A is for… Angus and Angela – the sure-footed pair from the Be Group who took to the dance floor in fine style.
B is for… Baby boomers. The cashed-up baby boomers who know what they want are going to give RV operators a run for their money, according to Neer Korn.
C is for… Coffee. Thanks ANZ!
D is for… Demand – still outstrips supply, helping to explain why there is an overriding sense of collegiality rather than fierce competition.
E is for… Extroverts. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment revealed an abundance of them in attendance. Following the personality analysis session the big question became ‘What are you?’
F is for… Futura – MC Jackie Clarke’s hippy, happy, slightly annoying American alter-ego.
G is for… Golf. The annual Grant Adamson Memorial Trophy tournament was a little soggier this year but still heartily enjoyed by all.
H is for… Health & wellbeing. A common theme that emerged throughout the conference was developing simple wellbeing practices to use in the workplace daily.
I is for… Individuals. Operators need to look beyond the profit and loss statements and focus on what individuals bring to the table within their organisations to drive success.
J is for… Jefferson’s. The hip little Fort Lane whiskey bar where everyone ends up post-gala dinner when the conference is in Auckland.
K is for… Know your customer. There was a clear emphasis on the need to know and understand the ever-changing needs of your customers.
L is for… Lawyers. And bankers. And insurers. And all the people who support the vibrant RV sector and have become part of the life-blood of its annual conference.
M is for… Media. Matthew Hooten’s tell-it-like-it-is political perspectives had delegates intrigued.
N is for… New Zealand. In terms of retirement village operations, it appears we have our act together better than most other countries. Solid legislation and a respected peak body organization supporting a model that is commercially strong, flexible, and accepted by the customer.
O is for… Optimistic. While delegates heeded suggestions that harder times might be looming, operators are still enjoying a golden era of development.
P is for… Pioneer Club. The people who have attended at least 15 consecutive RVA conferences gathered for the annual group photo at the gala dinner.
Q is for… Queen. The biggest name-drop ever. Sir John Key’s recollection of hanging out with the Royals at Balmoral.
R is for… Ryman. Interesting to hear from Debbie McClure about Ryman’s experience with expanding into Victoria, the challenges faced and the lessons learned.
S is for… Stonking. As ANZ’s Richard Hinchliffe put it, 2018 will be a “stonking good year” for operators.
T is for… Trade show. As usual, an excellent array of exhibitors. Who won the hotly contested Trade Me Grand Travel Prize?
U is for… Uniting the generations. Operators need to preempt the needs of the changing market and think about ways to introduce generational blending into their villages.
V is for… Vegas-themed gala dinner. We could have been at the Bellagio. All that was missing was Celene Dion.
W is for… Winston. Sir John Key’s ‘word’ that gets him “fired up”. Every speaker had to produce one at MC Jackie Clarke’s request.
X is for… X-rated. The beautiful and bendy Vegas showgirls left little to the imagination.
Y is for… Yoga. It was well worth setting my alarm to attend Chelsea Perkins’ excellent yin yoga session.
Z is for… Zimmer frames – likely to see more of these in villages as operators increasingly recognise the need to integrate care into their village.