Editor’s note: This column was written by officials at the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
These days, time is an invaluable commodity. We all need more of it. About the only thing you probably need more than time, is money, so what would you say if I told you there’s a way to save time and money at this year’s Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo 2021?
It’s easy. Just register for the conference and apply to be a Hosted Buyer between now and Oct. 1. As a Hosted Buyer, you’ll be eligible for a full refund of your OHCE2021 registration fee.
National ARVC’s Hosted Buyer Program connects a park’s qualified decision-maker (usually owners, operators and/or managers at RV parks/resorts, campgrounds or glamping businesses) with participating OHCE2021 exhibitors. Based on your needs, you schedule your own Hosted Buyer appointments with participating exhibitors on days and times that work for you both. The goal is to save you time because you’re meeting with exhibitors at a pre-scheduled appointment. You know your schedule, choose your exhibitors to meet with, and you’re getting paid to do it!
It takes the guesswork out of getting business done. There’s no obligation to buy products or services at the event, but you’ll certainly want to based on the savings, solutions and products offered by our amazing participating exhibitors.
“I appreciated the opportunity to attend last year’s OHCE2020 as a hosted buyer,” says Joy Brady, of Red Coach Resort, an ARVC-member park in Toney, Alabama. “I met with all the exhibitors on my schedule and others as well. This was priceless information, and we have either purchased from or scheduled to use many of the suppliers we met with at the Expo.”
ARVC introduced the Hosted Buyer Program concept to the industry at last year’s virtual OHCE2020, and is certain this year the in-person experience is going to be even better. Hosted Buyers will enjoy an experience at OHCE2021 like never before in our industry — with VIP “skip-the-line” registration at check-in, the opportunity to relax and recharge in a dedicated lounge with refreshments, entertainment and device charging stations, and quiet meeting space to meet and network with exhibitors and other hosted buyers.
The ARVC Hosted Buyer Program is still new to many in the industry so there are bound to be lots of questions.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
Q: When are the appointments?
A: All appointments will take place during OHCE2021 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 9-11.
Q: Will the appointments conflict with education sessions?
A: No. Hosted Buyer appointments will take place during times when no education sessions are happening, so you won’t miss a thing by participating.
Q: How long is each appointment?
A: Each appointment slot is 20 minutes and is intended to be an opportunity for you to meet with the participating exhibitor, get to know each other, ask a few questions and then set up the next steps if the fit is right.
Q: How will appointments be scheduled?
A: Unlike last year, where ARVC staff scheduled all the appointments, this year you get to select your own appointments and which participating exhibitors you want to meet with. After being approved as a Hosted Buyer, you’ll be given early access to the OHCE2021 mobile event app (sponsored by Astra) on Oct. 1 so you can begin to schedule your time. You’ll be able to see when participating exhibitors are available and set up the time to meet. Exhibitors will also be able to request to meet with you and you can choose to accept or decline the request.
Q: Who is eligible to participate?
A: Only active campground members of ARVC are eligible to participate. The program is not open to associate members or non-ARVC members of the industry.
Q: What do I get as a Hosted Buyer?
As a Hosted Buyer, you will gain access to all education sessions, networking with the industry’s best, and schedule at least six face-to-face meetings with any participating exhibitors that fit your everyday needs — all at no cost to you! Besides a full refund on your OHCE2021 registration, as a Hosted Buyer, you’ll also receive other exclusive perks including:
- VIP check-in, so you can skip the line at registration; and
- Exclusive VIP access to the Hosted Buyer Lounge inside the Raleigh Convention Center, including refreshments, recharging stations, and entertainment.
Q: How do I apply?
Getting started is easy! Just register for OHCE2021, then apply to be a Hosted Buyer by taking a very short, 2-minute survey. Links to both can be found at www.arvc.org/hosted-buyer. You’ll receive approval confirmation from ARVC and on October 1 you’ll be set up to start scheduling your 1:1 meetings with businesses that fit your needs during OHCE.
Q: How many appointments does each Hosted Buyer have to complete?
A: To receive your full refund, you will need to complete at least six pre-scheduled appointments with participating exhibitors.
Q: When will I receive my refund if I complete all my Hosted Buyer appointments?
A: Once the ARVC staff has confirmed you completed at least six appointments with participating exhibitors at OHCE2021, a full refund of the registration cost (travel, hotel and other costs are excluded) will be provided within 30 days of the close of the conference.
Don’t see an answer to a question you have? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn even more and to apply to be a Hosted Buyer at OHCE2021 in Raleigh, N.C., check out www.arvc.org/hosted-buyer.
Are you a supplier interested in getting connected with these decision-makers? ARVC campground members have an annual buying power of more than $175 million and participating in ARVC’s Hosted Buyer Program as an exhibitor is the best way for you to make the connections with these decision-makers so you can get more business done. For more information on how to get signed up as a participating exhibitor, contact Gary Headrick at email@example.com.