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Another Great ARDA World Convention is in the Books!

(Meetings and Events) Permanent link

Another Great ARDA World Convention is in the Books! 

By Peter Roth, ARDA Vice President of Marketing and Communications
April 17, 2014 

Another Great ARDA World Convention is in the Books! 

I know that many of you attended this year’s ARDA World Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas—in fact we hosted nearly 3,000 timeshare professionals from around the world, with over 35 countries represented! And I think you’ll agree that the content, the networking, and the all around sentiment were all top notch. 

But in case you weren’t able to join us, here’s a brief rundown of just some of the highlights. 

Scott Klososky, a business leader and social technology and trends guru, was the keynote speaker and he definitely got the crowd thinking about their use of technology and what it means for their business in the future. His message was clear: take a chance on embracing technology to reshape your business now…before you are left behind.

Attendees also got more “food for thought” from several timeshare CEOs from Disney Vacation Ownership, Marriott Vacation Club International, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, and Welk Resorts. They talked about how the industry is evolving to meet the next generation of customers, technology, products, employees, and distribution channels.

Another well-attended, positively-reviewed session was “Getting Serious About Social: A Social Media Show & Tell.” The panelists shared strategies to communicate with consumers before, during, and after their vacation. And they gave the audience ideas of how to do this whether they were a social media novice or expert—all geared toward using social media as a way to engage customers.

At the Awards Gala on Wednesday night, the best and brightest in the industry were recognized through the ARDA Awards program. A complete list of winners is available on ARDA’s Awards website. Congratulations to all!

And finally, I have to mention the golf, the parties and the camaraderie—it’s often these kinds of activities that bring the most benefit to attending Convention: the relationships you take home with you. Hope to see you at the 2015 ARDA World in Orlando! 

The Universal Appeal of Timeshare

(Meetings and Events, International, Developments Magazine, Guest Blogger) Permanent link

The Universal Appeal of Timeshare 

By Franz S. Hanning, RRP, Chairman of the ARDA Board of Directors
ARDA Guest Blogger

March 28, 2014
 

The Universal Appeal of Timeshare 

Vacations have a universal appeal—they’re a common interest that crosses cultures and borders, as evidenced by the expansive international presence timeshare already has today. 

From Finland to Thailand to South Africa, timeshare is not only breaking ground, but also breaking records around the world. Sales at the Anantara Vacation Club: Phuket in Mai Khao, Thailand, have increased 100 percent, year over year. Kodagu Valley Resort in Coorg, India, is now working on a sister property, thanks to overwhelming demand. And a full sell-out of Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is projected in the next two years.  

This indicates that demand for timeshare across the world is growing steadily—a trend we hope to see continue in the coming decade.  

But the real beauty of international expansion is that everyone benefits. Consumers abroad have access to the product in their local regions, owners have the opportunity to travel to new, exciting destinations through exchanges, and the communities in which we operate locally reap the rewards from the continued growth of international tourism to America. 

Over the years, we’ve broken down borders to the point where vacations are now a global enterprise. It’s safe to say the world is now more interconnected than ever—and when it comes to timeshare, the sky is truly the limit. 

Read more about the universal appeal of timeshare in this month’s Developments magazine. And I’ll see you soon at ARDA World in Las Vegas! 

 

What Lies in Wait for You in Vegas!

(Meetings and Events, Guest Blogger) Permanent link

What Lies in Wait for You in Vegas! 

By Georgie Bohrod, RRP
ARDA Guest Blogger

February 26, 2014 

What Lies in Wait for You in Vegas!

With ARDA World right around the corner, it’s not too early to start planning for the industry’s biggest gathering. In addition to all the networking, festivities, and renewed connections that surround the event, ARDA offers the most comprehensive educational sessions to help newcomers and seasoned professionals stay current and informed. 

This year, under the umbrella of the Resort Operations Council, Suppliers Council, and Construction & Design Council, members have the opportunity to help educate attendees about two important topics:

The new generation of owners – As we see an increase in ARDA members who represent mature resorts, it is clear that operations are just as important as a component of timesharing as sales and marketing. The session Generation Transition: How to Keep Your Resort’s Product Relevant is directed at resorts whose aging owner base may be looking for a way to leave. The session will explore ways to physically improve the product to better appeal to a younger buyer, including what interior designs and components will best attract this segment and what technologies and amenities could be implemented to stay current.

