“We expect more park operators and more vendors than we’ve ever had before,” said Brian Schaeffer, TACO’s executive vice president and CEO, in a press release. “We’re going to provide new entertainment and activities and all new speakers who have never made presentations at our Spring Meeting & Trade Show before.”
The annual event will kick off Sunday with a bus ride from Kerrville to Fredericksburg in the heart of the Texas “Wine Country.” Spring meeting attendees will tour the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Fredericksburg, including the park’s wine tasting room, and also enjoy a barbecue dinner at the resort, which opened three years ago.
Craig Dietz will be the keynote speaker at the spring meeting. Born without limbs, Dietz will talk about how to redefine your potential, drawing from his own life’s experience. Dietz enjoys bowling, skiing, fishing and jamming on his drums. But his biggest passion is swimming. As an ESPN-featured athlete, Dietz finished the 4.4 mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, the Midmar Mile Swim in South Africa and the 1.5-mile “Escape from Alcatraz” swim.
Other speakers include Mark Douglass, founder and CEO of RVing Accessibility Group, who will talk about how to make your park accessible to people with disabilities.
Jeff Crider, TACO’s publicist, will discuss what he has observed in campgrounds, RV parks and resorts from a marketing perspective and provide ideas on how to maximize your communication efficiencies and sharpen your public relations and marketing efforts.
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism will also provide an overview of how it markets Texas as a destination and how it connects with TexasCampgrounds.com, the association’s travel planning website.
Bob MacKinnon of Murrieta, Calif.-based GuestRated.com will talk about how to manage your online reputation and how to use guest satisfaction surveys to improve your park’s amenities, facilities and service.
TACO will also host its annual awards program and provide important updates on its legal and government affairs efforts, which have a direct impact on private parks across the Lone Star State. The three-day-event will also include TACO’s annual auction, which raises money for the association’s legislative and government affairs efforts, which members consider to be the association’s biggest benefit.
Most of the events will take place at Guadalupe River RV Resort. However, the tradeshow will take place on the middle day, April 27 at the nearby Inn of the Hills Resort & Conference Center. Vendors will display goods and services ranging from traditional Wi-Fi, marketing and insurance to popular new playground equipment and the ever growing park model segment.
For more information or to register to attend, please visit www.tacomembers.com.