July '19

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134 • RV PRO • July 2019 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S spring, when new models are introduced. Obviously, we chose the spring, since there were already two shows held for dealers in the fall. In addition, we felt the media would embrace a "Kick Off To Camping" strategy, and we positioned RVX as a sell-through market develop- ment event. What better way to highlight the innovative product to the dealers and the nation? RV PRO: Once initial thoughts centered on a spring show, what came next? Crawford: On c e we o f f i c i a l l y launched RVX, our first call was to RVDA and their top dealers to gauge interest and build an alliance we've never had as it related to our respective shows. They embraced the event, offered their support, and we were off. Also, our Committee Chairman (Troy James, Thor) and I went to 20 Group meetings, traveled to state dealer association meetings from all over the countr y, attended several industry events where dealers are in attendance (Open House, RVDA, dis- tributor shows, aftermarket events,) and much more. RV PRO: So, what about concerns some in the industry voiced that dealers would be reluctant to attend a spring show when the selling season starts in many parts of the country? Crawford: Yes, we knew March was going to be a tough time for a lot of dealers, but from other dealers we heard a lot of positives about the timing. We wanted to build an event this industry had never seen so we took a chance. We had the support of the manufacturers and suppliers. At some point, we needed to take a risk, work our butts off and build some- thing that raised the industry profile to not only dealers and each other, but to the financial community, consumers and the media. Feedback we've gotten from dealers in attendance, OEMs, and suppliers has been overwhelmingly positive. RV PRO: Post RVX, RVIA has con- ducted research from attendees and has formed a special Task Force to review a Version 2.0. What can you share about that? Crawford: Doing onsite and post- show research isn't an anomaly by any stretch. When I joined the Association, we did have a year or two of post-show research already, and a lot of data about the show, the value it provided (or didn't provide), and other metrics. Believe it or not, my whole career in the trade show business has been about data. Every successful business works with data. Dealers look at sales data, demographics, buying habits, and the like. Trade shows do the same thing. We look at registration attendance history, demographics into who attends (title, company, history of attending, sales volume, purchasing intent, etc.). We combine that data and then look at what years they attended, what years they didn't, and study behavior. When we market to these groups, When pondering when to schedule the 2019 RVX show for, show planners considered doing a fall or a spring show. In deciding upon a spring show, show planners believed the media would embrace the "Kick Off to Camping" strategy and that the fall season already played host to two potentially competing events.

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