The conversion of existing properties to timeshare products – On the flip side, a session called Everything That’s Old is Renewed Again will discuss relevant issues pertaining to conversion. They will examine important topics such as the best ways to assess which hotels and condominiums are candidates to be converted to timeshare. The panel will also look into risks and rewards in making this change. Converting condos and hotels into timeshares delves deep into the history of our industry, and this new spin on the historically successful concept is bound to offer innovative insights.

Educational sessions are only one aspect of ARDA World. The Expo Hall is another excellent place to learn more about what’s going on with members of the Suppliers Council, as well as scores of other vendors. Whether it is textiles, patio furniture, homeowner’s kits, cleaning supplies, or insurance—this is where you will be able to talk with experts first hand.

So mark your calendars and prepare yourself for ARDA World. Las Vegas is waiting for you! 

 

ARDA World 2014 – Where Everybody Knows Your Name

(Meetings and Events, Guest Blogger) Permanent link

ARDA World 2014 – Where Everybody Knows Your Name 

By Franz S. Hanning, RRP, Chairman of the ARDA Board of Directors
ARDA Guest Blogger

February 19, 2014 

ARDA World 2014 

 

Ask any ARDA Convention veteran (that’s most of us), and they’ll agree—arriving at ARDA World is like stepping into an episode of the 80’s sitcom “Cheers.” Everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. It’s a beautiful thing, really. 

What’s remarkable about Convention is that it removes us from our silos and reminds us that we’re all a part of something bigger than just individual companies. Once there, we reflect on the challenges and opportunities we face collectively, consider where we’re heading as an industry, and brainstorm ideas to take us to the next level. We work together (regardless of being competitors outside the conference halls) to benefit the industry as a whole.

For those of you who haven’t yet had the chance to attend, I’m telling you now, you won’t want to miss this premier gathering for our industry. Convention is the place to be!

Expand your industry knowledge at ARDA World through:

Networking – Unique opportunities to meet face-to-face with your peers from across the world and expand your network to learn from one another, share best practices, forge new business relationships, and celebrate successes.

Education – With more than 40 exciting sessions running the gamut, from recruiting top talent and attracting the next generation of buyers, to navigating consumer protection laws and structuring deals in the new world order, this Convention has it all.

Trend Setting – ARDA maintains its status as the leading resource on the latest trends including IBM’s annual “5 in 5” predictions list naming big data at the center of the new era in computing. So don’t miss the chance to learn more about what it is, how to use it, and why you should care, at one (or both) of the big data sessions.

So come on down, where everybody knows your name! ARDA World 2014 promises to be another unforgettable occasion, and I look forward to seeing you there! 

 

Gear Up for ARDA World With Your Creative Energy

(Meetings and Events, Developments Magazine) Permanent link

Gear Up for ARDA World With Your Creative Energy 

By Kathryn Mullan, Editor of Developments Magazine

February 6, 2014 

Gear Up for ARDA World with Your Creative Energy

With ARDA World 2014 right around the corner, all of us at ARDA are thinking about the value of bringing our industry together. It seems that ARDA World serves its greatest purpose as a “connector” and a “collective”—otherwise known as a “collective connection!”  

A recent article in Developments magazine discussed this very issue. It stated, “Collective progress comes from the application of collective intelligence: putting more minds to work on a problem…makes the discovery of new and better solutions much more likely.” 

Isn’t that what ARDA World is all about? Innovation that becomes progress and then best practices…it’s been woven into the very fabric of our industry for 45 years. This energetic force field of new ideas dwells at the core of ARDA World. 

We look forward to another year of bringing our industry together to create a mash-up of ideas, best practices, and brainstorm to fuel our own “collective creativity” engine to push forward in new ways.

Early-bird registration deadline is February 7, so sign up now—can’t wait to see you there! 

