The Northeast Campground Association’s (NCA) golden anniversary celebration is off to a strong start in Sturbridge, Mass.

There are 81 vendors packing the exhibit hall in the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center for the 50th Northeast Conference on Camping & Trade Show, and the aisles between them are packed. The show opened Thursday (March 20) and concludes Saturday.

“If somebody comes to a northeast conference, they’ll come back,” Cyndy Zbierski told Woodall’s Campground Management, explaining the enduring popularity of the show.

Pat Benn and his son, Matt, came up from their family’s Sea Pirate Campground in New Jersey. Pat, a second-generation member of the campground-owning family, said he’s very happy with the turnout. “I love coming up here. It’s probably one of the best trade shows I know. Over the years, I’ve gotten so many great ideas here, like getting a toll-free phone number in the 1980s or adding rental cabins in the 1990s.”

Not only is it a big year for the NCA, but it’s also a big year for Zbierski. She just took over the leadership of NCA, though she’s no stranger to the organization. Her father, David Tetrault, retired a few months ago after 23 years leading the group.

During today’s luncheon, Zbierski told hundreds of attendees — final numbers for the conference won’t be available until later — that “the things that go on in your campgrounds for the most part ignore state lines.”

She praised the show attendees, saying, “you are here to make your business better, to learn from each other and from the seminars.”

The seminars covered a wide range of topics, from electrical to water, from social media to financial planning to estate planning.

NCA is a regional group made up of the associations from Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Maryland, boasting 1,092 members.