UMA’s 50th anniversary EXPO will be both safe and affordable

When the 2021 UMA Motorcoach EXPO takes place in early March, the industry will mark nearly a year living under the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, the planning for the annual industry gathering has had to adapt, explained UMA Boardmember Scott Riccio, who is chairing the EXPO organizing committee.

The good news is that more than 80% of vendors so far plan to be at the event that will run March 3-7 in Orlando. And UMA, the Orange County Convention Center, and EXPO hotel properties all have protocols in place to hold a meeting that is safe.

Hospitality support 

“It’s going to be a different type of event,” Riccio said. “It has to be to be safe and professional, and be conscientious about addressing people’s needs and concerns, whether they’re personal, financial, whatever it may be.”

Orlando hospitality leaders have gone out of their way to support the event, in a nod to the crucial role the bus and motorcoach industry plays in the success of the Florida city that depends on tourism. Harris Rosen, Founder and CEO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, which operates two of the hotels EXPO attendees will be staying in, has personally met with the organizing team. Rosen’s

“They’re passionate about our industry. They want to see a successful and safe meeting,” Riccio said.

EXPO outdoor events 

Hosting the event in Orlando is allowing for many of the EXPO’s biggest events to be held outdoors, for an extra measure of safety.

As in past years, the EXPO is going to provide opportunities to network with operators and vendors, and to talk about issues important to the success of a business.

Creating this experience while keeping costs down has been a driving focus for the organizing committee.

“We have built budgets that are super conscientious for anyone that’s attending. All the meals are included, and we’ve got reduced hotel rates,” said Riccio, praising Mitch Guralnick, Prevost’s Director of Pre-Owned Coach Sales, who has been working with him on the committee to find the best deals for UMA members.

Research before planning

For vendors, EXPO will be an opportunity to maintain relationships with customers. The plans reflect the research that went into the process.

“In the study groups, everyone said the same thing: We just want to get together. We want to spend a little time with our customers, in some way, shape or form,” Riccio said. “We’ve tried to listen to what operators would like to see, what vendors and OEMs would like to see, and build an EXPO around that.”

UMA President and CEO Larry Killingsworth added that this EXPO will be unique because it will mark the organization’s 50th anniversary. This year’s theme is a generational gathering. 

“We want to make it a really special generational event, and by that, we mean something people will remember for years to come,” said Killingsworth. “We’re going to have a packed full agenda but there is going to be the opportunity to connect. One thing we’ve heard in our surveys is that people want to be able to get together safely and cost-effectively. We’re making sure EXPO is set up for that.”

One way UMA is making the upcoming EXPO more affordable is with early bird rates that save $150 off the regular rate. The last day to take advantage of this deal is Tuesday, Dec. 15. More details at



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