A new company based in New Berlin Pa., Campground Expositions, is launching the RV park and campground sector’s first virtual trade show — a live, 3-day, on-line Internet event slated for Nov. 1-3. They’re calling it “The Virtual Campground Expo.”
The convention, held entirely on the Internet, has the appearance of the real event, with a registration area, exhibit halls, a conference center for webinars, a lounge, press room in a virtual environment affording unlimited space, states a release from Campground Expositions, which is affiliated with park vendor MCPS for Campgrounds, a credit card processing company also located in Pennsylvania.
“Because the show is on the Internet,” the release notes, “this will become the first international RV campground event, attracting exhibitors and attendees from all over the world. The Expo will target the outdoor hospitality industry, including RV parks, campgrounds, resorts, lodging cabin parks, marinas, state and national parks, dude ranches, outfitters and guiding companies, canoeing, paddlesports, fishing and hunting camps.”
Although the live show hours are officially noon to 6 p.m. (Eastern), the exhibit booths will remain open for several months following the event.
Campground Expositions, according to the release, has already received booth and sponsorship commitments from major industry suppliers. Show producers, namely MCPS’s Art Leiberman, have emphasized that this virtual convention will not replace the reality-based conventions held by campground associations, but is tailored to be a supplement to existing shows.
“However,” he release adds, “a virtual expo does have some major advantages to exhibitors and attendees alike. Most importantly, the reduced cost for attending will result in savings of all travel and related costs for both attendees and exhibitors. For exhibitors specifically, additional savings will result from avoiding hotel accommodations, food costs, car rentals, shipping and drayage, booth furnishings, decoration and personnel registration fees. It is anticipated that exhibitor savings will also result in special show offers and discounts for shoppers.”
All booths at the Campground Virtual Expo will be 4-booth islands and all will contain the most current audio and video technology, says the company. Attendees will be able to have a video and audio chat with exhibitors, view or download the exhibitor’s catalogs or promotional materials, view websites or e-mail addresses or actually call the exhibitor via telephone. Conversely, exhibitors will have instant complete information on the attendee who has “entered” their booth or they can locate a visitor who is anywhere in the virtual convention center.
Campground Expositions will also offer educational events along with the expo, including expert keynote speakers and others who will be conducting the webinars at the convention. Attendees will be able to view these webinars live or download webinars that have already been run. A complete schedule of events will be listed in a show directory containing the names of sponsors and exhibitors, booth locations and all personnel “manning” booths. Attendees can click on sponsors’ or exhibitors’ names to go to their booths. The directory will be viewable and downloadable to every attendee or any other campground whether they attend the event or not.
The names of participating sponsors and exhibitors are to be announced in the near future. “The producers hope to obtain the cooperation and the participation of the U.S. state and regional associations and the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC),” the release states. “They also will be contacting the European Federation of Campingsite Organisations, which represents campground owners from 22 countries, the Caravan, RV Accommodation Industry of Australia, Top Tourist Parks of Australia and the Canadian camping associations who they hope will also participate in the Expo.”