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More than 200 delegates attended the NCC (National Caravan Council) Conference 2016 last week to hear a stellar line-up of expert speakers including: Nick King – Insight Director, Autotrader; Carl Castledine – CEO, Away Resorts; Harvey Alexander – Director of Marketing, The Caravan Club; and Alex Marshall of Management Consultants CIL. Kevin Keegan OBE was an extremely popular after dinner speaker, helping to raise £2,440 for the NCC Benevolent Fund charity.

John Lally, NCC Director General, said: “From start to finish our speaker line-up was excellent this year, delivering fresh insights and new perspectives while stimulating plenty of debate in the process. Topics included adjusting caravan products for Millennials and developing new ways of promotion (mobile-friendly, via specially designed apps, using social media etc). Speakers looking at the bigger picture examined how technology is changing the world, the state of the UK and worldwide economy and how positive thinking can influence your business in a positive manner.  

 “Getting together as an industry is really important. Following a successful 12 months for many, it remains vital our industry continues to innovate and attract new entrants to the market, to improve its customer service and product quality and embrace self-regulation. If we do that, our speakers were agreed that success will continue in 2016 and beyond.”


A selection of quotes from the event are shown below:

Carl Castledine – on innovation

‘As baby boomer spend slows, our industry must be ready for Millennials … who will become the primary engine of the UK consumer economy.’

Harvey Alexander – on new entrants to the world of leisure vehicles

‘A recent study showed 11 million UK adults are our potential audience – those who love outdoors but don’t own a leisure vehicle, and can potentially share our passion …’

 Alex Marshall – on the mergers and acquisitions outlook (holiday parks)

‘We will see strong valuations, further consolidation and further investment in the product …’

Nick King – on successfully selling vehicles

‘Forecourt visits are down 41pc in the automotive industry in three years. But we are still selling successfully. A buyer will now visit more websites than forecourts.’

Psychologist Dr Maureen Gaffney – on positive thinking

‘In this world the optimists have it not because they are always right but because they are always positive.’

Market commentator, Justin Urquhart Stewart – on the UK economy:

‘The UK is the world’s fifth largest economy. It’s got pulling power – the Number 1 in Europe for inward investment, with 85k new jobs created …’


Christopher Macgowan