May '19

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36 • RV PRO • May 2019 rv-pro.com SALT LAKE CITY – With more than 300 exhibitors showcasing their latest wares across 500,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Salt Palace Convention Center and some 2,200 people in attendance, the RV Industry Association declared its first-ever RVX: The RV Experience trade show a success. Manufacturers and suppliers used the opportunity to show- case their latest products, while RVX gave dealers another oppor- tunity to reload inventory, stock innovative new models, and engage with their supplier partners. "RVX gave Keystone RV an opportunity to really focus on the innovation we bring to the market," said Jeff Runels, pres- ident of Keystone RV. "We were especially excited about the press interest that RVX generated and the chance we have to introduce new audiences to RVing and Keystone. Overall, it was a great three days." "I think RVX did exactly what everybody hoped it would be – it was designed as a media event to attract some attention for the industry, and I think it did exactly that," said Jay Kinney, director of sales for Newmar. Noting that Newmar won an RVX Reveal award, won an award for its booth, and got national and local TV network coverage at the show, he said, "As a company, Newmar got a lot of good exposure." "RVX has been great for suppliers such as us: Truma," said Billy Didonato, Truma dealer technical services rep. "As a leader in innovation and quality, I feel like this show has been exactly what we have been looking for – a real good place to showcase our systems. ... We were on five of the nine Reveal winners, so I think it's been a very successful show for us here." "This show forced many companies to get out of their com- fort zones and take stock of their marketing, sales, and product development efforts," said Trey Miller, vice president of mar- keting for Dometic. "RVX is not the Louisville show of old. This is where B2B shows are heading in all leading markets and the RV industry is now on or in several respects ahead of the pace." However, a number of manufacturer and supplier exhibitors privately lamented the low number of dealers in attendance for this first year of RVX. "I liked the enthusiasm and the things RVIA did to make it (the show floor) more integrated. Our only concern was the timing. To schedule it during spring break – and especially the first week of spring break when the dealers are getting ready for the break itself – really hurt attendance," said one supplier, speaking to RV PRO on condition of anonymity. One independent manufacturer, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said he kept his booth manned by staff mem- bers, but decided against working the display himself when he realized how few dealers were in attendance, believing he could get more important work done from his hotel room. For its part, RVIA show officials seemed to acknowledge the concerns of dissatisfied exhibitors when the Association issued RVIA's reimagined trade show generated plenty of buzz for the industry by highlighting new products, new technology and new ways of thinking about promoting the industry to consumers. RVX Show Coverage The Salt Palace Convention Center played host to the mid-March RVX show.

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