Nearly 100 exhibitors have signed up to participate in the Texas Association of Campground Owners’ annual Spring Meeting and Tradeshow, which is on target to become the largest in TACO’s 52-year history.

The April 30-May 1 event will take place at the Lone Star Convention & Expo Center in Conroe, Texas.

“We think total attendance will probably be north of 350, maybe 400. We have nearly 100 vendors,” said Brian Schaeffer, TACO’s executive director and CEO.

Schaeffer said there are many factors driving TACO’s record-breaking vendor participation and attendance.

“You have a lot of turnovers within the industry — new owners, new managers or both — and they kind of need to get up to speed,” he said, adding, “All of this fuels interest in the classes, networking and the tradeshow. I also think that the industry is changing in that you have this infusion of glamping, and that’s kind of a big deal. You also have many areas of the country that are making it difficult to build or expand RV parks. But that process is still reasonable in Texas. People have also enjoyed previous TACO shows and found value. So, our conventions are getting bigger and bigger.”

Seven different educational seminars are planned for the two-day event in the following order:

— “A Glamping Roundtable,” featuring Terry Munoz, a TACO board member; Kelly Jones, vice president of operations of Houston-based Great Escapes RV Resorts; Carol Stevens, national director of cabins at Grandview, Texas-based Leland’s Cabins; and Kathleen Walsh, of Advanced Outdoor Management in Cape Coral, Fla.

— “First Timers, New to the Industry,” a Q & A session about some best practices for operators new to the industry or first-time at a TACO show. TACO Executive Director Brian Schaeffer and TACO President Randall Dally will lead the discussion.

— “10 Things Millionaire Campgrounds Are Proficient At,” by Lori Severson, of Severson and Associates in Ettrick, Wis.

— “Outdoor Hospitality Market Dynamics,” featuring Larry Brownfield, assistant vice president of franchise development for Billings, Mont.-based Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA).

— “Building/Expanding Your Park,” by Walsh

— “Attitude Matters,” by Severson

— “Legislative Report,” by Ron Hinkle, TACO’s legislative consultant, Randall Dally, TACO’s president and legislative liaison; Brian Schaeffer, TACO’s executive director and CEO; and Michael Moore, TACO Assistant Executive Director.

Schaeffer said TACO has replaced its traditional live auction with a silent auction and a fun night with a DJ, photo booth and casino setup.

“We want people to be able to let their hair down and have fun,” he said.

TACO will also complement its educational seminars and tradeshow with its annual awards competition.

More than a dozen companies have already signed up as sponsors of the two-day event. Platinum sponsors and show underwriters include Access ParksConestoga Wagon Company;
Firefly ReservationsLeavitt Recreation & Hospitality InsuranceLeland’s CabinsNewbookReliable Commercial ConstructionRowley InsuranceRVParkTV.comTengoInternet and Utility Supply Group.