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Caravan industry’s finest gather for groundbreaking 2024 National Conference

The three day conference hosted by Caravan Industry Association of Australia, kicked off with over 100 exhibitors and a record-breaking 1060 delegates

The Gold Coast sparkled a bit brighter last week when the 2024 Caravan Industry National Conference was in town, the welcome event kicked off on May 15, setting a vibrant stage at RACV Royal Pines Resort.

AccomNews was there… along with over 100 exhibitors and a record-breaking 1060 delegates. The event was hosted by Caravan Industry Association of Australia and principal sponsors ModnPods and Leisure-Tec Australia.

CIAA took over RACV Royal Pines Resort to showcase a whirlwind of innovation, celebrate camaraderie and inspire insightful dialogue dedicated to the future of the beloved Australian caravan and camping industry. As industry leaders, trailblazers, and enthusiasts gathered under one roof, the conference redefined the boundaries of outdoor recreation and business acumen in an era ripe with opportunity.

2024 Caravan Industry National Conference

The event buzzed with energy and AccomNews was on the ground, capturing its pulse, starting with an enthusiastic welcome from Chair, Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) Grant Wilckens, who said it was a privilege to officially open the National Conference.

Chair, Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) Grant Wilckens. National Conference 2024

He told the audience: “In my seventh and final year as Chair of the organisation, it’s great to reflect on the incredible growth of the industry. From record manufacturing numbers and visitation, it’s an honour to have helped lead our industry’s evolution into a $27 billion contributor to our national economy.

“Looking forward to a jam-packed couple of days ahead with over 1000 delegates and 100 trade suppliers in attendance to learn, grow, connect and do business together.”

He celebrated the industry’s growth and resilience, noting the record attendance as a testament to the sector’s eagerness to collaborate and forge ahead with new ideas.

The conference schedule was full of opportunities for personal and professional growth for delegates. Over the course of three days an array of influential speakers, took to the stage to ignite discussions about the future of the Aussie caravan and camping industry.

The impressive lineup of speakers brought a wealth of knowledge and unique perspectives to the event.

Key speakers included:

  • Aussie influencers and reality TV stars Jordie Hansen and Sam Frost who talked about their show Jordie, Sam and Ted’s Adventures. A TV Series of their family travelling through Australia, finding hidden gems, visiting rural towns and having a good time doing it all .
  • Steve Sammartino – A futurist and technology expert who discussed the implications of AI and robotics on society and businesses. His work includes innovative projects like 3D-printed houses.
  • Andrew Fisher – Head of Investment Strategy at Australian Retirement Trust, who shared insights on investment strategies and asset management.
  • Bastien Treptel – A reformed hacker who now works in cybersecurity, educating businesses on protecting against cyber threats.
  • Lucy Bloom – An award-winning leader who discussed the impact of creative and unconventional thinking in business and social enterprises.
  • Kitty Chiller AM – Former Chef de Mission for the Australian Olympic Team, who shared her experiences in team management and building a strong team culture under challenging circumstances.
  • Peter Clay – A research expert in tourism who emphasised the importance of data-driven decision making within the caravan industry.
  • Rob Redenbach, Former Security Consultant to Nelson Mandela.
  • And finally, Daniel Flynn who co-founded Thankyou at the age of 19, with every product sold contributing to helping end global poverty.  12 years later, Thankyou has raised over $17 million to impact the lives of people across 22 countries.  Daniel is known for his disruptive marketing and has received widespread media coverage for some truly unconventional and highly successful campaigns that led to Thankyou products being stocked by some of Australia’s biggest retailers
Steve Sammartino

AccomNews also spoke with delegates and exhibitors keen to share inspiring stories from the last 12 months, reflecting on past challenges like fires, floods, and economic pressures, while looking towards a future filled with promise and potential.

Lucy Bloom with AccomNews at National Conference 2024

The trade program, the cornerstone of the event, provided a platform for showcasing cutting-edge technologies and services. It was a hive of activity, industry professionals engaging with the latest innovations and think tanks on subjects ranging from compliance and quality management to the exciting potential of artificial intelligence in caravan manufacturing.

RMS Cloud team at National Conference 2024

CIAA CEO, Stuart Lamont said he was pleased that a record number of attendees registered for this year’s event and is looking forward to an even bigger and better event than last year.

He said: “Over the next few days we have a chance to celebrate what our iconic Aussie caravan and camping industry has achieved and all of the exciting opportunities that are ahead.”

2024 Caravan Industry National Conference

Social events are woven throughout the conference, commencing with a golf event. The welcome cocktail event (Wednesday) was followed by karaoke and economics breakfast (Thursday). Creative activities such as tarot readings and massages as well as a brewery and coffee bar stops offer delightful breaks from the packed agenda, allowing attendees to unwind and network in a more relaxed setting.

The warm and welcoming atmosphere highlights the community spirit that is so vital to the industry’s ongoing success.

This phenomenal event continued until Friday May 17, culminating with the spectacular Gala Dinner & Awards: The Industry’s Night of Nights! 

The camping industry in Australia is not just surviving but thriving, driven by a community that’s passionate about innovation and resilience. 

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Our latest AccomNews print issue is available now. Read it HERE

2024 Caravan Industry National Conference
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