Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) is set to host a KOA Virtual Convention in lieu of its planned 2020 International Convention in Las Vegas, Nev., due to logistical uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to KOA officials.
The convention usually draws nearly 800 KOA owners, managers and staff members, which made planning for the traditional in-person event nearly impossible. The virtual convention will still be held on the same dates, Nov. 16-19.
“While we’re obviously disappointed that we won’t be able to gather the KOA family into one place as we have done for the past 55-plus years, the safety of our owners, their employees, and our employees are of the utmost importance,” said KOA Vice President of Franchise Services Darin Uselman. “We are excited by the educational opportunities a virtual event provides us, and we plan to capitalize on that aspect.”
One of those benefits will be a large increase in the number of educational sessions held during the KOA Virtual Convention in November. Currently, there are more than 30 different workshop sessions planned.
“We are in the very early stages of making this virtual event a reality,” Uselman said. “We are dedicated to ensuring that the virtual convention will be well worth the time we’re asking KOA owners, managers and staff to invest.”
A second benefit of the virtual convention is that there will be no limit on the number of campground staff members who can attend. A single nominal fee will cover the cost for a campground’s entire staff.
“Being able to directly share the valuable information from our workshops directly with the staff who are on the ground at KOA parks is a huge plus,” Uselman said. “We think everyone will come away from the virtual convention better informed then ever before.”
While some of the regular features of a KOA convention can’t be replicated virtually, there are many popular features and events that can.
The virtual convention will still include keynote speakers and important presentations on the future of KOA and camping by KOA President and CEO Toby O’Rourke and her management team. KOA will also celebrate its 10-year, 20-year. 30-year, 40-year and 50-year partnerships with franchisees, as well as announce the winners of the KOA President’s Awards and KOA Founder’s Awards.
The event will also feature the announcement of the KOA Rising Star and KOA Campground of the Year for 2021.
The annual KOA Vendor Expo, a mainstay of the KOA International Convention, will also be virtual this year during the November event.
“The details are coming together and we are confident that our KOA owners and managers will be able to shop our virtual expo and not have any issues procuring what their campgrounds will need for next year,” Uselman said.
More information for expo vendors will be shared during the coming weeks.