RDO1, the first annual conference held by the Resort Development Organisation (RDO) since it changed its name, “exceeded all expectations” according to Robin Mills, Chairman of the Conference Working Group.
“The venue, the sessions, the speakers… all were of the highest quality,” said Robin. “The level of attendance and the enthusiasm shown by all those who came was superb. And it was really good to see RCI and Interval International getting together to host the Sunset Party, a worldwide industry first, I believe!”
There were many other firsts to celebrate at RDO1, which was held at the Don Carlos Hotel in Marbella from 4-6 October. The conference covered both traditional timeshare and fractional ownership for the first time, with a new format and debates moderated by industry members.
Guest speakers included Bob Cotton, former CEO of the British Hospitality Association, who talked about what makes a trade association successful, and the importance of forming key alliances with other organisations in order to grow, something that RDO will consider moving forward.
There were lessons to be learnt too from the ‘Life Stories’ of Stuart Lamont of Club Leisure Groups, who talked about how the introduction of a points system and new products to deal with surplus weeks helped him thrive in South Africa, and Bryan Lunt of Absolute World, who focused on how he had developed a strong, fashionable brand.
Two days of sessions covered a wide range of topics from the use of social media and the Timeshare Directive to transparency in the timeshare industry or fractional structures.
There was time for networking at social events like the Sunset and Generator Parties, or the RDO1 Golf Competition. On a more serious note, the RDO Gala Dinner helped raise nearly 8000 euros for Christel House, the charity for deprived children all over the world.
“An enormous thank you to all our sponsors, delegates and everybody who contributed to make RDO1 the success that it was and we look forward to seeing everybody in Marbella again next year,” concluded Robin.
Dates for next year’s conference have been confirmed. RDO2 will take place at the Don Carlos Hotel in Marbella from 26 to 28 September 2011.