Executives of the Recreation Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) reported solid attendance and a generally optimistic attitude among participants at the association’s 2011 executive conference, held at the Hyatt Huntington Beach Waterfront Resort, Huntington Beach, Calif.
According to RVAA President Piar Adams, the three-day event, which concluded Sept. 2, hosted more than 200 individuals with approximately 100 companies represented.
“While we don’t have sales figures like we get on the OEM wholesale side of the business as well as retail takeaway, the general consensus among member companies is that business is decent, and will be into the foreseeable future,” Adams told RVBUSINESS.COM. “Everyone was fairly upbeat.”
The annual RVAA conference is unique in that it includes not only programs open to the full membership but also is designed around series of meetings, or “appointment sessions,” held in various rooms at the hotel where the group’s distributors, suppliers and manufacturers’ reps meet to discuss business opportunities.
“It’s really set up for private meetings,” Adams pointed out. “The suppliers have the meetings, the hotel rooms, and the wholesale distributors go around and meet with their suppliers in 20- or 40-minute meeting blocks. A lot of times they are talking about marketing programs for the upcoming year, or closing out the catalogue for the upcoming year … talking about new products that are online or coming online very shortly. And I do believe that there are a number of suppliers that will pick up wholesale distributors as a new customer during the conference.”
The different factions within the association also held segment-specific lunches where, Adams noted, “we discuss various topics around our ‘best practices’ initiatives.”
On Sept. 1, the final full day of the conference, RVAA brought everyone together for its annual membership luncheon, which included various reports from divisions within the association as well as awards presentations. Camco Mfg. and Valterra Products were each recognized with RVAA’s Supplier Performance Analysis Award, while Sylvia Koppen of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Aim Wholesale was honored by Adams with the association’s President’s Award.