2016 VRMA National Conference Guide (Parakeet Edition)

It’s that time of year, time for the VRMA National Conference. As we prep for this year’s conference we have made a list of highlighted sessions and events to help you make the most use of your time at the conference. This list is structured to give you a well rounded conference experience and also features some local restaurants and attractions you can see during your downtime in Chandler.

Sunday, 10/16

6:00-8:00 – Welcome Reception (sponsored by HomeAway)

The welcome reception is always a great way to kick off the National Conference. There is a great amount of knowledge transfer that takes place at these conferences for both vacation rental managers and exhibitors. No matter if you are a seasoned or first time attendee, make sure to hit the reception and enjoy the people that make up the VRMA in a social atmosphere.

Monday, 10/17

11:00-12:00 – Top Challenges Facing Vacation Rental Managers Today

What could be better than looking into the future to see what obstacles and challenges may your business may encounter before they actually happen? This session, presented by Carmela Gillenwater, Product Marketing at HomeAway Software, will discuss what it takes to be successful in this fast paced industry. In the rapidly changing vacation rental market, the more you know the better chance you have of growing your business year over year. This session should be insightful for both managers and exhibitors.

1:00-2:00 – The Millennial Traveler: What They Want And How To Reach Them

This session is sure to be one of the most educational sessions of the weekend. Presented by Michael Endelman, Content and Experience Strategist Vacation Rentals division at Airbnb, this session will cover the growing travel segment of millennial travelers, how they differ as consumers from previous generations and how vacation rentals can capitalize on this unique market.

3:15-4:15 – Protecting Your Vacation Rentals with Home Automation

If you are a vacation rental property manager this single session could save you tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the next year alone. Home automation technology has created new ways to protect and monitor your properties while maintaining guest privacy and making sure neighbors are respected. In this session, our CEO Brad Huber will discuss the various ways to monitor and protect your properties from floods, freezes, window/door openings and even from parties. Don’t miss this valuable, informative session.

4:30-5:30 – Free or Almost-Free Ways to WOW Your Guests

It’s all about the guest’s experience. Word of mouth marketing and online reviews are some of the most proven, cost effective ways to grow your business. So, how do you wow your guests without going broke? In this session, Sarah Bradford, Owner of Winter Park Lodging Company discusses cost effective ways to “wow” your guests.

Tuesday 10/18

11:30-12:30 – Protecting Vacation Rentals at the State Level

Legislation being created around vacation rentals is a HOT topic. Many communities as well as cities are legislating against vacation rentals for various reasons. Learn what is going on at the state level and how legislation could possibly impact your business as well as how you can get involved in this session.

1:30-2:30 – Maintaining a Personal Touch While Using Technology

Let us be the first to tell you that technology can have incredible positive impacts on both the guest experience as well as your bottom line. However, vacations are an incredibly personal experience for travelers and there is often a fine line between “wow” and “ugh”. In this session, Tony Boyajian, Director of Product Management at HomeAway Software discusses how to make an impact on your guests and insure repeat business in an automated world.

What To Do In Chandler Arizona

Play Golf!

If you’re in the mood to tee it up while in Chandler, there are tons of golf courses to choose from. From award winning courses to fun par 3’s, Chandler has a wide selection of courses to choose from while you’re in town. Here are 6 to get you started:

Get Artsy – For Free

Maybe you’re not in the mood for being outside, not to worry. Chandler is home to the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery where you can experience Western and Native American art at its finest. The gallery does not have a website, but admission is free and located at:

22402 S. Basha Road
Chandler, Arizona 85248

Shop Till You Drop

The Phoenix Premium Outlets provide tons of name brand outlets in one location. If you want to get some shopping in while you are in Chandler, this is your place. Located at:

4976 Premium Outlets Way
Chandler, AZ 85226-5502


As they say – treat yo’self. There are tons of spas in and around Chandler. We are not going to list them all here, however, if you are in the market for a mani, pedi, massage, facial or other spa treatment, Tripadvisior has a comprehensive list with reviews here


Kai Restaurant

If you are looking for fine dining while in Chandler, look here. Kai Restaurant is the only AAA Five Diamond/Forbes Five Star rated restaurant in Arizona. The menu features dishes inspired by Native American culture and is conveniently located in the partner hotel for the conference.

The Keg

If you have a craving for steak while in Chandler, this is your go-to. They have a full menu of steak cuts paired with a great cocktail selection. Unwind from a long day at the conference with a 12 oz New York steak.

Roy’s, Chandler

If you are in the mood for sushi or asian cuisine, check out Roy’s. They have a huge menu of sushi rolls, traditional and fusion dishes, and offer private dining if you are going to dinner with a group.