The Texas Recreational Vehicle Association (TRVA), marking its 39th year as the trade group representing RV dealers in the state, will return to the Sheraton Austin at the Capitol as the organization rolls out its annual convention Aug. 9-12.
TRVA is anticipating a strong turnout for the event, building on last year’s edition in Austin that also produced healthy attendance numbers.
“We’re expecting that 40 to 50 dealerships will be represented, and that will include a lot of the same members that enjoyed the convention last year,” said Mary Claire Campos, TRVA director of special events. “Being in Austin, one of the highlights is a trip that we offer to our legislative contributors for a reception and tour of the State Capitol.”
TRVA’s convention will also serve as Executive Director Phil Elam’s formal introduction to members. Elam assumed his new role April 1, taking over for Clark McEwen who retired in late May after a 12-year run.
“I am really looking forward to the convention and the chance to interact with our members,” Elam said. “I was able to work with Clark for about two months before he stepped away. He was a wealth of knowledge and gave me some valuable insight as to what TRVA wants to accomplish.”
Elam brings an extensive background in the trade group arena, serving as executive director for the Texas Rental Association in Austin from 1984 to 1994. He also served in several capacities as a consultant, most recently owning a business that worked with Fortune 500 companies establishing “affinity marketing programs” with nonprofits.
“My experience in the RV market was selling RVs for my uncle’s dealership in Baytown when I was in college,” he said. “But the vast majority of my career has been with nonprofit entities, including working with the state government on their behalf.”
Campos said that, as in past years, the convention would offer a mix of informational seminars and presentations coupled with entertainment and networking activities.
“It’s a chance for dealers from across the state to meet and discuss common issues,” Campos said. “This year, we have also scheduled a sponsors trade show and reception that will provide a great networking opportunity.”
In line with the convention’s theme of “Facing The Future,” TRVA will hold its second Combined Industry Panel Discussion on Aug. 10 bringing together members of the various RV-related factions in the state, including parks, dealers manufacturers, service/repair, finance and supplier representatives.
Sunday will be dedicated to a series of morning seminars hosted by industry experts followed by an awards luncheon. The afternoon’s slate includes a parks and dealers education session, a service and repair roundtable discussion along with a private RV dealer meeting. That evening, TRVA will hold its President’s Banquet and silent auction.
Also on tap are the traditional golf tournament along with the opening night casino party.
“It’s a very well-rounded agenda,” Campos said. “We want our members to not only enjoy their stay but get some important information that can help them in their businesses.”
For more information on the 2013 TRVA convention click here.