The 2023 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE2023) has concluded, leaving a lasting impression on the outdoor hospitality industry with record-breaking numbers.
The success of the Expo was truly quantifiable, as revealed by exhibitors who eagerly shared their success stories in the post-event survey, organizers said. The collective sales, reported by exhibitors and verified by a third-party research firm, surpassed an impressive milestone, totaling over $50 million in booked business at the show.
“We had been involved in a year-long collaboration with Wizard Works Design Group on an extensive plan for a water park including a pool, equipment and even a large lazy river totaling over $3 million dollars,” said Amir Harpaz, owner of Harp Development and multiple OHI-member parks. “We met at OHCE2022 in Orlando, collaborated extensively all year and signed our deal with both of our teams present on the OHCE2023 Expo floor in Kansas City.”
This year’s Expo also showcased the largest number of exhibitors in OHCE history (175), including more than 30 park models and glamping accommodations. OHCE2023 was a pivotal platform for the launch of OHI, showcasing its members’ capacity to drive real economic impact within the industry.
“OHCE is the premier show in the outdoor hospitality industry, which is proved by the amount of business that was done on the Expo floor,” says Paul Bambei, OHI’s president and CEO. “It’s a testament to the buying power OHI members have. Our members are a diverse group – from small independently-owned, family campgrounds to corporate-owned mega parks and everything in between – and they all make purchases at the OHCE Expo that made up this year’s record-breaking number. We are going to continue to improve the show based on exhibitor and attendee feedback so that next year’s Expo in Oklahoma City is even better!”
OHCE2023 also broke the modern attendance record set last year in Orlando. With 1,245 attendees representing more than 1,600 outdoor hospitality businesses, this year’s show exceeded the previous record by almost 100 attendees.
“It was the perfect show to announce the launch of OHI to an audience of so many OHI members and industry leaders,” says David Basler, OHI’s chief strategy officer. “After a year of development that started with surveys and focus groups interviewing hundreds of members, to be able to share such a significant brand change with so many engaged members was an absolute thrill. From the moment we made the announcement, the buzz of excitement elevated the show.”
Throughout this record-breaking show, attendees participated in dozens of breakout sessions and panels, from the “Future of the Industry” panel, which brought together industry thought leaders to examine where the future of outdoor hospitality is headed, to an examination of state and federal level policy affecting the industry at the advocacy panel.
The return of the Hosted Buyer Program, which offered special one-on-one meetings between attendees and exhibitors, no doubt contributed to the record-breaking Expo sales, it said. The Takeaway Tours where attendees got to go behind the scenes and tour two local OHI member parks and ask all the important questions was also a huge hit.
See all the fun on OHI’s Facebook page.
OHI is currently planning its OHCE2024 in Oklahoma City, slated Nov. 4-7, 2024.