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Attendance Up 10% at RVDA Convention/Expo

Expo LogoRegistrations for the 2010 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo are up about 10% overall and 12% for Canadian dealers, according to organizers of the event that runs through Friday (Oct. 8) at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.RVDA 40th anniversayr logo

”Registrations look great,” said Eleonore Hamm, president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA Canada). ”We have a few more dealerships than last year.”

Some 500 people are expected to attend the con/expo during which RVBusiness magazine (and RVBUSINESS.com) will host its 3rd Annual RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards tonight (Oct. 6) with a reception and dinner at the Rio hosted by Affinity Group Inc. President & CEO Mike Schneider and keynoted by conservative political commentator and author Ann Coulter.

While the award eligibility has been expanded this year to include recreational park model dealers, the format will include five Blue Ribbon retailers and one individual receiving the Dave Altman Lifetime Achievement Award.

This year’s con/expo is focusing on business processes designed to help dealerships coming out of the economic downturn.

”People are getting out of the survival mode, but everybody still needs to watch revenues and expenses, and that’s what we are going to be talking about in many of the workshops,” said Phil Ingrassia, vice president of communication for the U.S.-based Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA). ”This convention is focused on helping dealers focus on management in all areas of the dealership.”

Most ”Partners in Progress” brand committees made up of dealers who sell specific manufacturers’ brands met Monday and Tuesday and got an early look at the results of the RVDA’s Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) that is comprised from ratings surveys completed by retailers.

Aggregate DSI results will be distributed later with DSI awards being presented at the 47th Annual RV Trade Show Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. ”We moved up the release of the DSI results so that the brand committees could use them in their meetings with manufacturers,” Ingrassia said.

The five-day gathering, which marks RVDA’s 40th anniversary, will offer about 50 seminars and workshops on subjects that include the RV industry’s immediate future, F&I, employee education, wholesale financing, the use of social media, parts and service and RV rentals. The expo which opened Tuesday night has more than 100 exhibitors,

Dirk Kempthorne, former secretary of the Interior who drove to Las Vegas in his own motorhome, was the keynote speaker Tuesday during the con/expo’s first general session.

RVDA and RVDA of Canada will hold their annual meetings Thursday morning.

Rio All Suites Hotel, site of this week's RVDA Con/Expo in Las Vegas.

Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, site of this week's RVDA Con/Expo in Las Vegas.

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