Although it didn’t require a vote, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) board last week decided to leave the timing of the annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., the week after Thanksgiving — despise some pressure from industry factions to move it up to September or October.
The non-action was based, in part, on a survey completed by 327 RV dealers nationwide who said the timing and location of the show shouldn’t change, according to RVIA President Richard Coon.
RVIA board members met Feb. 28-March 2 for strategic planning, executive board and full-board meetings at the Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz.
”Louisville came up during the strategic planning session,” Coon said. ”We talked about the show as a whole. There has been a lot of talk in the industry about what’s going to happen with Louisville.
”The bottom line is that we are not, at least at this time, going to move it.”
The ”talk” largely is the result of a spate of late September dealer shows during the last three years staged in northern Indiana by manufacturers, fully two months prior to the Louisville Show.
Two of the largest companies — Forest River Inc. and several Thor Industries Inc. subsidiaries — have been among them. And a significant number of people have argued that Louisville’s December time frame is too late for supporting dealers’ spring shows.
Coon said RVIA sent out surveys to 1,073 dealers who regularly attend the Louisville Show. Out of the 327 dealer principals who completed the survey, three-quarters said the timing and location of the show should remain the same, Coon reported.
”They were very verbal about not changing it,” Coon said.
RVIA Chairman Gregg Fore, president of Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp., said the RVIA executive board broadly discussed the Louisville Show as a ”product.”
”We talked about needing to make sure we are taking seriously what our product looks like,” Fore told RVBUSINESS.com.
”If we need to add some horsepower, we need to challenge the appropriate (RVIA) committees to do that. The show holds benefits for different members of the industry, and there is an evaluation of the product that will go on. It’s a standard evolutionary process.”
With regard to the September manufacturers shows, Fore said the industry is always shifting its needs and priorities.
”My philosophy all along is that this is not the first time we’ve had summer shows in this industry and it won’t be the last.”