December '18

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rv-pro.com December 2018 • RV PRO • 17 for dealers, the media and others on the first day of the show. An independent group will determine the winners and present those awards, she says, adding that Go RVing's marketing platforms and channels will live stream the event to generate excitement with end consumers. For 2019, RVIA will bring back the "Top Tech Challenge" that debuted at the RVIA Show in 2017, but this version will be updated and amped up, according to Crawford. "It's going to be a lot more exciting and a lot of stylized – sort of like a TV Top Chef competition," she says. "There's going to be lots of fun and lots of fanfare." The 2019 Top Tech Challenge will be sponsored by the RV Technical Institute, which RVIA announced in June as a part of an initiative to address the need for skilled technicians. Meanwhile, RVIA will host a new educational platform, which will be focused on offering dealers insights on how to overcome market challenges and offer insights from "thought leaders" on camping and the outdoor lifestyle. Crawford says RVIA will again host an RV Industry Awards celebration, but says that for the 2019 show it will be "Version 2.0 on steroids" by offering a culminating event the final day of the show that celebrates dealers, suppliers, manufacturers and industry professionals. Elements of the awards celebration include the RV Dealers Association's DSI awards, RVIA's "40 Under 40" awards and additional awards, the details of which are still being firmed up. Of the RVX event, Crawford says, "This is not your grandfa- ther's trade show – it's a whole new show. We're not even calling it a 'trade show' on purpose. It's much more of a showcase where we highlight the best products, the newest products, the most innovative products, the coolest products … plus the manufac- turers and suppliers, the people, the industry. "It's not going to be your average trade show," she says. "It's probably not going to be anything that this particular industry has ever seen." James concurs with that assessment. "It's going to be a very dynamic event that is going to allow participants to put forward new, innovative ideas, along with their current product offerings," he says. "It's going to allow exhibi- tors and attendees to build relationships on the show floor and strengthen the partnerships with existing customers. "I would just say, 'Come with an open mind.' Come prepared to see new products. Come prepared to learn new ways to operate your business," James adds. "Be ready to be excited about where the industry is headed." rv-pro.com December 2018 • RV PRO • 17

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