RCI at ARDA
RCI at ARDA
At ARDA World 2012, RCI was at the center of the convention universe
This year’s annual American Resort Development Association (ARDA) Convention & Exposition was held at the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. During the first week of April, more than 3,000 vacation-ownership developers and professionals from 35 countries came together for five days of educational, networking and social opportunities.
RCI’s state-of-the-art-booth wowed visitors with is substantial presence and engaging delivery of information about RCI products and services. Touchscreen presentation stages and kiosks as well as a luminous 288-square-foot video wall displayed rich multimedia content about The Registry Collection®, RCI eSchool, RCI PresenterSM, RCI Platinum® membership, RCI® Vacation Rewards and more.
Pad-zillas—table-size iPads located around the booth—were loaded with RCI apps, including a new app for RCI affiliated resorts that gives them access to RCI® TV, RCI press releases, the RCI® Directory of Affiliated Resorts, RCI® Ventures, Endless Vacation® magazine and affiliate tools, such as RCI marketing brochures and links to RCIAffiliates.com and RCI® Marketplace. The app was also loaded with special bonus content, including conference-specific information about ARDA, RCI schedules and an interactive map of the RCI booth.
Visitors to the RCI booth also were able to participate in two giveaway promotions. For the Scan to Win contest, visitors scanned QR codes with their smartphones and tablets and then completed an entry form for a chance to win one of three new iPads. And RCI Platinum and ICE together presented Stay & Play, a promotion that highlighted the expanded Lifestyle Benefits available to RCI Platinum members. One lucky winner received a golf getaway valued at $1,500USD.
Here are a few more highlights from RCI presented at this year’s convention.
RCI’s Timeshare Online Listening Center
Among the most exciting news from RCI was the announcement of its new online monitoring service, called the Timeshare Online Listening Center (TOLC). The service helps RCI affiliated resorts track, engage in and respond to online conversations to protect and build positive reputations for RCI affiliated resorts. The response at ARDA was enthusiastic, creating an excited buzz about the service and a steady stream of traffic to the demonstration in the booth.
“We are invested in RCI affiliated resorts and their success, and we know how essential it is for every developer to be monitoring the online conversations about its brand,” says Phil Brojan, senior vice president of global marketing for RCI. “We’re in a unique position to help our affiliated resorts with online monitoring, because we have expertise in the timeshare industry as well as expertise in social media.”
In fact, RCI’s expertise was recognized for its social media customer service with the 2012 ACE Non-Traditional Customer Service Award at the convention’s annual ARDY Awards ceremony.
RCI supports the TOLC with an entire team of industry professionals who specialize in social media. The team works out of a dedicated command center at the RCI global headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey. The team reviews and tags mentions with sentiment analysis and topic categorization and then provides recommendations to the RCI affiliated resort on how to respond properly.
This service aims to spread positive brand mentions across the web, fix incorrect statements that can tarnish brand reputations, resolve problems that customers post online, provide a timely customer-service presence via social media and transform any negative experiences into positive opportunities.
“With so many discussions already taking place about timeshare brands on the web and in social media, it’s essential for us all to become aware of and participate in these conversations to build strong reputations and deep relationships, especially with influential online consumers,” Brojan says. “With RCI’s TOLC, we take much of the investment, guesswork and time constraints out of this process for RCI affiliated resorts. It’s a distinct advantage of doing business with us.”
Benefits of RCI’s TOLC include:
Fully tailored monitoring
Affiliates receive customized reporting that can be disseminated throughout their organizations. This information summarizes brand mentions online, tracks brand sentiment, helps evaluate the effectiveness of resort staff and hospitality operations and provides critical product feedback that can assist in developing new products and help refine sales processes.
RCI makes clear recommendations for any problems that are discovered during the monitoring process and suggests outreach methods that can empower developers to address positive as well as negative comments found online quickly and easily.
Industry-leading expertise in both timeshare and social media positions RCI as a trusted partner uniquely qualified to assist developers in taking ownership of their online brands and reputations.
Online Tour Generation
RCI’s new, robust online tour generation program also attracted a lot of attention. The website endlessvacationrentals.com will identify, engage and qualify potential timeshare owners online, providing RCI affiliated resorts with much needed first-generation “hooked” tours. RCI affiliated resorts get 24/7 access to a user interface that enables them to customize tour packages, premiums and availability as well as access to comprehensive reporting functions.
