After some time apart due to pandemic-related delays and cancellations, members of the British Columbia Lodging and Campgrounds Association (BCLCA) will finally be together again as they meet face-to-face in Kelowna this October for the 2022 Ideas Forum.
BCLCA is anticipating bringing together somewhere between 50 and 75 delegates representing over 60 campgrounds for the conference happening on October 18 through 20, Executive Director Joss Penny told Modern Campground. The Canadian trade association also hopes to see more suppliers flooding the halls of the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center this year.
It seems that a lot has happened since the pandemic, wherein certain trends and movements have transpired in between the lockdowns and no in-person gatherings. One of these is the push for more electric vehicles (EVs) which the organizers hope to tackle along with other crucial topics during the conference.
“We’re looking at things such as the change in EV electric vehicles and charging stations, the big push towards sustainability, and being able to be part of a cumulative part of the action for climate change,” Penny said.
As new campers are being introduced into the camping world, it is also important to discuss camping behavior during the Ideas Forum, he added.
Whether in B.C. or another part of the world, the opportunity to learn from the conference’s education content is now more accessible than ever because the 2022 event will take shape in a hybrid format.
“So we’re actually using what we learned last year with our virtual conference, overlaying that on the ground so that people can actually visit the conference virtually and register virtually, which will be a big change,” Penny said.
He also noted that those attending in person can treat the event as a break from work as they are able to meet and talk to peers—sharing ideas, chatting, and listening to people who walk through the same path (and even different paths).
“So you get better ideas. The idea […] is that just everybody that walks away, experienced or inexperienced, should have at least three practical ideas [so] that they can go back to their business and apply immediately,” Penny said. “Those ideas may be changing their finance and changing their reservation system, how they deal with the washrooms, the size, [or] it could be EV charging stations; but it’s important that we actually go away with ideas,” he added.
Vendors will also benefit from the exposure and opportunities that will be abundant during the conference.
Booths will open for the on-site tabletop show on the second day, during which exhibitors can showcase their offerings and mix and mingle with delegates. Because of the hybrid setting, there will also be a virtual tradeshow throughout the conference, which will provide a longer exposure time.
Earlier on October 19, there will be a supplier show and tell cracker barrel where sponsors get to be in the spotlight and interviewed for five minutes each. During this portion, they can also showcase their products and services.
Moreover, high-tier sponsors (title sponsorship or signature sponsorship) can connect with the crowd by providing educational content. The title sponsor can impart knowledge through a standalone keynote presentation which will be recorded for post-event distribution. Meanwhile, signature sponsorship means being able to host a workshop session—also recorded for post-event distribution.
Materializing the theme “Together Again,” the Ideas Forum is designed to provide members and guests with an accessible learning opportunity, made possible by guest speakers, sponsors, and suppliers. It also gives attendees the chance to network with the BCCLA members, sponsors, suppliers, and executives.
According to the association, registration for the annual event opens next week.