Aurora, Colo. — Korse noted that the show hopes to break its attendance record and has already smashed its vendor record.
So far, Korse said that attendee registrations for the conference program are running about 10% ahead of the pace the show saw in 2022 — a record-setting year.
“I don’t know if people are registering a bit earlier because they know us better and the pace will change or the curve changes, or whether we’re actually going to wind up 10% ahead,” he explained. “But so far so good on the conference registration.”
For people who are registering just to come to the expo portion of the show — something that is offered for free until Sept. 15 and then costs $50 — Korse noted that registrations are running 30% ahead of 2022.
On the expo side, Korse continues to see major growth. This year the show created 10-foot by 10-foot booths that will sit outdoors for vendors who couldn’t find a spot indoors or who want to enjoy the beautiful Rocky Mountain backdrop.
Right now, the show has 140 confirmed exhibitors who are set to show off their products, along with dozens of accommodation suppliers that are going to once again be setting up units outdoors for attendees to walk through.
The show features an expo that is open starting at 10 a.m. each day to allow attendees to peruse vendors during breaks in the conference programming.
Korse told WCM that the show offers attendees a chance to see more products and accommodation units over two days than they probably could see over a year or more.
“There is no better return on investment of your time if you’re in this market and if these products and services are important to your business, to be here, to interact, to network, to learn and to play show and tell,” he explained. “To touch and feel, engage and experience these products and services in person for yourself. What is the saying, a picture is worth 10,000 words? If a picture is worth 10,000 words, then face-to-face is worth 100,000 words. Nothing beats the personal experience in my mind.”
Speaking of an immersive experience, The Glamping Show Americas is going to once again be offering an on-site glamping experience through a partnership with Stout Tent. Last year, a few dozen attendees were able to stay on-site and enjoy a stay in canvas tents and Korse noted that it was a popular feature, so they are offering even more tents this year.
Known as the Glamping Village, Korse said that guests can book a stay for Sunday (Oct. 1) through Tuesday night.
“If someone wants to just stay for one or two nights, they can, but the price is the same,” noted Korse.
Korse told WCM that each tent comes with chairs, a table, furnishings, Wi-Fi, electricity and more.
“We have around 30 tents confirmed so far,” he explained.
On Oct. 2 the show will be hosting its Pre-Show Workshops, “Funding Your Glamping Business” and “Glamping Business Basics.”
The “Funding Your Glamping Business” workshop is moderated by Ruben Martinez, the president of the American Glamping Association (AGA) and features Paul Bosley, founder of the Business Finance Depot, and Peter Mack, founder and CEO of Collective Retreats, among others. The workshop will focus on how attendees can secure capital for their next project including discussions on the “many ways available for glamping businesses to access capital for their projects, including traditional debt sources, equity, seed funding, equipment financing and more.”
Session two will focus on “Business Plan Basics” with JamieRose Briones, chief development officer with Outside Capital, which focuses on creating a business plan and pitch deck.
A final session will feature a look at “Exploring Business Exit Strategies for Glamping Operators” with Blake Nielsen, managing director of Black Iron Advisers; David Smith, founder and managing principal of Outside Capital; and Steven Nunez, managing director of Whitman Peterson. The panel will be moderated by Martinez.
The popular “Glamping Business Basics” in the afternoon will feature several sessions that will help veterans and those new to the industry. Topics include glamping park design, risk mitigation and more.
“We have so many people who are either looking at entering the market or are in the middle of the process,” said Korse. “This 50,000-foot overview of the business of glamping has been popular and people seem to think it gives them great value and prepares them better for the rest of the conference.”
The Pre-Show Workshop is an add-on to the two-day conference program and attendees can register for this workshop separately.
Looking at the show’s main program, which kicks off on Oct. 3, some big names pop out on the schedule, with the show featuring speakers that have years of experience in the outdoor hospitality industry. Korse said that he is excited to be releasing the first annual Glamping Americas State of the Industry Report during an opening session with Scott Bahr, president of Cairn Consulting Group, which did the research for the report.
“This takes a look at what the operators are seeing in the industry,” he explained. “What do you think is happening? Are you seeing growth or average daily rates going up? How much did it cost you to set up your business? Things like that.”
Other speakers include Sarah Riley, CEO of The Glamping Academy; Christine Taylor, a partner at The Towne Law Firm; Josh Bell, vice president of operations and finance for Kampgrounds Enterprises Inc.; Whitney Scott, vice president of corporate strategy for Kampgrounds of America Inc.; and more.
- Glamping Americas 2023 State of the Industry Report
- Worldwide Travel Trends in Glamping Hospitality
- It’s a “No Rainer.” Protect Yourself from a Legal Storm
- Campsites to Glamping: Seamless Guest Experiences
- Behind the Scenes of Building a Brand
- Math That Works. Amenities = Rate + Occupancy
- Is Your Glamping Resort ADA Compliant
- Strategic Pricing: How to Maximize Occupancy and Profit
“We work to keep the conference completely fresh and new every year,” said Korse. “While we have had more moderated panels in the past, this year we are featuring more solo speakers because the topics lend themselves to solo speakers.
“We do surveys after each event and that helps guide what we want to feature in the coming year,” he added.
Networking events include the return of Taco Tuesday, which was a hit last year and saw a large majority of attendees stick around for some food and conversation. Lunch each day of the event also offers a chance for attendees to network.
The show is also bringing back its e-bike experience through a partnership with Magnum Bikes.
“We will be using the equine arena and they are going to be giving people a chance to take laps around the 30,000-square-foot building,” Korse noted. “Last year, we only allowed them to do them during certain hours just to make it easier for people, but so many people backed up and didn’t get a chance. This year, during all the show hours, the e-bike ride demos will be available.”
When asked what he is most excited about, Korse was caught in a rare moment where he couldn’t answer. He noted to WCM that the show’s organizers work to plan the event to give every attendee the most value and that this year is no exception.
“We just want everyone to say ‘I did a good thing. It was a good decision to participate in this,’” Korse said. “We are so focused on that; I don’t know if we take a step back as often as perhaps we should and take that 50,000-foot look. I just know that the event grows every year. That’s probably what gives us the most satisfaction, is that people, for the most part, appear very happy.”
To learn more about The Glamping Business Americas and to register, head to www.glampingshow.us.