The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) reported that numbers have been strong at the eight regional shows held throughout the state this year.
According to a press release, the show season kicked off with the Fort Myers RV Show in January. Marking its 27th year, the event featured 15 Gulf Coast dealers along with over 100 vendors. Show Chairman Chris Morse reported heavy traffic of over 11,500 attendees along with steady sales by participating dealers. “While customer traffic was very good, our dealer body was very pleased with the many sales made at the show and afterwards,” he said.
Results from other shows included:
• The Ocala RV Show, held the last week in January, drew over 5,300 people despite a day of rain on Friday and moving to a new location this year. “This was the first year at the new location adjacent to the Super Flea Market, which gave us great visibility from I-75,” said FRVTA Marketing Director Dave Kelly. “It’s easier to get to and we are closer to town than the old location. I believe we would have had a better crowd if not for the big accident on I-75 on Sunday morning.”
• The Jacksonville RV Show returned for the third year to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. “We used a new promotion to prompt visitors to go to every dealer and get a card stamped that made them eligible for a drawing every hour for a $50 gas card,” said Region 6 President Tom Tibbitts. “This not only got people to visit every dealer, it also gave every dealer the chance to interact with every visitor.”
• The Central Florida RV Show, held at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in DeLand the third weekend of February, was impacted by poor weather and competing with the new dates for the Daytona 500. “We really felt the effects of the new dates for the Daytona 500 and the bad weather didn’t do us any favors either,” said Ken Prentiss, Region 4 President. “We will be addressing these concerns at our next meeting to make sure we don’t get into the same situation next year.”
• The 6th Annual Spring Clean-out RV Show took place the last weekend in February. The admission-free event is held in conjunction with an annual home and garden show at Germain Arena, which is situated along I-75 and adjacent to a large outlet mall. Beautiful weather drew an increased patron count of more than 3,500 attendees over three days to see new and used product from seven dealers. “This event is designed to attract those undecided customers from our January event,” explained Show Manager Jack Carver. “We also target the many RVers in the Naples-area market where no RV Dealers are located.”
• The Destin Commons RV Show was held in the parking lot at the Destin Commons Mall in front of the Bass Pro Shops which drew a lot of outdoor enthusiasts. This show is free to the public so there is no record of actual attendance. The three participating dealers even had good crowds during the set up of the show. “I think we all sold something even before the show opened on Thursday,” said Region 5 President Neal Stewart. “We are looking at other facilities that will allow us to set up a paid gate.”
• The West Palm Beach RV Show was staged during the second week of March. Held in the parking lot of the South Florida Fairgrounds, this show had about the same attendance as last year in spite of rain on three of the four days. Over 4,500 people attended the event over the weekend with most of the dealers reporting good sales.
• The final show in March was the Tampa Bay Spring RV Show held in the middle of the month at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Moving the show from last year’s Plant City site proved to be a winning strategy as the event, which drew 2,500 last year, attracted close to 3,000 consumers over the four days of the show. Additionally, great weather and an aggressive ad campaign added up to a busy weekend.
The FRVTA will stage two more RV Shows this season before wrapping things up. The 17th Annual RV SuperSaver Show in Fort Myers in mid-April and the Stuart RV Show in May are expected to continue drawing consumers interested in the RV Lifestyle.
For more information, contact the FRVTA at 813-741-0488 or www.frvta.org.