Industry Pioneer Frank Chapman calls for more support for trade associations and industry events.
Having received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from both RDO and ARDA, timeshare industry pioneer and RDO Board member, Frank Chapman, reflects on the relevance of trade associations’ annual gatherings nowadays.
“I have been attending the ARDA convention for more than 20 years, and the RDO Conference since it commenced in 1998, with very few exceptions, and have seen how they have changed, or rather evolved, to adapt to the new realities of our industry. From the early concept of timeshare, the industry has diversified enormously, with fractional ownership, more hotels getting involved, more destinations all over the world… and all this has to be reflected in these annual meetings. Sadly another change over the years has been the dwindling number of delegates due to the economic crisis. But one thing has always remained the same, and it is the great networking opportunities that these events provide.
“As in any other industry, it is important to get together, share our thoughts and experiences, and discuss any problems or issues we may have. You always learn something new. Maybe you hear a particularly inspiring speaker, or something mentioned sticks in your mind and prompts you to read more about that subject, learn more and try and apply it to your own business.
“Timeshare in the UK, and in Europe, has always followed the American trends on most aspects, maybe with the exception of finance, and I have always felt that RDO has a lot to learn from ARDA.
“I have always believed in trade associations like ARDA or RDO, and championed them from the very early days. Unfortunately I don’t think everybody in our industry is as supportive as they should be, particularly in Europe. Maybe they don’t appreciate how much work and effort goes behind the scenes to protect and promote our industry, and to organise events like ARDA World or the RDO Conference.”