In addition to investing in online search engine and database marketing, RCI will utilize its growing online presence to increase awareness of the benefits of vacation ownership and generate new timeshare prospects. RCI’s array of online and social media tools, including the RCI Share Your Vacation app for Facebook, mobile apps, blogs, Twitter, RCI® TV and YouTube videos, already engage hundreds of thousands of travel enthusiasts daily.
“RCI’s social media presence and growing online reach give us an effective way to identify and engage prospective owners, which can help generate business for RCI affiliated resorts,” says Gordon Gurnik, president RCI. “Several new and innovative components added to the existing rental site, endlessvacationrentals.com, will enable our affiliates to efficiently target online consumers with customized offers that meet an individual resort’s unique tour flow needs.”
At the core of the strategy are four pillars that will be the foundation of the RCI tour generation effort.
- Relaunch the website endlessvacationrentals.com as an affiliate-centric website with a robust tour generation platform
- Heavily invest in search engine marketing and optimization to create a large pool of prospects and drive significant traffic to endlessvacationrentals.com
- Capture consumer data to qualify tours to meet RCI affiliated resorts’ needs and build a significant database of future timeshare prospects
- Create positive messaging about timeshare and distribute it online and via social and mobile media
RCI®/AIF Open Golf Tournament
The 11th annual RCI/AIF Open Golf Tournament was held at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, located at the base of Snow Mountain in the southern Nevada desert. RCI was the title sponsor of the event, which provides the opportunity to socialize while raising money for a worthwhile cause. The ARDA International Foundation (AIF) produces research, studies and educational programs that advance the industry.
One of the highlights of this year’s ARDA conference was the RCI Reception, which was hosted for more than 750 clients and business and industry partners at the popular Tryst nightclub at the Wynn Hotel. The A-list nightclub was the perfect venue for the energetic crowd, who enjoyed an evening of networking and socializing.
“The RCI reception is just one of the ways we say thank you to our affiliates and partners,” says Jeff Parker, senior vice president of product management and resort operations for RCI. “We all look forward to the ARDA convention, and this event is a great place to reconnect with colleagues and friends and to meet new people as we celebrate the successes of the past year and look forward to what 2012 has to offer.”
The Registry Collection® 10th Anniversary
The Registry Collection program, the first global luxury exchange program, is marking its 10th anniversary by relaunching its website, theregistrycollection.com. A sneak preview of the redesigned and enhanced site was presented at ARDA.
The enhanced site will allow members to explore and find potential vacation options more easily. New features will include search capabilities, improved navigation and member reviews. The site is scheduled to go live in the second quarter of the year.
The next decade for The Registry Collection program will focus on three main objectives: add inventory from many newly affiliated European resorts; develop new affiliations in up-and-coming markets, such as Africa, South America, Asia, India and the Middle East; and strengthen The Registry Collection program’s position as the leading ambassador for the luxury leisure-property concept in all regions.
The program encompasses nearly 200 luxury properties across six continents, including estate homes, high-end timeshare properties, condo-hotels and even yachts. And through its Collection Partners, members can enjoy unforgettable experiences, including yacht charters, international golf and custom-travel packages, safaris and other premium travel services.
RCI® Green Awards
The RCI Green Award program recognizes RCI affiliated resorts in North America, Europe and Australia that actively engage in sustainable practices and demonstrate a commitment to incorporating green measures into all facets of daily resort operations. Six finalists in North America were selected, and the award recipients were announced at ARDA.
This year’s winners are:
Sheraton Vistana Resort, Orlando, Florida
Entirely renovated in 2011, all the resort’s villas are now equipped with double-pane, low-emissivity windows and sliding glass doors, low-flow toilets and energy-efficient appliances. The team also eliminated the use of Styrofoam on resort grounds and now uses solely environmentally friendly cleaning products and filtered-water stations instead of bottled water.
Grand Pacific Palisades Resort, Carlsbad, California
Most notably, the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort recently installed a new recycling center that allowed it to recycle 41,600 pounds of paper, glass and yard waste in the past quarter alone.
Bluegreen Odyssey Dells, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
The resort solely uses supplies that are made from recycled materials and commits to hiring only associates who live within 30 miles of the property, to minimize commuting.