Checkered Flag for Attendees!

The 28th Annual Mid-Atlantic Coastal States Conference & Trade Show ended Wednesday, March 13th in the afternoon at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware with a conference wrap-up. This year's conference featured 10 educational sessions and 2 keynote luncheon speakers all focusing on the success of the campground industry.

This year's conference theme, Race to Success, set the tone of the conference and all educational sessions focused on how to help campground owners achieve success in the upcoming season. Attendees enjoyed two keynote luncheon speakers during the conference. Dave Basler, the new VP Membership and Marketing at ARVC spoke at Monday's lunch to over 65 attendees from four states. Insider Perks founder and CEO, Brian Searl offered a Marketing & Technology Q&A during Tuesday's lunch.

The conference opened with Joshua Nacht, Ph.D., a consultant with The Family Business Consulting Group speaking on how best to work with family. This session was the utmost important for campground owners as most campgrounds are a family-based business. Many owners are scheduling follow-up meetings with Nacht. We were lucky to have Melissa Melhorn from speak about how best to handle online reviews, which is a very tenuous subject for business owners. Two interactive and fun seminars, engaging teens and cool campground crafts, got attendees engaged and creative. The owner's panels were very interactive with owners discussing safety and security, policy and procedures, and reservation systems. Advanced Outdoor Solutions and Campground Automation sat on the panel for the reservation systems discussion. Mia Caetano Johnson, Northeast Campground Brokers, and Rich Denman, former owner of Pleasant Acres Farm Campground, spoke about selling your campground. Rich was able to provide insight as an owner of how he got ready for the sale of his campground, mentally and financially. We were delighted to have Nichole Poisson, Franchise Development Manager, KOA, back to talk about the latest camping trends and what to expect in 2019. Irene Jones, Program Development Manager at Marshall & Sterling Insurance presented the Canine Campers seminar and helped clear up many of the never-ending questions about dogs at your campground. Anita Pfefferkorn from Indian Rock RV Resort in Jackson, NJ. said "The info gained at seminars and networking was invaluable".

This year's trade show was a homerun for all involved. With over 35 vendors, attendees were able to accomplish most of their shopping for the season. We were delighted to have many new vendors this year, including Advanced Outdoor Solutions, Amano McGann, Inc., Armstrong Software, Campground Automation Systems, Dietz & Watson, Home Leisure Distribution, Insider Perks, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Mini Melts Ice Cream, Skyweb Networks, Strait Web Solutions, Swimsuit Station, and The Tobin Agency. Our returning trade show vendors include, Dura-Bilt Products, Inc., Equipment Marketers, GB Marshall, Good Sam, Home Leisure Distribution, HotSticks - Gish Logging, Jack & Jill DSD, Jamestown Advanced Products, KOA - Kampgrounds of America, Lancaster Log Cabins, Leavitt Recreation & Hospitality Insurance, L.J. Zucca, Mule-Hide Products, Northeast Campground Brokers, Scirocco Group, Sebco Laundry Systems, Inc., Silver-top Manufacturing Co Inc., Smart Industry Products, South Jersey Electric Vehicles, Tees Plus Apparel Art, and Wilcor International. Vendors commented that there was a positive feeling in the room from both vendors and campground folks. And one vendor commented "With the size of the show, we had as good of a show as any other (including national) because all of your attendees were very engaged with the vendors".

Joann DelVescio, executive director of the host association, New Jersey Campground Owners Association, is pleased with the results of the conference and is excited to start planning the 29th Annual Mid-Atlantic Coastal States Conference & Trade Show.

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New Jersey Campground Owners Association
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