A Q&A with Rebecca Wesson Darwin of Garden & Gun.
As Publisher of Resort Trades, this article published in Folio (the B2B periodical for those involved in the business of publishing magazines), caught my eye. Garden & Gun not only has an unlikely title (not mention being somewhat unappealing to me, personally), but was launched in 2007 and yet made it through the recession. Rebecca Wesson’s response to how they survived was that they marketed themselves through the Internet. Another interesting point made in the article is that the publisher is extending the brand beyond traditional media and into areas like events and ecommerce.
These ideas are applicable to the resort world, as well. First, from the viewpoint of the resort operator wishing to promote sales, occupancy, rentals and resales; and second, from the standpoint of vendors and suppliers to the industry. Look for ways to use the Internet to attract buyers. Like Jay Baer teaches in his book, Youtility, “Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype.”
Lena Combs, CPA
I asked my clients at Averett Warmus Durkee (AWD) CPAs how they plan to get the most from their participation in the Washington, DC-based timeshare trade association, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). One of the firm’s partners, Lena Combs, says she and another partner, Tom Durkee, are fully committed to another year of service to the to the timeshare industry through volunteer work with the Over the years, the two have increased their participation by taking on an ever-escalating workload, which now includes four ARDA committees.
“I find the HOA Outreach Committee very interesting,” says Combs. “Its programs are focused on providing resources and education to legacy resorts. Another committee I particularly enjoy is the Meetings Committee, even though it’s hard work. We meet three times a year and spend many, many hours working on formulating content for the annual convention educational sessions, both before and during our meetings as a group.”
“Participating in ARDA’s leadership requires attending meetings several times a year, speaking at industry conferences and writing articles about our area of specialty for Resort Trades, Developments magazine and other publications,” adds Lena. “But it’s well worth it as we grow our own knowledge and expertise while helping improve the business environment for the industry.”
Tom serves on the Finance and Research committees. These two have learned that greater involvement in the trade association gives them access to decision-makers from the major development and management companies. A supplier looking to do business with this select group of professionals can expect to increase networking opportunities by participating in ARDA committee and council meetings.