April 17, 2015 — Although no ITG staff members attended this year’s ARDA convention in Orlando, FL a few ‘peeps’ who did fed ITG updates throughout the week plus TS company PR people e-mailed ITG up-to-the-minute news so we were able to keep our 100,000 (average) monthly readers in the loop throughout the event. From what we were also told it seems the ARDA Exhibit Hall may have had severe lulls during the few hours it was open for ‘show & tell’ time and the total number of vendors/merchants and attendees may not have reached the quantity present at previous annual ARDA conventions.
So Here’s The Scoop: Of special interest to me was that there were apparently many unannounced, private & closed door sessions held this year that were not listed in the ARDA schedule of events; but luckily for ITG readers someone who was privy to many of those meetings sent yours truly tips regarding the primary speakers and the topics they discussed with developers behind those sealed doors.
It seems one of those sessions was to be headed by Hannibal Lecter, who was going to counsel developers on the importance of improving pay, benefits and working relationships with their sales and marketing staffs. But that session was abruptly canceled when Hannibal belatedly discovered he had an opportunity to “have an old friend for dinner” .
Moving on to another closed-door session, spokesperson Freddy Krueger discussed in great detail the benefits to each developer of hiring a dynamic and polished Project Director on staff.
Apparently Jason Voorhees was another speaker in a different room. He held a private conference with developers regarding positive sales management skills, theories and techniques.
Yet another session featured Patrick Bateman who spoke with developers on how to win friends, influence enemies and the skills required to be a successful Director of Marketing and how to encourage OPC’s to be professional.
On the subject of closing skills none other than Jack Torrance shared with his enthusiastic audience exactly what it takes to cut to the chase, close the deal and pull the sales guests’ credit cards.
Norman Bates was also on hand and during his private session he demonstrated the proper way to ‘meet & greet’ each sales guest and how to be entertaining and enthusiastic while touring the resort.
Then there was Leatherface who explained to his audience the most effective way to sell ‘Discovery-Exit-Trial’ programs to NQ’s and all the other exhausted and highly suspicious sales guests who hadn’t become owners/members during the initial 4-hour sales presentation.
Carrie White was also on deck; she held a meeting with developers detailing the importance, etiquette, obligations and duties of each room host or hostesses and how to maintain a pleasant demeanor at all times.
And in the private suite next to Ms. White’s conference was where Gollum demonstrated the unique skills and special techniques required during the gifting phase and the importance of making sure each sales guest received the exact gifts that they had been promised.
The last unique session I heard of was headed up by Regan MacNeil who emphasized the importance of eye contact between the Podium speaker and the sales guests. She also told those developers who still have their reps ‘breaking bread’ with their sales guests that she highly recommended they serve attendees green fried eggs with a slab of ham for breakfast and for the lunch presentation they should include a bowl of green pea soup with the main entrée.
Though I have surely enjoyed attending each year’s annual ARDA love fests over the past many years, I guess I’m not too sorry I missed this one because from what I’ve been told by many others who did attend – it seems not much has changed.
As for those private, closed door & invitation-only meetings and guest speakers referenced herein – well, IMO, that pretty much reflected our industry’s sales and marketing status quo over the last 50 years anyway so I don’t really think I missed out on to much this year.
And that’s Scoop’s 2015 ARDA Wrap-Up!
Good Luck Out There
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Contributing sometimes extravagant, bombastic, emotional, pompous or even pretentious writings about the timeshare industry, Scoop covers an array of industry related subjects each week including inside information, tips, scandals, interviews, forecasts as well as new (good or bad) products and services — and, of course, all the ‘Good’, the ‘Bad’ and the ‘Ugly’.