 

ARDA Fall Conference 2013: Why You Need to Be in D.C. on November 13

(Meetings and Events, Initiatives and Trends, Legislation) Permanent link

ARDA Fall Conference 2013: Why You Need to Be in D.C. on November 13 

By Catherine Lacey, Vice President of Meetings and Conventions

November 7, 2013 

ARDA Fall Conference 2013

The shutdown is over and D.C. is back! There is no better place to kick-off the next year of ARDA’s success than right here in our nation’s capital for Fall Conference.  

The most valuable networking events, meetings, and expert panels in the industry will all be in one place for ARDA’s Fall Conference 2013—Wednesday, November 13, through Friday, November 15th.

What trip to D.C. would be complete without insight from the city’s top policy experts? This year, ARDA proudly features two exciting keynote speakers from right here inside the beltway. Get your toughest questions answered by tax policy professional Kevin Hassett, an economist who will share useful advice from his years of work as an economic advisor to prominent politicians.

And be sure to stick around until day three to hear from experienced political analyst and journalist Charlie Cook. Cook has written for some of your favorite sources for the latest in politics and is known for his applauded political newsletter, The Cook Report. Attendees of Fall Conference boast a peek inside Washington that non-locals usually miss.

Plus, be among the first to get an exclusive sneak preview of the new and improved ARDA consumer site, VacationBetter.org. Benefit from previewing what your customers will see when they search for reliable, comprehensive information on the industry and product.

If you’ve attended Fall Conference before, you know how important it is to be a part of the inner circle that crafts ARDA’s plan for the year. If this is your first year attending, you won’t want to miss the countless networking opportunities and insider tips that Fall Conference offers. We look forward to seeing you and your fellow timeshare professionals in the District on November 13! 

 

Balance in the Core: ARDA World 2013

(Meetings and Events, Developments Magazine) Permanent link

Balance in the Core: ARDA World 2013

By Kathryn Mullan, ARDA Editor & Director of Publications

April 25, 2013 

ARDA World 2013 Recap 

Note: this is an excerpt of a feature article that will appear in the June 2013 issue of Developments magazine.  

If I only had a few words to describe the space and event that was this year’s ARDA World 2013, I think it would be something along the lines of “energetic peace.” Although we changed up much of the program and a few key elements this year, there was a sense of dynamic stillness that kept the week in balance.

Moving away from Orlando to the South Florida beach scene, with all the perks and attractions of Greater Fort Lauderdale as an international travel destination; naming Monday as “Key Constituent Day,” when most of the committees and forums met, along with the Board of Directors; plus, featuring core Fundamental sessions for new industry entrants and new student activities (like Speed Lead).

The top-line events included Sunday’s RCI/AIF Open Golf Tournament, at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, a world-class 18-hole, Joe Lee-designed golf course that combines challenging play with luxurious Mediterranean style architecture. That evening, LEAPS (ARDA’s new leadership/cultivation program) had its first reception, and WIN also met to toast ARDA World 2013.

Most of Monday was spent in committee and council meetings—interspersed with the Resales, Social Media, and Tech Forums—capped off with the ICE Breaker Party (sponsored by ICE & RCI) out on the Diplomat Landing.

Tuesday brought the keynote speaker, Don Tapscott, sponsored by RCI, who inspired attendees with his latest insights on technology and innovation and reaching today’s generation of consumers. Who will ever forget that last video of a “murmuration” of starlings at twilight—the perfect unison of their miraculous flight-ballet—and how he compared it to today’s on-line user behavior? Then, to round off this busy first full day of educational sessions, Interval International threw its signature Party with a Cause—a 20th anniversary bash—that headlined Foreigner at Miami hotspot, Mansion.

Wednesday rounded off with the Awards Gala, sponsored by Global Travel Benefits (powered by HSI)—a delightful evening with comedian, Ron Pearson, and the great honor of celebrating our industry’s crème de la crème. We closed out the week and all ARDA World 2013 events with Thursday morning’s Breakfast of Champions (sponsored by Hilton Grand Vacations), featuring baseball star, Jim Morris, the inspiration for the film, The Rookie.

All in all, a wonderful Convention. Mark your calendar now for ARDA World 2014: April 6-10, 2014, at The Venetian in Las Vegas.